What's the secret behind Facebook 10 year challenge?

What’s the secret behind Facebook 10 year challenge?


Recently a challenge went viral on Facebook in which the users were supposed to post their ten years old picture along with a recent picture. The concept of this challenge was basically to identify the changing age brings in the way a person looks. Millions of Facebook users took part in this challenge and posted their old as well as new pictures on their Facebook accounts. However, while people took it as a simple harmless meme going viral on social media, a number of specialists say it was a hidden technique to mine data for artificial intelligence recognition.

Looking at it more technically, Kate O’Neill says “Imagine that you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on age-related characteristics and, more specifically, on age progression (e.g., how people are likely to look as they get older). Ideally, you’d want a broad and rigorous dataset with lots of people’s pictures. It would help if you knew they were taken a fixed number of years apart – say, 10 years,” to which casualties responded with the argument that Facebook already has enough information in the form of profile pictures. In fact, those pictures are according to each year as people change profile pictures much regularly than these challenges arise.

However, O’Neill says that people do not always post their recent photos for display pictures so the chronological order cannot be assured. Additionally, a lot of people do not post their own pictures on display for privacy concerns as it is visible to everyone. However, with the option of specific time difference challenge and posting on walls, Facebook could get cleaner data and more actual information.

Humans are said to be the connecting point between the physical and digital world. The way humans react with the digital platforms and new technology is what makes the internet of things much more interesting and responsive. For instance, if a facial recognition algorithm is to be designed to identify age-related characteristics and progression in which it is to be determined that how a person looks as he or she grows older. To get an accurate idea, you will need lots of data such as pictures of lots of people. Similarly, for actual analysis, the time difference would require to be specific for example, 10 years apart.

The 10 year challenge gave a broader set of information to Facebook. In the case of profile pictures, the data is mostly limited and not even reliable due to multiple usages of the same picture for various years. Whereas, in the 10 year challenge pictures, people even mentioned the places where the two pictures were clicked and sometimes even the name of the person who clicked it. It might not seem big to us, but I is definitely an important set of information in machine language.

Facebook claims to have no part in this 10 year challenge. According to them, the challenge was started by users only and they were not the ones to initiate it and so does not have any benefits out of it as well. The spokesperson of Facebook also mentioned the possibility of turning off the facial recognition feature on Facebook anytime the user wants.

The 10 year challenge which seemed to be a fun trend and a horrible reminder of the fashion trend and pre-puberty looks back in 2008/2009 might not be as harmless and simple as we might think. No doubt the business and social platforms must respect users’ data, but, users need to respect their own data as well and should be more vigilant digitally.


Jacqueline Silva has done her Masters in the field of software engineering and has been providing Cheap reliable essay writing services, informative blogs and article on computer science topics for 7 Dollar Essay for the past couple of years.


A Blogger and Technical Writer.

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