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Twitter is retiring its default ‘egg’ profile picture, but that doesn’t do anything to solve its abuse problems

The egg has been around since 2010.


R.I.P. Twitter eggs.

Twitter is changing its default profile photo and getting rid of the egg picture it has used since 2010 for users who don’t upload their own picture.

Instead, Twitter is using a new human silhouette to encourage people to upload pictures of themselves.

Part of the reason for the change is that the Twitter “egg” is now associated with Twitter trolls, the kinds of users who create accounts simply to harass and bully others. Twitter wants to eliminate that connection.

“This has created an association between the default egg profile photo and negative behavior, which isn’t fair to people who are still new to Twitter and haven’t yet personalized their profile photo,” Twitter wrote in a blog post. The company even rolled out an update recently that let users mute “egg” accounts altogether.

But now the egg is dead, though it seems entirely possible that this silhouette will simply be the new image we associate with abusive users. Changing the default profile image doesn’t have anything to do with fixing the abuse or trolling problems Twitter faces.

That doesn’t mean the company isn’t trying with other updates. It updated private messages this week, for example, to help curb spam and abuse, and recently added a safe search feature that lets users remove tweets with certain words from their feeds.

Twitter wants you to know it put a lot of thought into the new default image, including thinking about the head/shoulder combination from a gender standpoint. “It was important to explore alternate head shapes,” the company wrote. “We reviewed many variations of our figure, altering both the head and shoulders to feel more inclusive to all genders.”

Here’s a look at Twitter default profile pics from over the years.


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