Unicode consortium looks to bring ethnic diversity to emoji by mid-2015

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2014
In a draft proposal published on Monday, the Unicode Consortium revealed a range of emoji skin tone modifiers it plans to roll out as an update to the current standard, finally bringing a dose of ethnic diversity to the ubiquitous pictographs.



As part of the latest Unicode report covering the emoji standard, a new section appropriately called "Diversity" discusses implementation of six user-selectable skin tones, introducing for the first time an option to modify characters to represent different ethnicities. The added feature addresses years of user requests for emoji diversity.
People all over the world want to have emoji that reflect more human diversity, especially for skin tone. 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 color or a silhouette.
Instead of picking its own tints, Unicode proposes employing six shades from the Fitzpatrick scale, a widely recognized dermatologic standard developed to study skin tone. The initial color variations, ranging from light pink to dark brown, may change when Unicode 8.0 launches next year.

As far as implementation, users will be able to apply skin colors to a select group of characters as a font modifier, keeping the already expansive set of icons somewhat manageable. The default method displays a selected character, a color swatch and the combined result. Alternatively, a shorthand version simply displays the character and swatch glyph to be applied.

In yet another example more conducive for use with small-screened devices like smartphones, a long press on a desired emoji may bring up a preview palette showing a selected character in multiple skin tones.

Apple in March said that it was working with the Unicode Consortium to update the emoji standard with an ethnically diverse set of characters. The Cupertino, Calif., company most recently changed its emoji keyboard to include same-sex couples and families in iOS 6.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65

    For the love of humanity, who cares? Yellow people don’t exist in reality; emoji are a representation of humanity as a whole already.

     

    Maybe we should have multiple different emoji for each emotion, too, because “sometimes smiling doesn’t mean you’re happy”... Psychotic. :no: 

     

    Oh, and maybe the gas pump should have options for kerosene, E85, and just an electric plug¡

  • Reply 2 of 65

    Nothing more boring and reactionary than political correctness!  Enough of this nonsense already.

  • Reply 3 of 65
    Getting silly! They don't have human coloured faces anyway!!????????????????????????????????????
  • Reply 4 of 65
    rf9rf9 Posts: 70member
    I thought the use of yellow people was intentionally racially ambiguous. This seems to be creating and solving a problem that doesn't exist.
  • Reply 5 of 65
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    As far as implementation, users will be able to apply skin colors to a select group of characters as a font modifier, keeping the already expansive set of icons somewhat manageable.

    This is a pretty smart way to do it as it means no new icons are needed, just a font option like a font color that would already exist.
  • Reply 6 of 65

    That'll complete the set after gay emoji

     

    image

  • Reply 7 of 65
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    The people in the current Apple Emoji are NOT yellow. That would indeed be a solution.

    (The "smileys" are yellow. Not the actual people--look and you'll see.)

    For anyone who says this is a small problem, not worth solving... well, Emoji are themselves are a small feature, you could argue. That's no reason not to improve it.
  • Reply 8 of 65
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

    For anyone who says this is a small problem, not worth solving... well, Emoji are themselves are a small feature, you could argue. That's no reason not to improve it.



    So make the people yellow. Problem solved. No whining from anyone. That’s also not a valid logical string, but whatever.

  • Reply 9 of 65
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,771member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    For the love of humanity, who cares? Yellow people don’t exist in reality; emoji are a representation of humanity as a whole already.


    Thanks heavens all of the iOS emoji are yellow!

     

    Oh...

  • Reply 10 of 65
    crowley wrote: »

    Thank heavens anyone with an ounce of common sense and self worth doesnt care...
  • Reply 11 of 65
    For the love of humanity, who cares? Yellow people don’t exist in reality; emoji are a representation of humanity as a whole already.

    Maybe we should have multiple different emoji for each emotion, too, because “sometimes smiling doesn’t mean you’re happy”... Psychotic. :no:  

    Oh, and maybe the gas pump should have options for kerosene, E85, and just an electric plug¡

    Indeed. Just more of the same "politically correct" BULLSHIT that has plagued the whole world for years now...amazing. How many "ethnicities" are we gonna represent via emojis then?
  • Reply 12 of 65
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,771member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    Thank heavens anyone with an ounce of common sense and self worth doesnt care...

    Care enough to post, dontcha?

     

    I wonder what race those calling bullshit are.  I imagine it's going to be quite consistent.

  • Reply 13 of 65
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,115member

    The only thing more ridiculous than these ethnically diverse emoji, is the fact that some people are actually OUTRAGED at it. Yeah, they're not needed. But how the **** will the new emoji affect you negatively? The hate and anger is hilarious. Worst case scenario, you have more emoji options. OH NO!! Post after post of hate is just hilarious. Don't worry people, you don't have to pay for these or anything. 

  • Reply 14 of 65
    For the love of humanity, who cares? Yellow people don’t exist in reality; emoji are a representation of humanity as a whole already.

    Maybe we should have multiple different emoji for each emotion, too, because “sometimes smiling doesn’t mean you’re happy”... Psychotic. :no:  

    Oh, and maybe the gas pump should have options for kerosene, E85, and just an electric plug¡

    globalpix wrote: »
    Nothing more boring and reactionary than political correctness!  Enough of this nonsense already.

    rf9 wrote: »
    I thought the use of yellow people was intentionally racially ambiguous. This seems to be creating and solving a problem that doesn't exist.

    In what possible way, in which possible planet, does it take anything away from folks who want to stick with their original emojis? Perhaps I missed it, but is anyone holding a gun to anyone's head requiring them to use the new ones?

    Look up the phrase 'Pareto improvement.'
  • Reply 15 of 65
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

    ...take anything away...



    Yeah, that’s not the issue here.

  • Reply 16 of 65


    In what possible way, in which possible planet, does it take anything away from folks who want to stick with their original emojis? Perhaps I missed it, but is anyone holding a gun to anyone's head requiring them to use the new ones?

    Look up the phrase 'Pareto improvement.'

    Considering the issues that remain in iOS, emoji colors shouldn't even be on the list of improvements.
  • Reply 17 of 65

    Since there are a thousand shades of skin tones, I hope the Unicode Consortium will see fit to represent them all.

  • Reply 18 of 65
    redhotfuzz wrote: »
    Since there are a thousand shades of skin tones, I hope the Unicode Consortium will see fit to represent them all.

    Not to mention aliens, I hope they're represented.
  • Reply 19 of 65
    ...take anything away...


    Yeah, that’s not the issue here.

    What's the issue here? Someone step on your dog's tail?
  • Reply 20 of 65

    Considering the issues that remain in iOS, emoji colors shouldn't even be on the list of improvements.

    If that's a halfway serious comment, my guess is that you're 13.
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