Skip to content

From Chirps to Extinction: A Wildlife Conservation Wake-up Call

Twitter, Inc. was an American social media company based in San Francisco, California.

• In October 2022, billionaire Elon Musk acquired Twitter for US$44 billion, gaining control of the platform and becoming CEO.

• Half of the world's 10,000-odd bird species are in decline.

In a bold move that has left feathers ruffled, social media giant Twitter, under the ownership of Elon Musk, recently bid adieu to its iconic blue bird logo. Switching to a rather ominous-looking 'X.'

The switch is one of the latest and perhaps most controversial changes introduced to the site by Musk since he bought the social media. Was it even needed? And why is it that a change like this gets so much more attention than an issue that greatly affects our planet?

The term X as a reminder factor

While some have questioned the necessity of this latest change, some have decided to use the highly controversial topic as a means to communicate something that matters.

WWF Germany saw an opportunity to raise awareness about the plight of our planet's endangered wildlife. As Twitter evolved from a chirpy blue bird to the stark 'X,' WWF seized the moment to draw a striking parallel, urging us all to act before it's too late for our avian counterparts. 

The agency shared the graphic on LinkedIn alongside a poignant message that reads, “The whole world mourns the loss of the Twitter bird. Around 1 million real animal species are threatened with extinction. Today we are in the midst of the greatest extinction of species since the end of the dinosaur era. A quarter of mammal species, one in eight bird species, more than 30 percent of sharks and rays, and 40 percent of amphibian species are threatened. Help us save the animals. An initiative of WWF Germany & us!" 

The German text on the graphic when translated to English loosely means, “Protect our animal species before it’s too late.”

The agency's graphic shows how Twitter logos have changed over time while also making a strong argument for everyone to give animal conservation top priority before it's too late.

How did it start?

The Twitter logo originally featured a vivid blue bird in 2006 to represent the wide variety of avian species found throughout the world. By the year 2023, the emblem has changed into a solemn black-and-white "X," acting as a sober warning that we must act quickly to prevent the extinction of these lovely animals.

This smart juxtaposition emphasizes the critical role we play in protecting the priceless species on our world while simultaneously showcasing the platform's progress.

While some may be entertained, many are quite unnerved as we realize how vain some concerns of a few corporate giants are when it comes to the real-world challenges that threaten our planet's rich biodiversity.

It is critical to acknowledge our shared responsibilities in the face of oncoming biodiversity loss and environmental disasters. Despite the fact that social media mammoths wield immense power in the virtual landscape, it is crucial that their effect goes beyond hashtags and popular subjects.

True power lies not merely in market dominance but in championing causes that can make a meaningful impact on our planet's well-being.

Edited by Shruti Thapa