Twitter Swaps Default Egg Avatar to Remove Association of Harassment

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Following the news they’re considering a premium, paid version of their desktop TweetDeck suite, Twitter has announced they’ve removed the default egg avatar that has commonly become the scapegoat for many safe-space goers.

The platform’s egg avatar has been replaced by the genderless silhouette of a person. While the first two reasons behind their move to change the default avatar were your expected platitudes and encouraging users to be self-expressive, they naturally had to mention harassment.

In the blog post, Twitter said they “noticed patterns of behavior with accounts that are created only to harass others,” which often hadn’t taken the time to personalize their accounts.  Featured above, you can view the new default avatar.

“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,” they said in the update.

Here’s a comparison of the default avatars they’ve used throughout the years:

They said the reasoning behind the shapes of the new default avatar come from their want to “bring inclusivity into our single default profile photo, given that we don’t require people to specify their gender on Twitter.” They even tested the width of the shoulders, as they felt wide shoulders were too masculine as well.

Coming from this, they felt “the circle of the head in the figure still seemed masculine, even though it technically had no design characteristics to indicate that it was a man.” So, they went with the more irregular shaped head, and the grays to focus on the default encouraging people to pick a new avatar.

Alongside the new default avatar is the integrating of usernames into your replies, meaning you no longer have to use up part of your character limit to add replies to other Twitter handles. This has come to a mixed response, as some users are already growing tired of spam.

How do you guys feel about the common stigma of an egg-avatar being an internet terrorist? Or the new default avatar? What kind of avatar are you using on Twitter, if you use the platform? Sound off in the comments below!


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