Apple's firm stance forces Unicode to remove the rifle emoji for 2016 consideration

As a member of the Unicode Consortium, the group in charge of making decisions about which emoji are added to the "official" list every year, Apple has influence in this arena. According to one source familiar with the situation, the tech titan pushed hard to have the rifle emoji removed from the 2016 list of candidates. By a unanimous vote, the Unicode Consortium agreed. There will be no rifle emoji in 2016, although a pistol already exists.

While Unicode gave no reason why it decided to remove the rifle emoji from consideration, it wouldn't be a stretch to consider that this was done in response to the latest terrorist attack in the U.S. That took place nearly a week ago when ISIS supporter Omar Mateen killed 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando. The horrific nature of the crime would seem to be a good reason why Apple used its weight inside Unicode to remove the rifle emoji. The tech giant reportedly said that it would not support such an emoji on its platforms.

In less than two weeks, Unicode 9.0 will be released. Earlier this month, we showed you what some of the new emoji are expected to look like. The rifle appeared as part of a set of Olympic themed emojis including ones for Fencer, Water Polo, and Boxing. As one Unicode member said last month, "In a weird, maybe almost unexpected way, emoji thrusts Unicode into contentious political and religious discussions."

source: BuzzFeed via CNET

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43 Comments

1. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Good for Unicode. There's no reason for an emoji showing a rifle anyway. In what context would that even be useful?

2. Rydsmith unregistered

Good for Unicode. There's no reason for an emoji showing _____ anyways. In what context would that even be useful? You could literally say that about ANY emoji.

4. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

True. I find all of them crude and cartoonist. But after the week we've had, I think this would be in poor taste honestly. And yes, I know I sound like a "PC Bro" but it's not like Unicode can change gun laws for us amirite?

8. Rydsmith unregistered

They should also remove all the shooting games in the App Store too because of the week we've had, with that simplistic backwards logic.

11. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Look I get what you're saying and your not wrong with your satire, but there are different user bases to consider when comparing mobile gaming to the use of emotions. While millions of people game on their phones, hundreds of millions use emojis. Plus this is communication vs. entertainment. Entertainment truly relies on one's preferences. While communication conveys things to others. Tell me, what would you think if someone sent you a random iMessage or Hangouts message with a rifle emoji in it? How would you interpret that statement from your point of view?

12. Rydsmith unregistered

Your question would have more merit if they didn't already have a pistol emoji, so yeah...your question are pretty pointless. Also, 50 people dead doesn't stop the world. Even if billions used emojis, 50 people in a country that doesn't contain most of the population makes no difference. The US isn't the end all be all of society.

15. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"Your question would have more merit if they didn't already have a pistol emoji, so yeah...your question are pretty pointless." I understand you don't agree with my sentiment, but my questions aren't pointless. This isn't about handguns , it's about semi-auto/fully automatic rifles and their context as a symbol. What they signify is different than a pistol. Pistols signify protection and the right to carry said protection. An assault rifle signifies a much more aggressive position IMO. "Also, 50 people dead doesn't stop the world. Even if billions used emojis, 50 people in a country that doesn't contain most of the population makes no difference. The US isn't the end all be all of society." As someone who wasn't born or raised in America but immigrated here, the U.S. is the end all be all of society. I've noticed people dislike hearing that because it prevents a connotation of inferiority, but that's nonsense. The U.S. is the regulating force for the Western world at large. The modern diplomatic system was perfected by the United States. The gun issue may be a U.S. problem sure, but don't dismiss America because of it's faults. It is by far the most influential country on the planet. P.S. You shouldn't be so quick to disregard the lives of others. What if I disregarded your family's life as thought death is nothing more than an inevitability. I assume you wouldn't find that very respectful.

16. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

*presents a connotation* not prevents. Sorry :D.

18. Rydsmith unregistered

You're not arguing with logic, in fact you're looking at the logic, disregarding it and then trying to argue with feelings. Just because someone died thousands of miles away from me, I should not have to deal with it. Quite frankly, their lives mean nothing to me. I did not know them, I never went to that club, they matter nothing to me. I would expect the same from other people. You are not a special snowflake that the world must stop and admire if something bad happens to you. There are 7 billion others.

27. dmakun

Posts: 382; Member since: Jun 06, 2011

"Quite frankly, their lives mean nothing to me. I did not know them, I never went to that club, they matter nothing to me. I would expect the same from other people. You are not a special snowflake that the world must stop and admire if something bad happens to you. There are 7 billion others." That's a horrible thing to say! The world would be a horrible place with more people like you. BTW I'm not from the US and or Europe but I can feel remorse for the loss of life no matter where it may have occured and I think the removal of a gun emoticon is stupid. To say such an insensitive thing just because you don't know or have relationship with the individuals makes you sound like an ignoramus. I take it that you haven't lost someone very dear to you and perhaps you will grow to respect people who have had this kind of loss in the future. Death happens to all of us in the end A**Hole

17. Rydsmith unregistered

Ok, I'm done. Bleeding hearts like you truly are a plague.

21. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

I have no idea why I have a "bleeding heart" because I'm human and don't give a s**t about emojis enough to yell "censorship..... CENSORSHIP!!!" like a doped up Santa Clara white girl. Seriously, what is it about nerds that make them so damn socially inept?

19. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

"Tell me, what would you think if someone sent you a random iMessage or Hangouts message with a rifle emoji in it? How would you interpret that statement from your point of view?" That applies to some many other emojis *devil *skull *middle finger *bomb *explosion IMO while timing is bad, adding a rifle emojis isnt going to cause any harm We shouldnt let terrorists restrict our freedom of speech That's what they want

24. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

yeah right.. they even have legit reason to include rifle "The rifle appeared as part of a set of Olympic themed emojis including ones for Fencer, Water Polo, and Boxing" but pistol, bomb and all others are just useless in all case

31. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I use the skull emoji all the time when something is hysterical lmao.

44. Jango

Posts: 376; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

You, my friend are the voice of reason. Kudos

3. deviceguy2016

Posts: 826; Member since: Jun 16, 2016

I never noticed the rifle but i also agree here to with Unicode and apple!! No reason for that, just the wrong idea for some..

5. AgentZero

Posts: 314; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

omg .. what the hell is wrong with these people.... you think an emoji with a gun will make people use guns or something ? or it will hurt the feelings of some people ?! how sensitive and irresponsible and self entitled are people in this day and age ?! its and EMOJI ! a CARTOON drawing !

6. sissy246

Posts: 7112; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

OMG it's just a stupid emoji. lets take away a gun emoji but let's keep the shooting and killing games in the app store. Yeah makes since to me. Yes I would feel the same if android does the same thing.

7. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Ah, a rifle, eh? Well, I must say that I fully support a complete ban on guns to civilian ownership... In my view, Civilians are no longer 'civil' when they possess a semi-auto assault rifle like AR-15 or any of its numerous variants with a detachable 30 Round Magazine, and could be upgraded with drums and optics, night visions and what not... These are TACTICAL WEAPONS and there is no way I'm going to support their sales in public... Secondly, .223 Round yaws and shatters upon contract with flesh, and that round is responsible for such a massive loss of lives... Cho, Virginia Tech shooter, used Hollow Points which are equally devastating... Wounds from these type of rounds are surgical nightmare... Obama, for the love of God, ban guns before The Trumpet takes over The White House and lift ban on fully automatic Assault Weapons to arm the whites... Do they can kill Latinos and Muslims... Think about it...

35. trublackrose

Posts: 45; Member since: Apr 14, 2015

Hehe. I love when people call an AR-15 an Assault Rifle. Simply because they don't even understand that its not an "Assault" Rifle. Its a Rifle. Simply put. Its just like every other Rifle, just a little more dressed up. "But it has a Magazine!" Well, so does many other rifles, from .22 up to 7.62. "But you can put attachments on it" Like so many other rifles. "But its Semi Automatic!" Yes.. Again, Like every other rifle and handgun currently produced. The only weapon systems that are not "Semi Automatic" are muzzle loaders. Now, Lets define "Assault" Rifle. The characteristics are actually very strict. 1. It must be an individual Weapon. 2. It must be capable of selective fire, which means it has the capacity to switch between semiautomatic and fully automatic fire. 3. It must have an intermediate-power cartridge: more power than a pistol but less than a standard rifle or battle rifle; 4. Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable box magazine; 5. And it should at least have an effective range of 300 metres (330 yards). Now, the AR 15 does fit all those, except for one. And I feel its the most important one. The Selective Fire option. As Fully Automatic Rifles are not allowed to be sold to civilians, the AR-15 and AR-15 styles of Rifles are not Assault Rifles by very definition of Assault Rifle. This is a term coined by the media to inspire fear into an inanimate object. Its a Buzz Word. I'll leave you with this. I think it'll provide you with some knowledge and as well know Knowledge is power, and knowing is Half the battle. assaultweapon.info/

47. Plutonium239

Posts: 1215; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

Incorrect, a bolt action rifle is not "semi-automatic" and it is not a muzzle loader. A rifle that uses a level actuated reloading system is also not semi-automatic.

9. Darkkracker

Posts: 255; Member since: Jun 11, 2016

Pc as usual.

10. IAmBackJustToComment unregistered

There is literally no reason to remove it. I'm offended by pigs, a pig once trampled a family member to death. I move to remove all pig emojis because it offends me. I'm not even pro-gun, but it's a damn drawing, Jesus Christ.

13. sissy246

Posts: 7112; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Why don't they remove the plane and the bomb they have sadly both been used in terrorist attacks.

14. Unordinary unregistered

Censorship.....

25. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

It would fit nice to the US.

26. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

︻デ═一 ▸▸▸

28. sukrith2194 unregistered

I see no use in removing all these emojis... What's wrong with a rifle emoji? The only reason this is praised is because of apple! It's not like the rifle emoji can kill someone! Grow up! If these Aholes stood together like this for actual ban of rifles and their purchase then all this is news worthy! Just remember these are the same people who did not wanna unlock a terrorists phone!

29. frankg

Posts: 173; Member since: May 14, 2014

Emoji guns don't kill people, REAL guns do!

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