Apple vows to add racially diverse EMOJIS after MILEY CYRUS TWITTER outrage
Hey, Unicode Consortium. Miscellaneous symbols? Not so miscellaneous
Apple has vowed to tackle the lack of racial diversity in its emojis and will work with the Unicode Consortium to make the annoying little images more politically correct.
MTV Act contacted Apple to ask them to make sure the emojis were more diverse.
Currently, the human emojis are mostly pinkish. This will not do, roared MTV's finest, Joey Parker.
The self-confessed "emoji addict" wrote to Tim Cook demanding to see more "people of colour" in his emojis.
An Apple spokeswoman responded:
Tim forwarded your email to me. We agree with you. 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 issue of racially diverse emojis was first raised by Miley Cyrus, who did her bit for the world with the following tweet:
RT if you think there needs to be an #emojiethnicityupdate— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) December 19, 2012
And who says young people aren't engaged with the world?
Other people have since waded into the emoji debate.
There appear to be very few people of any colour except yellow. There are a few rather twee images of white women cuddling and an picture of two chubby white men holding hands. But, nope, there are hardly any emojis of any other ethnicity.
Apple is a member – along with Adobe, Microsoft, Oracle and various other official groups and organisations – of the Unicode Consortium.
A petition was issued ahead of the release of iOS7, calling upon Apple to be more inclusive in its emojis.
It said: "If you look at Apple’s Emoji keyboard, what do you see? Two different camels. A smiling turd. EVERY PHASE OF THE MOON.
"But of the more than 800 Emojis, the only two resembling people of color are a guy who looks vaguely Asian and another in a turban. There’s a white boy, girl, man, woman, elderly man, elderly woman, blonde boy, blonde girl and, we’re pretty sure, Princess Peach. But when it comes to faces outside of yellow smileys, there’s a staggering lack of minority representation."
The last update of the Unicode dataset, which includes symbols, characters and pictograms, took place in September 2013. The latest data set – 6.30 – was updated to include six extra characters. The next standard, 7.0, is currently in beta and due to be released in July.