On Monday, Twitter users were in for a surprise as the social media platform changed its iconic bird logo to the popular “Doge” meme of the Dogecoin cryptocurrency. The change was sudden, with no prior announcement, and was only visible on the web version of Twitter. The Doge meme features a Shiba Inu dog and is part of the Dogecoin blockchain and cryptocurrency’s logo. The cryptocurrency was created in 2013 as a parody of Bitcoin and has gained popularity over the years.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, who also happens to be a well-known Dogecoin superfan, bought Twitter last fall in a $44 billion deal. He has been a vocal proponent of Dogecoin and has promoted it through his tweets and even during his appearance on “Saturday Night Live” last year. After the change to Twitter’s web logo, Dogecoin’s value rose more than 20%.
Musk tweeted on Monday, “As promised,” along with a screenshot [see above illustration] of an exchange he had with a Twitter user in March 2022. The user had suggested changing Twitter’s bird logo to a Doge, to which Musk replied, “Haha that would sickkk.” This tweet was most likely the inspiration behind the logo change.
While the change to the logo may seem like a harmless joke, it is not without controversy. Musk is currently facing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, accusing him of promoting Dogecoin and engaging in racketeering. The plaintiffs in the case are seeking a staggering $258 billion in damages. They have pointed to Musk’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” where he called Dogecoin a “hustle,” as evidence of his fraudulent intent.
Musk’s legal team has filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed, stating that there is nothing unlawful about tweeting words of support for a legitimate cryptocurrency. The filing also notes that the plaintiffs have not shown how Musk’s statements in favor of Dogecoin defrauded anyone or what risks he allegedly hid from investors. It remains to be seen how the lawsuit will unfold.