In the last few days, a viral challenge has become very popular in different social networks -especially on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter-, which consists in showing a photograph taken in 2019 and comparing it with a similar one today. The challenge, whose official hashtag is # 10YearsChallenge, is flooding the timeline of most users of social networks and even many popular characters have also joined to make a publication of this type showing what was his physical appearance 10 years ago .
“The social network uses facial recognition techniques that users can deactivate at any time.”
The popularity of the challenge has been such that even some conspiracy theories have begun to emerge that try to find who is behind the challenge and unmask their intentions. Some of them have become popular speculations, such as the one that states that Facebook could be responsible for the dissemination of the meme.
Why could Facebook want users to show photos from ten years ago? For one simple reason: it would have access to a large amount of information collected in a single hashtag. It is true that in its databases it already has images of a lot of users a decade ago, but that way they would all be in one place.
All these data can be analyzed, for example, by artificial intelligence techniques, to establish patterns of how users age and, among other things, to be able to make predictions about how they will continue to evolve in the coming years. That information could be very relevant for certain advertisers.
However, given the turmoil generated, and the shadow of suspicion about the company, Facebook has had to face speculation. An official spokesperson for the company has indicated the following in a statement sent to TreceBits:
“It is a meme generated by the users that has viralized on its own. Facebook did not start this trend, and the meme uses photographs that already exist on Facebook. Facebook does not gain anything with this meme (beyond reminding us of the questionable trends in fashion in 2009). As a reminder, Facebook users can choose whether to activate or deactivate the facial recognition option at any time.”