Comment in a leading German newspaper regarding the way UTC and Apple handle Emoji as an attack on Free Speech

Ken Whistler kenwhistler at
Fri Aug 26 12:26:44 CDT 2016

On 8/26/2016 10:01 AM, John O'Conner wrote:
> What I find more interesting is how emoji (a small digital image or 
> icon) was ever interpreted as encodable text for the Unicode Standard. 
> If our German newspaper friends have made a mistake in interpreting 
> emoji as speech, I think the Unicode consortium has made an even 
> bigger mistake.

That particular horse left the barn over a decade ago, when Japanese 
telcom companies started extending Shift-JIS with emoji on various 
phones, and then connected those phones to the internet and started 
exchanging email with Unicode-based systems. The emoji were *already* 
*encoded* text by that point -- not merely some prospective, uncertain 
set of entities which *might* be *encodable*.

You might not like that. It certainly is problematical in many regards 
and creates some erroneous expectations. But this is far from the first 
time that less-than-ideal characters have been encoded as characters in 
the Unicode Standard. Exhibit 1: box drawing characters:

I would contend that encoding wildly popular and extensively used little 
pictographs as characters makes a whole lot more sense in the abstract 
than encoding box-drawing graphic pieces for completely obsolete screen 
technology ever did.

And would people discussing this topic please pick *one* list to discuss 
it, and stop cross-posting to two lists?


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