Catfishing & Google Image Search by Image

If Manti Te'o had just used Google Image Search by Image, he might not have had to contend with  the last media blitz interview, still being asked about his "imaginary girlfriend" catfish scandal as exposed by Deadspin. (I've been *fascinated* by this story since it broke!) And though I'm not much of a "sporty" girl (though I LOVE me my Orioles!) I hear he handled the recent furor well and may be entertaining the idea of becoming a Baltimore Raven! You go, Manti! Stay strong!

What is Catfishing?
The Manti Te'o scandal is a great teachable moment and example of digital awareness, citizenship, and catfishing.  So, What is catfishing? The Urban Dictionary definition is above. The Term comes from a  movie (and an MTV show). From a related article: "‘Catfishing,’ a slang term for creating fake profiles on social media to create false identities, has its origins in the 2010 movie ‘Catfish,’ a pseudo-documentary that chronicled a young man’s online friendship with a woman that turned out to be very different from her Facebook profile." - International Business Times 
PS. It's a great $2.99 Amazon Prime Rental!

Why Google Image by Image?
Google image search by image can be used for quite a few reasons with one of them being to check if your photograph has been stolen by someone else or is being used by someone somewhere on the web without your permission. To explain how it works, and because it's part of my branding and I knew I would get hits, I used my own cartoon avatar (and branded!) image as drawn & created by Icon Factory (& Twitter Ollie Bird) artist David Lanham. But I could have used a Creative Commons picture OR a suspicious Facebook profile image. (see interesting infographic below)
How to Google Image Search by Image
For those of you who like directions better than pictures or comics: 
1. Go to Google Images and click on the tiny little camera on the right of the search bar - click on it
2. From here you have the option to either paste the URL of an image or upload it
3. Review the results and the Google guess, did someone else use your picture? Were you mentioned in an article or on a blog? Did someone re-name it?

Do note: It is possible to "fool" the search by deception. Downloading a picture, re-naming it, photoshopping it, not tagging it the way it was originally tagged - all tactics similar to Internet typosquatting.

See related articles and links below that touch on this.

Check out this really informative infographic about Real vs. Fake Facebook pages, spoilers - it's all about sexy women trying to catfish or lure gullible guys. Duh!

Related Articles
  So, How did this all come up?  
I've recently had 3 smart friends & colleagues ask me how to do the Google Image Search by Image which leaded me to think it was a bit buried and a Comic Tutorial was needed!  This Comic Tutorial is Creative Commons and is also available in several different sizes. Cheers!


  1. Is there a way to do this from a smartphone? For example someone on fb puts up a picture of themselves and then I can "save photo" to my phone gallery. Is there a way to search using that picture?

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