Does Google+ Discriminate Against Beards?

I have just spent the better part of an hour trying to get Google+ to recognize one of my pictures and have deduced that it doesn’t like my beard.

Let me set the scene. I and other members of staff at Matter Solutions have gone through all the intricacies trying to get my Google+ profile set up so that authorship credentials are applied to blog posts I write. I’ve got everything sorted and Lauren suggests that it might be that my photo is a picture of me holding my daughter citing this page of the Google support website that suggests that your picture has to follow some guidelines. Okay fine I will change it.

So first thing I did was try to cut myself out of the photo. I uploaded the edited photo and got the response …

“Are you sure people will recognize you in this photo? There doesn’t appear to be a face in it.”

I initially thought that perhaps I could click dismiss, crop it up and it’d be fine but then it occurred to me that the error in question is likely the cause of my authorship credentials not activating, a claim I cannot corroborate yet. With this concern in mind I powered on, downloading images from my Facebook and trying to find one that would pass the rigorous judgement of Google+. I uploaded action shots, still shots, I cut myself out of family portraits, I cut myself out of drunken shenanigans caught on camera, I even resorted to using the professional shots taken a few weeks ago at work and only TWO photos “seemed to have a face in it.” One was a photo from 2008 of me playing poker, beardless, but apparently it was too small. The other was a photo of me holding my daughter that I cut in half, with a beard but again too small.

Some of the photos that I uploaded were literally front on, high resolution photos, still no face. I’m unsure of which error came first though. It’s possible that the other two also didn’t have faces but because they were small that error was mentioned first.

The only thing I can deduce is that whatever program that Google+ uses to qualify an image as faceless or with face doesn’t like beards.