How does relate to dating & viral images?

Posted by Jonas Öberg on October 9, 2014

When we started to research into the area of reverse image searches, we discovered that one of the drivers for reverse image search is: dating sites. Not the dating sites themselves, but the visitor thereof. It appears that fake profiles are quite common, and a fake profile needs a fake image, usually from Google Images or another random online source. That’s why some visitors of dating sites turn to Google Image Reverse Search, Tineye, or any of the other reverse image search services. Feeding them with an image from the dating site will give you a good indication of whether the image is genuine (few matches) or whether it’s a fake (lots of matches, probably models).

You can do those reverse searches even today, and there are patented algorithms that perform very well with matching images against other images online. The algorithm that we’ve opted to implement for isn’t terribly complex, but it’s also not meant to compete against the services already in existence. With, you’ll be able to pretty accurately match re-used images against our collection of openly licensed works – even if the images you encounter have been resized or changed format. What it doesn’t do is capture derivative works – if someone crops parts of the image or otherwise changes the image. If you want to look for derivative works, will happily direct you to one of the other existing services that already do that, and do it well.

We don’t envision to be terribly useful for visitors of dating sites – unless they want to re-use images from those sites, in which case will be able to tell you which are openly licensed and which are not. There’s another area that has come up though where might prove useful: viral images. You know the type, you see them on Facebook, you see them on Twitter. Funny or not, some of them make rather dubious claims, not always true.

This is one of my favorites – it shows a 747 aircraft during test flight, with barrels containing water to simulate various load conditions. It also provides proof of chemtrails, depending on who you ask. What can do is make sure that when people encounter this image online, they’re given not only the image itself, but the context of it, so that they can see that it’s from Wikimedia Commons, can read the descriptions and information, and perhaps make a bit more of an informed decision about whether they believe in chemtrail conspiracies or not.

Don’t forget to sign up to for your beta test invitation!

Photo credit: Lee Bennett via photopin CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 and Olivier Cleynen via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0