Federal agencies doing weird things on Twitter isn’t exactly new, even if the tweets often end up deleted. Still, it isn’t every day that one changes its avatar to a crab. But that’s exactly what the U.S. Digital Service has done, a fact that was recently brought to my attention thanks to a tweet from Leigh Giangreco.
As a tech nerd (and passable Star Wars fan), I had to get some answer to Twitter’s burning questions: Why was the new logo a crab? Why was it a crab holding lightsabers? These are the things tech journalists need to know on a relatively slow news week. Fortunately, the USDS was happy to answer my press inquiry. I spoke on the phone with Ellen Butters, a designer at USDS, and Matt Cutts, acting administrator. (Disclosure: Vivian Graubard, a co-founder of the USDS, now works at New America, where I’m an employee; New America is a partner with Slate and Arizona State University in Future Tense.)