Indonesia’s ban on gay emoji

My latest article on the FEE website, “The War on Emoji,” is now available. The Indonesian authorities demanded that Facebook and the Japanese social network Line block certain “gay” emoji, such as 👬 and 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨, or be blocked throughout the country. I wrote the story a bit over a month ago, but I still haven’t been able to find out whether Facebook complied or not. In the US, using 🔫 is dangerous, especially if you’re a 12-year-old kid. That bit was a late addition to the article, written just hours before it was published.

For the technically inclined, I explain the difference between emoji and emoticons. The words have no etymological connection. Emoji is Japanese for “picture characters.”

I’m expecting a bigger article of mine, also related to techno-liberty, to appear on fee.org next week.

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