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Awful New Facebook App Uses Facial Recognition to Tell You How Hot or Ugly Your Friends Are

Alyssa Bereznak
National Correspondent, Technology
Yahoo Tech
Kate Upton

By now, everyone knows that Facebook started as a social network that allowed Harvard students to rank the attractiveness of their peers. So on the eve of the site’s 10th anniversary, it’s only appropriate to revisit its roots with a program that is equally shallow in concept. 

Meet The Hottie Finder, a Facebook app that swallows your social circle’s profile photos, ingests them using a facial recognition software called Rekognition and spits them back out with (seemingly) arbitrary rankings of attractiveness.

This is how it works: After allowing the app access to your personal photos (and — if you are smart — denying it access to post for you), it will come up with a graphic that resembles the scribbles of a middle-school girl’s journal.

Within seconds, the app will present you with your (and your friends’) percentage of hotness. 

Evaluations split into two very scientific categories: Hotties and Uggos. Weirdly, I was told I was 95.7 percent hot, which seems inaccurate, as I’m assuming 100 percent would be, like, Halle Berry-level hotness. A certain editor of mine was given a 22 percent score, which I guess would technically make him an Uggo? (I’m no Einstein.) He attributes his low score to the fact that his profile photo depicts him “frowning while freezing cold” and was “taken with the front camera on a Galaxy Note 2.” Interestingly enough, the app told him he was of the Indian race (he is not). It also ranked a friend of mine whose profile picture was the now-infamous Planet Hillary New York Times Magazine cover at 15 percent. Meaning, according to “the world’s leading image processing API platform” that was used to run this app, my editor is just 7 percent hotter than a ball of skin with Hillary Clinton’s mouth and eyes Photoshopped on it.

So how does this staggering work of heartbreaking technological advancement work? 

The Hottie Finder measures key points on your face to make judgments on your gender, age, race and emotion — all things we know without doubt contribute to your attractiveness as a human being.

This square and the five dots within it let the computer know that I am 100 percent confident (which is a very scientific way for saying I think my hair looks good at the moment this photo was taken), it evaluates my pose (my “yaw” was ON POINT that day), accurately identifies my race, and says my smile is “true.” That’s shorthand for saying I am not a witch.

The program also very astutely confirms I have no glass on my face, and that my eyes are open, meaning I am alive/not-drowsy and therefore attractive.

My one qualm with the software is that it says I’m 31.69. That’s way off. I happen to be 31.67 years young, thank you very much.

Moral of the story? Choose one: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Or, no robot can quantify the complicated good looks of a human being! Or, online hotness ranking systems shouldn’t be trusted to computers! Or, most Facebook apps are scams! Or something.

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