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EMOJIS


Communities are increasingly multicultural so much so that William Frey predicts in his 2018 book “Diversity Explosion” that the USA will have a minority white population by 2045. With such mixed social groups it appears logical that we welcome Apple’s 2015 range of multicultural emoji’s where a somewhat bizarre range of male and female characters including Father and Mother Xmas and a boy and girl Ziggy Stardust are offered with alternative skin colours.


Researchers from Drexel University in the USA, however, have found these figures increasingly used in racist texts on social media and they also found cases of ‘tension amongst users’ who feel compelled to select their own skin tone “as using another emoji colour can be insulting”.


Statistic regarding the US scientists and engineers involved in this kind of work show that they are predominantly white males [71%]. So it is surprising that the academics were unable to find any evidence that Apple or their partners, the Unicode Consortium, used any research to guide them and no community groups were apparently contacted to help explore their decisions.