Twitter Drops ‘Egg’ Avatar To Break Association with Internet Trolls

Twitter is abandoning its default "egg" avatar in a bid to shake its association with trolls.

For the past seven years, new Twitter accounts have been assigned a profile picture of an egg -- a playful reference to the site?EU?s bird logo.

But on Friday the social network announced that it would be introducing default profile photos in a bid to "prompt more self-expression," and to break free of the association with abuse and trolling on the platform.

Some people had retained the default egg profile photo "because they thought it was fun and cute," read a blog post circulated by Twitter?EU?s product design and research team.

The new default profile photo -- a generic head-and-shoulders silhouette -- would feel "more like an empty state or placeholder" to encourage users to upload their own images, it said.

The default egg profile photo had also become stigmatised because of its prominence among accounts "created only to harass others".

"This has created an association between the default egg profile photo and negative behavior, which isn?EU?t fair to people who are still new to Twitter and haven?EU?t yet personalized their profile photo."

Many users responding to the announcement on 31 March took it for an April Fools joke.

"I would, uhh, I would rethink that," one software developer replied to the "Rethinking our default profile photo" blog post.

"I see you put your engineering manpower into the REALLY serious projects," observed another user.

The default profile picture when Twitter first launched in 2006 was of a silhouette of a person. The following year it changed to "o_O," before the bird motif was introduced in 2009.

The egg was made the default in 2010.

The new default profile photo was chosen through study of bathroom signage iconography, with gender-neutrality a priority, according to Twitter. In a bid to make it feel "temporary, generic and...

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