[Request for Discussion] Removing Gravatar from the platform

zac Staff zac
Created: 4 years and 2 months ago • Updated: 4 years and 2 months ago
We'd like to ask the community about a change we're considering on the platform: removing Gravatar

In an effort to bring more privacy to the platform, we're considering removing the ability to link your Gravatar to your profile. Gravatar is a service that lets you link an email address to an image, so that your image shows up wherever you've linked your Gravatar account (like my image on the left). The privacy implications are small but we'd like to go the extra mile by removing this feature.
Unfortunately, we don't have an immediate replacement for profile pics. We're considering an image uploader for profile images and hope to have it integrated shortly after (or immediately) we take out the Gravatar piece.

Please let us know your thoughts (and if you'd like to help)!

There have been a few discussions of Gravatar's privacy in the past:



This forum has been archived

Thank you all for the many comments, questions and suggestions. Particular thanks go to user x.15a2 for constantly monitoring, replying and helping so many users here. To continue these discussions, please head over to the DuckDuckGo subreddit.

I think it would be a good idea. Not something that is huge, like you said. There is the possibility of leaking a user's email address but if someone is using Gravatar, I doubt they care about it getting out.

I would like to see a custom avatar option.
posted by <hidden> • 4 years and 2 months ago Link
Thanks! Duly noted!
posted by zac Staff4 years and 2 months ago Link
The Gravatar is not working anyway. I have a Gravatar image (just went to Gravatar.com, logged in and verified). However, on these forums I show up as a duck. Not seeing my Gravarar, in other words.

Me personally, I like the ability to choose an image/avatar/gravatar/whatever but if it's a matter of privacy, let's put something else in place. You can not trust The Man.
posted by pabarge 4 years and 2 months ago Link
Just to confirm (in case it sticks around), you added your Gravatar email to the Gravatar field under https://duck.co/my/userpage
posted by zac Staff4 years and 2 months ago Link
Sry ^^^ that was a question :)
posted by zac Staff4 years and 2 months ago Link
My Gravatar is working fine, not sure about others.

My thought on this topic is that I like the idea of moving away from Gravatar and making the profile avatars self-hosted. However, for those of use that already have used Gravatar, the damage (if any) is done. Therefore I'd suggest that the forums continue to use Gravatar (possibly with a notice for new users), until such time as a replacement model is adapted.
posted by x.15a2 Community Leader4 years and 2 months ago Link
I think we can run through all currently set gravatars and stick them into the new system automatically, so that shouldn't be too big a deal.
posted by crazedpsyc 4 years and 2 months ago Link
Please just make sure you only grab the resolution (size) of the image that's necessary (and actually used). I mean you can easily modify the Gravatar URL and get the full size image, by changing the "&s=" param in the URL of image (avatar itself).

For example if you know you're not going to display one's avatar any bigger than 100×100px (i.e. 100×100px is the max size used on the Community Platform; in case of my bad English skills and that pesky "double negative"-thingy ; P), you should just grab all avatars in that size (i.e. 100×100px).

I hope that makes sense! : P
posted by ScreapDK Community Leader4 years and 2 months ago Link
You might try to set it up one more time, as Zac said you have to go to this page

and fill out gravatar mail

posted by TV 4 years and 2 months ago Link
Yes! Big time removing gravatar. I dislike it to be honest.
posted by TV 4 years and 2 months ago Link
Let's do it then, eh? :) Seems like everyone's in favor.
posted by zac Staff4 years and 2 months ago Link
Yes! Personally I would love to see the support for Libravatar, at some point eventually. : D

Until then, I guess @crazedpsyc's suggestion of grabbing the Gravatar images is a good step 1. Then we could implement a self-hosted (as in Duck.co-hosted) solution as step 2. Then maybe, Libravatar eventually. : )
posted by ScreapDK Community Leader4 years and 2 months ago Link
I am also in support of removing Gravatar. How about linking a user's avatar with the user image one sets via their XMPP client? Though for folks using clients which support multiple accounts over various protocols, it would essentially raise the same concerns as Gravatar. Also, some users may use different display photos depending on which resource they are using...in which case such behavior would likely be undesirable.
posted by <hidden> • 4 years and 2 months ago Link
I had thought about this when connecting to gravatar. But before you do not have a different solution, you should go with it. This means, you should soon have a different solution available :)
posted by clel 4 years and 1 month ago Link
That is a pretty smart Privacy move. I like it, it's a great idea. And it makes things more "private" and into the community and no other 3rd party has control over it. Brilliant, I support it. +1
posted by blacksector 4 years and 1 month ago Link
A build your own avatar option (if you have the ability to offer it) is extremely popular right now. I am not into cos-play but you'd have to be blind to not notice the viral hype on that growing fad. Appeal to the youth and teach them the value of the right to privacy. They move information faster than we do. It wouldn't even have to be very complex. Just a few options. If you have four skin colors, hair colors/styles, etc. it may save a lot of time trying to collect tons of images to offer people. Can use animals, aliens.. Really simple but fun for the user. Doesnt take a lot of work to make those. Just a thought. I think part of the success of larger companies was really the play on "fun". It would add to privacy and instead of disapointing people with the loss of their image, you can offer the fun alternative. People could change it anytime and get creative with their moods and styles so they won't be losing what they really want, which is some sort of representation of themselves as well as amping up the privacy. Just a thought.
posted by <hidden> • 4 years and 1 month ago Link
I'm in for removing Gravatar. Just to be 100% safe.
posted by Superluigi6 4 years and 1 month ago Link
Get rid of it
posted by Choca 4 years and 1 month ago Link