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Is text in a gravatar frowned upon?

What is Stack Exchange's policy on avatars?

My avatar on SE sites is automatically picked up from Gravatar. My gravatar was a picture containing my website's address

Is this allowed? I'd be surprised if no one at Stack Exchange has seen it already, but I just want to be 100% sure. The last thing I want to do is invest a whole lot of energy into increasing my reputation only to be banned for a violation of the terms and conditions.

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marked as duplicate by Gilles, animuson, Cody Gray, kiamlaluno, Andrew Barber Mar 5 '12 at 13:15

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

I don't think it's a problem at all. On a personal level, I find it a bit too much in your face the way it currently is. Although I would probably eventually visit the site, so I guess mission accomplished :) – Pëkka Feb 28 '12 at 21:42
@Pekka'sReputationBordello: Well, it is supposed to be "loud." – David Feb 28 '12 at 21:44
@Pekka'sReputationBordello My concern about it being "in your face" is the reason I asked the question. I figured some people might take offence and complain to StackExchange. I see someone edited my question to say "advertisements" :-) Not sure I agree that it's an advertisement since there's no call to action, coercion or attempt to persuade. – user179429 Feb 28 '12 at 21:50
Yeah. I think the bottom line is, it's not viewed officially as a problem - whatever you do inside the boundaries of your gravatar, is yours to decide as long as you don't make it say anything overly egregious like F*** OFF or something. Re taking offense, on a site as big and diverse as this one, you can't do anything without somebody taking offense, so that can't be the only measure :) – Pëkka Feb 29 '12 at 0:48
@Pekka: I take offense to your suggestion that we're hyper-sensitive. – sarnold Feb 29 '12 at 1:37
All this discussion about your avatar motivated me to visit your website...but I don't see anything. Rather disappointing... – Cody Gray Feb 29 '12 at 2:22
@sarnold I take offense to your taking offense. – Pëkka Feb 29 '12 at 9:07
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The gravatar is one of the pieces of information on Stack Exchange that's explicitly tied to you as a person, so I believe this is fine. (There are exceptions, of course, such as particularly vulgar or offensive content. Though, as @animuson points out, that's handled more by Gravatar than Stack Exchange.)

Your profile, to include your avatar, are where you are supposed to put information about yourself and your own interests. This separates such information cleanly from the content you provide. Just remember to keep that distinction between the content and the person providing the content. Don't sign questions or answers, etc.

If you want to provide context to the avatar so people know what it's about, I would recommend mentioning it in your "about" text on your profile. Your affiliation with the website, what can be found there, etc.

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This is correct, I've seen "official" posts stating as much. Avatars, usernames, and profile content can be explicitly promotional. As for animuson's answer though, I doubt SE would sit by if a user was changing their gravatar to something offensive every time the old one got flagged; suspension would probably result. – Matthew Read Feb 28 '12 at 21:54

There's nothing wrong in doing it, as you have even a profile field for this purpose. I doubt someone would even thing about this. I think you can feel free to have it there.

Usernames with such an adress are legal here on Stack Exchange, too

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Are you ... er, totally controlled by Selena Gomez? – Won't Feb 28 '12 at 21:59
@Won't: No, I'm not :), I just like Selena & their songs – Martin. Feb 28 '12 at 22:01
No, no no. In fact, excuse me while I edit that out. It was just a joke. – Won't Feb 28 '12 at 22:08
@Won't: I know, I didn't take that any offensive. There's nothing wrong with it ;) – Martin. Feb 28 '12 at 22:12

Stack Exchange can only limit what Gravatar gets pulled for your account by rating (G, PG, R, X). Aside from that, it's Gravatar's call what images are acceptable for each category. If someone here had a problem with your avatar and wanted to report it, they'd go to Gravatar.

So, basically, anything that Gravatar would allow you to upload as a PG-rated (SE uses the PG rating for their Gravatars) image is "acceptable."

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