Re: Am I going mad or are there now avatars next to posts in the Activity stream?
It’s a baffling decision by the core team – I don’t know why they thought it was reasonable to break the design of every child theme that’s been based on the bp-default parent.
bp-default was not a standalone theme, it was a parent to hundreds of child themes. There was a responsibility to keep it delivering what those child themes had been built to expect.
As @chouf1 says, if this couldn’t be done – the upgrade should have been clearly labelled with a strong unequivocal warning.
It wouldn’t be too late, if they fixed this immediately, and upgraded bp-default so it maintains it’s existing behaviour. If they want to add new features, put them where they belong – in a new theme – don’t change the behaviour of the existing one.