Mystery 'eye in speech bubble' emoji in iOS 9.1 linked to anti-bullying campaign, fast-tracked by Ap

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2015
The "eye in speech bubble" emoji found in iOS 9.1 is connected to an Ad Council anti-bullying campaign, and its adoption was intentionally fast-tracked by Apple in support.




The campaign, "I Am a Witness," is intended to encourage kids who witness bullying to take action, Wired reported on Thursday. Design for an original icon was handled by Goodby, a San Francisco ad agency, with the idea that kids could use it to oppose bullies and show support for victims.

Goodby approached Apple about adopting the symbol as well, but while it was met with a positive response, the agency was told it would take at least a year or two to get it approved under Unicode, a platform-agnostic text format. As an alternative the company came up with its "zero-width joiner" technique, merging existing eye and speech bubble icons via a special character. Apple uses the same technique to create different family icons.

When the image was first uncovered in iOS and OS X betas in September, there was some speculation that it might be related to video messaging. Apple declined to explain the emoji to Wired, acknowledging simply that it's present in the latest iOS release.

People who don't have an iOS 9.1 device can still download a separate I Am a Witness keyboard, available for iOS and Android.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,312member

    Still creepy looking.

  • Reply 2 of 53
    Honestly, who needs emojis?
    Maybe that's not the point, ok. But why is a taco or this reported as though it's a huge new tent pile feature? I don't get that.
  • Reply 3 of 53
    But no one is going to use it with that in mind.
  • Reply 4 of 53
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,884member

    Oh, puhleaze. What's next, ribbons of every conceivable color?

  • Reply 5 of 53
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SirLance99 View Post



    But no one is going to use it with that in mind.



    "Eye-Message" makes more sense to me.

  • Reply 6 of 53

    Can I get a witness?

     

  • Reply 7 of 53
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,148member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post



    Honestly, who needs emojis?

    Maybe that's not the point, ok. But why is a taco or this reported as though it's a huge new tent pile feature? I don't get that.

     

    What's a "tent pile"? 

     

    Oh, and please point us to the press release where Apple announced these emojis as a tent-pole feature. I'll be waiting. 

  • Reply 8 of 53
    celcocelco Posts: 211member
    And yet now you can also give the middle finger.
  • Reply 9 of 53
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post



    Honestly, who needs emojis?

    Maybe that's not the point, ok. But why is a taco or this reported as though it's a huge new tent pile feature? I don't get that.



    Nobody "needs" emojis but there are millions of customers who love them and use them regularly.

    Maybe you are just old and out of touch?

  • Reply 10 of 53
    slurpy wrote: »
    What's a "tent pile"? 

    Oh, and please point us to the press release where Apple announced these emojis as a tent-pole feature. I'll be waiting. 

    That's a tent pole autocorrected by my iPhone.
  • Reply 11 of 53
    It's a very poorly designed graphic and the meaning is completely obscure.

    How about throw Starbucks or other company logo "emoji" in there? At least there's no doubt what you're indicating with a company logo.
  • Reply 12 of 53

    Nobody "needs" emojis but there are millions of customers who love them and use them regularly.
    Maybe you are just old and out of touch?

    I sure am ;)
  • Reply 13 of 53
    jony0jony0 Posts: 269member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post



    What's a "tent pile"? 



    Oh, and please point us to the press release where Apple announced these emojis as a tent-pole feature. I'll be waiting. 




    That's a tent pole autocorrected by my iPhone.



    Oh … and I thought you were referring to ????… ????

  • Reply 14 of 53
    sirlance99 wrote: »
    But no one is going to use it with that in mind.

    Of course they won't. The Internet culture finds its own meaning in emojis.
  • Reply 15 of 53
    shaminoshamino Posts: 412member

    Seriously?  They're going to have Unicode define a standard glyph for a PSA campaign that will probably be completely forgotten by this time next year?

     

    What's next?  Will they grant Disney glyphs to promote the next Pixar film?  How about for political candidates?  Why don't we just eliminate all semblance of a purpose for Unicode and make it all a giant free-for-all, like text encodings were in the 80's?

     

    There's a time and a place for promoting various causes, but the international standards for text encoding is never the right place.

  • Reply 16 of 53
    shamino wrote: »
    Seriously?  They're going to have Unicode define a standard glyph for a PSA campaign that will probably be completely forgotten by this time next year?

    What's next?  Will they grant Disney glyphs to promote the next Pixar film?  How about for political candidates?  Why don't we just eliminate all semblance of a purpose for Unicode and make it all a giant free-for-all, like text encodings were in the 80's?

    There's a time and a place for promoting various causes, but the international standards for text encoding is never the right place.

    Companies are international. Why not have a Disney emoji?
  • Reply 17 of 53
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,652member

    I am against this emoji and I feel that Apple should provide a setting to disable it completely, just like somebody has the option to either enable or disable countless other features and services.

     

    I don't feel that politics and political correctness has any place sneaking itself in and being embedded into an OS, and such features should be kept out.

  • Reply 18 of 53
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    i want an emoji demonstrating solidarity with the vertically challenged women of the Unbanko tribe. It's not their fault they were born short and in the middle of nowhere.
  • Reply 19 of 53

    Considering its only BTTF day +1 how fast we forget...

     

    Want to know how to deal with a bully?  Punch them in the face.  

     

    Sending them an emoji will only guarantee that your underwear will get pulled up over the back of your head.

  • Reply 20 of 53
    Internet bullying is a huge deal, and I hope this helps in some way. The negative backlash from some of you is astounding. Absolutely sickening. Go away.
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