10 Year Challenge: Facebook Denies Ploy to Collect Facial Recognition Data

10 Year Challenge

The ’10 Year Challenge’ is a fad sweeping across social media platforms Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Instagram. Now, circulating rumors suggest that the ‘game’ is actually a clever ploy orchestrated by Facebook to collect facial recognition data.

Facebook denied the claims earlier today; however, some are still skeptical.

The 10 Year Challenge

For those who may be unfamiliar, the 10 Year Challenge is a viral meme whereby people are posting side-by-side selfies of themselves—a picture taken recently versus one taken ten years ago. The idea is to see how much you’ve changed in ten years and many users and celebrities have already obliged.

Currently trending across Facebook and its owned platform, Instagram, most consider the fad harmless and a bit of fun.

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Sinister Twist?

But some are not so sure. 

Wired published an article suggesting that the challenge was socially engineered by the tech giant in order to develop facial recognition algorithms related to aging. Since questioning the real motivation for the challenge, the internet has erupted.

The 10 year challenge would give the social media a host of facial recognition data if the fad was actually a ploy to collect information from unsuspecting users. 

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However, in a Twitter reply to Wired’s editor Nicholas Thompson, Facebook said:

“The 10-year challenge is a user-generated meme that started on its own, without our involvement […] It’s evidence of the fun people have on Facebook, and that’s it.”


Facebook has had a tumultuous year for conspiracies. It has found itself up against a wall regarding various privacy concerns. In recent weeks, the tech giant has been lambasted for making its mobile app undeletable.

It has also been accused of trying to sway US mid-term election votes by blocking certain candidate posts and doing little to nothing to combat hate speech across its platform. 

Earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg allayed some concerns by saying that the platform is working to protect users’ privacy and that it “made a lot of improvements and changes” in 2018.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © bernardojbp