Seven years after their introduction in 2010, the Twitter eggs are on their way out. Twitter has announced on its blog that it’s going to be introducing a brand new default avatar for users without profile photos of their own. Replacing the eggs will be a cartoony silhouette of a person, a roundish head seemingly levitating above a pair of suspiciously egg-like shoulders.
Twitter wants “people to use this space to show us who they are!” it announced on its corporate blog. “The new default image feels more like an empty state or placeholder, and we hope it encourages people to upload images that express themselves.”
That’s all well and good, but as most frequent Twitter users know, there’s one demographic that’s never going to add a picture, no matter what kind of motivation the website offers: racist trolls.
Almost since the egg’s introduction, during a time when Twitter was rapidly increasing in popularity and common use, an egg icon in a user’s profile has gone hand-in-hand with sexist, racist, or otherwise toxic language. Thus the racist egg was born, as people began making full use of the anonymity Twitter offers to issue uncouth and offensive comments.
Even if Twitter’s new avatar does succeed in compelling the lazier denizens of Twitter to finally upload a picture, it’s unlikely that it will alter the presence of throwaway accounts and career agitators who make up the racist egg population.
Many users have also reached the same conclusion and are upset that Twitter hasn’t taken more steps to address the prevalence of these trolls.
Then again, it’s not clear that Twitter’s intentions were to address those concerns with this change. The egg icon was getting old and was arguably due for an update anyway.
Read the full summary of Twitter’s update here.