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Home / Tips and Tricks / Amazon Rainforest Fire: How To Detect Inaccurate Photos on Social Media

Amazon Rainforest Fire: How To Detect Inaccurate Photos on Social Media



  Amazon Fire

View of a fire in the Amazon rainforest near Novo Progresso, Para State, Brazil, on August 25, 2019.


Joao Laet / AFP / Getty Images

In a tragic situation like the fires in the Amazon rainforest your feelings can easily take the lead. Social media has led the prosecution to draw attention to the fires that were largely ignored by most people in the world for about three weeks. Twitter users have started hashtags such as #PrayforAmazonas #AmazonRainforest and #ActForTheAmazon before politics began to comment.

French President Emmanuel Macron was one of the first foreign heads of state and government to tweet about the fires. Macron was criticized for sharing a obsolete photo in social media . Celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Madonna also shared false photos. Some of the paintings were about earlier fires in the Amazon and others not about the Amazon.

Sharing photos should bring home one point about the severity of a situation. The photos lose their meaning if they are misleading. Here are some ways to make sure a photo is correct.

Google reverse image search

Not much work is required. If you discover a picture on social media or on another website, try doing a reverse picture search. In Google Chrome (or a Chrome-compatible browser such as Brave ), just right-click on the image and select Browse Google for image . This works if you install the Chrome extension or at images.google.com.

For example, a tweet that may be at heart is an emergency worker giving water to a koala in the middle of a charred forest. If you search this image in Google, you will find that it actually comes from the Australian bush fires in 2009.

Tin Eye

Tin Eye's reverse search engine is also useful. The layout is a bit easier to navigate than Google. It seems to filter out social media pages. Just grab a picture, put it on the website (or upload it) and check your results.

Getty Images

Many news agencies and reporters use images from media company Getty Images. While you have to pay to use the photos, you can use the website to monitor how up-to-date pictures are for free. Open Getty Images and look for Amazon rainforest fire, for example. If you click on a picture, you can see who recorded it and when. You can also read a description of the image for additional information, such as: Where the photo was taken.


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