The Great Giraffe Challenge Invades Feeds (NBC33 VIDEO)

By Emma Koch - NBC33

October 29, 2013 Updated Oct 30, 2013 at 6:21 PM EDT

GLOBAL (NBC33) -- The Great Giraffe Challenge began just three days ago and has taken Facebook by storm and will soon be invading other social media platform feeds and email chains.

It’s a simple riddle that you post as your status and ask your friends to “message” you the answer. It’s important that they message you so the answer doesn’t become readily available in post comments. Then if you get it wrong, you have to change your profile picture to a photo of a giraffe for three days.

Here is the riddle: 3:00 am, the doorbell rings and you wake up. Unexpected visitors, It's your parents and they are there for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What is the first thing you open?

The challenge originated on a Facebook page created by Andrew Strugnell, who posted a video on YouTube explaining the challenge. According to the page, each week a new riddle will be posted. Within the first day the page got 20,000 “likes” and now has over 75,000 “likes”. The original riddle post has been shared over 4,600 times.

When Something Becomes Popular, Hackers Take Notice
As the riddle has been making its way around Facebook, there has been talk about a potential virus that could be embedded in the JPEG image. The original post doesn’t include an image, so where this virus would stem from is unclear. Nevertheless, the Inquisitr answered those concerns by explaining that there is a source of truth behind the potential for an image to have an embedded virus but that it is something that had been “patched” long ago.

According to the Inquisitr, between 2002 and 2004 it was possible to embed viruses in JPEG images but tech companies quickly nixed the possibility. In order for a JPEG image to contain a virus, hackers would need to come up with coding that would compromise Facebook security by changing a profile picture.

While it appears that there is very little to worry about, users would be wise to pick a photo to use from an external source and then upload that image as opposed to using any image associated with the riddle post. It’s also important to remember that the original riddle post doesn’t include an image.

So, Why Is Everyone Doing It?
As for how something like this goes viral so quickly on Facebook, one school of thought would refer to basic human instincts. For one, people want to feel like they are smart and they want their friends to think they are smart. The riddle addresses that need by bolstering a user’s confidence when they think, “Aha! I have the answer”.

Then there is also the need to be a part of a group. It’s no secret that social media has complicated societal interactions but it also reflects regular social interactions. In short, users want to change their profile pictures to the picture of a giraffe, because "all their friends are doing it”.

The second concept completely negates the first because in this situation you only become a part of the group by getting the riddle wrong. But, both play a role in making this kind of posting spread like wildfire across the internet.

Now Just Give Me The Answer
You won’t find the right answer in this story, sorry. But you can visit the challenge website to see if you are or are not a giraffe.

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