A number of LGBT+ people on social media have voiced concern after an emoji with an anti-pride message appeared on Twitter yesterday.
The graphic consists of the rainbow pride flag, with a black circle and strike positioned at its centre. Many LGBT+ users began incorporating the image into tweets criticising homophobia but acknowledged that hate groups may also begin to use it to spread anti-LGBT+ rhetoric on the platform.
People reached out to Unicode, the programmers who are responsible for deciding which graphics get hosted on social media sites.
Former Disney Channel star Skai Jackson tweeted:
“Why is this emoji even a thing?! This just makes me so mad.”
🏳️🌈⃠ why is this emoji even a thing?! This just makes me so mad…..
— Skai Jackson ♡ (@skaijackson) February 19, 2019
Mari Copeny, the young advocate for clean water in Flint Michigan, responded to Jackson saying:
“Throw the whole emoji and the person who created it in the trash.”
Throw the whole emoji and the person who created it in the trash
— Mari Copeny (@LittleMissFlint) February 19, 2019
After some speculation, Twitter users found out that the image was not an official graphic release by Unicode, but the result of a glitch in the system. It became apparent that users had the ability to put the black circle with the strike over any of the already existing emojis.
One user shared a note explaining the problem:
“It is 100% a glitch, or rather a side effect of the ⃠ symbol (not an emoji, it’s unicode!) layering on top of an emoji as it does with regular characters. You can do it to any emoji, number or letter: similar to how the trademark™ unicode works, for example.”
The note went on to say:
“There’s NO way Apple would willingly allow something SO abysmal and insensitive as an official emoji, obviously. It’s just unicode. Does that make it okay to use it? Of course not, absolutely not.”
Just last month, Unicode received praise for promising the introduction of more gender neutral and same-sex couples emojis.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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