Samizdata - 1:02 pm on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)
I would not object to an avatar in a member's profile - I never look at profiles anyway.
But it is wildly optimistic to assume that everyone would upload a bona fide photograph of themselves, or that the overworked moderators would not be called upon to arbitrate on whether any particular image is acceptable - and we are talking about images here, not photographs.
An image can be anything - not least an advertisement - and different people find all sorts of images inappropriate or offensive. Complaints and disputes would begin on day one.
Even if there was a policy that insisted on a genuine personal mugshot there is no way to validate identity or enforce the rule. And nothing useful would be added to the site.
With respect to my WebmasterWorld colleagues, I have no interest whatsoever in what you look like.
I am only interested in what you write, all else is trivia.