85

Unless I'm mistaken, this is still the current guidance on what's allowed in user profiles. And while I find myself struggling slightly to suppress my skepticism, I'm willing to assume good faith anyway. So I'll take you at your word that you were not being deliberately provocative and offensive in your choices, and not being deliberately disingenuous in ...


52

No, it's not okay for a user to try to make themselves appear to be a moderator. There's a reason we strip out the unicode if someone tries to add a diamond to their user name, and that reason is to prevent people from being confused about who is a "real" moderator on the site. Adding the diamond to the avatar, and going through the trouble to very nearly ...


45

I used to view freedom as a license to do pretty much anything that wasn't illegal or unethical. If someone else was bothered by it, it was their freedom to be bothered or not bothered by whatever they chose. They could choose to react differently to it; there was no requirement for them to react by taking offense. Until the shoe was on the other foot. ...


42

Our stance on this is simple, but quite subjective. It's first worth reiterating that within reason, a user's profile page is their own domain. Given that: We like people being creative Profile pages aren't the most visible thing on the site To some users, their own profile is often the most visited thing on the site, so we want them to love it .. we like ...


38

When you say "fag" - some folks going back more than a couple of generations will wonder if you're referring to a cigarette. Colloquially, however, most people will interpret the word as a pejorative allusion to a gay person, usually a man. I don't say "fag" even though it has a prior meaning because I don't want to hurt people's feelings, and I hate the ...


32

Way back in the day we started salting Gravatar image URLs, but only for new users. Older users do not have a salted Gravatar URL. Today we performed a backfill so we can drop an old column Users.Email which contains an email address only used for this purpose but we didn't take into account that users created prior to August 2013 would not have salted URLs. ...


30

I have reverted the profile image to be an identicon and sent a message to the user about the inappropriateness of using that particular image.


29

I agree fully and believe Stack Exchange should work towards mitigating this privacy risk, although I would take it further and point out that off-site embedded images of all kinds are an issue. It would not be difficult to require all images use the Stack Exchange Imgur account. This would not only preserve privacy, but would have the additional advantage ...


28

If an average person would clearly take offense at an avatar or profile due to: Graphic violence, nudity or sexual content Targeting of any race, religion, gender or ethnic group Exceptional cases where very poor taste would be likely to offend most people ... then you should flag it for moderator review. To be clear, we give people as much latitude as ...


28

Don't hesitate to flag. Even if nothing ends up being done about it, at least some other people will have looked at it as well, and will have held it against the TOS and common sense. (Yes, I do accuse moderators of common sense here). I'd say such an image should simply go. It pretty much violates "be nice". You can have your "political" beliefs, but I'm ...


24

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'...


23

As the [Winter Bash blog post][1] says: Hat position is adjustable on your face: You remember how crushed you were after finally earning a mustache “hat,” only to discover that on your avatar, it was basically an extremely dapper unibrow? NEVER AGAIN. You can finally reposition hats in the box until Don Draper’s suit fits as well it fits him. (I know, I ...


23

If someone's avatar upsets or offends you, by all means report it. I've reported avatars that simply attempted deception. Flag any post by the user and explain the effect on you of seeing it. If you think someone's avatar might conceivably upset someone else, because it's a snake or an insect or something that you know some hypothetical people dislike, ...


22

The user name field already has a filter that removes the Unicode ♦ character (and some look-a-likes) used to identify moderators. Users are not allowed to spoof this as part of their username. This seems like a reasonable guideline to me. Intending to deceive the community by making yourself out to be in a position of authority does nobody any favors. I ...


19

It is entirely appropriate to have a profile picture of someone/something that is not yourself. It is inappropriate to claim to be someone that is not yourself. If you, for example, were to use a picture of a famous programmer as your profile picture, use their name as your username, and otherwise impersonate them in your "about me" text, that would be a ...


19

You have to assume that everything is logged somewhere - how long that's retained and who has access to it depends a lot on the specific data and scenario. As a more practical rule, you should figure that moderators can see anything you can see when viewing your profile - the only exception I'm aware of there is your votes which are yours alone.


19

Google started using their images of letters instead of the default silhouette thing they used to return for Google profiles with no profile picture set. If you register your account for the first time using Google auth, we pull in your display name and profile picture from that service and use it by default (we do the same thing for users who register using ...


18

Until we start demanding legally-bound certification a person is not a dog, there is no point in preventing anyone from using fake information. Moreover, I see no problem with people further protecting their identity by using obviously fake birthdates, names and photos, provided they are not violating the TOS (which includes using someone else's identity in ...


18

On the profile you provided1, right clicking on the avatar and selecting "Open image in new tab" returns what seems to be a screenshot: My guess is that every such profile you will encounter will have used a screenshot of their hats (or edited one on their avatar). When Winter Bash was still here, hats weren't part of the avatar, but were a SVG layer ...


15

There's a 'Show Controls' dialog to move around and resize your hat: This lets you enlarge, make smaller, rotate and move about the hat to however you want! Specifically to enlarge the hat, you can click and drag the red button away or towards the centre of the red and blue lines, moving it in a circular motion around the centre, however, rotates the hat.


15

I'd love to see Stack do away with foreign sourced avatars and images (and anything else embedded) alltogether. They already have a domain for that, namely i.stack.imgur.com. The most consistent and user friendly way to do this would be to enforce hosting on that for any and all images. Anything else can be a link. This carries the additional benefit of pre-...


15

I originally wrote this as a comment, but think that it might be worth extending it to an answer. Not being a native English speaker, I write this at the risk of having missed a nuance of the language, but ... the votes will show. Several comments and answers referred to the point of "assuming good faith", which once was part of the CoC. And I wondered: ...


14

The transparency (or rather lack thereof) is still an issue. I uploaded my current avatar today (17 December 2013) and the transparency in the PNG is replaced by black colour. Here's the image when included into the post: Compare that with the one displayed as the avatar:


14

Our policy is what you'd expect – the only time we'll change your profile image is if it's offensive, or if you're intentionally impersonating someone else (often, this is the result of a flag raised by another user alerting us to the offensive image). That's not what happened here, though. It seems that at some point you had two accounts, and they were ...


14

In the latest build, a bug slipped through on some code that refactored profile image rendering. A fix is being pushed out right now. Sorry.


14

Even though it says "change picture": The change is not immediate, i.e. after changing the picture it's still not in effect anywhere else. To make it count and actually change your profile, you must click one of the blue "Save" buttons in the bottom of the edit screen, same way you have to do for any other profile field you want to change: The ...


14

I'd see this a very grey area. You are not claiming to be someone else, but at first glance you could be confused with them and while the confusion could be quickly cleared up it's unnecessary in first place. Using the avatar of a moderator is straying further into "don't do that" territory. Again, there appears to be no malice or duplicity, but you are ...


13

Well then. Sorry about that. I had no idea Google allowed animated profile images. Learn something new every day! (But seriously. Who does that? Come on, Google.) I'm pushing a fix now that should take care of things. The downside is that Google for some reason decides to paste a "play" icon on thumbnails over a certain size, but there doesn't seem to be ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible