Facebook Doesn’t Need Your Meme

Facebook Doesn’t Need Your Meme

10 Year Challenge Is Not a Conspiracy

The general public’s lack of tech understanding often takes the fun out of things for me.  The “How Hard Did Aging Hit You” or the 10-Year Challenge is one of those things. Normally, I don’t tend to participate, but as I saw how amazing, healthy and happy many of my friends have continued to look over time, I wanted to join in the fun.

This is the photo comparison that I posted to my personal Facebook account. On the left is my very first Facebook profile picture (yeah, go ahead and laugh) and on the right is my current profile picture. NOTHING I’ve shared here hasn’t already been publicly available. Most of us in the internet and tech industry are hyper aware that when we share something, it’s public. Facebook and all of social media are PUBLIC spaces, not private. So, I conduct my digital self the same way I do my public self. I participated in this photo sharing thing because it was fun and it’s a good reminder of how I’ve changed (mostly for the better) over the years.

But THEN came Kate O’Neil’s article in WIRED.

In the article, O’Neal claims that the purpose of the meme challenge is to get clean data to train the facial recognition AI.

Imagine that you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on age-related characteristics and, more specifically, on age progression (e.g., how people are likely to look as they get older). Ideally, you’d want a broad and rigorous dataset with lots of people’s pictures. It would help if you knew they were taken a fixed number of years apart—say, 10 years….

In other words, it would help if you had a clean, simple, helpfully labeled set of then-and-now photos.

Kate O’Neil from wired.com 1/15/19

The argument here is that although Facebook does indeed have all of these photos in the system, people aren’t great at providing consistent data around those photos. Just because we posted a photo on a certain date doesn’t necessarily mean that it was taken on that date. Things like that. Her point is that Facebook’s system benefited from clean data that they didn’t have to sift through.

Then she goes on to discuss issues of privacy and makes the reader feel like we’ve somehow been duped into giving away even more information about ourselves.

First of all Facebook did not need our 10 Year comparisons at all.

This article, written by Sebastian Anthony back in March of 2014 is to my point. And I have to give credit to my colleague Kristine Schachinger for bringing it to my attention.

Facebook tries to impress upon us that verification (matching two images of the same face) isn’t the same as recognition (looking at a new photo and connecting it to the name of an existing user)… but that’s a lie. DeepFace could clearly be used to trawl through every photo on the internet, and link it back to your Facebook profile (assuming your profile contains photos of your face, anyway). Facebook.com already has a facial recognition algorithm in place that analyzes your uploaded photos and prompts you with tags if a match is made. I don’t know the accuracy of the current system, but in my experience it only really works with forward-facing photos, and can produce a lot of false matches. Assuming the DeepFace team can continue to improve accuracy (and there’s no reason they won’t), Facebook may find itself in the possession of some very powerful software indeed.

 for ExtremeTech 3/19/14

This was almost 5 years ago. Our willingness to post and tag people over the years has made DeepFace even more accurate. How do you think that really cool feature that asks if you want to tag your friend in that picture you’re about to post works?

Honestly, I believe there’s so much more to the system’s sophistication.

My mother and daughter gave me full permission to share these Facebook photos with you.

Not only is Facebook already capable of recognizing my face and your face with a high degree of accuracy, but it’s quite capable of predicting how we will age. My mother and daughter are both Facebook users. My familial relationship to both of them is confirmed. I have willingly identified them as my mother and daughter and they each confirmed that relationship independent of any photos of us together. Despite the family resemblance Facebook is 100% in identifying the faces in all of these photos. Facebook has all the data it needs to predict what I will look like in my mid seventies and how my daughter will look when she’s that age. Facebook didn’t need me to compare photos for that.

But there is a bigger point to make here

Facebook is a public space. EVERYTHING you do there is available for the system to use to provide you with a highly engaging and interactive experience.

I used to tell people that the first and best privacy filter is the one between your ears. If you want to keep it private, then you can’t share it. I need to adjust the way I explain this and from now on remind people that the moment it’s shared is the moment it’s no longer private.

Think of it this way:

If you went out for happy hour after work with your colleagues and decided to dance on the bar at the pub, you’re not going to expect them to keep that private and not discuss how much fun you had that evening. Nor could you expect that the incident would be forgotten and would never color their option of you thereafter. You chose to behave that way in a public space. Same goes for social media. You make a choice with every post, every comment, every reaction to do something in public. The only reasonable expectation is that it will be remembered and influence later interactions.

Facebook users actually benefit greatly from this systematic feedback loop. Facebook is able to put the people and events that matter most to you in your news feed so that you don’t have to waste time hunting for it. Facebook is able to facilitate your ability to easily share the delightful moments you’ve had with friends and family. It gives all of us a place to go to discuss news, politics, culture… life with others of all kinds of backgrounds.

If Facebook makes you uncomfortable, you are responsible to leave and not feed the system at all, or consider very carefully how you are going to train it to interact with you.

Michelle Stinson Ross is Apogee’s internal marketing strategist. She is responsible for growing our website, blog, social marketing, industry thought leadership and advertising footprints. She is also a key consultant to the internal team and the clients.

Michelle has written about digital marketing for Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Watch, and Forbes. She is national industry conference speaker for SMX, Pubcon, Digital Summit.

To get updated information about the team at Apogee Results, please follow us on your favorite social media channels.


2018 Award Winning Work

2018 Award Winning Work

by Michelle Stinson Ross

During the fall conference season, Apogee Results was honored with the recognition of our industry peers for a sample of the work we do all year long for our clients. In October of 2018 the fully integrated work we do on behalf of Capson Physicians Insurance was named one of a handful of finalists for both Best Integrated Campaign and Best Use of Content Marketing for the US Search Awards. We are grateful for the recognition and look forward to nominating our clients for marketing excellence again for the 2019 US Search Awards.

In mid November I had the privilege of traveling to New York City to represent the agency team and Capson for the Drum Search Awards USA. The combined work of our SEO, PPC, Content, and Social Media teams was nominated as finalists for Best Integrated Campaign and Best Content Marketing Campaign.

Attendees to the awards show and banquet were greeted outside the Edison Ballroom in the Manhattan Theater Distct by a drum line providing a smooth groove for stolling down the red carpet.

Opportunities to network with fellow nominees began with a cocktail reception followed by a lovely dinner and entertainment provided by an outstanding a capella group.

It is with great pleasure that I can inform you that Apogee Results and Capson Physicians Insurance received the award for Best Content Marketing Campaign. The award was given by a group of digital marketing industry peers based on the demonstration of excellence in clear strategic thinking, clarity and transparency, innovation, effectiveness, and tangible results.

If you would like to learn more about the strategy and methodology of this winning case study, please view – Content Marketing from Zero to 60.

If you would like to learn more about how the Apogee Results team can help your business achieve best in class results in 2019, please fill out the contact form in the sidebar of this page.

Michelle Stinson Ross is Apogee’s internal marketing strategist. She is responsible for growing our website, blog, social marketing, industry thought leadership and advertising footprints. She is also a key consultant to the internal team and the clients.

Michelle has written about digital marketing for Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Watch, and Forbes. She is national industry conference speaker for SMX, Pubcon, Digital Summit.

To get updated information about the team at Apogee Results, please follow us on your favorite social media channels.

Apogee Results Nominated for Several Industry Awards

Apogee Results Nominated for Several Industry Awards

US Search Awards

The US Search Awards is regarded as the premiere celebration of SEO, PPC and content marketing in the US and celebrates and rewards the expertise, talent and achievements of the search industry. Launched in October of 2013, the awards attract hundreds of entries from the leading search and digital agencies from across North America and to those based elsewhere around the globe who are delivering work for the US market.

Apogee Results has the honor of being among the award nominees for Best Integrated Campaign and Best Use of Content Marketing.

The Best Integrated Campaign highlights how successful marketing campaigns leverage multiple disciplines over the full customer journey. Whether that is a joined up PPC and SEO campaign to maximize search impact, or some perfectly timed search activity to jump capitalize on reach of TV advertising. The winner of this award demonstrated how innovative, integrated activity lead to outstanding results.

Nominees for Best Use of Content marketing need to demonstrate how links, coverage, social shares and engagement combine with site content to achieve outstanding search results. Only the best examples of content being used for search success will be in with a chance of taking this award.

The winners of the US Search Awards will be presented at a gala dinner  this week on Wednesday, October 17 in Las Vegas.

The Drum Search Awards USA

The Drum Search Awards, established in the US market in 2017, recognize and award the most creative, effective, and innovative search campaigns across PPC and SEO. Organized by The Drum, a marketing communications publication, winners will join an exclusive group of top marketers.

Our submissions, Content Marketing from 0 to 60 and Marketing Integration from 0 to 60, along with our very own Clarissa Fonseca, have all been nominated for this year’s The Drum Search Awards.

The following are the 3 categories Apogee Results have been nominated for; Best Integration Strategy or Campaign, Best Content Marketing Campaign, and Rising SEO Star.

Each campaign will be judged on evidence of the following criteria:

  • Clear strategic thinking
  • Clarity and Transparency
  • Innovation
  • Effectiveness.
  • Tangible results


Clarissa Fonseca – Rising SEO Star Nominee

Stay tuned in for our next blog posting to find out the final results! Awards will be announced on November 14, 2018, at the Edison Ballroom in New York City.

To get updated information about the team at Apogee Results, please follow us on your favorite social media channels.

Gary Hoover: Legends of Marketing

Gary Hoover: Legends of Marketing

We are so pleased to announce a collaborative education partnership with entrepreneur and business historian, Gary Hoover.  Gary blends a passion for the historical study of leadership with an engaging talent for storytelling. In this series for the Apogee Results blog, Gary will share marketing insights for entrepreneurs in start-up mode and proven marketing tactics for CMOs at large established companies.

We recently chatted with Gary about his background and his vision for the Legends of Marketing blog series.


Legends of Marketing

Interview with business historian Gary Hoover.

Posted by Apogee Results on Monday, September 24, 2018

Those of us who labor daily to promote our products and services often focus on the latest marketing bestseller. However, the more distant and oft-forgotten past is also filled with great examples and ideas that we may be able to re-interpret in today’s competitive world. Students of history often note that good ideas arise, peak, and lose interest over time, then come back years or even decades later.

Gary Hoover travels the world speaking to Fortune 500 executives, trade associations, entrepreneurs, and college and high school students about how enterprises are built and how they stand the test of time. His speeches and workshops have ranged from the Hong Kong and Jakarta chapters of EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) to keynote at the National Association of Convenience Stores Convention and the Mid-Atlantic Venture Capital Conference, from Microsoft and Oracle client conferences to strategic planning meetings of major law firms.

From his own successes and failures, and from the lessons of the thousands of companies he has studied, he draws real-life examples of the things that really matter. He talks about the role of history, of geography, of demography, of curiosity, and the other key things that aren’t discussed every day in the newspaper – or the classroom. Gary speaks from long experience and long study about the big picture, about the critical components of the successful business mission. In an era of fads and fashions, Gary keeps his eye on the timeless fundamentals of success, but with new and surprising stories.

The first article in this series features how a big business gamble in the 1960s is still paying off for IBM today. Be sure to bookmark this site and check back often.

You can keep up with Gary’s articles, books, videos and speaking engagements at the Hoover’s World website.

To get updated information about the team at Apogee Results, please follow us on your favorite social media channels.