It seems like an innocent little social media post designed to celebrate how far we’ve come in 10 years but maybe Zuckerberg and team are using this “10 Year Challenge” as something a little more concerning.
Hi, I’m Tomi and it’s time for First Thoughts.
Unless you live under a rock or have sworn off social media, you’ve likely seen the “10 year Challenge.”
This latest phenomenon has taken over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in the last couple weeks. Basically, It’s a then-and-now photo posting challenge that your friends and all our favorite celebrities have taken part in.
Heck, I did it!
I know, I had no eyebrows. Believe me, I know!
Anyway, this challenge seems pretty harmless but what if it isn’t? What if social media giants like Facebook are using it as a data mining/ facial recognition tool?
Now I’m not a conspiracy theorist but hey..it kind of makes sense.
This theory was first pointed out on Twitter by Kate O’Neill -- a tech author and founder of KO insights.
So basically what she’s saying is Facebook might be using our then-and-now photos to improve their facial recognition algorithms and age-related variables. This would be a form of data-mining and that term alone makes many of us anxious.
Naysayers were quick to jump on Kate’s claim saying Facebook already has the photos because most of the posted photos were on Facebook anyway. Well, maybe in some cases but not all.
Take me, for example. I didn’t even have a Facebook page until I started working as a political commentator. I dug out my “before” photo from an old Google Drive folder that has never seen the light of Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Besides, as Kate pointed out, it’s a lot easier to have the side-by-sides right there- signed, sealed and delivered in a neat little post package.
And guess what, we just gave it to them.
For the record, a Facebook spokesperson has denied all these claims saying it was user-generated and became a thing on its own. The spokesperson also reminded users we can turn off facial recognition whenever we want to.
Ok, still not that comforting.
Facebook has had its fair share of scandals. Whether it’s censoring or reportedly shadow-banning conservatives or the major Cambridge Analytica breach that compromised about 70 million U.S users - maybe some of us are already on edge.
I’m not saying any of you should delete your “10 year challenge” posts or crawl under a rock with a tin-foil hat because of this theory- it’s just something to consider and be aware of.
We put a lot of personal stuff on the interwebs and undoubtedly some of it is being used against us.
Buy hey, those are just my First Thoughts. From LA, God bless and take care!