Is #10YearChallenge A Strategy To Improve Facial Recognition Tech? 1109

Many tech-savvy and even non-tech regular social media users now feel that we may have helped Facebook & Instagram to make their facial recognition tech better with the ‘harmless’ #10YearChallenge hashtag

Very recently, ​many of us came across #10YearChallenge ​hashtag trending ​ on Facebook and Instagram. People posted ​ their​ two ​side by side comparison ​ photographs​ ​of how they looked 10 years back, and now.
This looked ​ really​ interesting. We thought it would be a fun thing to do.

Many of us then started sharing our own pictures on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #10YearChallenge. Some of the celebrities started posting their own set of pictures and we marveled and even smiled at how they had aged over 10 years. At times we even thought with awe that they didn’t seem to have aged at all!

#10YearChallenge: Taylor Swift

#10YearChallenge: Rihanna

#10YearChallenge: Reese Witherspoon

With Lok Sabha elections looming on the horizon, we also saw political parties taking a jibe at each other with photos of last five-year development by the BJP-led NDA government and vice-versa. Even international politics got a taste of this hashtag.

#10YearChallenge: President Obama & President Trump

#10YearChallenge: Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Brands too were creative enough to publish some interesting posts on their social handles.

#10YearChallenge: Brands

Everything was fine and smooth fun until we came across comments on the contrary. Few people on the other hand, had a completely different take on it.


There was one particular social post/tweet that went viral on the #10YearChallenge getting ​approx ​11.3K Retweets and 24.8 Likes. This was on Twitter by Kate O’Neill (Twitter: @kateo). On January 13 ​, ​ she
tweeted a Twitter thread of nine tweets that maybe this #10YearChallenge could be used to train facial recognition algorithms on age progression and age recognition to do their job even better. After all the public was willingly giving up their photos that were clean data sets with a fairly accurate timeline of 10 years gap.

What more could a facial recognition technology require to get better​? ​ Good data for better ​machine learning algorithms​. Facebook was quick to say that they were not involved in this challenge and it was all a
user-generated meme which started on its own. But ​having ​ ​written the book Tech Humanist: How you can make technology better for business and better for humans, Kate O’ Neill ​, surely​ knows about such things better
than us.


Facial recognition technology is all about the biometric software application. This application is capable of uniquely identifying or verifying a person by comparing and analyzing patterns based on a person’s facial

Learn more: 5 Facts You Need to Know About Facial Recognition Technology

Kate O’ Neill did mention in her Twitter thread that this may not be a crisis or that it is inherently dangerous but there could still be chances of fraught consequences like most emerging technology. She told people not to panic or feel bad. She advised them to become more mindful of how data can be used. People got the drift of what she was trying to explain in her tweets and started having privacy concerns and left a number of comments on her Twitter thread.

We still don’t know the reality of the challenge, however, we need to be cautious.

Moral of the story: Use common sense while sharing your personal data on any public platform.

Do comment below what you think could be the reason for the spread of the #10YearChallenge trend

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