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Identify Verification/Profile picture Issue

Ace Contributor
Damion M Member Since: Dec 26, 2015
11 of 16

@Valeria K wrote:

Hi Damion,


I understand your concern and appreciate your feedback. However, our intention is to build transparent and trustworthy community on Upwork and freelancers are required to have clear and professional profile pictures. Additionally, multiple tests and research in the past have shown that freelancers with profile pictures are more likely to be hired by clients.


Hello Valeria,


Thank you for responding. And I understand the need for transparency but it can be achieved in far less intrusive ways. Profile pictures are just one metric/indicator, a lot more goes into winning over a client; tailoring your proposal to match their requirements, nailing the interview after hours of back and forth; its a complicated dance and while a picture is a good way to kick the process off, its just one of many avenues. For example, I frequent sites specific to software development platforms and I've brought clients to Upwork through those venues (Google+ communities for example). 

This is probably a lot to ask but if at all possible could you pass this thread on to someone you believe can influence these policy decisions, just so they have another perspective on the issue.

Again, thank you for addressing my concerns. It means a lot.


Ace Contributor
Damion M Member Since: Dec 26, 2015
12 of 16

I am still very much against the idea of mandatory profile pictures, but in a moment of weakness I acquiesed and attempted to upload a profile picture as instructed by support in order to take the next steps to verify my identity. I was met with the following dialog:





So apparently in order to verify my identity I need to have a profile picture uploaded, but before I can upload a profile picture my identity needs to be verified? At this point I don't know whether to laugh or cry, its the perfect catch-22. Its seems this is no-win situation for me but I'm not about to give up just yet.

I'm falling back on my original position but I'm going to try for a different tactic. I really believe Identity Verification and mandatory profile pictures are separate issues. I am in full agreement with the former as long as that data is kept closed as part of Upworks private records. And to reiterate, I am very much against the latter - this is a privacy issue and making profile pictures mandatory does impinge on ones right to privacy. Once a user's identity is verified all that's needed is an icon or text stating that a user's identity has been vetted. 

I had a support ticket for this issue, however, polite though they were, the support staff can do little to help me. Their role is to enforce policy and I can't honestly expect them to make exceptions. They may be able to pass feedback further up the chain but I doubt what I have to say will reach the right ears.

So I am going to try to appeal to the department heads directly, more specifically Elizabeth Tse, Senior VP of Operations. She oversees trust and safety, customer success, global payment and customer support at Upwork. My aim here is open a channel of communication where clients and contractors can address issues and affect policy.


I'm only one guy though so I doubt I'll be successful. But If they are others here who feel the same, then reach out and state your own case, if not about this issue then about whatever issue that concerns you. Just be respectfull in the process. Ok, I'm off to write my appeal. Wish me luck!  

Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
13 of 16



Please, use this link to reach out to the team and they'll assist you with both updating your picture and verifying your profile. It looks like on July 14 you have already reached out to them and the team was assisting you, however, you didn't proceed with updating your picture.


We'll also share your feedback with the team.



~ Valeria
Ace Contributor
Damion M Member Since: Dec 26, 2015
14 of 16

Thank you for responding Valerie but I truly cannot get behind this mandatory profile picture policy.

Maybe its serendipity that the system locked me out when I made the attempt to upload a picture prompting me to take my current course of action. I don't believe clients and contractors have enough of a voice when it comes to policy decisions. Its not the fault of the support staff, you've done everything within your power to help, but this is a policy issue and if I want that to change I have to talk to those who can change it. At least try to anyway.

If its any consolation the members of the support team handled the situation professionally to the best of their ability. You can quote me on that if need be.

Active Member
Muhammed Q Member Since: May 25, 2018
15 of 16

HI Good Morning

How to fix identity could not be verified in upwork 

Even my pic is original

Bojan S Moderator Member Since: Mar 9, 2018
16 of 16

Hi Muhammed,


I've requested that one of our agents reach out to you directly to help you with the verification process. You should be hearing from them very shortly, thank you.

~ Bojan