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The profile picture is missing on my profile page. The relevant part looks like

Apass.Jack's profile page without picture

Since this profile picture appears almost everywhere when I am referenced, quite a few other pages looks buggy. For example, leagues page, users page, questions page if it includes a question I just answered, a particular question I answered.

The url to my picture, which can be found by searching the source page is, https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-w-CjJH1h44c/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAAAA/AAnnY7rci3hf-mTQ_myeO2ywdFow1HKcNQ/mo/photo.jpg?sz=32. When I check that url directly, it does return "404. That’s an error."

As I would like to believe, http 404 should never be returned to a request for a profile picture, since the picture is either automatically generated or replaced by one selected or uploaded by the user.

I know there is simple workaround, I can edit my profile by changing my picture to an image I uploaded. However, I would like to raise this as a bug before doing that.

(Incidentally, I love my missing profile picture that was generated automatically, which looks like the following.)

Apass.Jack's profile picture, a white A on red background

This bug has been active for more than a week. I did not report it initially since it might be just a temporary glitch.

Apparently, the missing of profile picture happens to some other users, too. For example, user azhagan's profile page.


Update:

Thanks to Discrete lizard's comment, now I see what is happening. When I registered my account on Computer Science Stack Exchange (CSSE) with my Gmail address, CSSE (or its mother engine at StackExchange) asked Gmail/Google for my avatar. Since I had never specified one for my Gmail/Google account, google had generated one for me, whose url was returned to and used by CSSE. However, I had only seen that avatar on CSSE, which caused me to believe that avatar was generated by CSSE. When Google updated the url for my avatar, which is the same as before a while ago to this new googleusercontent url, https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-w-CjJH1h44c/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAAAA/AKxrwcavvH0hxdZM6FTuGUhWsXF45IcgPQ/s192-mo/photo.jpg, the previous url saved by CSSE became invalid, causing the problem.

In light of above explanation, this broken profile picture can be considered a feature by design instead of bug of CSSE (or just StackExchange). Of course, some action could be taken by StackExchange to improve the situation as discussed by What to do with broken avatars generated by Google?.

Depending on the situation, I might change the above update to an accepted answer so as to finish this question.

migrated from cs.meta.stackexchange.com Jan 22 at 16:19

This question came from our discussion, support, and feature requests site for students, researchers and practitioners of computer science.

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    This 'A' is not the default avatar that SE generates for you, SE generates 'identicons', such as my avatar. I think that your avatar was generated on google+, youtube or another google service. As such, I doubt that SE can do much about this: SE does not store external figures such as yours locally and therefore depends on the provider of the image to ensure that the link remains the same, which has failed in this case. – Discrete lizard Jan 22 at 8:28
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    @Discretelizard Thanks. Now I see what might be the story. When I registered my account on Computer Science Stack Exchange (CSSE) with my Gmail address, CSSE asked Gmail/Google for my avatar. Since I had never specified one for my Gmail/Google account, google had generated one for me, whose url was returned to and used by CSSE. However, I had only seen that avatar on CSSE, which caused me to believe that avatar was generated by CSSE. When Google updated the url for my avatar a while ago, the previous url saved by CSSE became invalid, causing the problem. This is not a bug of CSSE at all. – Apass.Jack Jan 22 at 10:52
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    I did see quite some other broken avatars, though. It might be a good idea to at least put some guidance somewhere for users how to fix this. I'll ask what the people on Meta Stack Exchange think. – Discrete lizard Jan 22 at 15:43
  • I'm not sure what SE can do here. Your avatar URL points to a non-existing document; SE can't fix that. You can upload your own avatar, or default to the Identicon (click "Change Picture"). – Raphael Jan 22 at 16:21
  • So uh, I made a more general question here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/322759/… . Apassjack, can you confirm whether you have done some sort of deletion action on your google account, as Animuson suggests in the comments on the linked question? – Discrete lizard Jan 22 at 17:25
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    @Discretelizard I have quite a few gmail accounts from different origins. I have never intentionally merged any of them, although I have been using a random subset of them together on the same browser tab for a few years. I have not done any sort of deletion for the last few months on my gmail accounts. So I suspected strongly that Google was updating the url for my avatar. In fact, my avatar can be seen at a new googleusercontent url. (I will update the question.) – Apass.Jack Jan 22 at 18:03
  • If you use AdBlock, you might wanna check if it blocks your profile picture. – Ver Nick Jan 23 at 9:38
  • I can see it now, though it does show up differently on different sites. On CS.SE it is "A" as you have shown, but on meta it's a generic blue/white pattern. – ryan Apr 23 at 18:22
  • @ryan, yes, you have observed what is expected since I just updated my profile picture by uploading the same picture manually, but only for Computer Science. – Apass.Jack Apr 23 at 18:46

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