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Yeah... um, this needs to go.

I can't find any way to edit the avatar, but I'm not sure that deleting the user is necessarily the next step. Any ideas?

Link isn't very illustrative any longer - user had posted an offensive political/religious profile icon.

SU and SO mods - FYI

http://stackoverflow.com/users/107887/bogha

http://superuser.com/users/13093/bogha

lock edit:

Sorry if this bruises some folks, but avatars aren't priority #1 in my mind. If an avatar generates a big administrative overhead (i.e. many complaints from many users) it'll be changed. This isn't because anybody gets their rocks off changing avatars, it's because I'd like my Trilogy-time to result in something that enhances it, not strugging with issues that have nothing to do with the stated purpose.

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It should probably be removed from their SO and SU accounts to, when any mods on there get a chance. –  gnostradamus Nov 1 '09 at 2:15
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For any future viewers, here's the avatar: gravatar.com/avatar/… –  deleted Nov 1 '09 at 4:42
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I'm sure I'm missing something here, but what exactly is offensive political/religious in a picture of a man either running from or throwing rock at a tank ? –  ldigas Mar 23 '10 at 0:41
    
@idi - that particular image has a story and is associated with a very political situation of international importance. –  Adam Davis Mar 23 '10 at 0:48
    
google.com/m/… –  Adam Davis Mar 23 '10 at 0:48
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@Pollyanna - So do crosses, swastikas, dragons, swords, ... infinity. One that wants to find a meaning in an image will find it. However, most people will pass by, and not think a second of it. From which it can be reasoned, that it is not the problem in an image, but in the people. Does it bother you ? For it certanly doesn't bother me ... neither politically nor religiously ... who knows, maybe it's an US thing ? –  ldigas Mar 23 '10 at 0:56
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@idi - and crosses, swastikas, and many other types of images are removed from SO avatars. I'm glad that no image can offend you, but you are not the only one attending this site. If everyone were like you I'm sure it wouldn't matter. Those who have their hearts and history in the middle east might, however, have much to say about such an image, and it needn't be present on this site that is meant to be inoffensive to everyone. It's not meant to 'cater to their delicate sensibilities' but in actuality prevents a multitude of off-topic and inappropriate site usage. We don't want their war here. –  Adam Davis Mar 23 '10 at 1:26
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So, instead of making the policy of "free speech" (there is surely a better term but my english is lacking) we're removing everything that might offend somebody/or that somebody complains about. But where do we draw the line then? If I complain about something, who will say whether my complaint is justified? Vote of multitude of users or just you? In which case, it actually comes down to things that bother someone and you. And that takes us back to the aforementioned picture. Which is actually embarrasing for people of the "side that got the tank", not for ... "people on the streets" –  ldigas Mar 23 '10 at 11:35
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@ldigas: There's no notion of "free speech" on the stackexchange sites. For any given site, the vast majority of speech is grossly off-topic. –  Novelocrat Jul 28 '10 at 17:11
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In the future, I feel like these issues should go directly to team@stackoverflow.com. If it's over your head, then it's over ours too. –  devinb Jul 28 '10 at 17:15
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@dmckee Just because you don't understand the offense, doesn't mean it isn't offensive. –  devinb Jul 28 '10 at 18:08
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@devinb: So what's the offensive content then? It surely isn't "Here's a kid throwing a rock at a tank", or even "I like to throw rocks at tanks". Bald assertions of offensiveness without an explanation fail. Every time. –  dmckee Jul 28 '10 at 18:44
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@dmckee I don't know and I don't care. Enough people that I trust have already said that it is offensive. Kara's word is good enough for me. If I don't understand the significance of a swastika, it doesn't mean that I can claim "it is patently not offensive", it simply means that I can tell people "I don't understand the offense". –  devinb Jul 28 '10 at 18:44
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@devinb: Yes, you can. Because, unless the offensiveness is explained it can't actually be judged and the situation devolves to anyone-can-be-offended-by-anything-and-get-it-removed. Until someone tells me explicitly what they find offensive about that image, I'm sticking to my guns. At these point I haven't even been able to discern if I should expect that it is the Israel-boosters, Palestien-boosters, or the peace-in-our-time types who are "offended". –  dmckee Jul 28 '10 at 19:04
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@devinb: It works the other way too. It they can get arbitrary content banned on the strength of a bald claim that it is "offensive" they have become the arbiter or everyone's beliefs. That is what makes the whole idea that there is a "right to not be offended" nonsense of the highest order. Community consensus isn't going to get every case right, but it will avoid the worst excesses of either utterly free expression[] or whiniest-voice-gets-it-way. And there can be no consensus unless we know *what is alleged to be offensive. –  dmckee Jul 28 '10 at 19:26

5 Answers 5

up vote 16 down vote accepted

In the future, don't remove the email, because that destroys any ability we have to contact the user.

Just use the "plus in email" trick:

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/mail/addressing/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-mail_address#Sub-addressing

so

username@gmail.com

becomes

username+offensiveavatar@gmail.com

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7  
Does the "plus in email" work for all mail services? I thought it was just a GMail trick. –  Kyle Cronin Nov 1 '09 at 20:34
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This method of sub-addressing (aka plus-adressing or dot-addressing) is not invented by Gmail, but nevertheless does not work for many other email providers. (Some others might use a dash, or a dot, but many simply do not support it at all; see some providers at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-mail%5Faddress#Sub-addressing For Gmail, one could also add additional dots, like u.s.e.r.name@ instead of username@ -- see mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=10313) –  Arjan Nov 1 '09 at 21:57
    
@Arjan van Bentem: actually the u.s.e.r.name@ thing was a bug that could let someone register m.y.e.m.a.i.l@gmail.com and gain access to my mails. Fortunately this door has been closed long time ago. –  perbert Nov 1 '09 at 23:15
    
@voyager's mask, it may have been a bug long ago, but nowadays Gmail advertises using dots as expected behaviour; see mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=10313 Or, it might have been "only" a bug in the registration then, long ago? –  Arjan Nov 2 '09 at 9:21
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Definitely a bug in the registration, and yes, a couple of years ago, when still carrying the Beta badge. Just wanted to provide a little bit of history, not troll against Google :S –  perbert Nov 2 '09 at 11:02

Remove the email address, but not before you use it to contact the user about the avatar. Once the address is removed from the account it should revert to an identicon.

I just edited the user account here on Meta. Since it was GMail, I added a "+youravatarisoffensive" before the @gmail.com. This won't affect notification, but it's technically a different address, so it has a different hash.

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Good to know, thanks! –  Kara Marfia Nov 1 '09 at 2:04
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You should probably also add the original email address in a moderator only visible area. –  Brad Gilbert Nov 1 '09 at 2:07
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@Brad: Thanks for the reminder, stuff like this definitely should be annotated –  Kyle Cronin Nov 1 '09 at 2:09
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Done on SuperUser as well –  Diago Nov 1 '09 at 11:51
    
I guess this won't work for the Imgur self-uploaded avatars? But maybe moderators can change the setting? –  Arjan Jan 15 '13 at 18:44

Fixed for SO; we've done the same thing (the gmail + trick) in the past for people "borrowing" the avatar from other (popular/recognised) accounts.

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Contact gravatar.com:

Report inappropriate content

If you have seen a gravatar or profile that is inappropriate for its rating, please report it here and we will take the necessary steps to resolve the situation.

Please post the url of the offending gravatar image or profile page.

Stack Overflow asks gravatar.com to display only avatars with a rating of "PG" or "G".

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Ratings of G and PG, you mean. :) –  Gnome Mar 23 '10 at 6:20

I'm seriously disappointed in all the people who thought this was sufficiently "offensive" to warrant removal. You're doing it wrong.

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Same here. Still waiting to here what the alleged offensive is. –  dmckee Jul 28 '10 at 20:25
    
I agree, how is throwing a stone at a tank offensive, that innocent American in the tank is surely not in harms way if his opponent has just a stone. –  Evan Carroll Jul 30 '10 at 16:52
    
@Evan: When this problem first appeared it was an Israel flag on fire or a swastika inside the Israel flag or something like that. I'm sure that someone would complain if I had a picture of a an American flag burning. And that was an Israeli tank. –  perbert Jul 30 '10 at 19:33
    
Even more: One thing is political censorship, another is hatred speech. I can have a URSS flag and noone should be offended by it. I could have a Hindu swastika, and noone should be offended. If I were to have a burning american flag, then I'd most likely would be called upon it. – perbert Nov 1 '09 at 4:48 –  perbert Jul 30 '10 at 19:37
    
I'm apparently not as sensitive: as a Christian I abhor idolatry. A flag is not a cross, you shouldn't be offended. –  Evan Carroll Jul 30 '10 at 20:39
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@Evan - you should update your Wikipedia profile. It says you're an atheist: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EvanCarroll –  user27414 Jul 31 '10 at 0:19

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