As an Egg was used to spur a motive of most liked Instagram post ever, Facebook’s ’10 year challenge’ Meme was equally breaking the internet on the other side. The meme went massively viral on Facebook, world’s largest social media platform that has over 2 billion users. Many people participated in the challenge including multiple celebrities from all over the world.
The meme called for Instagram and Facebook users to upload their 2 photos side-by-side from 2009 to 2019 to spot a 10 years difference. Now, it is speculated that this meme was deliberately crafted by Facebook to improve its facial recognition software and AI machine-learning capability.
A Wired Magazine writer Kate O’Neill was the 1st one to raise this concern on her Twitter. Her tweet went viral within few hours of posting and now has 10.8k people talking about it.
Me 10 years ago: probably would have played along with the profile picture aging meme going around on Facebook and Instagram
Me now: ponders how all this data could be mined to train facial recognition algorithms on age progression and age recognition
— Kate O’Neill (@kateo) January 12, 2019
In her article on Wired, she questioned:
Facebook’s ’10 Year Challenge’ Is Just A Harmless MEME—Right?.
My flippant tweet began to pick up traction. My intent wasn’t to claim that the meme is inherently dangerous. But I knew the facial recognition scenario was broadly plausible and indicative of a trend that people should be aware of. It’s worth considering the depth and breadth of the personal data we share without reservations.
The renowned author is not alone in raising concern about the 10 year challenge contest, many others have also questioned the flip-side agenda of the meme.
On the other hand, Facebook wasted no time in responding the eye-brows by issuing a statement.
“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. Facebook gains nothing from this meme (besides reminding us of the questionable fashion trends of 2009). As a reminder, Facebook users can choose to turn facial recognition on or off at any time.”
The article originally appeared on The Mind UnLeashed