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January 21, 2019

"Soypunk Dystopia:" Is FaceBook's #10YearChallenge Meme Just A Sneaky Way to Get People to Upload Pictures of Themselves So That FaceBook Can Improve Its Facial Recognition and Aging Effects Projection Software?

"Soypunk dystopia" coined by Tim Pool.

So, if you've noticed people posting pictures of themselves in current year along with a picture of themselves from ten years ago, that's because >FaceBook told them it would be a fun, cool, hip, harmless game to do so.

But is it?

If you use social media, 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.


Instead of joining in, I posted the following semi-sarcastic tweet:



My flippant tweet began to pick up traction. My intent wasn't to claim that the meme is inherently dangerous. But I knew the facial recognition scenario was broadly plausible and indicative of a trend that people should be aware of. Itís worth considering the depth and breadth of the personal data we share without reservations.

Of those who were critical of my thesis, many argued that the pictures were already available anyway. The most common rebuttal was: "That data is already available. Facebook's already got all the profile pictures."

Tim Pool (not the author of the piece) says his reaction to that wasn't one of relief, but of alarm: Oh shit, that's right. I've already given them all this personal shit about me without having thought about it at all.

But that's not quite true. I'm guessing that most people who do this "Ten Year Challenge" stage a new photo in which they are angled and posed exactly as they were in their photo from ten years ago, to better show Now Vs. Then.

Which is exactly what you'd want to sharpen a facial-aging-projection program. You wouldn't want to have to compare a three-quarters semi-profile with a straight-on shot. You'd want the faces to be in the same postures and in the same angles, so that the programming as a true apples to older apples database to work with.

This is creepy shit and these people are no one's friends.






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