Online, people create alter egos. New identities are born out of names and avatars. They also bare their real identities. And your avatar or your profile pic is causing others to silently judge you.
According to a study by online reputation management company Reputation 24/7, it takes people five-and-a-half minutes to decide if they like someone online. In comparison, it takes people nine-and-a-half minutes to decide that face-to-face.
Online impressions are made primarily by what views are expressed as well as what photos are used in online profiles, whether that be in forums, here on Kotaku, or on social networking sites like Facebook or even Twitter.
In Reputation 24/7's study, profile photos that apparently create a negative impression include pictures of cars, bikini shots, pictures in which you are drunk or are holding an alcoholic beverage, photos of you embracing your partner, or even photos of animated characters.
Photos that create good impressions online supposedly include wedding pictures, photos of you with "sensible looking friends" or photographs of you with children. While the report doesn't explicitly state this, I'd imagine photos of you feeding animals and doing volunteer work would also make a good online impression.
This is nice and all. But try waltzing into a game forum with nothing but your "sensible friends", small children or a wedding picture and see what that gets you.
Don't post bikini pictures [Mail Online]