Twitter’s logo mysteriously transformed from the familiar bird into the memetastic DogeCoin dog today, leaving users perplexed.
Whether or not the dog was deliberately added by Musk, it’s already having an impact on the crypto market, with DogeCoin up 25 per cent in the last hour.
The dog became a meme in the early 2010s, when users would overlay an interior monologue over an image of the dog, using phrases such as “so scare” and “much afraid”.
The dog was then used as the face of a meme cryptocurrency, DogeCoin, which became an unexpected success during the cryptocurrency boom.
Blue Ticks have become a hot topic for Twitter users, with Musk, who bought the site for $43bn, removing the previous system, whereby Twitter internally verified users of note, including celebrities and journalists.
The new system will force individuals and organisations to pay for their blue tick, with individual prices starting at £6.40 a month. The prices for an organisation in the UK will be €1,140 per month with a supplementary €60 per month per verified employee or affiliate. It is not immediately clear why the UK prices are listed in euros.
Musk purchased Twitter last October following a protracted legal battle in which the Tesla owner alleged he had been misled about the number of accounts that were controlled by bots. He has made combatting bots one of his key targets.
Musk’s short tenure has already been plagued by controversy, with his decision to axe about half of Twitter’s 7,500-strong workforce in November criticised by both workers and employee rights organisations. More rounds of cuts have followed since and site outages have grown in tandem.
One worker tweeted Musk directly to ask if he still had a job. Haraldur Thorleifsson, who uses the handle @iamharaldur, told Musk he had been locked out of his computer. After an exchange Musk replied with two laughing emojis and Thorleifsson was contacted by Twitter to confirm he was no longer employed. Twitter subsequently backtracked on the decision.
Trying to discern what is going on at Twitter right now is like trying to tell the future by looking at tea leaves. The most likely answer to the addition of the DogeCoin dog in place of the regular Twitter logo is a hilarious joke by Elon Musk, who is almost as well known for his childish sense of humour as he is for making electric cars.
The second option is Twitter has been h****d, which is not beyond the realms of possibility given the number of staff that have left the company in recent months and the strain that has clearly left on Twitter’s architecture.
A disgruntled current employee is also a possibility – and if this is the case, they must be absolutely loving their one-hour-and-counting of internet stardom.
Musk has form for angering financial bodies through his market-moving tweets, although there is no suggestion the stunt was designed to pump up the value of DogeCoin.
We may never know for sure but if you’re a fan of the endless soap opera that is Twitter dot c*m then you will likely have enjoyed today’s episode greatly.