When you leave your home to go to a party, walk to the shop, to the office or down to your local pub, you don’t leave your face behind or put on a mask to disguise who you are.
Social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are very powerful tools for professionals looking to move up in their careers. Powerful tools for business owners who want to generate more business. Social media sites give you the opportunity to create an online brand identity so that you can boost your visibility and expand your options at a global level.
When a person fails to upload a valid image of themselves it conveys a message of distrust and insecurity. As a business you are conveying that you don’t care about your image/reputation and it looks unprofessional.
As an active online surfer, you would seriously need to impress me for me to hang around and read your profile or pay some form of interest in you. If I’m shopping in a store and a faceless person came to serve me I would be asking why I’m not able to see their face and it would put me off completely.
If your argument is that it is for security and safety reasons, to avoid shady and creepy characters then I have to ask, are you not creating an image of being shady yourself by not posting a photo of yourself? In the real world, whether you walk down the street, attend a party, visit the pub, you are never 100% sure that there are no shady characters. In fact, there are shady characters lurking in families. Watching Dexter last night reminded me of this. Dexter has been a serial killer for 20 years and no one is the wiser. He comes across as a normal intelligent man with a family, a good day job and he is even more trusted being in crime investigation.
If you are or have experienced abuse or harassment from certain online people, then they have violated that privilege of connecting with you and with others. Surely, this gives you the right to expose them? I would politely reply to them and let them know they are out of line. Let them know you do not appreciate the tone in their message and you do not appreciate these types of messages and if they persist or continue communicating in this fashion, that you would be left with no choice but to report it to the community leaders and to expose them publicly. Either they will get the message or they will be stupid enough to continue. Personally, I unfriend anyone who tries to chat me up.