Facebook’s 10 year challenge

Joanna Estrada
January 17, 2019

It's the simple meme that's taking over your social media feeds: the "10 Year Challenge", where users upload side-by-side photos of themselves from a decade ago and now.

Facebook has been at the centre of data mining and privacy breach accusations, and experts are warning the trending "10-year challenge" meme could be yet another effort to mine valuable data.

What is the 10-year challenge?

What in the world were you thinking with those shoes?

Many people have taken to twitter to express their concerns over the challenge which they believe was never meant to be a harmless comparrison.

Currently, the hashtag #10yearchallenge has 1.6 million posts on Instagram, still counting.

It's gone viral online with a string of celebrities and media personalities also taking part in the challenge.

Whatever Facebook gets out of the "10 Year Challenge", Barr said it's significant that people questioned its motive in the first place.

If so, you are definitely not alone as many folks have done this "challenge".

Facebook could be using its 10 year challenge meme to refine its face recognition AI
Facebook denies that ’10 year challenge’ is a ploy to collect facial recognition data

The social media giant's remarks came after tech magazine Wired published an article which suggested that then-and-now photos of regular people could be useful to any entity that's looking to develop facial recognition algorithms related to aging.

In the Wired article, tech entrepreneur and writer Kate O'Neill mused about whether it was possible that Facebook socially engineered the "10 year challenge" to collect facial data to improve facial recognition algorithms.

The response to O'Neill's proposal has been mixed. "Facebook did not start this trend, and the meme uses photos that already exist on Facebook", the company said.

While others point out that some people are using photos they had never posted online before. But a comparative side-by-side photo analysis makes it a lot easier for ML algorithms to learn about users' facial data.

But age progression technology could be both good and bad. "Not necessarily", O'Neill said on Twitter, noting that such technology could be used to find missing children. Last year, police reported tracking down almost 3,000 kids in New Dehli, India. As an example, O'Neill explains that a health insurance company could determine that you appear to be aging too quickly, making them increase the cost of your insurance.

O'Neill writes, 'It's worth considering the depth and breadth of the personal data we share without reservations.

Harmless or not, the challenge has created a lot of amusing memes and posts online.

But it's just an innocent meme, right?

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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