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A committee within the consortium ultimately determines which emojis will receive a unicode. This committee includes the Big Tech companies such as Apple, Google and Adobe. The latter determine, independently of the Unicode Consortium, whether or not an emoji will eventually appear in the user set. This also makes emojis political. For example, the Tibetan flag is encoded by unicode, but not available to us.

Anyone an emoji?

Emojis have become more and more realistic over the years. Kurita’s original series of yellow smileys has been expanded to include recognizable human figures, utensils and animals. Several diversity movements have fought for more diversity in the palette in recent years. Where Kurita’s basic set still consisted of universal yellow smiley figures, many groups were not represented Accounting Directors Email Lists at all in the human-emojis that the consortium added in the first instance. You can now choose from different skin colors, women are no longer only involved in beauty treatments but are also professionally represented, and a pregnant man and pregnant person have been added in the January 2022 release.

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An application is not a matter of filling out a form. For example, the officia for the polar bear at unicode contains more than 14(!) pages of well-substantiated speech about climate change. The polar bear is now here, but not every application has the same success. For example, hard action was taken for the inclusion of the ‘sad poo’, but it did not make it. No added value, was the final verdict of the consortium.

Preservation urge

The diversity battle seems no less than self-evident. But what makes the selection process as the consortium now seems to be organizing difficult is that it is an illusion that the emoji set will ever be completely complete. All the traditional dishes in the world, clothing, sports… it is never going to be possible to add everything. It is also questionable whether that is desirable. Your keyboard would become an endless ‘scroll’ and who is waiting for that? The point is, however, that the selection process is not very transparent and the representation is still out of balance when you compare the diversity among users against who, and which objects, are represented in the palette.

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