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A platform for crowd guessing ethnicity based on a photo of your face

Image credit: Elisei Abiculesei (Unsplash)

Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković Jul 11, 2022
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An app or a platform where you upload a photo of your face and people guess what ethnicity they think you are.
  • Interesting take on challenging the ways you think of yourself and how you think people look at you.
  • An unusual, more personal way of learning about the ethnic aspect of geography. (For instance, a lot of Syrians are white, which I'm guessing is surprsing to a lot of people).
  • It's fun. On holidays people usually try to make out where someone they see or talk to is from and make their guesses in person.
  • Maybe adopted people with no sense of their background can find some closure in a response that is overwhelmingly in favour of a certain ethnicity.
How does it work:
The photo can only be posted on the platform only if you take it with the camera that very moment. To protect other people from having someone use their likeness for jokes or bullying.
Alternatively, there could be a way of verifying the identity by having the admins check whether a certain prompt has been done. This adds to the cost too much probably.
You can geo-lock your prompt to have it be asked only of the users who come from Asia, or from Africa...
For the people guessing, there should be just a blank field that autofills with options as you type in two letters. To help with spelling. No pre-prepared offered answers. You just type in "Ro" and it offers "Romanian" "Roma"...
The app collects the answers and puts them into percentages and across a world map.
For popularizing it, a miniscule percentage of the ad revenue can be given if you allow the app to post the answers your face got. -----
The rationale for a market for this idea is that there are many people ready to pay top money for their ancestory information via sending their saliva to some company in order to get their DNA results. Even though, these are bogus, reductive, and speculative at best. So why not a cheap platform?
There are also already people on Quora asking these questions too. There are also some apps that use face scans, but these are the dumb fake apps. Not scientifical.
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General comments

Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain2 years ago
How would such a platform avoid backlashes from SJWs? Though Social justice wars are decried, sometimes they are genuine. I can not see any real use for such a platform. Besides, the world is already divided. There are already enough cases of trolling and shaming based on ethnicity. Will this not make that even worse? I am just being skeptic here.
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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković2 years ago
Subash Chapagain That's why I choose the word ethnicity, rather than nationality. And included the preface that you have to upload the picture that you take with the platform. So that you can't take someone else's photo. Other than that, it's not really that big of a deal even for SJWs. What are they going to complain? People having ethnicities? I've also included the reasons for use of a platform in the "why" section. And documented some desire for it on other platforms.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
Why do you think popular DNA-based analysis determining your ethnicity is bogus or speculative? I think they're generally accepted as pretty accurate.
A similar concept to your idea is websites where people guess your age. For example this one
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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković2 years ago
Povilas S Maybe "bogus" was a bit strong.
But the cohorts by which people are aligned are way to broad, the findings aren't consistent between companies, tests results are changing through time for the same individuals when done by the same company because of the comparison approach.
My own take is that there is not a good enough knowledge coverage of historical groups for it to be called "ancestry" anything. While the comparisons are done to modern day Greeks or Caribbeans for instance.
There is quite a bit of info about it online.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
Miloš Stanković Yes, I tried to search, but didn't find anything stating that it's inaccurate, except the mention of the lack of availability of really old human genetic data for comparison as you said here. Not sure if it's a big enough reason though.
Generally, I don't have enough knowledge about the details of how the system works, so can't argue. What you say intuitively makes sense, I simply didn't happen to hear similar opinions yet.
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