Since the tech companies are behind emoji, they’ve been at the forefront of woke. They added different skin colors. They added families with same-sex parents. They added a pregnant man. But if you’re one of those white people who uses the default yellow thumbs-up sign, academics say you might be signaling a lack of awareness about white privilege.
Some white people may choose 👍 because it feels neutral — but some academics argue opting out of 👍🏻 signals a lack of awareness about white privilege, akin to society associating whiteness with being raceless.https://t.co/9g3rochT0K
— NPR (@NPR) February 9, 2022
Choosing a skin tone “can open a complex conversation about race and identity.” NPR reports:
Alexander Robertson, an emoji researcher at Google and Ph.D. candidate involved in the study, said the emoji modifiers were used widely but it was people with darker skin who used them in higher proportions, and more often.
Instead, some white people may stick with the yellow emoji because they don’t want to assert their privilege by adding a light-skinned emoji to a text, or to take advantage of something that was created to represent diversity.
[Researcher Zara Rahman] said there was a default in society to associate whiteness with being raceless, and the emojis gave white people an option to make their race explicit.
“I completely hear some people are just exhausted [from] having to do that. Many people of color have to do that every day and are confronted with race every day,” Rahman said. “But for many white people, they’ve been able to ignore it, whether that’s subconsciously or consciously, their whole lives.”
A Ph.D. candidate in emoji research.
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) February 9, 2022
Can I give you more of my money
— Anthony L. Fisher (@anthonyLfisher) February 9, 2022
Or, you know, maybe people use the option sitting right in front of them. Right click on a windows laptop. Click "emoji." Type "Thumbs up." The option is the yellow thumb. Not a mystery.
And this is otherwise, dumb. But others will make that point.
— Casey Mattox (@CaseyMattox_) February 9, 2022
I pick it because in my heart, I'm a Simpsons character. pic.twitter.com/owaxD1dbWf
— Matt (@mattr262) February 9, 2022
Apparently it took three people to write up this piece. pic.twitter.com/zkGx88Gsmg
— Synchronology🎧🧬 (@RobotSynchronol) February 9, 2022
Imagine being one of the THREE journalists who pitched this to an editor or being the editor going, "Yes, riveting take. Write it up."
I can't believe I ever wanted to be a journalist.
— Ryan Stephens | Getting Dialed In 📈 (@ryanstephens) February 9, 2022
“Academics” wasting everyone’s time finding micro aggressions in emojis
— Geoff “TallNuts” Axworthy (@ShovelingYou) February 9, 2022
The entire point is they’re not “academics,” they are academics.
— Peter Boghossian (@peterboghossian) February 9, 2022
Are the academics in the room with you right now?
— Libertarian Party of Texas (@LPTexas) February 9, 2022
There has to be something fundamentally wrong with you as a human being to even spend enough time thinking about this subject to write an article on it.
— John Hawkins (@johnhawkinsrwn) February 9, 2022
please. i’m begging you. shut the fuck up
— Laura (@laurakbarr) February 9, 2022
feels like this one is a hit
— andy™ (@andylevy) February 9, 2022
— jimtreacher.substack.com (@jtLOL) February 9, 2022
— Marie Arf 🇺🇸 🇮🇱 🇨🇦 #HonkHonk 🇨🇦 (@schwingcat) February 9, 2022
I use it because it’s the default. I’ve put more thought into why in the last 30 seconds then ever.
— BDiggla (@FribbleCrew) February 9, 2022
Yellow feels neutral because it is literally the default color
— Vikram Bath (@vikrambath1) February 9, 2022
Slow news day?
— Daniel Wright (@OpulentBanana) February 9, 2022
Jesus. There is real news to write about
— Dan (@missthe1980s) February 9, 2022
Those who wrote this really only need one emoji 🤡
— Krystal on Team Reality (@MsKrys7777) February 9, 2022
— Pat Howe (@pchowe) February 9, 2022
— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) February 9, 2022
what is being accomplished with this? is this necessary? who asked for this?
— online nobody (@online_nobody) February 9, 2022
— ZUBY: (@ZubyMusic) February 9, 2022
Oh, shut up.
— Great Plains Girl (@HeartlandRaised) February 9, 2022
Next emoji set could include ‘pregnant man’ (or a guy who ate too much at the buffet) https://t.co/UJcxswWs3F
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) July 15, 2021