The Best Photos From the 10-Year Challenge, Which Is Totally Not a Data-Harvesting Ruse

The Best Photos From the 10-Year Challenge, Which Is Totally Not a Data-Harvesting Ruse

The 10-year challenge has swept social media, and it seems, at first, to be one of those feel-good innocent trends that everyone from your mom to Tyra Banks can participate in. The meme goes as follows: post two photos of yourself side-by-side, one from 2009 and one from 2019, to show, hopefully, how much you improved over the last decade. Other hashtags in addition to #10yearchallenge include #glowupchallenge and #howharddidaginghityou challenge. Of course, some people made a joke out of the somewhat braggy concept of the initial meme, which made for some very funny submissions. 

But not everything is "aw!" regarding this supposedly harmless trend: as with anything involving Facebook, the shrewdest denizens of Online were quick to be skeptical of a scheme that could very well be a data-harvesting ruse, given how much we know that the megacompany likes to do that. Since gathering photos from 2009 (pre-Instagram) heavily relies on old Facebook photos (remember when you took photos and uploaded them to a Facebook album?!), some were wondering whether or not the challenge was the perfect way to hone facial recognition of thousands of unsuspecting participants. Wired columnist Kate O'Neill floated the idea in a column, in which she got a statement from Facebook denying that it had anything to do with starting the challenge.

"This is a user-generated meme that went viral on its own," a Facebook spokesperson said. "Facebook did not start this trend, and the meme uses photos that already exist on Facebook. Facebook gains nothing from this meme (besides reminding us of the questionable fashion trends of 2009). As a reminder, Facebook users can choose to turn facial recognition on or off at any time.” Perhaps more than anything, the 10-year challenge underscores just how long we've been uploading our likenesses willy-nilly to a private company with, until now, largely no oversight? Happy 2019!

But let's not think about that for too long. Below are the best celebrity 10-year challenge photos (spoiler: Mariah Carey won).

Mariah Carey

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J. Lo

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Janet Jackson

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Kiernan Shipka

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Amy Schumer

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Caitlyn Jenner

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Diplo

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Snooki

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Viola Davis

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Jonathan Van Ness

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Winnie Harlow

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Miley Cyrus

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