ClassicPress PetitionsClassicPress Petitions
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Disable (gr)avatar by default.

September 7, 2018 · 15:07 · Dora D.

Uncheck "Settings > Discussion > Show Avatars" setting by default for new installs. Keep functionality in code.

+97 more
Difficulty: Moderate
Request: Modify feature
David Shanske

This should be local avatars by default

James Nylen

This is set to "Mystery Person" by default (does not call out to Gravatar). I don't think there is anything to do here?

David Shanske

Actually, WordPress calls gravatar even on mystery man.

Glenn Dixon

won't WP want to know how many people are testing CP? :)

David Shanske

If we disable gravatars by default, it needs to serve generic avatars by default. It has gravatar serve them.

Why is it relevant what WP knows?


Having these enabled by default is one of Automattic's abuses of power in relation to WP.

Edward Brodie

I'd be happy for every code reference to gravatar to be completely removed. Make it a plugin people can use if they want Gravatar but it's not inflicted on the rest of us.

Greg Schoppe

I agree that gravatar has nothing to do with CP's purpose as a CMS and supporting that code seems counter-intuitive for core, going forward. As a feature plugin, sure, but Gravatar is definitely a pet project of Matt's that is just confusing to most users. Support requests for how to change the avatar are a constant part of life for any membership site that uses this functionality. If we want to support avatars out of box, they should be locally hosted. Let gravatar be a plugin.


> local avatars by default I second that

Sean King

I'd agree with this one. Just like have the option to disable Gravatar and then have the ability to change the default avatar without the need for a plugin.


As a business user, I don't want any avatars AT ALL, except on forum and / or marketing subdomains.
Avatars are for social networking aspects, NOT for non-marketing sites where people have specific jobs to do that don't require talking to one another and where sensitive data is stored. I am not the only person who feels like this. Plugins that disable author pages exist for a very similar reason.
So yes, I don't want WP (or anyone else) knowing exactly who visits which pages on my websites...
Please disable all calls to gravatar by default.

Elisabetta Carrara (Emc2)

On this I agree with @ALS. Business users very often sport informative sites, very few publish blogs. So avatar and author pages may not be relevant to them.
But there's a catch, we may aim CP at business users entirely, but we aren't able to foresee realistically who will going to use it and for what.
So I feel we need to set no gravatars by default, leaving hidden in some place the feature to switch them on at site owners' liking and convenience.


While I think disabling any external calls to Gravatar by default is perhaps a reasonable idea for any WordPress fork, I do think its one of the more universally useful projects that Automattic has maintained. Heck, even this Petitions website is using the Gravatar service to display user photos :)

For performance and privacy reasons, having it disabled by default is probably a useful idea to consider. But aggressively trying to eliminate Gravatar is probably not a good idea because the service is more popular than you might think... plus, it makes managing user photos much easier for many projects, and having to reverse engineer that and then tell users to install a plugin is pretty messy.

Imagine a WordPress or ClassicPress website that is being used to create a dating community (etc)... do you think tech savvy users are more comfortable uploading personal photos to your Bluehost cPanel server, or keeping a single profile picture on their Gravatar account that can be changed anytime?

I don't think Automattic deserves criticism on this one, frankly... it arguably improves privacy and control more than anything.

Laurence Bahiirwa

I see some comments in here about local avatars. Is it a better option to open a different petition for this? I see James in the second comment said there is nothing to do here because of the initial state.

James Nylen

>I see some comments in here about local avatars. Is it a better option to open a different petition for this?

Open to ideas about this but here is what I am thinking now: When we move Gravatar out to a core plugin we will need a fallback option (local avatars) for when users remove/disable Gravatar. So incorporating local avatars into core would be part of a complete implementation of this petition.

>I see James in the second comment said there is nothing to do here because of the initial state.

I was wrong about this - I didn't realize at the time that all current avatar options effectively call out to Gravatar.


+1 for pushing Gravatar to a core plugin and implementing simple local avatars in its place.

The Gravatar system is a major privacy leak and allows WordPress to track admin page usage.


Oh yes... get rid of this stupid thing. Visitors could upload locally their avatars. Avatars don't toccupy that much of space after all.


Yes get rid of Gravatars if this isn't already planned.