Recently a so-called anti-LGBTQ emoji took Twitter, a social media platform, by storm. The emoji was first displayed on February 18, 2019 by a Twitter user by the name of @mioog and has been shared, shamed, and used throughout Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat since.
The emoji has the LGBTQ flag with a blocked slash through it. No, Apple did not create the emoji, nor did any other phone company. It is a glitch in the system that the Twitter user found out. Although the emoji does not exist on the actual keyboard, when people are using unicode characters or emojis they are able to put a slash next to any emoji of their choosing which makes it look like it is overlaying it.
However, people are still furious that users are able to do this at all. Social media was sent with craze as people tried to find the source of the emoji, how it came to be, and in some cases even how to use it. Social media posted responses how the emoji was shameful and should be seen as harassment, but there were some comments that supported the emoji and used it to show their ill feelings towards people of the LGBTQ community.
One user by the name of @OfficialLBeanR tweeted, “best emoji so far #lgbt #lgbtq #antilgbt #antilgbtq”.
Other users are not so keen on the emoji and are disgusted by the type of attention and praise that it is getting.
“It’s people like you that make people like me afraid to go to school as a child… #RememberThat #ApologyNotAccepted #HateIsHate,” tweeted a user by the name of @KMdrag.
Users who are using the fake emoji copied and pasted it with the main source being the Twitter account that started it all. Other people, who are more tech-savvy, have found out how to get the emoji and are using it and sharing it with others. They have even learned how to use it on other emojis, most of them being hateful visuals. The emojis that have been seen the most next to the LGBTQ flag are a black male, the flag of Israel, and children.
Twitter released a statement saying that the fake emoji does not go against their guidelines unless people use it in a hateful way towards another user. All other social media platforms are not dealing with the issue as much but have kept mainly the same guidelines as Twitter.
“I believe the emoji is childish and arrogant. People need to understand and get used to the fact that LGBTQ+ people are here and we are not going anywhere. We’re just trying to love the people we were born to love and to infringe upon that right is wrong. People need to get over what we’re doing in our lives and focus on theirs,” states Joshua Hayes, an Oak Hills High School senior who is a part of the LGBTQ community.
The original creator @mioog has also shared many tweets stating that he has no shame in creating the emoji and sharing it for others whether they take it for good or bad use. He has also come out as gay himself, shocking lots of people in and out of the LGBTQ community.
No one truly knows the intentions of the Twitter user who started the whole thing but one thing is for certain. The emoji is now out and people are using it for their own intentions, good or bad.