Twitter found quite an unusual way to deal with their harassment problems. They announced that they would give up the egg avatar in favor of a classic profile picture resembling a figure with shoulders and head.
It is not a mystery that some Twitter users face harassment. Initially, the social media service thought it could solve the problem once and for all by banning those who subjected others to abuse. The offensive users received either a temporary or a permanent ban, depending on how serious was their abuse. However, this was not a solution.
Say goodbye the default egg avatar
Then, Twitter decided to have an unusual take in tackling with the problem. Namely, they decided that the egg avatar must be part of the problem, so they agreed on giving it up. Therefore, the default avatar will no longer be the egg, but a unisex silhouette with head and shoulders, resembling a human.
Twitter introduced this default avatar back in 2010. Thus, everybody who created a new account started “as an egg”, and then they could change their profile picture. Since then, it has become an important part of Twitter. It is now well-known, as everybody knows the iconic egg and related it immediately to Twitter.
Will this change prevent users from getting harassed?
Twitter posted a blog post in which they explain why they made this decision. Among the stated reason, there is the fact that the human silhouette might make users change their profile picture. Such a generic avatar maybe determines them to upload pictures of themselves. Also, Twitter brought harassment into the discussion.
They say that those accounts who subject others to abuse usually have the egg left as a profile picture. Therefore, they think that there must be a link between this default avatar and a bad behavior. That must be true, but will a different default icon make harassers change their mind about abusing people?
We are afraid that this is not a solution, as those who mean to tweet abusive things will do so regardless of the avatar they have. Actually, some real people with very real profile pictures can harass others on Twitter, so the problem is no longer related to the default avatar.
The new avatar might not fix the harassment issue, but it is here to stay. Thus, prepare to say goodbye to the egg and welcome the new human-like figure. Also, wait for some other changes which Twitter will implement soon.
Image Source: Max Pixel