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Seeking opinions about profile pictures
Thread poster: Katalin Horváth McClure

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:22
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Jun 11, 2009

I have a question about the image one can upload to his/her profile. This profile image is displayed next to the person's name (user name or real name) everywhere on the site.
I was wondering if there are any restrictions on what kind of image can be uploaded as a profile image, so I checked the FAQ, but unfortunately found nothing about it.

I am specifically thinking about cases when someone uploads an image that is one of the following types:
1. A logo or other identification image of a brand not owned by the person uploading it
2. A flag or other national symbol of a country
3. A flag or other national symbol of a "controversial" country (for example a country that is not recognized by certain other countries)
4. A logo or other identification image of an organization or company the person does not belong to (maybe regularly works for them)
5. A logo or other identification image of a "controversial" organization (religious, political or otherwise controversial)
6. Any sort of copyrighted image where the person uploading it did not obtain permission from the copyright holder
7. A picture of a person different from the uploader (for example a well-known celebrity)

I would like to know if in your view each of these are:
A: in violation of any of the ProZ.com site rules
B: in violation of any of the ProZ.com Professional Guidelines
C: unethical
D: illegal
E: unprofessional
F: perfectly all right

I would also like to know if your opinion is different based on the person's status.
Specifically:
If the person uploading the profile image has Verified identity, does it change your opinion for any of the above cases?

If the person uploading the profile image is a Certified PRO with the red P badge, does it change your opinion for any of the above cases?

I am curious to know what others think.
Katalin

(Edited the links.)

[Edited at 2009-06-11 13:21 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:22
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Personal responsibility Jun 11, 2009

I believe in personal responsibility, and thus, each and every user of Proz (or any other site) may post whatever image or logo he pleases to. I will not be liable for his/her decision, so I don't really care what each person uses as his/her picture.

Of course personal responsibility also means that any person or group considering that the use of such an image is damaging, inapropriate, or against copyright or other law should also take or request disciplinary or legal action against the offending user. I am sure Proz.com will be of assistance in enforcing copyright law and to take action upon requests from other users claiming that the image is offensive for whatever reason.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:22
Dutch to English
+ ...
For the benefit of the forum moderator who just removed my posting Jun 11, 2009

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

7. A picture of a person different from the uploader (for example a well-known celebrity)



Perhaps the reference to George Clooney now makes sense? Hardly a new topic.

Honestly people, lighten up! What's next -- specific crimes against bandwidth?


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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Why was it removed? Jun 11, 2009

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

7. A picture of a person different from the uploader (for example a well-known celebrity)



Perhaps the reference to George Clooney now makes sense? Hardly a new topic.

Honestly people, lighten up! What's next -- specific crimes against bandwidth?


As you rightly commented now, it is completely on-topic. See also this other Kevin Spacey photo profile: http://www.proz.com/profile/84372 . Btw, I thought your comment about "exposing" George Clooney was funny. I mean, I imagine people who use a famous actor or actress picture in their profiles (like the very missed Jackie Bowman) probably have a sense of humor, so I personally see no offense in commenting their profile photos in a funny way.

Anyways, Katalin, not too long ago, I had a picture of my cat, so I don't see any major "harm" in the choice freedom of profile pictures. However, regarding point 5, I do have a problem with someone using the logo of any abusive or negative-related organization (do you have any examples of this?).


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:22
Dutch to English
+ ...
Thanks and no idea -- somebody must have complained or got out of bed on the wrong side this morning Jun 11, 2009

ICL wrote:

As you rightly commented now, it is completely on-topic. See also this other Kevin Spacey photo profile: http://www.proz.com/profile/84372 . Btw, I thought your comment about "exposing" George Clooney was funny. I mean, I imagine people who use a famous actor or actress picture in their profiles (like the very missed Jackie Bowman) probably have a sense of humor, so I personally see no offense in commenting their profile photos in a funny way.

Anyways, Katalin, not too long ago, I had a picture of my cat, so I don't see any major "harm" in the choice freedom of profile pictures. However, regarding point 5, I do have a problem with someone using the logo of any abusive or negative-related organization (do you have any examples of this?).


I happen to know 'George' quite well and apart from being a top-rate translator (and actor of course!), he does have a good sense of humour, so it was indeed just harmless fun.

Katalin raises some interesting legal issues which I was intending to revisit when I have more time on my hands. I would have thought my legal background could have proved useful here, but with the rather Stalinistic approach to these forums sometimes, I don't think I'll bother somehow. I have bigger fish to fry.

Take care
Debs


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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
No, please share your legal knowledge Jun 11, 2009

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

Katalin raises some interesting legal issues which I was intending to revisit when I have more time on my hands. I would have thought my legal background could have proved useful here, but with the rather Stalinistic approach to these forums sometimes, I don't think I'll bother somehow. I have bigger fish to fry.

Debs


Don't let a bit of "moderation" turn you off.

For instance, I realize that using a famous actor or actress photo is probably and clearly a copyright infringement, so in spite of the humor factor, maybe worth commenting, from the legal point-of-view.

Cheers,

Ivette


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:22
Flemish to English
+ ...
The Dolphin. Jun 11, 2009

"I have been using the dolpin" for about 10 years now. It is a Office '97 assistant which was dumped by Micro$oft in 2000.
The license agreement stipulates somewhere that it can be used for personal use.
I am not afraid to show my face here, but would like to alternate between a symbol/logo and my face. Unfortunately, at the moment I have no time to study html or test a gif.editor.
If there is a stack of invoices at an agency, a logo (like the dolphin) can help the person reasponsible for payment to find your invoice with that letterhead between the pile of invoices a bit faster than a piece of paper with simply invoice written on it. I don't know whether the proz.com invoice system allows a letterhead with a symbol.
I don't seem to find your invoice... Well, it that with a dolpin on it... Ah, yes, found it...

[Edited at 2009-06-11 18:01 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:22
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Probably more image rights Jun 11, 2009

ICL wrote:
For instance, I realize that using a famous actor or actress photo is probably and clearly a copyright infringement, so in spite of the humor factor, maybe worth commenting, from the legal point-of-view.


Looks more like image right infringement to me... But anyway, I reckon Proz.com's attitude towards these cases should be A) ask for a copy of an ID to check the picture, as there is a slight chance that the translator really looks like the celebrity and B) delete the picture to avoid being sued by celebrities.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:22
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some guesses and opinions Jun 11, 2009

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:
I was wondering if there are any restrictions on what kind of image can be uploaded as a profile image...


There are rules, yes. I was once told to upload a new photo after a photo I uploaded was turned down after a few minutes. I don't know of anyone complained specifically or if someone just spotted it and had the powers to remove it. I might add that I had expected reaction... so the removal wasn't entirely unexpected.

1. A logo or other identification image of a brand not owned by the person uploading it


You mean like Spiderman? No, no problem personally... except that I once thought that a person with Spiderman as their avatar was male when in fact the person was female.

2. A flag or other national symbol of a country
3. A flag or other national symbol of a "controversial" country (for example a country that is not recognized by certain other countries)


You mean like a flag with a fleur de lis on it? I have no problem with flags -- one must just be aware that certain flags have certain stigmas.

Do you think there should be clearer rules about it?

[Edited at 2009-06-11 16:11 GMT]


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Anne Kjaer Iversen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:22
German to Danish
+ ...
Not my business… Jun 11, 2009

Hi Katalin,

In my opinion, people can upload whatever they want.

Having said that, I also have to say that I sometimes really wonder why people upload what they upload. Honestly, I find it rather funny that so many want to have non-pro pictures with water/the ocean in the background or that so many of all pictures have been taken on a vacation. I would like to know what the thoughts behind that might be. I also wonder why some people do not upload anything at all... And why some people, mostly women, show off too much skin (to my liking) or upload party pictures.

The worst thing though would have to be pictures of newborns/small babys. I would really love to know why people do that... It is like screaming out loud to potential clients: "I hardly sleep, I get interrupted all the time, I´m exhausted, I am not as focused as I would normally be" ect. ect. And when you at the same time add the word “flexible” or “reliable” to the tagline, I find the paradox to be complete and absolutely hilarious!!

I see a proz profile as a potential job application - and I know I would N-E-V-E-R choose a picture that match any of the descriptions mentioned above to one of my job applications.

But, like I said, it is not my business people can do what they want but I am allowed to wonder.

Have a nice evening!

/Anne


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:22
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Restrictions Jun 11, 2009

I am all for personal freedom but this is a professional translators' website and I think everything that appears on it should reflect that. In my opinion, there should be some restrictions on the kind of pictures you can put on your profile, for example only:

- a picture of yourself (with or without family members or pets)
- your own personal or company logo
- your own country's flag (country of birth or where you live)
- other pictures that are neutral, i.e., not related to any other person, company, or organization (this could include landscapes, architecture, animals, flowers, jumping jacks, or what have you)
- nothing that makes a religious, political, or other kind of statement that could be considered offensive
- and of course nothing that could potentially violate a copyright

Ultimately, what you put on your profile reflects not only Proz.com but first and foremost you as a professional. I have seen some pictures that, if I was a client seeking a translator, would definitely turn me off.






[Edited at 2009-06-11 18:52 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:22
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
What is good advertising? Jun 11, 2009

Tina Vonhof wrote:
Ultimately, what you put on your profile reflects not only Proz.com but first and foremost you as a professional. I have seen some pictures that, if I was a client seeking a translator, would definitely turn me off.


OK, but each person's opinion on what is professional and good advertising will be different. That is your opinion, but other people could say that depicting a flying pink goat is good advertising, and it would also be a valid opinion. I would not support a rule to impose flying animals in different colours and species to everyone, and I don't support imposing the "professional look" approach to everyone.

If anybody feels a picture is offensive, a support ticket should be opened and Proz should ask the user to change it. Other than that, don't you think we live our lives with enough rules? Why do we need more?


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 15:22
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Postitis. Jun 11, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

... Other than that, don't you think we live our lives with enough rules? Why do we need more?


Right.


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:22
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Flying pink goats Jun 11, 2009

Tomas, if you read the list again, flying pink goats are animals and therefore included in the "allowable' list. Indeed, what looks professional is a matter of opinion and I wouldn't want to make it so restrictive that a little humour isn't allowed. It is up to the clients to decide whether they want to entrust a translation job to a flying pink goat.

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