The Dark Secret Behind Facebook’s ’10 Year Challenge’ Finally Revealed!

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If you use social media, you must have come across a trend, quite evident everywhere including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where people all over the world, are posting their then-and-now profile pictures, mostly from 10 years ago and the current year. Over 5.2 million users including many celebrities have participated in the challenge so far.

It has followed the “Bird Box Challenge” and the “Top Nine Photos of the Year Challenge”, however, this one has caused quite a stir and some concern from users. The popular “10-Year Challenge” is being seen by some users more than just fun. Certain speculations have arisen regarding the motive behind the challenge and forced several users to think if this was a ploy by Facebook to collect the data for facial recognition.

Kate O’Neill, a writer for Wired, wrote an op-ed exploring the possibility stating, “Imagine that you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on age-related characteristics and, more specifically, on age progression. Ideally, you’d want a broad and rigorous dataset with lots of people pictures.”

Contrarily, many people have argued that Facebook has already access to these photos since the challenge often asked people to share their first profile picture to their current. O’Neill has responded that people don’t always upload data in chronological order and many people have profile pictures other than themselves.

Thereby, this challenge allows Facebook to have a “clean” version of who you are by the context you add such as telling your age in the photo as well as the year. According to NYU Professor Amy Webb, this photo challenge is a “perfect storm for machine learning.” Facebook has been asserting that it was not involved in the start of this challenge and had no “benefit” from it going viral.

“This is a user-generated meme that went viral on its own. Facebook did not start this trend, and the meme uses photos that already exist on Facebook,” the company also added.

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