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Proposed poop emojis causing a stink

Aaron Aupperlee
| Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, 1:48 p.m.
Proposed frowns for the pile of poo emoji. Photo from Unicode via BuzzFeed News
Proposed frowns for the pile of poo emoji. Photo from Unicode via BuzzFeed News

The poop emoji is causing quite a stink.

A proposal to create a frowning pile of poo to counter the current smiling one is at the center of a storm at the Unicode Consortium, the international organization responsible for approving new emojis, according to emails and other documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News .

“I'm concerned that this character will open the floodgates for an open-ended set of PILE OF POO emoji with emotions, such as CRYING PILE OF POO, PILE OF POO WITH LOOK OF TRIUMPH, PILE OF POO SCREAMING IN FEAR, etc.,” Andrew West, a typographer and part of the Unicode Consortium, wrote in an email. “Is there really any need to add a range of emotions to PILE OF POO?”

West added: “I personally think that changing PILE OF POO to a de facto SMILING PILE OF POO was wrong, but adding FROWNING PILE OF POO as a counterpart is even worse. If this is accepted then there will be no neutral, expressionless PILE OF POO, so at least a PILE OF POO WITH NO FACE would be required to be encoded to restore some balance.”

A colleague of West's at Unicode shared his concern. Michael Everson wrote that Unicode committees should be ashamed for even considering another poop emoji.

“Organic waste isn't cute,” Everson wrote.

“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?,” he continued.

The frowning pile of poop could, alongside other emojis such as a sliced bagel, debut in June 2018.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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