Internet challenges are crazy things, from the past few days we’re seeing a thing called “Couple challenge” all over the internet, where people are posting the pictures with their partners on social media with hashtag of “#Couplechallenge”.
On one instance it seems like a normal challenge that everyone is enjoying but even a challenge like this has a dark side to it that you don’t know! Yes people, this is internet, where things could easily get out of control if there is no one to control it. But how is such a thing possible?
Internet Challenges – The background story
Couple challenge was first started on Tik Tok and now it has grown into popularity where even celebrities have started taking parts. We have already explained this challenge in the beginning so we won’t once again tell you what this challenge is about, but there is a part to it that not many people know about..
When the world was facing the Covid-19 pandemic (and is still facing) this challenge came as a stress buster, originally, couple challenge was something where couples posted videos with blindfolds on or with their eyes closed and in that particular video they would answers some personal questions like – “Who proposed first?” by pointing their fingers towards the person. Nowadays, this challenge has changed and people now only upload pictures with their partners with the hashtags.
We had another challenge before this and that was 10 years challenge, where people posted photos and videos of 10 years earlier comparing themselves with their present ones. Before that we had the very famous Ice Bucket Challenge which was done for charity.
So what’s wrong with these challenges which posses no harm?
Well, these internet challenges are not harmful, but you should be careful when such challenges encourages people to upload their personal photos and videos with a common hashtags. Why? because your personal photos and videos is like a “Gold mine” of data for the people that wants to make use of them for their own personal gains or misuse them.
Confused? allow us to explain!
On its official Twitter handle, Pune Police posted a message on Thursday evening, warning, “Think twice before you post a picture with your partner. A ‘cute’ challenge can go wrong if not cautious! #BeAware.”
Police urged people to think twice before posting a picture with their partners as a part of “Couple challenge” because these pictures can be used for cyber crimes.
Usually, in normal conditions to find data on someone using internet is a “pretty tough” thing, but once a person start a popular challenge with a hashtag and make it viral, finding a data of the target using the hashtag makes reconnaissance or information gathering easier.
Once enough media content about the target is gathered, that particular content is then used for crimes such as – Creating morphed photos or videos or using those photos and morphing it on pornographic content. The same data can be even utilized to create “Deep Fakes“.
A deepfake refers to a specific kind of synthetic media where a person in an image or video is swapped with another person’s likeness.
But why suddenly now?
Because cops have received complaints for several people who are victim related to these cyber crimes:-
“Police officials said they have received several complaints from people who have suffered harassment as their photographs and personal information were misused, after they were morphed and uploaded on “obscene websites” by criminal elements due to reasons like rivalry or thwarted romantic advances.”
Some more looming dangers of future
Apple brought “Facial recognition” to the mainstream with iPhone X and Face ID and everybody followed the “Same trend”, but you know what? these technologies are “Not perfect”, however challenges like 10 year challenge and Couple challenge make these technologies perfect.
How? well take an example of 10 Year challenge, where we compare ourselves with our 10 year old pic. By uploading such post under #10YearChallenge you’re giving these social media companies your facial data from a decade ago, some people are even uploading their childhood pics under this challenge.
So a challenge like this is adding more fuel to the fire i.e already these companies are taking your data to make their product more smart, now challenges like these will give them more data (including the data they don’t have such as your childhood pictures) and these companies can make their technology even more perfect.
The bright side is, In future the same “Facial recognition” technology can be used to stop criminals, however as every coin has two sides so even this same technology that is used for the betterment of the society can be used against that society itself.
The human psychology about Internet challenges
We call this generation a “Social media generation” because when something like Internet challenge arrives we also follow the trend because we want to be “Popular” or “Look cool” or we do it just because everyone is doing the same or its just for fun.
Under normal conditions we are super cautious before uploading anything on social media, but when something like this arrives we tend to forget our own privacy. And if someone tries to stop us we reply – “We have already given our own data to these tech companies does ignoring this one challenge can change anything?”
Well it certainly doesn’t change anything because people don’t understand the other consequences that these challenges bring with them. But if we’re capable of giving such replies then we’re even capable of bringing this change.
Hence think twice before uploading anything on internet and don’t encourage challenges that makes people share their personal moments under cute “Hashtags”.