Is this photo real or photoshopped 1

Why the photo of the rescued baby from the Mediterranean Sea is not a fake

Magdeburg / Ceuta - "The editing of the photo cannot be denied." "It would be nice if the people's voice would comment on the fake allegations." "The parents who do this to a baby should be locked up right away." These are just a few of the comments that can be found under the photo of the rescued child from the Mediterranean on the Volksstimme Facebook page. The loudest accusation: the photo is fake.

Fact check briefly explained

There are several ways to verify the authenticity of a photo, video, and message. A job that happens before information is passed on from journalists to readers or users.

With photos, there are generally four quick ways to check whether the photo is fake.

Check No. 1: How long has the photo been in circulation?

The first method with which you can quickly see whether a photo is real is the reverse search for images, for example using Google or Tineye. This makes it possible to understand when a photo first appeared on the Internet. If this is before the event that is supposed to be seen in the picture, then that is a strong indicator that the picture is fake.

The baby's photo appears on the web for the first time on Tuesday, May 18, which confirms the situational context (8,000 refugees will reach Ceuta on Monday and Tuesday, May 17 and 18).

Check # 2: Has the picture been edited?

Another way to check whether a photo is real is to use defect level analysis (ELA). This can be done using the fotoforensics or Forensically beta programs, for example. The error level analysis makes it possible to identify areas within an image that are at different compression levels, that is, that have been processed.

For images in JPEG format, the entire image should have approximately the same level. If any portion of the image has a significantly different level of error, it is likely to indicate a digital change. This can be brought about by cutting, merging, Photoshop, etc. and is mostly made clear by lighter areas in the image.

The photo of the rescued baby has no specific indications of digital processing.

For comparison, see below an example of an image that has obviously been changed: Ex-President Obama has got a black eye, one ear is missing and the whole head has been cut out and placed on a white background. The failure level analysis confirms this.

Check # 3: Has the image been cropped to create a specific impression?

Fotoforensics is also ideal for this. It shows the hidden pixels of an image, i.e. the original before it was cropped. In this way you can check whether things have been left out deliberately in order to create a certain impression in the picture.

Only a small strip of the original was cut off in the picture of police diver Juan Francisco Valle and the baby. Major changes to the image size do not appear to have been made.

Check # 4: The metadata

Metadata can help, but also contain sources of error. They can also be called up via various programs on the Internet.

Probably the biggest problem: If the date and time information on the camera is not correct, this data is not saved correctly in the image.

What the metadata can show are, for example, the country of origin, stored data on the source of the image, such as the type of camera and the copyright, and, as long as the camera is set correctly, the date of creation.

Even with this check, no discrepancies can be seen in the picture of the baby in front of Ceuta.

Conclusion: The baby's picture does not seem to have been technically faked

Technically, there is no evidence that the picture of the rescued baby off Ceuta with police diver Juan Francisco Valle is faked. There is therefore no justified doubt as to the authenticity of the recording.