Twitter ditches egg profile pictures to crack online abuse

Company hopes that whisking the old option away will scramble trolls

Twitter has changed the default profile picture for new users from the classic egg, in a bid to help combat negative associations with harassment on its platform.

New users will be greeted with a silhouette, similar to many other social networks. Twitter hopes that this will encourage users to upload a profile picture, which will in turn help discourage abuse.

"We've noticed patterns of behavior with accounts that are created only to harass others - often they don't take the time to personalize their accounts," the company said in a statement.

"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."

For the past seven years, any new user who signed up to Twitter would have an egg as their default profile picture, a placeholder that was supposed to be swapped out for something more individual.

However, the iconic egg display picture has now become deeply linked to Twitter's endemic problems with trolls, harassment and abuse. Because anonymous accounts are frequently created with the sole purpose of attacking other Twitter users, the default avatar has now become associated with harassment.

The decision has been met with criticism from the Twitter community, some of whom are sad to see the egg icon go. Some have even gone so far as to deliberately change their display pictures back to eggs after the swap.

Others have suggested that the move won't do a huge amount to actually stem the tide of abuse being experienced by certain users, and that trolls are going to be a problem until the company takes proactive steps to stamp them out.

Picture credit: Garrett Heath

Featured Resources

The ultimate guide to business connectivity in field services

A roadmap to increased workplace efficiency

Free download

The definitive guide to migrating to the cloud

Migrate apps to the public cloud with multi-cloud infrastructure solutions

Free download

Transform your network with advanced load balancing from VMware

How to modernise load balancing to enable digital transformation

Free download

How to secure workloads in hybrid clouds

Cloud workload protection

Free download

Recommended

Twitter, LinkedIn reverse course due to climbing COVID cases
remote access

Twitter, LinkedIn reverse course due to climbing COVID cases

29 Jul 2021
Social media companies vow to reduce abuse of women online
Security

Social media companies vow to reduce abuse of women online

1 Jul 2021
The IT Pro Podcast: The power of disinformation
social media

The IT Pro Podcast: The power of disinformation

11 Dec 2020
Twitter hires new cyber chief after devastating breach
Security

Twitter hires new cyber chief after devastating breach

1 Oct 2020

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

17 Sep 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

8 Sep 2021
Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

17 Sep 2021