Ever had a few too may drinks on a Friday night and posted an inappropriate Facebook status update (perhaps on your ex's page) or a bleary-eyed duck-faced selfie from your local ER with a bottle of Tennessee whiskey in hand? Hey, we've all been there.
Facebook has been watching it all. Do you have any idea how many servers they've dedicated just for all the wild pictures and late-night posts drunken people have uploaded in the past 10 years?
A few apps have been created to help drunks save themselves embarrassment among family and co-workers, such as "Drunk Locker" on Android, which prevents users from accessing popular social network apps on your big night out.
But apps like that take so much effort. Downloading it. Installing it. Actually remembering you have it on your phone (before it's far, far too late).
But now you have a new Facebook friend. And her name is Miss Takes.
She is your designated driver when navigating social media while drunk. This new Facebook digital assistant is designed to eliminate drunk and/or embarrassing status updates.
Is Facebook drunk with power? Here's a sober look at the five things you need to know about Miss Takes, Facebook's new digital assistant.
1. Location, Location, Location (Bar, Bar, Bar...)
Facebook remains 100 percent committed to your privacy. They emphasized that by mentioning it in every other sentence of their blog post announcement. Yes, we can always opt out of sharing our location if we can figure out where Facebook has buried the setting. We get it.
But Facebook still know exactly where you are at all times, as long as you're carrying around an iPhone, iPad, Android, or one of the other tens of thousands of devices that access Facebook every day.
As Facebook noted: "Miss Takes stays in such great shape by constantly running in the background – and she never gets tired!"
One of the things Miss Takes looks for is whether you're near a bar, lounge, pub, roadhouse, saloon, tavern, or club (as well as any other entities that are known to serve alcohol). Whether you're doing a pub crawl or crawling on the bathroom floor of a pub, Miss Takes knows roughly where you are.
Though simply being near a bar won't trigger any serious action, it will put her on alert. If you pull out your smartphone while near or at a bar, expect Miss Takes to pop up and say:
"It looks like you're at a bar. Would you like help?"
This will trigger any number of multiple-choice questions (see, the SATs weren't irrelevant and a total waste of your time!) that you tap to proceed. So far, here are a few of these options I've seen:
- Access News Feed in read-only mode. If you choose this, you can Like and react to posts but not comment or upload photos. Facebook won't ask you what's on your mind.
- Sign out of Facebook until after you wake up with a raging hangover around noon tomorrow. Pretty straightforward.
- I'm not drunk, and I'll prove it. This takes you to a pretty easy test, such as picking a unicorn out of a sea of donkeys.
- I'm not prove, and I'll drunk it! This takes you to a much harder test involving Chinese arithmetic.
Update: One of my friends who lives in Los Angeles told me there is also a "celebrity warning system" if you're famous and it detects you're near a notoriously tipsy celebrity, such as Lindsay Lohan or Kiefer Sutherland. This will supposedly put your phone on total lockdown until it detects you're a safe distance away.
2. It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere
Time is a huge factor. On certain days of the year, Miss Takes is on severe (or "red") alert – such as St. Patrick's Day, New Year's Eve, and your birthday.
Facebook has been collecting lots of big data on drunken behavior and knows which days of the week and times of day people are most likely to be drinking. Miss Takes looks at factors like your status updates to know when you're going to an industry conference or planning to meet up with your friends, or if you currently live in Wisconsin.
Facebook didn't reveal these times, but no doubt around noon and from 5 p.m. until closing time are among the most heavy drinking times.
3. Don't Fail Miss Takes Tests!
While location and time are huge factors in Facebook's DrunkAlyzer algorithm, Miss Takes is also personalized. Think Scarlett Johansson's voice in "Her".
When your status updates look super questionable (such as making numerous typos or grammatical mistakes), it may trigger a quiz before you're allowed to hit the Post button. One mistake, and you'll be locked out of Facebook until (at earliest) sunrise, which Facebook helpfully tells me is at 6:24 a.m. tomorrow.
In another test, Facebook will tell you to hold your phone a certain distance away, and then once your face is lined up properly, it will put up an eye chart and ask you to read the entire line (usually 3rd or 4th line) successfully. If you can't do it, you're done for.
Miss Takes may also play "Truth or Dare" with you, and dare you to find a cop and ask for a breathalyzer test. If you actually do this, Miss Takes will know you're drunk and take Facebook away from you.
I also saw in another report that Miss Takes will actually tell you she's going to conduct a breathalyzer test before she'll let you post. She instructs you to blow into the headphone jack and tells you to click on "Done" when you're done blowing.
It's a trick though! When you click done, she responds with: "Did you seriously just blow into the headphone jack? Your status is officially 'too drunk to Facebook!'"
4. Is That Vomit On Your Chin?
Using Facebook's impairment-recognition software, Miss Takes will check whether any objects appear in your photos (beer bottles, a toilet, a gorilla suit) or if your body is contorted in such a way no sober human being could survive.
The technology can also detect other signs that you might be drunk – if you're sweating, if your eyes look glossy, or if your tongue is hanging out.
Up pops Miss Takes:
"Just what do you think you're doing, Dave? Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop Dave? Stop, Dave."
5. Facebook Has Been Working on This Technology Since 2014
Seriously. As detailed in Wired in 2014, Facebook started "building image recognition technology that can distinguish between your drunken self and your sober self".
That's the truth.
However Miss Takes isn't real. Not yet, anyway. ;)
Happy April Fools' Day!