Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Yellow colored emojis are accused of being racist

Apple's latest iOS 8.3 Beta not only comes with Siri understanding portugues (at last!) but it also introduces the latest racial-diverse emoji proposed by the Unicode Consortium as a way to end all "racial" issues. Unfortunately, it seems to be having precisely the opposite effect, and being considered racist due to its yellow default color.

To cater for the different ethnicity and races, Unicode Consortium devised a method where each emoji with skin to have a color modifier that allows users to select the skin tone of their choosing - and hoped to be the end of it. Apple implemented it on its iOS 8.3 beta 2 and it didn't take long for racist accusations to pop up once again.

The problem is the yellow color the Unicode Consortium decided to use as default, for anyone now wanting to specify a skin tone. The intense yellow is reminiscent of the well known generic yellow smileys, but some people consider it to be a racial insult to Asian people. So... what might the solution be... start using stick figures?

Dear Unicode Consortium, I suggest setting the default emoji color skin as bright neon green... and hope no extra-terrestrial race will take that as an insult to the different shades of green of its species.

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