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beachdude25
Member

Is a profile picture required or optional

1.Is a profile picture required or optional?

2.Can I upload a temporarily blank picture?  

 

It seems I can't save my profile because it says something along the lines of "profile picture is required" before I can save the profile info.  It makes it seem like having a profile picture is required  : /

82 REPLIES 82

Hello,

 

This is a bit wrong as you see a person's face is their own. It should not be a requirement that we show our faces. Upwork is not letting me complete my profile as a freelancer because it requires a photograph of my face. However, while I wish to work, I wish to protect my privacy and the violation of which is quite literally represented by requireing me to put a photograph of my face up.

I have a case similar to the one posted and that I have a cronic reason of not posting my face. However, I am willing for any other verifcation methods, especially that I have been working in the past in international/multinational organizations like Etisalat Egypt and Orange Egypt,

Thanks to find a work-arround to omit the requirment of the photo.

Thanks

Hi Tarek,

 

Thanks for reaching out to us. Could you please send me a PM with more information so that I can assist you further?

 

Thank you.

~ Aleksandar
Upwork

You know, The internet is not a safe place to post your personal photo on. When you force people to post their photos, at least make sure to protect them. You shouldn't allow anyone to download or take a snapshot. I hope you take that into consideration.

re: "You shouldn't allow anyone to download or take a snapshot. I hope you take that into consideration."

 

That is impossible.

 

If you post your photo online, then people can download it or take a screenshot of it. People can share that photo with people all over the world. That is how the Internet works. Upwork has no power to change that.

"It must be an actual picture of your"
Then, why does uploading a photo of a random stuff work, but not an actual photo of my face?

re: "Then, why does uploading a photo of a random stuff work, but not an actual photo of my face?"

 

You are seeing automated algorithms that are not working correctly.

 

It is very easy for a human being to recognize a face. Babies can do it.

 

But it is difficult to make computers correctly identify that an image file is a face.

 

 

This is an unfair requirement. For remote work? Why does it matter what you look like. People should be judged on their quality of work not looks. This is very outdated and contributes to sexism, ageism and racism.

Hi SL,

 

Freelancers are required to add their profile picture to make sure that account owners are the ones offering their services through their profiles, and building trust between clients and freelancers. You might want to check out this article for more tips on choosing a profile photo. Thank you!

~ Joanne
Upwork

People can easily put a fake picture.  Its a stupid rule. Looks have nothing  to do with skill unless its a model/acting job.

Absolutely! 

re: "This is very outdated and contributes to sexism, ageism and racism."

 

By whom?

If you know of an Upwork user who is doing that, then tell us who it is.

Why is a photo needed?  What is the purpose of the photo?

I am now retired, but kept my identity undisclosed while I worked for the government, due to physical threats.  I would like to continue working into retirement, but I will not disclose my photo for predators to associate.  

 

Please explain exactly why the photo is needed, and do not quote the terms of service.

re: "Please explain exactly why the photo is needed, and do not quote the terms of service."

 

A photo is needed because if you don't have a photo, your freelancer account won't be approved.


Maybe you are 100% correct that it is not right to have to post your photo. If that is how you feel, then you should not try to use a website that requires a photo. You should only use the platforms that don't require photos.

hfspeegle
Member

Yes, a profile photo is required for freelancers. Otherwise, I wouldn't post my ugly mug on my profile 🙂 

re:  "I wish to protect my privacy and the violation of which is quite literally represented by requireing me to put a photograph of my face up."

 

Yasmin: I can assure you 100% that the purpose of Upwork is NOT to protect your privacy. That is the opposite of why freelancers use Upwork. We use Upwork in order to maximize our ability to find freelance jobs and be found by clients from all over the world.

What you look like shouldn't matter as long as you do the job.  Stupid rule.  People could put a fake picture anyway. 

shikadraws
Member

Upwork seemed like an amazing opportunity to reach out to clients more easily, but then I hit the wall of having to present a picture of myself. Here, in Canada, putting your picture in a curriculum vitae is considered a stupid move and it is highly discouraged considering it is not much more than putting yourself at risk because of discrimination. I myself know that my appearance could possibly affect a potential employer or client before they are properly aware of my skills. This could highly affect my success rate. Is there any chances Upwork could think over this issue again? Because until then, I can sadly not use its services.

Hi Jihad,

 

Thank you for your feedback, I will share it with our team. 

~ Goran
Upwork

Thanks Goran for your co-operation.

Hi Jihad, 

I understand how this can be frustrating on your end. I would like to clarify that on Section 1.6 Identity and Location Verification it says that - 

"When you register for an Account and from time to time thereafter, your Account will be subject to verification, including, but not limited to, validation against third-party databases or the verification of one or more official government or legal documents that confirm your identity, your location, and your ability to act on behalf of your business on Upwork... When requested, you must timely provide us with complete information about yourself and your business, which includes, but is not limited to, providing official government or legal documents."

 

In this help article, we have stated that the information on any of the documents you submit should match the information on your Upwork profile. As such, we will need to be able to match the identity documents will submit when asked to verify your account, with the information on your Upwork profile. I kindly request that you please upload a photo on your Upwork profile to be able to continue using Upwork.


~ Avery
Upwork

Hello Avery,

I apologize for the very late response as I had given up on Upwork these past few months.

In this section that you are presenting, nowhere does it say I have to show legal documents and other proofs of identity to the employers of the platform. The profile picture is not a legal document or a tangible proof of identity (as it can be faked on the internet) and I believe Upwork would not request such private documents except in exceptional circumstances (or it could be morally questionable).

 

There are a lot of ways to legally protect a customer which does not require a mandatory profile picture, yet very little ones for a discriminated seller. I deeply hope that you will consider this question seriously and objectively with your team as the relevancy of a freelancer's appearance is none compared to the quality of their work (but the reputation could suffer from it).

 

A customer will always find a freelancer, but a freelancer will not always find a customer.

Please protect your freelancers.

It's not for the fun of it that businesses in countries like Canada and the USA often turn down Curriculum Vitaes including pictures; it's awfully unnecessary.

 

Thank you,

Jihad

Other than revealing my age, sex, race, and whether I am ugly or beautiful - what is the point of not allowing a person to try to get work here unless they submit a photo? How does my ability to write copy relate to what I look like? Why are you enabling your clients to exercise racial and other forms of discrimination? I know you will say you have policies against racism that everyone has to agree with, but from a safety point of view it's best to engineer out the very possibility of such problems arising in the first place. In the UK CVs never have photos, in France they do. This is one way in which UK work culture is more advanced than that of France as people in the UK recognise that how someone looks does not relate to how they perform. Thinking that they do is just a modern form of phrenology. Another argument might be it 'projects personality' or 'helps build relationships' but again, this is relating a person's looks to their inner identity and if a person feels that that putting up a photo of themselves is something they want to do, why not just leave it to their personal choice? If a client is only willing to accept a person's work if they give this biological sample of themselves, then they can always choose not to use them if the sample is not provided. But Upwork insisting on it? How about clients who are blind? Why don't you ban them as they aren't able to view the photo? If you really do believe a business contract can only be legitimate if the imprints of one party's flesh are made on the functioning retinas of the other. I just don't get it.

Hi Matthew,

 

Freelancers are required to add their profile picture to make sure that account owners are the ones offering their services through their profiles, and building trust between clients and freelancers. 

Also, thank you for your feedback I will share it with our product managers. 

~ Goran
Upwork

Hi, Thanks for your reply. How does adding a photo confirm identity? No one knows what 'Matthew J' looks like. And people can take photos from anywhere online anyway. If it's an identity verification method it's extremely poor. A functional ID method would be for a team member to require a scan of a passport and maybe a rental contract or utility bill, or at least to ask for a photo of someone holding a tea cup and sticking out three fingers or something. That latter one wouldn't actually confirm who someone is but it would be better than saying 'Here's a photo, it's me, honest' and Upwork saying 'OK, we believe you, thank you'. All it would confirm is they have access to the email account that is registered. For the trust-building part, I don't feel like I trust you more because I can see a photograph of your face but if people did feel like that, I don't see why it can't be something voluntary. Let me turn this around and ask your if you have a way of checking that someone doesn't upload a fake photo? If users can use a fake photo without anyone knowing then I guess your system could play to their advantage. Matthew J (you'll have to take my word for it it's me)

You will have to do a video chat with an upwork employee who then is able to see if you match your picture. 

You would not complain about this if you knew how many scammers operate here. It helps to keep clients trusting the platform and posting jobs, which will benefit you too, if you are planning to apply to jobs. 

Hi, Thanks for your reply and I do understand that this is a challenge for Upwork and for clients alike. The video call with an employee is a great idea in some respects but I don't see how it protects against scamming as the ultimate way scamming would be policed is to have legal evidence that a person who claims to be someone is not that person. I can see how a video chat can confirm a person who claims to be the person represented in a photo is that person, but I can't see how that links a photo to a name and birth date, etc. The only way to link it to a name would be via a driver's licence or a passport and if that verification is deemed acceptable for an individual, I don't see how then passing on the photo to the client helps that process any further as the process is already complete. The only way I can see it having any kind of benefit is if someone claiming to be David White is rejected for being brown and having an Indian accent. Video chat combined with ID document scans, that would work. What there is now sounds like a fudge.


Matthew J wrote:

Hi, Thanks for your reply and I do understand that this is a challenge for Upwork and for clients alike. The video call with an employee is a great idea in some respects but I don't see how it protects against scamming as the ultimate way scamming would be policed is to have legal evidence that a person who claims to be someone is not that person. I can see how a video chat can confirm a person who claims to be the person represented in a photo is that person, but I can't see how that links a photo to a name and birth date, etc. The only way to link it to a name would be via a driver's licence or a passport and if that verification is deemed acceptable for an individual, I don't see how then passing on the photo to the client helps that process any further as the process is already complete. The only way I can see it having any kind of benefit is if someone claiming to be David White is rejected for being brown and having an Indian accent. Video chat combined with ID document scans, that would work. What there is now sounds like a fudge.


Yes, you will be asked to provide a legal document that includes a picture like a passport or driver's license, too. Believe it or not (I guessing not) but upwork has mastered the art of combining your profile information, picture, passport, and live video appearance to determine if you are who you claim you are. (And yes, there are fake passports, we all know that, so don't go there.)

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

I guess that the bottom line is that this is a process that Upwork of its freelancers, for whatever reasons.  If you don't agree, you are free to get work from other platforms that don't require photo verification. 

 

If I were applying for a contract job in person, the client would certainly see my face, hear my voice, and judge if I am who I purport to be.  I guess I don't see why Upwork can't try to protect its members similarly.

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi all,

 

I'd like to note that a few posts have been removed from this thread for including content which is or can be perceived as being disrespectful towards other members. Please keep in mind our Community Guidelines in your future posts, thank you for your awesome contribution!

Untitled

Thank you for all the helpful replies and most especially thank you Jihad as I felt very much alone in this! You state the case extremely eloquently.

hi mike why is it mandatory to update profile pic in upwork 

 

bina bisht

Hi Bina,

 

Upwork’s Terms of Use require that you accurately represent yourself. This includes having a profile picture that looks like you. For more information about profile pictures, you can check this help article.

 

If you are not able to add a photo that shows your face for religious reasons, let us know so that we can assist you further with that.

 

Thank you.

~ Aleksandar
Upwork

Other than religious purposes allowing hajib (and similiar material), is there any exception made for the photo requirement?

 

While I understand the requirement, and I would be more than happy to send upwork staff an actual photo of me as long as it is not made publicly available, for personal security reasons I have never allowed a realistic photo of myself to exist online.

 

While I would prefer not to go into details on why in a public place, for over 10 years I have used an alternative/artistic photo that was specially made for me, is there any posibility of being able to use this? 

Hi Troy,

 

I am afraid that we don't have any other exceptions other than the ones you just mentioned. Please, note that when you are asked to verify your identity on Upwork, we need to be able to confidently match your profile photo with a photo ID issued by a government entity. In this case, you will need to upload an actual photo of yourself, as noted in this help articlePlease upload a photo of yourself to avoid violating the Upwork Terms of Use.

 
Thank you.
~ Luiggi
Upwork

Once the photo/video verification is done, can I remove the photo?

 

See, I have no problem with providing a photo for verification purposes but what bothers me is that the photo is then up for anyone to see after which I have no control over who can copy it and use it elsewhere.

Hi Troy,

 

You need to have a profile picture. Please note that including a profile picture that does not accurately represent you in line with this policy is a violation of the Terms of Service and can result in warnings, holds, and/or account suspension. Users who violate the Terms of Service, including this policy, can fully lose the ability to use the Upwork platform. For more information, please refer to the TOS and this help article.

 

Thank you.

~ Aleksandar
Upwork

I was wondering about the same as a newbie then came across this post. It's just absurd they want the whole biodata of freelancers while clients are allowed to hide not only their photos but also names, so many scammy clients but apparently they are okay with it.. even weirder considering this platform is quite popular. 

I hope someone comes up with a better substitute soon.

Hi Megha,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us and sharing your feedback. I will be sure to share it with our team for further review and consideration. 

 

Please know that we routinely ask freelancers and clients to verify their identities to help protect our community and ensure that Upwork stays safe and secure. This is covered by the Upwork Terms of Service. You can find more information here

 

~ Nikola
Upwork

My profile picture is just a picture of me standing against a wall while wearing a business suit and looking slightly off-center from the camera. There's no logos, no text, nothing offensive in the image. I've had the same image in my profile for over a year while my account sat idle, and only today after I did my first job did the website start telling me something is wrong with the image. I've tried re-uploading it and moving it around, but nothing fixes it. How do I contact customer support and talk to someone who can do something about this?