Hiding my face on the internet

Two unrelated events — the birth of someone’s baby close to me and a site that generates random ugly avatars — led me to rethink the exposure to which I submit, almost always voluntarily, on the internet.

My face is in several places. Back there, before the facial recognition algorithms and the generative AIs, I thought it would be good to show the face to pass… credibility? Confidence? I don’t know. Maybe it wasn’t even a necessity as it’s today, because we didn’t have AIs that wrote convincing gibberish. Simpler times.

I started thinking about removing some of the photos from my face from the internet. I deleted some photos of obvious places that are under my control, such as social media and my website, and found that it takes time for search engines and some platforms to “notice” the update or even delete the images. I was reminded that, also in a very literal sense, the internet doesn’t forget.

Then I realized that I posted dozens of videos on YouTube showing my face. Maybe it’s a lost case.

Still, I decided to use a silly avatar where possible: an orange ball with a smiling face. You can see it on this site’s footer.

Before that, I tried to use one of the ugly avatars I mentioned up there. I replaced my picture with it on Telegram and right after I got an email from someone thinking my account was hacked.

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