Is the Anti-LGBTQ Emoji Real?
iPhone users are abuzz about a possible "anti-LGBT emoji," showing the rainbow flag with a "no" symbol next to it.
The rumor began swirling after a Twitter user, known only as mitchell, came forward claiming to have discovered the glitch. The tech savvy tweeter alleged that they discovered the shocking combination "in Apple's code." Still, some believe it's merely an unfortunate glitch.
According to Time, it's not exactly a "glitch," but rather an issue with the standards that dictate how text is displayed on different devices. Depending which device you're using, you may not even be able to see the alleged anti-LGBT emoji. The real problem is the Unicode Standard, created by the Unicode Consortium. Corporations like Apple, Facebook and Microsoft are members of the organization, which provides a standard way of representing text in different languages and symbols, like emojis, by assigning each character a unique identification number to be displayed by the font on your device.
For the "no" symbol, that ID number is U+20E0. The symbol is categorized in Unicode as a "combining character," which means it's designed to overlay the character it precedes. With Unicode, fonts can use pre-made combined character or rely on standard's rules for combining characters. What this means is, there is no pre-made "anti-LGBT" emoji, but rather one that appears when your device applies character combining rules to the text you enter.
It varies based on what font your device is using, how it displays character combinations, and which Unicode characters it supports. You'll either see the emoji as intended, misaligned, or as two characters next to each other. If you see dots or squares instead of emojis, it means your device doesn't support the Unicode characters.
If you want to look into it, Apple users can check out the list of supported Unicode characters by hitting Control-Command-Space and selecting the character viewer icon near the search field. Windows 10 users can search the Character Map in the Start menu, though they may be required to install optional font packs.