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X-Faces were devised to make both e-mail and Usenet news a little more human-friendly. They are ISP-neutral and will work with any ISP provider that provides an e-mail and/or a Usenet ISP service. They do require a savvy e-mail / Usenet application to create and display them properly, though. When an e-mail message or Usenet news item has an X-face attached, it will be displayed as a small monochromatic image (usually somewhere in the header) by applications that support them when viewing the owning message or item. Sometimes they feature miniature portraits of the author, but more often they're used just to give a little insight into the author's personality.