We are using a site blocker (Websense, I call it webnonsense) to block URLs that are potentially dangerous or that the business deems 'un-worthy'.

Stack Overflow's avatars are blocked by Websense.

Any ideas why it does that?

  • 1
    I think this belongs on meta.stackoverflow.com
    – John W
    Dec 23, 2009 at 21:23
  • I think this belongs in an email to Jeff.
    – NSD
    Dec 23, 2009 at 21:23
  • Stackoverflow has a user profile picture uploader? That's news to me, I do know we use gravatar as the avatar manager.
    – johnnyArt
    Dec 23, 2009 at 21:24
  • @johnnyArt: yeah, the OP meant gravatar; perhaps he thought it had some association with SO.
    – Ether
    Dec 24, 2009 at 2:14

2 Answers 2


Gravatar permits X-rated photos as avatars (sites can exclude them, as well as R- and PG-13-rated ones, from display). As such, it's not particularly surprising that Websense blocks it - they're notoriously trigger-happy.

  • Why the downvote? Both statements are true - Gravatar permits X-rated photos (but allows sites to exclude them from display), and Websense is notoriously trigger-friendly.
    – ceejayoz
    Dec 23, 2009 at 21:53
  • We use Websense and and I can view Gravatar fine. The IT department here must know what's up.
    – snicker
    Dec 23, 2009 at 22:13
  • @snicker To my knowledge, Websense lets you pick what categories to block. I'm guessing Gravatar isn't in one of the categories your folks target.
    – ceejayoz
    Dec 24, 2009 at 14:26

I'm unclear -- are you referring to the gravatar image URLs or the http://gravatar.com site itself?

Can you see this image?

If you can see that, then the gravatar images, at least, are not blocked.

  • 5
    MY ​​​​​EYES!!!
    – mmyers
    Dec 23, 2009 at 21:57
  • My work proxy filters gravatar images. And most OpenID logins ;-p Gotta login outside of the office. But my work has an unnaturally sensitive filter. Dec 23, 2009 at 21:58
  • lol @ mmyers. Whatever happened to TheTXI? The holiday season must be rough at his office. Haven't heard a peep.. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/31752/we-miss-thetxi Dec 23, 2009 at 22:16
  • Judging by the clues in Welbog's answer, it looks like he's got a January 1 deadline for something that he doesn't think is possible. Maybe he'll be back after that. (Or maybe he'll be fired and be here a lot!)
    – mmyers
    Dec 23, 2009 at 22:41

You must log in to answer this question.