How to install InVID, a plugin that debunks fake news and verifies videos and images

With this software, you can ensure that you aren’t seeing fake news or edited photos. Here are the steps to install it and how you can use it.

Image: Lightspring/Shutterstock

People and companies can share many content via social media and the internet. However, some of these might be used for spreading fake news and misinformation. It is important to look for evidence that the same image/video was used previously, even if it is in a different context. This article explains how to quickly check for it using the InVID verification plugin.

What is InVID Verification plugin?

The plugin was initially designed for journalists to verify social media content and provide better fact-checking and debunking abilities. However, it can be used by anyone who is interested in reviewing images or videos. Social media specialists are becoming more common in companies. They need tools to detect fake news and identify fake media that could target them. This tool can also be used to educate or train others to detect media tampering.

InVID Verification Plugin or Toolkit is provided by WeVerify European Projects. Both of these projects received funding from Horizon 2020: EU Programme for Research and Innovation.

The InVID Verification plugin has many features

This plugin has the following features:

  • Find context information for YouTube videos and Facebook.
  • Reverse image search for multiple services: Google. Baidu. Yandex. TinEye. Reddit.
  • Videos of fragments taken from various social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
  • Use a magnifying glass to enhance keyframes and image exploration.
  • View video and image metadata.
  • Check video copyrights.
  • Use forensic filters to enhance images.
  • You can query Twitter more efficiently with timed intervals, multiple filters and other options.

How to install the InVID Verification plugin

This tool is compatible with Firefox and Chrome browsers. You can access the HomepageSelect Chrome or Firefox from the InVID Verification plugin. For this tutorial, we chose FirefoxFigure AChrome has a different installation process, but it is the same.

Figure A

Downloading the plugin for installation.

Get the plugin.

After the plugin has been downloaded, extract the.zip file from the folder in which it was saved.Figure BAfter that, unzip it.

Figure B

Plugin is extracted from the zip file.

 The plugin is extracted from the .zip file.

Double-click the.xpi to open it in Firefox or Chrome. Depending on your default browser, you may need to right-click the.xpi files and choose Open With. Then, select Firefox or Chrome.

Click on the link to open it in a browser. Select Add to give permissions to install the plugin.Figure C).

Figure C

Allowing the installation and permissions for the InVID Verification Plugin in Firefox.

  Allow the installation and permissions for the InVID Verification Plugin in Firefox.

If you wish to allow the plugin’s operation in Private Windows, tick the box and then click OK (Figure D).

Figure D

Selecting the permissions to run in private Windows or not.

  Select the permissions to run in Private Windows or not.

Now the plugin has been installed. It should display its logo in plugins bar.

How to access the plugin and how to use it

You can access the plugin via two ways.

Clicking on the plugin icon within the browser will open its menu (Figure E).

Figure E

Accessing the InVID toolkit menu from its icon in Firefox.

  Access the InVID toolkit menu from its icon in Firefox.

  • Open InVID launches it.
  • Video Urls displays a URL for a video on a webpage.
  • Image Urls shows the URL for an image on a webpage.

Another option is to right-click a photo or video from the website (Figure F).

Figure F

Accessing the plugin from a right-click on an image in a web page.

Right-clicking on any image on a webpage will open the plugin.

Right-clicking the menu will open the menu which includes different options such as opening the magnifier and performing reverse searches in search engines.

InVID Toolkit’s main menu

Click on the plugin icon and select Open InVID to open the main menu.Figure G).

Figure G

Accessing the plugin main menu.

  Access the plugin’s main menu.

There are several choices available in the upper portion of the menu:

  • Tools: This default panel is what is displayed when the plugin launches. Figure G.
  • Tutorial: This section contains many tutorial contents.
  • Classroom: This panel features several educational videos about disinformation and fake news.
  • Interactive: This panel allows users to perform “Spot the Fake”, exercises (with answers).
  • About: This panel provides information about the plugin as well as its developers.

The tools

Image magnifier

The image magnifier allows investigators to zoom in on images to view more information.Figure H).

Figure H

Using the image magnifier on a picture.

 This is how the image magnifier looks when in use.

Image metadata

This option displays metadata about a photograph (Figure I).

Figure I

Showing the metadata from one picture used for this article.

The metadata of one photo.

Video Rights

Video Rights displays the usage rights of videos from YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook (Figure J).

Figure J

Showing the video rights for one video on YouTube.

 The video rights for one video on YouTube.

Twitter Advanced Search

This feature allows users launch advanced questions on Twitter (Figure K).

Figure K

Showing the Twitter advanced search panel.

Twitter Advanced Search Panel

YouTube thumbnails reverse-search

This feature does reverse searches on thumbnails for YouTube videos. You can run the searches on multiple search engines (Figure L).

Figure L

Launching the YouTube thumbnails reverse search.

YouTube thumbnails reverse search.

Video fragmentation (Keyframes), and reverse image search

This option splits the video into multiple images.Figure MThis allows the investigator to perform a reverse image look on any of it. This feature is useful to determine if any parts of a video were reused from another source.

Figure M

Splitting a video into multiple images to be able to run a reverse image search on any of it.

This software can split a video into multiple photos so that you can do a reverse image search.

Video contextual verification

This tab displays statistics on videos from YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook.Figure N).

Figure N

Showing video statistics from a YouTube video.

Video statistics taken from a YouTube video.

Image forensic analysis

This tab contains eight filters that can be used to detect digital image tampering.Figure O).

Figure O

Applying a forensic analysis on an image.

An image can be subject to forensic analysis.

Reverse image search

InVID allows you to run reverse image searches on many search engines such as Google, Yandex. Bing. TinEye. Baidu. Reddit.

This plugin can be launched by right-clicking on a photo and selecting the desired search engine. The plugin will open one tab per search engine within the browser to display the results.Figure P).

Figure P

Showing the results of an image reverse search on TinEye search engine.

Results of a reverse Image Search on TinEye.

InVID Toolkit is a tool that allows investigators and social media experts to verify content by analysing images and videos from multiple platforms, or even local files. It can be used with Firefox or Chrome as a plugin.

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