Facebook and Microsoft disarming gun emoji

Facebook and Microsoft have confirmed that they will be removing their gun emoji and replacing with harmless alternatives.
Microsoft's updated gun emoji design
Facebook and Microsoft have confirmed that they will be updating their existing gun emoji designs.

This follows news earlier this week that Google were updating their own gun, replacing the classic revolver design with a bright green water pistol.

Gun Emoji? More like Gone Emoji

Microsoft recently posted a tweet with a picture of a an updated design: a toy water pistol, clearly referencing the trend and their change of direction. They commented: “We are in the process of evolving our emojis to reflect our values and the feedback we’ve received.”

Emojipedia reached out to Facebook regarding the Google change earlier this week and a spokesperson for the mega social media site confirmed that they too would be updating their own gun design.

The recent updates are clearly inspired by American tech giants Apple, who back in 2016 were the first to update the gun emoji for a toy water pistol.

The change was met with widespread criticism - with both Microsoft and Google strongly rebuking the update. At the time, Google said: “We believe in the cross-platform communication so we are maintaining our gun.”

History of the Gun Emoji

Since that statement however, both Whatsapp and Samsung updated their sprites with toy guns, clearly siding with the intentions behind Apple’s change.

In 2016, the Unicode Consortium met a backlash when they approved a rifle emoji to be included in the emoji standard, a change that was met with fury from both Apple and Microsoft.

The recent direction for the gun emoji could be down to the high profile mass shootings that have recently occurred in the USA.

This emoji has been shrouded in controversy since 2016, when a Frenchman was sentenced to three months in prison by threatening his ex girlfriend with a text containing the gun emoji.
Lauren Williams 12 July 2018

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