Framed in a fun way, the light hearted Tag Challenge is a brainchild of a group of graduate students spanning six countries. The main aim of the project is to see
how social media could be used to improve transatlantic security.
The aim of the game is hunt down ‘Criminals’ whose photos are posted on the Tag Challenge site.
Contestants may use only this photograph and any other information provided on the event website to identify each suspect.
With that information alone, the teams of contestants have to hunt down these suspects, building and/or utilising networks and social media webs to track down these ‘lawbreakers’. The event took place in 5 cities over a twelve hour period.
Criminal Profiles on the Site:
Using a variety of monetary incentives, a team led by Manuel Cebrian at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was able to catch 3 out of 5 ‘criminals’ and believes, given more time that they could have caught the last two.
[encouraging] as many people as possible to get involved in hunting for the suspects. Of the $5000 reward, each participant who sent in an image of a suspect would receive $500.
What does this mean for Social Media?
Technology is evolving and the means of communication are becoming forever more omnipresent and omniscient. That means communication and ideas are forming a social fabric in all aspects of our everyday lives. (Nearly) No longer can you believe crossing the border will save you.
A pair of sunglasses and a cap pulled low wont save you from the collective initiative of a swarm of twitter users. The technology for mass observation and focused surveillance sits in the pockets of more and more citizens everyday.
It will be interesting to see what other positive or business focused initiatives take instruction from the Tag Challenge – I see a hundred different advertising campaigns getting people involved in hunting down offers or promotions. As long as they’re not hunting me!