Get answers to frequently asked questions.
How the heck am I supposed to accomplish the task?
A photograph of each suspect or “mugshot” will be posted to the contest website on the day of the event. Each suspect will be wearing a shirt bearing the event logo. The suspect’s face, dress, and the contest logo will be clearly visible in each of the mugshots. Contestants may use only this photograph and any other information provided on the event website to identify each suspect.
The winning strategy will likely involve building a network of spotters and teammates through social media in each of the five cities. How teams and their organizers motivate and coordinate individual participants is up to each group.
Can I work with others?
Yes, you may cooperate with friends and teammates to accomplish the task. N.B.: This should not include cooperation with companies, law enforcement agencies, or any other organizations. Nor should it include the use of proprietary technology or software that would not be publicly available to other participants. Naturally, individuals who are employed by companies or law enforcement agencies may participate in the competition as individuals.
Can I split the prize?
The prize will be awarded to a single individual. How and if that individual decides to split the prize with teammates or collaborators should be determined by each group in accordance with relevant tax procedures. Consult a tax adviser.
Are the characters based on real people?
No. The characters and their back-stories are entirely fictional, and any seeming relation to actual individuals is entirely coincidental. (C’mon now–firing a Faberge egg from a 19th century cannon?!)
How will I know if I’ve photographed the right person?
On the day of the event, each “suspect” will be dressed according to the character traits described on the Suspects page. In addition, each suspect will be wearing a shirt with the contest logo. A “mugshot” of each suspect–one that clearly shows the suspect’s face, trademark accessories or features, and the contest shirt–will be posted to the Tag Challenge website on the day of the event.
How will the photos be verified?
Each contest shirt will display a unique code phrase on both the front and back, known only to the organizers. The code phrase will not be revealed in a suspect’s mugshot. Participants should strive to make sure that the code phrase is clearly visible in each submission.
Who is sponsoring the event?
Tag Challenge was conceived and organized by a group of graduate students from six different countries, the outcome of a series of conferences on how social media could be used to improve transatlantic security. Funding and support were provided by the US State Department and the US Embassy in Prague, in association with the Institute of International Education.
The views and information exchanged on this site by organizers and participants in the Tag Challenge do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of State. Rules and conditions established for the game are for the purpose of ensuring a fair competition and determination of the prize winners; contestants are not subject to additional requirements by the Department of State.
What is the purpose of the event and how will the data be used?
Tag Challenge is an independent, nonprofit event, conducted in a spirit of fun and curiosity. Our goal is to determine whether and how social media can be used to accomplish a realistic, time-sensitive, international law enforcement goal. Results, strategies, and any data derived from the event will be made public after its conclusion. Tag Challenge is not associated with any law enforcement agency, and the contest is not part of any law enforcement effort.