Facebook’s 10-year challenge goes viral again, but is there a dark side?

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Facebook has been challenging users to upload their photos for the last several years. “10 Year Challenge”You can upload a current picture and a picture from 10+ years ago to the social media platform. This challenge is used to show how old a user is and also gives a nostalgic feel by looking back on the fashion trends of the past decade. Some have accused the social network giant of using this challenge for more sinister purposes. 

What Is The ’10 Year Challenge?’

It’s not just on Facebook that the “10 Year Challenge”It has become a viral sensation. In the past three years social media users on Instagram and Twitter have shared comparison photos showing themselves compared to 10 year ago. The practice first took off in 2019 and ever since, it’s been impossible to escape. Even back then, many people noticed the dark ways that giant social media platforms could profit off this information. 

A reporter for Wired, Kate O’Neill, Twitter about the phenomenon, “Me 10 years ago: probably would have played along with the profile picture aging meme going around on Facebook and Instagram,” adding, “Me now: ponders how all this data could be mined to train facial recognition algorithms on age progression and age recognition.” In response to detractors who responded to her original tweet, O’Neill tweeted out the ways that social media companies can take advantage of the seemingly organic challenge. 

Additional In-Depth Information

O’Neill followed up her viral Twitter thread with Wired published a pieceShe also provided further details about how social media companies can use this challenge to train facial recognition robots. She wrote in part: “In other words, it would help if you had a clean, simple, helpfully labeled set of then-and-now photos.” 

This is an advantage to facial recognition software, as users can label their photos and add years and ages. She continues. “In other words, thanks to this meme, there’s now a very large dataset of carefully curated photos of people from roughly 10 years ago and now.”

It’s currently unclear whether these social media giants are using facial recognition software with these challenges to create a database of facts about users, so as O’Neill wisely said, there’s no point in panicking. It’s just one more thing to keep in mind while using social media.