Every once in a while, someone that I don’t know will start following me on one of the social networks — which is fine, and knowing that I’m ‘internet famous‘, it’s bound to happen — but when it’s obviously someone trying to drum up traffic or selling something other than ideas or information, I might want to cull them from the herd.
(You know, someone might look at my Friends list and think that I endorse them and their fake picture/product/slimy character.)
Google’s Chrome browser makes it easy to get the actual address of a profile photo — just right click and choose ‘Copy image URL’. Then you can take that address to TinEye.com or Google Image Search and see whether there is something not quite right about that person — real or imagined — that is now your most-recent stalker.
NOTE: This trick isn’t just for exposing fake people. Since most people will re-use the same profile photo across multiple social networks, this can be a good way to locate the other places someone might hang out… especially if they have a common name that is going to result in a debilitating number of search results (“Bob Smith” is a hard man to find … there are millions of them!).