How to Find People Impersonating You Using Google Image Search

Any image you see online can be easily copied and put somewhere else online and there’s not much you can do about it.¬†Google recently updated their image search to allow you to search for images similar to one that you upload or one that is already online.

Here’s their video for it: (the drag-and-drop kinda made my jaw drop)

Most of us use the same set of pictures for our avatars and profile pics online. I put a few of the profile pics I’ve used into Google’s new image search to see where those photos showed up online. I used this one – taken at Fisherman’s Wharf with Ron and his dad after exploring the retired sub USS Pamapnito on a hot summer day:

This had been my Facebook profile picture for quite a while and I use it on Twitter and Gravatar and Disqus. So I uploaded the image into Google’s new image search. The first few pages of results were as expected: my blogs, profiles and avatars across social networks and blogs. No big schmeal. But on the third page of search results was this gem:

Which led to a blog about cross tattoos with lots of keyword stuffing and links to affiliate-based products and crap:

Now I’m totally pro-tattoo and am planning a nice Celtic/polynesian blend shoulder or chest plate, but this is bullshit. I left a comment to that effect, it’s still awaiting moderation:

Here’s how you can do the same:

  1. Find one of your profile photos – either the URL to it if it appears online or your local copy on your hard drive.
  2. Go to http://images.google.com/
  3. Drag-and-drop the image onto the search bar. Google churns a bit and then returns search results containing that image (and images of similar composition and palette).
  4. If someone is impersonating you, let ‘em have it.

And for those singles out there – this will also be useful to anybody that has personals profiles out there.

Update: I’d emailed the email address in the WHOIS record for this domain. The site is currently down.

7 comments

  1. Did it work? Is your pic gone?

  2. That was fast (unlike my reply).

  3. We consistently use either original photography or out of copyright stuff on our site. This tool is superb. Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Andy.

  4. That’s great Andy .. It’s amazing how corrupt people are to do’s these things. Why do we always have people taking advantage of all these good things we have as people in the world is always got to be those bad eggs got to be retarded. And I feel bad using the word retarded because it’s degrading for people who are retarded to compare them to these idiots.. Criminals scammers and impersonators

    Thanks for your insight ! Andy. ! have a great one

  5. I am not sure we can do this in the UK, thats rubbish :(

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