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The danger of having your face as your avatar (And giving away more personal information with it!)

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avatar Exurbia
Retired Moderator
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
1,199
Hey guys. It's been a while since I've written a blog, and if you've known me for a while, you know that I only post about topics that haven't been done before, and the word count has to be over 1000 words. So, you're in for a long read. And sorry, no tl;dr. I don't do those.



Now, as a moderator, I see many people every day, and also, many of those member’s faces. No, I do not stalk people, or ask them to send a picture of themselves to me. In fact, they are willingly showing their face to all of PlanetMinecraft and the internet. Now I see males and females of many ages, but what concerns me the most is the females aged 10-17 who have a ‘selfie’ as their avatar. This is very unsafe for everyone, as you could be targeted.

So, why do people do it? Honestly, I don’t know. We can only guess. It was a common thing for females to have ‘scene’ girls as their avatars, or even pictures of themselves as their avatars to attract males to their profiles. This was very common on PlanetMinecraft a year ago. I remember this one member in particular, who would always get her skins on the popular reel because she had a picture of herself (and it was a very revealing picture too) for her avatar. An article from The Daily Mail.co.uk about women sharing pictures of themselves on Facebook states “Women who base their self-worth on their appearance use Facebook to feel better about themselves, scientists believe.” They also state” Dr Stefanone said: 'Those whose self-esteem is based on public-based contingencies - such as others' approval, physical appearance and outdoing others in competition - were more involved in online photo sharing.” So, even though this study was more about Facebook, it can still be applied to PMC. But, this obviously doesn’t apply to every female on the site, and I’m not saying it does. And this blog isn’t just directed at females also. There are many males who I’ve seen putting themselves as their avatar. Another reason people could do it is because they feel it is safe enough to put their face on a site with over 1.3 million members on it, which is also open to the whole world. Newsflash, not everyone on PMC is as friendly as you think they are. There could be pedophiles out there or people who just want to give you hell.

Why shouldn’t you do it? Well, including the many dangers of the internet, it is also against the rules to give away personally identifiable information. Rule 3 (in the old rules, and somewhere in the new ones I cannot find it) states that you are not allowed to ask for personally identifiable information, or give it away. This includes your full name, your exact location, and an image of yourself. I’d also like to remind you that no moderator will ask you for any of this information, we are very concerned for the safety of our members, and this is why we have the rule in place. Now, I’m probably sounding like a mom now, but you can’t ignore the fact that even though PMC seems safe, you still don’t know who could be talking to you or looking at your profile. But, you are allowed to share your first name, age, general area (country and/or state if you feel comfortable) and your skype, steam, email, etc.

Now, I’ll keep this part short and sweet. Well, actually it isn’t that sweet. It’s actually a very bad, and horrifying topic. Pedophilia is bad, and it can be common on the internet. If you are a young boy or girl (it doesn’t matter), or even a teenager you can be targeted. Giving away your name, age, general location (country is alright, but city is a definite no) and an image of your face, it won’t be hard for someone to find you. Trust me, there are many cases where this has happened, and I don’t want to go into it because this is not a very pleasing topic for me, and seems a little taboo for PMC. If you have a Facebook too, and your profile is practically open for anyone to see, then you are pretty vulnerable. Once someone has all that information, they will find your Facebook, and they will find you. So, this is also just a little reminder to you if you have a Facebook (I don’t, I deleted mine over 2 years ago) please check your privacy settings. And if someone is asking you for personal information, or you have a bad feeling about them, do not hesitate to shoot a moderator a private message. We are here to help.

But not everyone is a pedophile! There are also some not-very-nice characters out there too. Now, you’ve all heard of cyber-bullying right? Of course you have, and there is a chance you have been cyber-bullied directly, or indirectly once in your life. Despite the potential damage of cyber bullying, it is alarmingly common among adolescents and teens. According to Cyber bullying statistics from the i-SAFE foundation, “over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying. More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyberthreats online, and over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet. Well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyber bullying occurs.” But what does this have to do with giving away personal information? Well not only pedophiles can find out where you live, your phone number, etc. other people can do it too. If they find out information about you they could create rumours, or spread your phone number around to others for people to make incriminating calls to you and your family. You could be harassed, black mailed, and even hurt. But that does seem a little extreme… let’s stick with something we could all do, if we really wanted. If people had a picture of you, they could impersonate you, or even pick on you for it. You will not get along with everyone, and unfortunately, there will be people around who dislike you. But there is a way around that! If you are being bullied on PMC, you can report them, or tell a moderator if you are being bullied via PM or comments. You can also block users too. We do not take kindly to people who don’t want to be kind. And if the bullying gets a little more extreme, like if they start sending you incriminating calls, you can phone your local police station.

Together, what does this all mean? Well it means bad stuff can happen. I’m not forcing you to change your avatar if you do have it as an image of yourself, (and if you do, please tell me why in the comments, I’m actually quite curious) I hope I distilled fear in the backs of your minds, stirring up chaos and dark thoughts. Nah, I’m kidding. I’m just concerned for people’s safety, and I hope to convince them that it is not safe to have an image of yourself as your avatar. Please, be vigilant. And please, be safe. Just because you think it ‘won’t happen to you’ doesn't mean it can’t.
Tags

102 replies

1
05/19/2014 12:43 pm
Level 37 : Artisan Unicorn
Monster Unicorns
I read all of it and I think its very much true! Thanks for informing everyone about it!
1
05/18/2014 4:09 pm
Level 29 : Expert Skinner
Nikster31
What's so wrong with it? My name is ******** ******* and I live at ***-** ***st street at ***** avenue. Oh yeah, my house number is **-***.
1
02/16/2014 6:32 pm
Level 6 : Apprentice Network
Forever-Undead
Oh great so people can see our face on SKYPE Instead stalk our twitters and steam for Harassment our devianarts all with Our pictures on those instead? Not a Very good job in my personal opinion and you have geo tagging on Pictures they take of not even themselves.
1
01/11/2014 8:40 am
Level 11 : Journeyman Scribe
Nyh
Hehehe i don't get it .3.
1
01/11/2014 6:55 am
Level 15 : Journeyman Cowboy
_tay
gonna bump this :))))omg shes hot
DODOXOOXOXOXOXOXOXOX
>:)
1
12/30/2013 11:38 pm
Level 55 : Grandmaster Prince
MayuriYandere
Worth the read.
Also I'm surprised you didn't add into males getting targeted a bit more because it seems that people are turning a blind eye to the males being targeted.
1
12/30/2013 11:51 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
I did mention this blog is aimed at all genders. Although, most of the time it is common for young girls to be targeted. And I also mentioned I'm not singling girls out either.
1
12/31/2013 9:29 am
Level 55 : Grandmaster Prince
MayuriYandere
yeah you are right on the part with girls being targeted.
1
12/23/2013 9:49 pm
Level 28 : Expert Engineer
Jmal116
While I can agree most of what you say here about giving out personal information, it seems like getting all of this just from putting your face on the internet is a bit extreme. I can't simply look at your face and know just from that picture things like where you live or what your name is. And even if I could, having your face on your profile wouldn't be that different from having people see as as you walked down the street. These people even have the advantage of being able to follow you home (if they really wanted to do that, for whatever reason), and from there they would be able to figure out almost whatever they wanted.

While I suppose there is usually some kind a slippery slope from putting your face out to revealing more personal information, and the people who do one sometimes do the other, I can't help but feel like the entire thing is just a bit stretched out of proportion, and that if you're careful there really is no danger.
1
12/23/2013 10:17 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
Yeah, well if people do have a facebook too (most do) people can simply reverse search the image on google, and it could pull up some photos from your facebook, depending on your privacy settings and the images you've posted (it's also likely people have posted the same image on facebook too). They can also use pipl.com to find any other information or accounts you have on the internet. It may seem extreme, but it's better safe than sorry. You don't want to be murdered along with your family just because some psycho found some information about you? And a lot of people are murdered by total strangers because they just want to see if they can get away with murder.
And yeah, maybe I did get carried away a bit, but I'm a very paranoid person (I'm working on changing that), but it can also help convince people too. You don't see commercials pointing out all the downsides to their products, or just saying it how it is. They have to convince people that their product is better than others. But if you are careful, you will be safe. But a lot of people aren't, especially young girls, who are often targeted.
1
12/23/2013 10:25 pm
Level 28 : Expert Engineer
Jmal116
I didn't know that you could reverse search an image like that, I guess I'm not very current where technology is concerned :P

However just to clarify what I was saying, I wasn't arguing so much that it was impossible for people to get this information from the internet if they tried hard enough, but that the internet isn't the only way that people can get the information. Granted while it's not exactly smart to risk your safety more by posting info or pictures like that, people who are dedicated to doing something terrible like murder won't be deterred just because they couldn't find your info online.
1
12/23/2013 10:36 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
Yeah, I understand what you are saying. There are many dangers irl too.
1
12/23/2013 8:33 pm
Level 50 : Grandmaster Baconator
DeerLilac
Most of the info I use isn't very descriptive or real... I never use my real name, face, location, gender (Even though you'd think it's obvious some people still get it wrong), and I don't ever give out my age.. In fact it's kinda funny when people just guess.
1
12/23/2013 7:47 pm
Level 39 : Artisan Scribe
nightmayer19
Hmm... I'm not entirely sure why I use my actual picture... x'D I suppose it's just out of habit :/ So there's a face to my 'name' :o Or maybe I'm one of those girls that seek out approval from complete strangers... I have low self esteem. ._. *Shrugs* I really dunno. Diamond anyways! :D
1
12/23/2013 10:20 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
Well, judging by your picture, I'd say you are old enough to handle yourself, and probably not be a prime target for pedophiles. I think they'd rather go for the younger girls.
(Also you shouldn't have low self esteem, you are quite pretty dear! c: Oh look, you're getting approval from strangers, hahah!)
Thanks though!
1
12/23/2013 10:26 pm
Level 39 : Artisan Scribe
nightmayer19
Ehehehe :P A lot of people peg me as sixteen ; ^; I get carded a lot at clubs and bars, so it's nice to hear that I look *old enough*! :3
Awesome blog regardless! I feel like a lot of members need to brush up on their pedophile prevention-- this would really help :( It's definitely a scary subject :c
1
12/23/2013 7:28 pm
Level 21 : Expert Mage
Skylar1541+
I fake my information, no one on some of my accounts don't know if I am female or male, but here I kinda stated that I am female on here, not sure it matters though.
1
12/23/2013 10:20 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
Nah, probably not. I think most people are used to seeing females on PMC by now. Not really a rare occurrence anymore
1
12/24/2013 11:49 am
Level 21 : Expert Mage
Skylar1541+
It was a rare occurrence?!?
1
12/24/2013 6:20 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
Yeah, like 2 years ago I was one of the only females here. I think most females were afraid to say they were female because guys used to be really sexist, or hit on the girls. But in time they kind of got used to having girls on the site and don't really care anymore.
1
12/24/2013 8:18 pm
Level 21 : Expert Mage
Skylar1541+
Oh, weird. I normally disguise as a male, it's really funny because guys call be 'dude' and 'bro'. xD It's hilarious and they don't even know who they're talking to. I was considering doing that on here but I don't think it really matters because it's cool to be like the only girl in my whole class that has the computer version of Minecraft.
1
01/01/2014 10:08 pm
Level 50 : Grandmaster Artist
Miss Shadowz
me too
1
12/23/2013 7:05 pm
Level 7 : Apprentice Network
+mypuppysaber+
so like my picture is my husky and I was wondering if that meant someone could find him, cuz im not trying to have someone come to my house and do, well, you know.... things... to him...

also seeing's ure a moderator u know of any good adventure maps, cuz I have a week off work and im really bored lol
1
12/23/2013 7:07 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
No... I don't think people will find you hah.
Also no I don't know any good maps, sorry
1
12/23/2013 7:21 pm
Level 7 : Apprentice Network
+mypuppysaber+
and im more worried about my dog then me, because of the b**$tality people

and i was also just kidding about that lmao

n kk its cool
1
12/23/2013 5:43 pm
Level 5 : Apprentice Network
lolartiom
Very true
1
12/23/2013 5:36 pm
Level 34 : Artisan Nerd
TechGuy473
Soooooooooooooooooooo True
1
12/23/2013 2:44 pm
Level 25 : Expert Crafter
kayrox107
My name is Katie :o
1
12/23/2013 12:32 pm
Level 37 : Artisan Taco
-Rusty-
Nice blog, get's people thinking at the end...

But I have no face... So what's to hide...
*ninja vanish*
1
12/23/2013 9:20 am
Level 51 : Grandmaster Cowboy
SnargleBlargle
"But not everyone is a pedophile!"

Did it for me.
1
12/23/2013 4:16 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
What do you mean?
1
12/23/2013 4:19 pm
Level 51 : Grandmaster Cowboy
SnargleBlargle
It made me laugh for some reason.
1
12/23/2013 4:22 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
But it's true... not everyone is a pedophile, no matter what the police, your parents, and the church tells you.
1
12/23/2013 4:28 pm
Level 51 : Grandmaster Cowboy
SnargleBlargle
I know it's true, I just find it odd that I laughed.
1
12/23/2013 3:31 am
Level 40 : Master Artist
BrokenEye
Meh, the NSA already knows who I am
1
12/23/2013 4:19 am
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
They know almost everyone.
1
12/23/2013 12:31 pm
Level 37 : Artisan Taco
-Rusty-
They don't know who I am, mwahaha
1
12/22/2013 7:10 pm
Level 21 : Expert Dragonborn
JWMAN
Just because you're Orlando Bloom doesn't mean you can bypass these rules.

( ;

Nice blog,
JWMAN123
1
12/22/2013 7:14 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
Nooooo he's my boyfriend! D: Why does no one understand that?
1
12/22/2013 7:17 pm
Level 21 : Expert Dragonborn
JWMAN
Ah, I see. Must be the luscious blonde hair that attracted you. ( ;
1
12/22/2013 7:19 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
Yes. c:
1
12/22/2013 4:48 pm
Level 55 : Grandmaster Terraformer
Reer123
Nice Blog! lol for the first picture xD
1
12/22/2013 6:34 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
Thanks haha :p
1
12/22/2013 4:18 pm
Level 48 : Master Pirate
Star
Great blog, well done.

I really haven't understood why some girls post pictures of themselves as avatars until now, so thank you for helping me realise the logic of some women on the Internet.

NOW TO POST A SELFIE IN MY BIO//shot
1
12/22/2013 3:19 pm
Level 27 : Expert Musician
Autumn Fyre
I agree with my whole heart and soul. :)
1
12/22/2013 1:06 pm
Level 39 : Artisan Dragon
CrafterDragon
I don't think it's that bad on PMC. I mean of course it's bad, some one can come to your house and... (Not going into further detail) but when I say it's not bad on PMC I means there isn't much of it However many people say their real name, age, and personal details.
1
12/22/2013 6:37 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
Yeah, I've said my first name and country, not too worried about anyone finding me. Plus I keep my PMC separate from my Tumblr, so no one will ever find that. (I get a little more personal on tumblr haha). I realize that it's not as dangerous as posting it on a public chat site, or 4chan even, but anyone can view PMC, so it's better safe than sorry I suppose!
1
12/22/2013 11:45 am
Level 71 : Legendary Hero
Creative-Node
your legolas!
1
12/22/2013 6:37 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Elf
Exurbia
No, he's my boyfriend silly :p
1
12/22/2013 11:11 am
Level 25 : Expert Artist
IceCream_Sundae
I know it's dangerous, but my avatar is totally (yeah, no sarcasm here) my real face. It's not from some famous movie, called "V for Vendetta" or anything. Nope. I go around wearing a mask all day.

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