This is now the second time I've encountered this. I have only ever used a gravatar (and predate the identicon option), but when I register on a site in the network I haven't logged in on before, my profile on that site uses a generated identicon (the SE-specific image upload) instead of the gravatar I have always used everywhere else. I'm fairly certain that even after identicons were introduced, the gravatar was carried over properly, at least until whenever this bug was introduced.


  • Did you intend to link to meta.stackexchange.com/questions/149436/… instead? (And gravatar.com avatars have NOT been migrated/copied to the Stack Exchange avatar option.)
    – Arjan
    Aug 19, 2013 at 18:04
  • Did you clear the "email" field at some point? Aug 19, 2013 at 18:05
  • Nope, haven't changed any of the personal info for ... probably since I registered.
    – Kevin
    Aug 19, 2013 at 18:07
  • @ShaWizDowArd: No, and this is confirmed. I've had this too. It changes to identicon by default on newly registered accounts. Aug 19, 2013 at 18:08
  • @MadaraUchiha never happened to me, and I've had my share of accounts association before switching to the imgur hosting. Next time when it's being "reset" can you please check the source URL of the identicon? Kevin you too, might shed some light on the problem. :) Aug 19, 2013 at 18:11
  • @ShaWizDowArd: I have just now opened a new account on Ask Patents. Here's the account. I haven't touched the default settings. patents.stackexchange.com/users/5543/madara-uchiha Aug 19, 2013 at 18:12
  • @MadaraUchiha weird! Different hash. When you click "edit" in both profiles, you see the same email address? Aug 19, 2013 at 18:21
  • @ShaWizDowArd: Yes, same identicon, same email address. Aug 19, 2013 at 18:22
  • So it sounds like problem on Gravatar side... when you log in there everything is normal? You have only one picture? I'm tempted to switch to Gravatar too and try to reproduce... Aug 19, 2013 at 18:22
  • @ShaWizDowArd Gravatar's fine, the profile is just set to "identicon" instead of "gravatar", see the screenshot I just added.
    – Kevin
    Aug 19, 2013 at 18:26
  • Oh, first time I see this! There used to be only "Uploaded picture" (after you upload a new picture) or "Gravatar", unless I'm really getting old. OK, time for a dev to step in. :-) Aug 19, 2013 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


This should be fixed now, both creating new accounts and syncing existing accounts should respect the gravatar / identicon distinction.

The bug was introduced when identicon was set as the default for new accounts. Basically we wanted to stop putting a user's email hash into the page, unless they explicitly want to link in their gravatar. Naturally we didn't want to change anybody's existing profile image, so it only applies to new users.

  • 1
    Great, thanks for the quick response.
    – Kevin
    Aug 19, 2013 at 18:44
  • @KevinM why bother though? Hashes are readily available from the data explorer so what's the point in keeping them off the page? If someone wants hashes for nefarious purposes, they can get them easily.
    – nhinkle
    Aug 19, 2013 at 22:12
  • @nhinkle Historical hashes are already out there, yes. We'll stop including them in data dumps and the like eventually, instead including an actual profile image url. Aug 19, 2013 at 23:04
  • @KevinMontrose gotcha. Thanks for the explanation. How will that affect any apps that use it in their API? Or is that no longer necessary because the API supports authentication now?
    – nhinkle
    Aug 19, 2013 at 23:46
  • @nhinkle API v1 will probably just start lying (acting like someone's identicon hash is their gravatar if they're setup that way), API v2 already returns profile images instead of hashes and supports authentication. Aug 20, 2013 at 0:05
  • @nhinkle, new dumps no longer include the hash.
    – Arjan
    Feb 13, 2014 at 21:47

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