Facebook’s ’10 Year Challenge’ Is Just a Harmless Meme—Right?

If you use social media, this week you’ve probably noticed a trend across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter of people posting their then-and-now profile pictures, mostly from 10 years ago and this year.

This post by Kate O’Neill in Wired expands on a question about whether all of this data could be mined to train facial recognition algorithms on age progression & age recognition.

I’m torn between two possibilities on this debate.

One, Facebook (and other companies) is getting us to share/label photos for learning possibilities. I think this could definitely be used to help the machines learn.

Second, Facebook (and other companies) are getting us to play “remember when” as user attitudes and trust are making us question the business/organization. They’re hoping to have users emote and connect to strengthen bonds as they’re fraying.

I think these two possibilities could exist contemporaneously.

I don’t think it’s random. Nothing is in these spaces.



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