If you're screening your follow requests, it's probably not a good idea to reject or block someone just because their profile picture is empty.
There are many blind people on the Fediverse who don't use profile pictures. For example, the writer Robert Kingett at @blindscribe doesn't use one.
The most reliable way to screen accounts on here is just to read what they have posted, as this better reflects what kind of account they are.
@feditips and make sure you check on the originating instance as if they're interacting with bad instances you may not realise just seeing from your instance.
Plus your instance may not show any bio or posts or the pic, whereas the originating instance is.
@feditips Great tip! I had no idea people were doing this, either! I'd also suggest maybe adding people to a list first if you want to give them a try for a while.
I think it started from spam bots on Twitter who originally tended to have no profile picture, and people started associating lack of avatar on profiles with spam.
But modern spam bots do have profile pictures (usually from some random stock archive) so it doesn't even make sense to believe this any more.
@firstname.lastname@example.org @email@example.com I’ve seen where fedi people state explicitly that if you don’t say anything about yourself on your profile, then it’s an auto deny.
For me, I look for a bio - even the tiniest of bios - because that tells me someone put in effort to tell random passersby what they’re interested in. Before now, a lack pf profile picture was also a turnoff but now I know better.
@feditips @blindscribe I certainly wouldnt filter someone out based on a photo or not. Honestly, I never even look at profiles. All the people I follow, followed me first, or we interacted based on interest hashtags. I also am not going to just go to the firehose and read peoples posts, I probably wont like what I find anyway.