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Emoji Skin Tones Promote Diversity on Twitter

Emoji hands in different skin tones.

A University of Edinburgh study of Twitter posts has shown emoji characters with adapted skin tones are used positively and are rarely abused.


Emoji characters with adapted skin tones are mostly used in a positive manner and are rarely abused, according to a recent study of Twitter posts by researchers at the University of Edinburgh in the U.K.

The study found concerns that a range of skin color options for emojis could be used inappropriately, such as by stoking antagonistic racial sentiment, have been unfounded since their introduction in 2015.

The researchers analyzed 1 billion tweets and found most users who chose to modify their emojis opted for a skin tone that aligned with their own.

In addition, in those tweets where the selected skin tone was different from that of the user, the posts were found to be mostly positive.

"The introduction of skin tone choices for emojis has been a success in representing diversity and their extensive use shows that they meet a real demand from users," says Edinburgh's Walid Magdy.

From University of Edinburgh
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