Twitter is getting rid of the egg avatar because that will totally fix the abuse problem

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Everyone knows that Twitter has a harassment problem. And while the service has tried things like banning abusive users (both on a temporary and permanent basis) it hasn’t really fixed the problem.

But Twitter now thinks it has a real solution. Cracking the egg.

In a long-winded post the service announced they are replacing the default egg with a unisex profile picture resembling a head and shoulders silhouette.

Beginning in 2010 all new accounts started with their default profile picture as an egg. Since then it has become a integral part of the Twitter brand. Everyone, even non-hardcore Twitter users, know the egg. Even CNN frequently features the egg when they show tweets from politicians and other celebrities.

Twitter gave a bunch of reasons for the switch. Some, like the fact that a more generic profile picture should encourage new users to actually upload a real profile picture of themselves, make sense.

But Twitter also said that they were switching up default profile pictures in an effort to combat harassment. Specifically they think that since abusive accounts often have the egg as a profile picture, there is now “an association between the default egg profile photo and negative behavior”.

Gee, ya think?

What Twitter isn’t understanding is that abusive tweets sent from an egg account will now just be abusive tweets sent from a silhouette account. Switching up the profile picture may be putting a bandaid on the problem, but it does nothing to fix harassment in the long run.

A abusive tweet is a abusive tweet whether it’s next to an egg, a silhouette or a real person’s avatar.

Plus, as a byproduct Twitter is killing off yet another part of Twitter’s unique internal language and identity – just like they did with @replies and favorites.

Don’t blame the egg, just fix the problem.

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