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Why do all default avatars look like swastikas? RRS feed

Answers

  • We investigated the above issue and identified a tweak to the algorithm to prevent generation of swastika-like identicons.

    This fix has been rolled out to all our environments and majority of the swastika-like identicons are no longer available.


    Husain Shambhoora (@husains) | Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
    • Proposed as answer by Whosane002 Thursday, February 4, 2010 5:07 AM
    • Marked as answer by Whosane002 Thursday, February 4, 2010 5:08 AM
    Thursday, February 4, 2010 5:07 AM

All replies

  • It's not as random as you make out though - they are all based on (I don't know the proper terminaology I'm afraid!) this 4 way rotational symmetry, with a clockwise "offshoot" from the each of teh 4 main "stems".  This will naturally make them look like swastikas - much more so than snowflakes, which have reflectional symmetry!
    Friday, October 16, 2009 11:42 AM
  • Hi

    Perhaps everyone should take a step back and do some research before making comments. These forums serve a worldwide audience.

    Swastika - Wikipedia

    Regards,


    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    Saturday, October 17, 2009 10:33 AM
  • I have to say, as the starter of the thread, I'm a bit concrened by replies such as Hans' and Ronnie's.  You can't use the fact that a Swastika isn't offensive to everybody in the world to justify its use.  I'm not even sure it's legal in Germanny... do you want users over there to be arrested for using the forum?! Before you start, yes, I'm aware that's not actually going to happen (I think!), but I think it illustrates well the level of offense teh symbol still carries in the West.

    As derosnec says, this is indeed an unbelievable blunder - or at least I hope it is.
    Monday, October 19, 2009 9:53 AM
  • Your post are being reported as abusive.. Someone must really hate you.. hehe... you probably ruined that guy's day...

    Why not just change that random pattern generator whatever it is...
    Tuesday, October 27, 2009 1:45 AM
  • To be honest, I'm surprised that one of the following hasn't happened already:

    - A decent response from an MSFT representative
    - This thread being locked

    Look, I don't disagree with you, they do look like swastikas which is exactly why I changed mine. I can understand why many could find this offensive - I'm Polish. I'm sure you are aware that the swastika is an age old symbol and means something quite different to what it's commonly associated with i.e. Hitler and Nazis, and was around way before he adopted it as his symbol.

    The point I'm trying to make is, you've voiced your opinion, I would expect you to be heard and your persistent posting of new variants of the avatar is futile. It does nothing to further your argument. These are images that are rendered using some simple math but are otherwise random. Hence you could be here for a very long time posting new variants. It still won't make your argument any more valid than what it already is.

    So, let me chime in my support for this change. MS please change your random avatar generator to use something other than:
    4 way rotational symmetry, with a clockwise "offshoot" from the each of teh 4 main "stems".
    Otherwise all your generated images will continue to be comparable to swastikas which many find offensive.


    Personally, I don't find them offensive. They're just junk images and not particularly pretty to look at anyway. This should hopefully encourage people to change theirs.
    Adam Tappis. (MCSD VB6 & .NET, MCDBA SQL 2000)
    Friday, October 30, 2009 1:58 PM
  • There:



    My apologies if any individuals or political organizations found this proposed avatar to be offensive.
    Tuesday, November 3, 2009 2:55 AM
  • Why identicons: 

    We used to have the same default image for each user and it did not show any level of uniqueness when viewing a list of users.  Here is another thread for a discussion on this point http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/reportabug/thread/bb1bf4fc-5862-409e-84fd-7df69c47ca39

     

    How they are generated:

    Identicons are generated based on the users Windows Live ID so each user’s indenticon will always be unique. 

      

    Action items:
    -          We have added a task to our backlog to investigate a fix so that the pattern is not divided by 4.

    -          It is our recommendation for people who do not like their indenticon to change it to another image, which the profile UX supports.


    Senior Program Manager Lead
    Social Bookmarks, Profile, Forums, Gallery and Search
    • Proposed as answer by Brian Borg Wednesday, December 2, 2009 11:49 PM
    • Marked as answer by Whosane002 Thursday, February 4, 2010 5:08 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by taylorparsons Friday, February 5, 2010 8:55 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by taylorparsons Friday, February 5, 2010 8:55 PM
    Wednesday, December 2, 2009 10:49 PM
  • My basic rights as a human being are being violated. This forum essentially supports Nazi ideals.

    If you don't like the avatar that was computer-generated for you, exercise your right to change it.  Here are the steps:
    1. Log in to the MSDN site
    2. Navigate to http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Profile/en-US/Settings/
    3. Under My Avatar, click the "Choose File" button
    4. For the "File name", either:
      • Navigate through your computer's file system to find a JPG, GIF or BMP file no larger than 1 MB that you prefer to represent you
      • Alternately, paste in the URL of a royalty-free JPG, GIF, or BMP image no larger than 1 MB that you found on internet, from a site such as http://www.knoxing.com/seo-avatars/ .  An example of such a URL is: http://www.knoxing.com/wp-content/gallery/blog-avatars/thumbs/thumbs_ElmoDance.gif
    5. Click the Open button
    6. Click the Save Profile button.



    Terri Morton
    • Edited by tmorton Wednesday, December 30, 2009 1:46 AM made hyperlink
    Wednesday, December 30, 2009 1:46 AM
  • hi ,

    as a jew i think this is a blown up crazy not worth it talk , .... i am not offended by the avatars , more offense towards certain posters , ....

    have a nice day and happy new year
    http://www.microsoft.com/security + http://www.microsoft-hohm.com/default.aspx + http://www.getpivot.com/ + http://photosynth.net/ + http://seadragon.com/ + http://blogs.technet.com/mmpc + http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/genuinewindows/default.aspx + http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx + https://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/Shared/Resources.aspx#rss + http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/ + http://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/center/whatsnew.htm + Plagued by the Privacy Center? Learn how to remove it > http://blogs.msdn.com/securitytipstalk/ + http://blogs.technet.com/ecostrat/ + http://memory.dataram.com/products-and-services/software/ramdisk + 50 Windows Tips > http://windowsvj.com/wpblog/2009/12/windowsvj-xclusive-release-windows-7-tips-tricks-ebook/
    Sunday, January 3, 2010 7:55 PM
  • hi ,

    as a jew i think this is a blown up crazy not worth it talk , .... i am not offended by the avatars , more offense towards certain posters , ....

    have a nice day and happy new year



    Dabur, when I see things like    and  swastika   and anti-semetic posts like this being hosted on a Microsoft website of all places, I am offended.


    Anybody with any common decency would be.

    Suggestions to change one's own avatar, like Taylorparsons' and Tmorton's, that only adds insult to injury.  Obviously, that is just a shifting of responsibility for something that should not exist in the first place.  It solves nothing for a person who is insulted by another person's swastika avatar.

    The host of this website cannot possibly be unaware of how profoundly offensive these nazi symbols are.  I can only conclude after months of ignored complaints that they are intentional.



    hi ,


    your name has a bigger impact , .... the swastika is an old symbol , the nazi's abused it but should we now ban every body from india who loves the symbol in his religion ?

    i seriouly doubt that its intentional , feel free to ask any of the owners , ... or you could file a complaint with the anti defamation league

    oh yes , its by mistake i clicked your post as answer

    have a nice day
    http://www.microsoft.com/security + http://www.microsoft-hohm.com/default.aspx + http://www.getpivot.com/ + http://photosynth.net/ + http://seadragon.com/ + http://blogs.technet.com/mmpc + http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/genuinewindows/default.aspx + http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx + https://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/Shared/Resources.aspx#rss + http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/ + http://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/center/whatsnew.htm + Plagued by the Privacy Center? Learn how to remove it > http://blogs.msdn.com/securitytipstalk/ + http://blogs.technet.com/ecostrat/ + http://memory.dataram.com/products-and-services/software/ramdisk + 50 Windows Tips > http://windowsvj.com/wpblog/2009/12/windowsvj-xclusive-release-windows-7-tips-tricks-ebook/
    Monday, January 4, 2010 4:26 AM
  • My experience

    I think most people with the swastika avatars are probably not aware of it, at least that's how it was with me.

    I never really looked at my default red avatar that looked like a swastika. However, when I saw this thread and the other one like it, I changed it right away. I wanted the attention to go to the content of my post and not on my avatar.

    Suggestions

    So, until the problem can be solved, maybe a notice about potentially offensive avatars during the sign up process will lessen the amount of offensive default avatars. If possible, maybe have more than one default avatar that they can choose from. Better yet, you can say how "cool" it is to upload their own avatars. Okay, I'm not in marketing or sales, but you get the idea.

    What's really important

    I don't know the numbers, but if the swastika avatars are taking attention away from other questions, answers and discussions in the forums, or are offending users that are posting questions and answers, then I don't think that is a negligible problem with the forum.

    Nobody wants the avatars to take the focus away from the questions and answers... Well, maybe unless it's a really, really cool avatar.

    Thanks for listening,
    Francis

    Monday, January 4, 2010 6:28 AM

  • Dubar, by your reasoning, that deviantart image (and many similar on the www) is merely the overlay of two endeared religious icons.

    But you acknowledge it is vulgar that somebody would deface the Microsoft Windows tradmark with a nazi swastika.

    It is equally vulgar that Microsoft would deface their own website with those same nazi symbols.


    reality check , they dont , ... its a coincidence , do you know what that means ? ask any owner !
    http://www.microsoft.com/security + http://www.microsoft-hohm.com/default.aspx + http://www.getpivot.com/ + http://photosynth.net/ + http://seadragon.com/ + http://blogs.technet.com/mmpc + http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/genuinewindows/default.aspx + http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx + https://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/Shared/Resources.aspx#rss + http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/ + http://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/center/whatsnew.htm + Plagued by the Privacy Center? Learn how to remove it > http://blogs.msdn.com/securitytipstalk/ + http://blogs.technet.com/ecostrat/ + http://memory.dataram.com/products-and-services/software/ramdisk + 50 Windows Tips > http://windowsvj.com/wpblog/2009/12/windowsvj-xclusive-release-windows-7-tips-tricks-ebook/ + http://windowsteamblog.com/
    Monday, January 4, 2010 10:44 AM
  • hi ,

    why was this moved ?

    was it not good enough where it was ? and why the msdn forums ?

    It is obvious to even me.

    It is because the default avitar is part of the default profile, and this is  Profile Feedback, not forum feedback.

    Personally, I see it in Technet, as: Resources for IT Professionals > Forums Home > Feedback and Discussions Forums > MSDN, TechNet, and Expression Profile Feedback > Why do all default avatars look like swastikas
    Wednesday, February 3, 2010 4:01 AM
  • hi ,

    why was this moved ?

    was it not good enough where it was ? and why the msdn forums ?

    It is obvious to even me.

    It is because the default avitar is part of the default profile, and this is  Profile Feedback, not forum feedback.

    Personally, I see it in Technet, as: Resources for IT Professionals > Forums Home > Feedback and Discussions Forums > MSDN, TechNet, and Expression Profile Feedback > Why do all default avatars look like swastikas

    hi ,

    like anyone will change it , .... all of a sudden there is a rise of Indian mods moving threads and marking answers in threads that are a few weeks to months old for no reason , ...

    i dont see it in technet , or i could go there and then look for this , ... i really doubt it will make any difference at al , ...

    have a nice afternoon
    Scan with OneCare + 50 Windows 7even Tips + Plagued by the Privacy Center? REMOVE IT + Threat Research & Response Blog + Sysinternals Live tools + TRANSLATOR+ Photosynth + Microsoft Security + Microsoft SUPPORT + PIVOT from Live Labs + Microsoft Live Labs + Office 2010 beta + Get Windows LIVE!
    Wednesday, February 3, 2010 3:38 PM
  • We investigated the above issue and identified a tweak to the algorithm to prevent generation of swastika-like identicons.

    This fix has been rolled out to all our environments and majority of the swastika-like identicons are no longer available.


    Husain Shambhoora (@husains) | Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
    • Proposed as answer by Whosane002 Thursday, February 4, 2010 5:07 AM
    • Marked as answer by Whosane002 Thursday, February 4, 2010 5:08 AM
    Thursday, February 4, 2010 5:07 AM
  • We investigated the above issue and identified a tweak to the algorithm to prevent generation of swastika-like identicons.

    This fix has been rolled out to all our environments and majority of the swastika-like identicons are no longer available.


    Husain Shambhoora (@husains) | Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation

    hi ,

    lets hope someone is not offended by lets say a sunwheel or other shape that is chosen , ....

    i have never taken any offense in it , but thanks for fixing it

    maybe lose the thread now that its fixed ?

    have a nice day

    Scan with OneCare + 50 Windows 7even Tips + Plagued by the Privacy Center? REMOVE IT + Threat Research & Response Blog + Sysinternals Live tools + TRANSLATOR+ Photosynth + Microsoft Security + Microsoft SUPPORT + PIVOT from Live Labs + Microsoft Live Labs + Office 2010 beta + Get Windows LIVE!
    Thursday, February 4, 2010 4:55 PM