Clarification on profile pictures policies?

Forgive me if this has already been discussed somewhere, but I can’t find it. I’m wondering about user profile photos, and what can be considered appropriate content there.

My interest was sparked by running across a user whose profile photo is a portrait of a certain famous murderous dictator. I know people use all sorts of crap for profile photos and usually mean nothing by it, but it IS a little bit of an odd feeling seeing someone posting under the face of a guy who exterminated an entire branch of my own family tree.

I’m curious to know if there’s an established rule on this stuff, and if not, what others think about where the line should be drawn.


There is no established rule, nor any way to flag them, if you have concerns about one, I would send an email to with details and ask them to take a look.


I would be okay with a policy saying that the people at can remove any profile photo for any reason at any time, and replace it with the default.


That sounds like something that shouldn’t be allowed to me.

I agree totally that it should not be allowed. I agree with @sgene that admins of iNat should have it within their powers/duties/discretion to rule on appropriateness of profile photos and remove those that are not appropriate. If “inappropriate content” can be flagged and removed from the observation field, it seems a reasonable extension to me that the same can be dealt with in other aspects of iNat usage.


There is no official policy about profile pictures specifically, but if it’s hate speech, insulting, or obscene (the top priorities of the Community Guidelines), it shouldn’t be there so please email about it.

Site staff do have the ability to delete profile pictures (among other content, as the Terms of Service state) but that’s rarely exercised aside from extreme cases. In the few times this has happened, I try to contact the user first and ask them to remove it.


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