Twitter Have Ditched the Egg Because of its Association with Trolling

Extra Crispy
The default 'egg' profile image is perhaps one of Twitter's most endearing features, or it was. Last Friday Twitter announced that the image was going to be replaced with a gender neutral silhouette similar to the one used for Facebook profiles. It seems like a backwards step, one which takes away one of the more unique, personable features of the platform, so why do it? Sadly, trolls are to blame.

People who dole out abuse on Twitter tend to do everything they can to avoid getting caught, and if they do get caught, and banned, they have backup accounts to keep the hate flowing. These accounts are spartan, with barely any followers and nothing to suggest who the person operating them is. For this reason, there are a lot of rotten eggs out there. Twitter have decided that the association between the egg and the trolling is too strong, so they've gotten rid of it.

Sadly this freezes out a whole subset of users who kept the egg as their profile image simply because they liked it. With this replacement though, the idea is to encourage users to upload their own image, something which hasn't ever been heavily encouraged on Twitter before. It will also make the default image look more like a red flag, either for a troll or a bot.

The timing of this change wasn't exactly ideal on Twitter's part. Owing to the time difference, many users caught the news on April 1st, leading them to believe it was an April fools gag (albeit not a very good one). Meanwhile, some of the people who took it at face value criticised Twitter for either making an ill-judged call, wasting time, or both.

Many members of the egg fan-club have actually saved their egg so that they can carry on using it, which makes me wonder if trolls will start doing the same thing, but in any case it's relatively minor strike against Twitter abuse, and it makes you wonder how much the company are actually looking at the bigger picture. It's all well and good trying to escape negative associations, but the best way to do that is to actually stomp out the thing that raised them in the first place.

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