The 10 year challenge conspiracy
Let’s talk about the 10 year challenge conspiracy. The 10 year challenge is where you compare a photo of you from 10 years ago and to a photo of you today. Supposedly, this trend started from Facebook and now it has spread to every social media platform. One could say this evolved from the previous trend, “Watch out who you call ugly”. Both trends focus on how much a person has changed over the years. You might think this is another stupid trend and it is nothing more than just annoying. However, not all trends are harmless.
“What’s your Porn star name”
Back in 2011, there was a trend called “What’s your Porn star name”. You first put in the name of your first pet and the street you lived on while growing up. Then the name generator would combine your answers to give you your “Porn star name”. If after reading the previous sentence, you still haven’t raised any red flags, then you need to pay attention. Your first pet’s name and the street you lived on while growing up are the most commonly used security questions. Many people use these two questions as their security challenge to reset their password etc.
This is portrayed in the movie “Now You See Me 2”. The horsemen tricked Tressler to reveal his pet’s name to gain access to his bank account. Of course in real life it isn’t that simple to gain access to a bank account but the idea stands. So, what does this have to do with the 10 year challenge?
Well, the pictures posted by people could be used to train AI facial recognition programs. That’s the 10 year challenge conspiracy. How else would Facebook and other companies get such massive amount of data to train their AI? Many argue that since the pictures were already available anyway, so this trend doesn’t add anything new to the table. But mining or going through that many Facebook profiles to get a past picture isn’t that simple. Many people’s profile pictures are not of themselves, or the pictures aren’t uploaded in a chronological order. So there’s a lot of useless noise. It would help if you had a simple and clearly labelled set of before and now pictures. In comes the 10 year challenge.
Is the 10 year challenge conspiracy harmful? Is it a bad thing to help train AI facial recognition which can help locate lost persons and catch criminals? Not exactly, since we don’t know what the data is used for or if it is being used. But one thing is for sure, Facebook and those companies don’t exactly have the best rack record. Either way, it is important for you to be aware of these potential problems so you don’t mindlessly join a harmful trend.