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Google Launches New Tool to Help Users Evaluate the Context and Credibility of Images

In an era where misinformation and manipulated content proliferate across the internet, Google is taking significant steps to empower users with tools to evaluate the credibility and context of images. As part of its ongoing commitment to information literacy, Google is set to launch a new feature called "About this image." This tool aims to provide users with essential background information to help them determine the reliability of images encountered online.

According to a study conducted by Poynter in 2022, a staggering 62% of people encounter misinformation on a daily or weekly basis. Recognizing the need to address this challenge comprehensively, Google has expanded its focus to include visual literacy. By offering tools that allow users to assess the context and credibility of images, the tech giant aims to combat the spread of misinformation and enhance users' ability to make informed judgments.

"About this image" will furnish users with crucial details such as when the image and similar images were first indexed by Google, the original source of the image, and other instances where the image has been seen online, including news, social, and fact-checking websites. Armed with this background information, users can develop a better understanding of an image's reliability and discern whether it has been manipulated or misattributed.

Accessing the new tool is designed to be simple and intuitive. Users will find the "About this image" feature by clicking on the three dots accompanying an image in Google Images results. Additionally, searching with an image or screenshot in Google Lens or swiping up while browsing through the Google App will also activate the tool. Later this year, right-clicking or long-pressing on an image in Google Chrome on both desktop and mobile devices will provide similar functionality.

In an effort to promote transparency, Google is also taking measures to ensure that AI-generated images, as they become more prevalent, are clearly labeled with a markup indicating their origin. This markup will accompany the original file, both on Google platforms and when shared elsewhere. Creators and publishers will have the opportunity to incorporate similar markups, enabling users to identify AI-generated images in Google Search results. Several prominent publishers, including Midjourney and Shutterstock, have already committed to implementing these markups in the coming months.

Google Search has long been committed to providing reliable, high-quality information. The introduction of the "About this image" tool and the AI-generated image markup further solidify Google's dedication to combatting misinformation and empowering users to navigate the evolving online landscape. This development follows the introduction of the "About this result" tool, which provides additional information about sources and topics to assess their credibility. In March, Google unveiled five additional ways to verify information on its search engine, bolstering its efforts to equip users with the tools needed to discern trustworthy content.

As the internet continues to evolve and misinformation persists, Google remains steadfast in its commitment to enhancing users' understanding of the online world. By continuously updating and improving Google Search features, the company aims to empower users to make informed decisions and navigate the vast information landscape with confidence.


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