How to install and use InVID, a plugin to debunk fake news and verify videos and images

You can make sure you aren’t seeing fake news, edited photos or deepfakes with this software. Here’s how to install and use it.

The evolution of social media and the internet have allowed people and companies to share a lot of content, some of which might be used to spread fake news or misinformation. One of the keys to investigate this material is to try to find evidence of the same image/video being used before, often in an unrelated context. This article shows how to easily check for it by using the InVID Verification Plugin.

What is InVID Verification Plugin?

While the plugin is originally designed to help journalists verify content on social media and improve fact-checking and debunking capabilities for its users, it can also be used by anyone with an interest in checking images or videos. More and more companies have social media experts on staff who need tools to spot fake news and detect fake media that might target them. The tool might also be used to raise awareness or train people to increase their skills in detecting media tampering.

The InVID Verification Plugin, or Toolkit, is provided by the InVID and WeVerify European projects. Both projects have received funding from the Horizon 2020: EU Programme for Research and Innovation.

Features of the InVID Verification Plugin

The features of this plugin are:

Get contextual information on Facebook and YouTube videos.Perform reverse image search on multiple services: Google, Bing, Baidu, Yandex, TinEye and Reddit.Fragment videos from several social networks: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Dailymotion.Enhance and explore keyframes and images by using a magnifying lens.Read video and images metadata.Check video copyrights.Apply forensic filters on images.Query Twitter more efficiently through timed intervals and several filters.

How to install the InVID Verification Plugin

This tool works as a Chrome or Firefox browser plugin. From the home page of the InVID Verification Plugin, select Chrome or Firefox. We chose Firefox for this tutorial (Figure A), but the install steps are the same for Chrome.

Figure A

Once the plugin is downloaded, go to the folder where it was saved and extract the .zip file (Figure B), then unzip it.

Figure B

Double-click on the .xpi file to launch it in Firefox or Chrome. Depending on what your default browser is, you might need to right-click on the .xpi file and select Open With, then choose Firefox or Chrome.

As it opens in the browser, select Add to allow the permissions to install the plugin (Figure C).

Figure C

Tick the box for allowing the plugin to run in Private Windows if you like, then click Okay (Figure D).

Figure D

The plugin is now installed and should show its logo in the plugins bar.

How to access and use the plugin

The plugin can be accessed and used via two methods.

A click on the plugin icon in the browser opens its menu (Figure E).

Figure E

Open InVID launches the…

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