Support » Everything else WordPress » Why wordpress use gravatars?

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  • Could you imagine having to upload a profile picture for every WordPress-powered blog you planned on commenting on? Not to mention all the other services (Slack, GitHub, etc.). It would be incredibly cumbersome.

    If it was not included in core, the usefulness of Gravatar would be severely diminished because not nearly enough WordPress site operators would go through the trouble of installing the plugin to get that functionality.

    Of course, you’re welcome to use a plugin like Disable User Gravatar if you’d rather not have them.

    Finally, it might be helpful to read more about the philosophy behind WordPress to have a better understanding of why Gravatar, among other features, are included in core. And why some others may be offloaded to a plugin.

    I think Automattic has way too much power over wordpress.org devs.

    You consider wordpress.org project on the bag same as wordpress.com commercial product. When it isn’t. WordPress.org shouldn’t rely on external services to function. Unless there is some endowment taking place i’m not aware of (probably cos it’s not being disclosed).

    Plus not every self hosted blog have user registration enabled, and about people having to setup an avatar on every site. Heck, i can pretty much guarantee you that people would prefer having their own avatar/selfie/favorite character/singer/actor rather than a “funny” looking gravatar they were forced to choose form.

    The functionality is already there, the media library, upload image to use as avatar wouldn’t require too much work. Yet we don’t see this, not even as an option.

    My view is gravatar should be a plugin. But hey, if you guys are so fond to it for whatever reason at least make it “opt in” feature.

    I’m afraid the next mod will come and close this right away to avoid taboo subjects being talked like every time someone dares to challenge wordpress.org decisions.

    Moderator Jan Dembowski

    (@jdembowski)

    Forum Moderator and Brute Squad

    I think Automattic has way too much power over wordpress.org devs.

    How did you get there from Gravatar exactly…?

    I’m afraid the next mod will come and close this right away to avoid taboo subjects being talked like every time someone dares to challenge wordpress.org decisions.

    Passive agressive much? I’m sorry, it’s early and that’s a nonsense thing to say.

    If you want to pick a fight then yeah, that will get your topic closed. Not because you’ve touched a “taboo topic” but because this isn’t your blog. If you want to pull out a soap box then feel free to do so on your own site. Evangelizing isn’t for here.

    The inclusion of Gravatars was a decision made a long time ago to address a specific need. Automattic made that purchase almost 10 years ago. Yes, Automattic is not WordPress. That’s not semantics, it the truth.

    https://blog.gravatar.com/2007/10/18/automattic-gravatar/

    That need was that a community of users can be connected and maintain some consistency online by using a free service called Gravatar. They’re easy to use and including it was a smart move to connect you to your comments globally.

    You can turn it off easily enough and the why it’s turned on by default was already explained by Leland above. Very well too.

    That explanation covered your original question.

    Is there any reason why gravatars need to be core and not a plugin?

    Now I’ve a serious question to you: is there a concern you have about using Gravatars? Privacy issues? Dependency on 3rd parties?

    I’m not being facetious and I’m just curious if you have a problem with Gravatars or are just wondering how they got into WordPress code.

    WordPress.org shouldn’t rely on external services to function.

    I totally agree! But WordPress doesn’t rely on external services to function.

    For example, it’s a common use case to run WordPress over a local intranet, completely isolated from the rest of the internet (including external services like Gravatar).

    Sure, a few things wouldn’t work, but WordPress would still function. A feature like Gravatar is a form of progressive enhancement.

    Plus not every self hosted blog have user registration enabled

    You’re right. And thanks to Gravatar, commenters on self-hosted blogs that don’t allow user registration can still use a custom avatar, and manage that custom avatar on thousands of other sites in one place.

    The functionality is already there, the media library, upload image to use as avatar wouldn’t require too much work.

    It actually wouldn’t require any work at all, because the WP User Avatar plugin already exists for this very purpose.

    I’m afraid the next mod will come and close this right away to avoid taboo subjects being talked like every time someone dares to challenge wordpress.org decisions.

    I wouldn’t consider this a taboo subject, and you’re certainly far from the first person to raise an objection to Gravatar’s inclusion in WordPress in the past.

    Judging from this ticket, I’d say it’s unlikely that Gravatar will ever be an opt-in feature.

    However, if you’re interested in contributing to a core option to let users upload a custom avatar, perhaps you could lend a hand in this Trac ticket instead.

    In the meantime, as a user, you’re welcome to simply not sign up to Gravatar. As a site owner, you’re welcome to opt-out of using Gravatar and allow users to register and upload a custom avatar instead.

    If it’s something you’re especially passionate about, you’re even welcome to fork the WordPress software and remove any external API calls you’d like.

    Best of luck! 🙂

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