Charlie Warzel, reporting for BuzzFeed:
The debate appears to be between some of Unicode’s most prolific
contributors and typographers (Unicode was initially established
to develop standards for translating alphabets into code that can
be read across all computers and operating systems), and those in
the consortium who focus primarily on the evolution of emojis. The
two chief critics — Michael Everson and Andrew West, both
typographers — say that the emoji proposal process has become too
commercial and frivolous, thereby cheapening the Unicode
Consortium’s long body of work.
Their argument centers around “Frowning Pile Of Poo,” one of the
emojis under consideration for the June 2018 class. In an Oct. 22
memo to the Unicode Technical Committee, Everson tore into the
committee over the submission calling it “damaging … to the
“Organic waste isn’t cute,” Everson wrote, aghast that the
technical committee would even deign to consider additional
excremoji. “It is bad enough that the [Emoji Subcommittee] came up
with it, but it beggars belief that the [Unicode Technical
Committee] actually approved it,” he wrote. Everson continued:
“The idea that our 5 committees would sanction further cute
graphic characters based on this should embarrass absolutely
everyone who votes yes on such an excrescence. Will we have a
CRYING PILE OF POO next? PILE OF POO WITH TONGUE STICKING OUT?
PILE OF POO WITH QUESTION MARKS FOR EYES? PILE OF POO WITH KARAOKE
MIC? Will we have to encode a neutral FACELESS PILE OF POO?”
I’m all for taking most of the Unicode Consortium’s work deliberately and seriously, but emoji are inherently frivolous. The frivolity of emoji is why they’re so sensationally popular.
Also, Simon Willison:
I love how the fact that unicode chars are referred to by their
name IN CAPS makes everyone seem even more angry.