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How to identify fake LinkedIn and Facebook invites using Google Image Search

Posted on Oct 25, 2012 by in Social Media | 2 comments

You’re probably smart enough to know that your recent invites on LinkedIn and Facebook, from beautiful women (or men- where applicable), have little to do with your witty online persona or newly honed chick/hunk-magnet super powers.

While the concept of open networking isn’t without merit, it’s a good idea to exercise due diligence. You do not want to  inadvertently expose your valuable networks to questionable content in their feed; especially with networking sites under increasing pressure to monetize their platforms via methods like sponsored stories (Facebook).

Identifying a fake profile on LinkedIn is often easy enough. Few connections and scant details in education, work experience etc., give these away.

It gets a bit tricky on Facebook, especially if the request comes from someone who has already broken through to a mutual friend’s list.

This is how I used Google image search to invalidate a couple of questionable requests from some rather attractive, though seemingly underage, women/girls.

1)      Right-click on the image to copy the url

Copy Url link from Facebook Profile Photo

2)      On Google.com and choose Images option, from the menu

Google Image Search Menu Item

3)      Click on the Camera icon to search by image.

Google Search By Image Icon

4)      Paste (ctrl+v) the previously copied  URL

Google Search by Image

As you can see, the profile photo of my aspiring Facebook friend, came from a site hawking brunette buddies.

Image Match via Google Image Search

Another request on LinkedIn had the profile picture picked up from a student yearbook; which wasn’t suspicious in itself, if it weren’t for the fact that the kid was in high school, during the time the LinkedIn profile showed her in mid-career.

Linkedin invite

Google Image Search Match

I thought I’d do my bit for our (yours/mine) mutual online experience by flagging the profile for misrepresentation (yes, the option exists).

Flag LinkedIn profile for misrepresentation

To more important things; A Google image search on my profile pic delivered a blow to the ego.

I look like an antique clay urn

I’m visually similar to aged, though well preserved, clay urns?

I guess, I’ll take consolation in the fact that I’m also visually similar to a well proportioned, comfortably reclined, beautiful platinum blonde. Let me know if you fare better.

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2 Comments

  1. Very useful tips, Jacob! It never occurred to me to try this.
    By the way, Google thinks my Twitter picture is visually similar to a picture of Christ. Oh boy.

    • Ha, Ha. Rabab, I think identifying self with an ancient, world-famous personality ranks a few notches higher than a being visually similar to bunch of dilapidated clay urns. I probably have some work to do on that personality of mine. :)

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