I checked off to see them, but I don’t. I don’t see anywhere to enter mine. Safe to say this board doesn’t use avatars?

Nope no avatars.

Can my curiosity be assuaged as to why?

The basic reason is because no avatars/no pictures is part of the board culture. Almost all message boards allow pics and possibly avatars. On some boards, in fact, having a huge avatar and/or huge pics in your signature is a competition. On this board, you have to use words to impress people, not a fancy flashing picture.

Also, when the SDMB first moved from AOL to the internet, we did allow pictures (but not avatars). We had a lot of problems with people posting things like the goatse image, and we also had people violating copyright laws right and left. The images took up a lot of bandwidth, and made the board go down every afternoon about 3 PM US Central time, so we’d have to get one of the tech crew to go and physically reset it.

Spammers sometimes post images of their products. In the case of porn spammers, this means that there images which are very much not safe for work.

And last, but not least, some of the moderation staff strongly object to avatars. I think I’m the one on the staff who likes them a lot, but then, I’m always an oddball.

Thank you! Well, one thing I can say. It’s a huge relief not to see a picture of the POTUS in clown makeup (or anybody else, for that matter).

I know I’ll get used to who everybody is, it’s just hard on the first day of school. :wink:

I just want to say it again, as tempting as it is to say “way back in 1999 we tried this” you really have to remember that the internet was a very different landscape. Yes, there’s always the chance someone will post goatse, but it’s much lower than it was when the internet was more Wild Westish and had less of an inherent sense of etiquette. I’ve frequented sites more high profile than this that maybe, very rarely, get the porn spam, but it shouldn’t take long to clean up when it does happen.

It’s not pleasant for the moderators to have to wade through it, no, but I really don’t think the “I can’t unsee goatse” excuses really hold much water. And signature/avatar things can be controlled, you can always instate “no animated gifs, signature pictures must be within 300x250 pixel range,” a lot of boards do just that. In fact, I’m pretty sure vBulletin can actually handle filtering images in the admin settings for avatars and sigs (based on either file size or dimensions).

I still don’t understand “we use our words here.” I mean, honestly, words + pictures is just inherently a better medium, there’s a reason textbooks and scientific articles tend to have them: there are just some things pure text doesn’t handle well. I know you can link to pictures, but it really breaks up the flow of the post. It also limits some options, like doing Let’s Plays in the Game Room, or “add to the picture” games. That’s minor, of course, but it does limit interaction.

I don’t care a great deal, it just seems that it’s more being stuck in tradition than any real relevant concerns, except perhaps bandwidth (though I thought external linking didn’t affect your bandwidth, just the site linked to (i.e. Photobucket), may be wrong though). It seems the fear is that images will take over the forum forever, when I’ve never seen that happen on any site I’ve gone to, images are always kept in a handful of (usually clearly marked) threads (which can also be a rule) and used sparingly. It may be obsessed over for a couple weeks when it’s new and shiny, but that’ll wear off pretty quickly and relegated to a normal feature.

YOU’RE the one!

Call out the hounds!


AHA! Busted!! :wink:

Everyone here is a stodgy old fart, that’s why.


The same damn ignorant arguments get drawn out every time this subject comes up, and we beat them down with common sense and knowledge for pages and pages. Eventually, we all get tired of going around in circles and give up, leaving the SDMB without avatars until the next thread pops up…

Can one of the anti-avatar mods just lock this thread now?

This is the only real answer. It’s like this because it’s like this.


A very vocal minority of old-school beard-stroking academia-wannabe Dopers don’t like the idea of change, plain and simple. It’s part of the pseudo-academic culture here. They complain even when the idea of adding another smiley comes up. They’re the kind of people that probably raised a stink when their local newspaper started publishing the front page in color in the 1980s or 1990s. I’m amazed we even have the option of choosing fonts and font sizes beyond black 10 point Times New Roman.

I generally like the Dope, but I hate the stodginess. It’ll never change, though, so why bother complaining?

Of course lord forbid you actually exercise that option under most circumstances…

However, I have to admit I kind of like not having avatars, but I wouldn’t freak if we had them.

We do get the porn spam with images, though. Sometimes we’ll have none at all for a while, and then we’ll get inundated with it. We do try to clean it up as soon as possible, but sometimes several of us have to be away from the boards for a while at the same time.

I’m of two minds on this. On the one hand, I kind of like seeing images and even videos on another message board that I frequent. But on the other hand, I’d hate to try to moderate that sort of thing.

Every time this comes up, the members, not the mods, say they don’t want them. So, if there’s stodginess, it comes from the members (and not just those from the class of 1999 and 2000).

We (i.e. the majority of those who have stated a preference one way or another in similar threads) just don’t want avatars.

And every time people say they dont want them, the same five or six posters come in to vent their frustration by posting exaggerated, hyperbole filled, frankly insulting diatribes. Anybody who doesnt want Avatars becomes “They”, and all the internet shakes its head in dismay at their ignorance.

Thats if you just dont want Avatars. Imagine what they would say if you kicked someones pussy.

And that’s great and you can have that particular board experience by not clicking the checkbox that says display avatars. If tomorrow, the admins turned on that functionality, you wouldn’t see it, unless you went out of your way to make it possible. But that’s not enough for you guys, you also have to dictate the board experience the rest of us get. Hmmph.

I like that idea of not allowing posting in other fonts than times new roman size 10 though…

I don’t want avatars and I am definitely not an old school beard stroking academic wanna be. I just think your own arguments work against you - 99% of message boards have avatars, so you say we should jump on the bandwagon? I think that’s exactly the reason we should never have avatars and pictures; so we have at least one place that’s a little quieter.