Apple to make emojis more culturally diverse

26 Mar 2014

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The days of the predominantly Caucasian emoji responses to messages appears to numbered, as Apple is to create more culturally diverse emojis.

An Apple spokesperson has confirmed the company is looking to expand upon the current list of emojis that have been present and constricting users for the last number of years.

In an email reply sent to MTV Act, the spokesperson said, “We agree with you (regarding lack of emoji diversity). Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms. There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard.”

The original discussion arose after entertainers Miley Cyrus and Tahj Mowry began debating over Twitter about whether the current system is racist.

The Unicode standard emoji was originally created for Japanese mobile users but began appearing on Windows Phone and iPhone in 2009 and has remained unchanged since.

Containing 722 characters, from emotional reactions to animals and objects, the list introduced gay and lesbian couples in 2012 in an update to iOS 6.

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Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com