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Emojis Tackle Racial Diversity

Daily Nation   in 
November 6, 2014

Those odd characters on your emails and text messages are about to see more diversity β€” sending a message that humanity comes in many colours.

New draft guidelines released Tuesday by the computing industry consortium Unicode offer a broader range of options for emojis, the ideograms used for various visual messages sent online.

“People all over the world want to have emoji that reflect more human diversity, especially for skin tone,” said the latest draft released by Google’s Mark Davis and Apple’s Peter Edberg.

“The Unicode emoji characters for people and body parts are meant to be generic, yet following the precedents set by the original Japanese carrier images, they are often shown with a light skin tone instead of a more generic (inhuman) appearance, such as a yellow/orange colour or a silhouette.”

The new guidelines offer characters “based on the six tones of the Fitzpatrick scale,” a standard used in dermatology.


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