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I was interested if I can use a different flavor of gravatar instead of identicon.

When you click on the change picture text on your profile picture it has the Identicon and Upload options. I clicked Identicon (which already had the green tickmark) and my avatar changed (which obviusly sould not have happened as I have not changed any options).

For a reference you can see my old avatar here:

And my new one on Stackoverflow:

  • I have no recollection of changing my email address at any point during the lifetime of my account. (It was registered using Google-authentication).
  • I have no Gravatar account registered.

Edit: My profile email (md5-ed) address would give the old avatar: http://gravatar.com/avatar/b7e3f1540794848070cb4dd37389784f?d=identicon

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I'm uncertain what you're asking. You have this tagged bug, but seem to be asking a support question - I'm not sure what question you're asking, though. Clarification is needed? –  Emrakul Nov 7 '13 at 8:17
    
@Emrakul I havve not changed anything, so why did my avatar change? (I added some clarification). –  vbence Nov 7 '13 at 9:50
    
Didn't you notice the big banner? Your question is duplicate of this one and the answer there is probably relevant in your case as well. –  Shadow Wizard Nov 7 '13 at 9:51
    
@ShaWizDowArd I see the banner pointing to a qestion which is not related to by problem at all and a moderator closing my question, which was obviously done without understanding the question itself. - The linked topic does not apply. I have my email address filled out in my profile which did not change. I also registered with a Google account so my email was present for SO from the time of registration. –  vbence Nov 7 '13 at 9:54
    
In both cases the profile picture changed without you meaning to change it. In your case maybe the algorithm that calculates email hash was changed during the years you're registered, resulting in different hash and different identicon. Still, from what I understand your goal is to prevent such thing i.e. keep the profile picture consistent even in such cases, isn't it so? –  Shadow Wizard Nov 7 '13 at 10:00
    
@ShaWizDowArd Yes, the described solution would work in my case (luckily I have an account here for example with the old pic), but may people don't. - BUT I flagged this a bug, because it is a software bug which should be addressed by a dev. Also terrible UX: data changing whithout you changing anything, loosing information without being able to undo it. (Also... I'm adding a few info to the post.) –  vbence Nov 7 '13 at 10:05
    
OK, still not convinced it's really different but will let a dev decide whether it's bug or not. @m0sa can you please reopen? (and as a dev state some official opinion? :)) –  Shadow Wizard Nov 7 '13 at 10:07

1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Since recently we are salting creation of hashes for generating identicons for users that do not have a gravatar account. This is because there were some concerns that the gravatar identicon urls leak email addresses.

This is the default for new users, and for existing users a salt is added as soon as they change their picture and select identicon.

If you're so attached to your old identicon register with gravatar, and use your identicon as the profile image.

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Is that in response to the Gravatar security risk issues discussed before? If so, perhaps it would be nice to answer one of them with this update. –  Bart Nov 7 '13 at 10:24
    
That's quite what I had in mind but of course couldn't be sure. Sounds reasonable. –  Shadow Wizard Nov 7 '13 at 10:24
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An accept button is still due IMO. Very inelegant to change the pic without a real action (indication of intent to do so) on the user's part. –  vbence Nov 7 '13 at 10:43
    
Just curious: is this only triggered when changing the picture? –  Arjan Dec 21 '13 at 12:14
    
@Arjan yes (for existing users, new users have a salted identicon per default) –  サモライ Dec 21 '13 at 14:41
    
I guess you're only validating the existence of the Gravatar account once? So, when creating a Gravatar account later on, one needs to use "change picture" to let SE perform the check again? (I guess we can extend How do I change my profile picture, or avatar? a bit then.) –  Arjan Dec 21 '13 at 15:40
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Curious again: if two users use the same email address, will they have different salts? (Some sock puppets and spammers were easily identified as being the same, just by peeking at their identicon. I still like the change anyway though.) –  Arjan Dec 28 '13 at 12:33
    
@Arjan you're right about changing the picture. The gravatar option only appears if the user has a gravatar account. Otherwise only the identicon option is available. –  サモライ Dec 28 '13 at 12:53
    
@Arjan maybe they add pepper in such case? ;) (j/k - only Mr. m0sa here can really answer) –  Shadow Wizard Dec 29 '13 at 8:31

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