Watch out guys, FaceApp is actually created by Russians, and we don’t want to end up in a Hawkins Lab somewhere because we were silly and jumped on a celeb fad bandwagon.
Just like the #10YearChallenge, another meme has taken the celebrity community by storm – the #AgeChallenge where a filter on FaceApp that makes you look hella old. It looks realistic AF, and so naturally celebrities are making it viral.
I’m sorry @TomHolland1996, I love you 3000!! #FaceApp #faceappchallenge pic.twitter.com/h1II6MDlDu
— Your Fool (@tiredbuthyped) 17 July 2019
Why it started out, I don’t know. Personally, I like my memes organically grown by users, but hey everyone loves a good transformation pic. Even if the cost is potentially giving your face data to Russians, amirite?
NEW: First to @NBCNews: @SenSchumer is asking the FBI and FTC to conduct a federal national security & privacy investigation into the Russia-based company, Face-App, which is producing all of those aged photos of your friends you’re seeing on social media.
Full letter is here: pic.twitter.com/9Q72yrj92c
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) 17 July 2019
FaceApp has been the subject of much scrutiny for a while now – people freaked out previously when it was able to access iPhone camera rolls regardless if permission was given. This ended up being a capability of iOS though, but it didn’t reassure users.
Then there was the whole “change your race” feature which obvs did not go down well, and new fears that the company was sending off data on people’s pictures. The CEO told The Verge that most pictures are deleted pretty quickly after being uploaded to the server, and he told TechCrunch most images are deleted after 48 hours.
That didn’t reassure the Dems though, who are straight up calling the FBI on FaceApp. Is this just another day of anti-Russian spy propaganda, or is the scare mongering actually kinda legit? I’d say it’s dramatic and overblown even if concern are legit, but in the name of research I fell down the conspiracy rabbit hole for face collection data and now I’m watching videos on how to make tinfoil hats.
Me 10 years ago: probably would have played along with the profile picture aging meme going around on Facebook and Instagram
Me now: ponders how all this data could be mined to train facial recognition algorithms on age progression and age recognition
— Kate O’Neill (@kateo) 12 January 2019
It def wasn’t lost upon me that this viral sensation started through celebrities, which is uncommon for viral memes. Normally they develop in the bowels of Reddit, or Twitter by everyday memelords. The last big celeb viral fad was the #10YearChallenge – which also was surrounded by heaps of theories that it was all about data collection.
Let’s say you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on aging. What would do? Maybe start a meme like #10yearchallenge https://t.co/usFLAtMnAt
— Nicholas Thompson (@nxthompson) 16 January 2019
If you wanna take funny pics of your face to see if you’d still be a zaddy at age 85, that’s cool. I’m gonna save myself the trouble of Russian spy paranoia and opt out though.
Image Sources: Twitter @tiredbuthyped, @frankthorp, @kateo, @nxthompson.