How this ‘Frowning Pile of Poo’ emoji started a messy conflict

poo emoji
nicode Consortium
The Unicode Consortium is a serious bunch of people with a serious job. It’s a non-profit organization dedicated to standardizing software text worldwide — heavy stuff! As part of that noble goal, the consortium has the weighty task of approving the addition of new emojis, the silly little single-character cartoons we append to our texts. And a feud has broken out between the serious typographers and the more frivolous bloc who oversee emojis — all over a pile of poo.

Following a submission for the June 2018 class — a proposed emoji titled “Frowning Pile of Poo” — the consortium erupted into a fierce debate over whether such a poo emoji was really necessary and, more broadly, whether the emoji creation process had become too frivolous and commercialized.

As Buzzfeed explains, Michael Everson and Andrew West are two typographers who vociferously objected to the latest submission, saying it cheapened the consortium’s image and was damaging to the Unicode academic reputation.

“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,” they wrote. “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?”

The answer to all those questions is surely a resounding “Yes!” but let’s move on. An argument could be made that frowning poo is a necessary addition for those times when you want to covey your feelings with poo, only with a more dour and unhappy subtext. Emojis can be misinterpreted, after all. As the proponents argue in their 12-page proposal, it would “fill in the missing gap in emotions and attitudes that can’t be expressed with the smiling poo emoji alone.”

​The typographers weren’t buying it. “As an ordinary user, I don’t want this kind of crap on my phone,” Everson wrote.

​The obvious culprit is Apple. “It is a pity that Apple followed Softbank rather than KDDI in its reference glyph, since a coil of dog dirt with stink lines and flies is surely the only proper semantic,” the rebuttal memo declared.

There is also fear that the renegade emoji group is running roughshod over normal processes, implementing emojis in less than a year’s time with very little scrutiny or oversight. “Why the rush?” asked West.

In the meantime, Apple has just released its latest round of emojis — more than 70 of them if you update your device to iOS 11.1. As always, anyone you send the new emojis to will need the update as well, or they won’t be able to see them.

Unfortunately, this controversy won’t be flushed away any time soon.

Mobile

HMD Global admits Nokia 7 Plus handsets sent user data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.
Photography

Sony’s latest sensor is stacked, backlit, and equipped with a global shutter

Say this five times fast: Backlit, stacked, global shutter sensor. Sony managed to cram all three technologies into one sensor. The result is a high-speed sensor with a higher resolution without sacrificing low-light quality.
Mobile

Google's midrange Pixels might be called the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: Aliens, Avengers: Endgame, Charlie Says, and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, Charlie Says, Doom: Annihilation, and more.
Deals

Here are the best Chromebook deals available in March 2019

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- that won't…
Deals

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for March 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Deals

Looking for a Chromebook? The Google PixelBook just got a $200 price cut

Once relatively obscure, Chromebooks have come into their own in a big way in recent years. One of our favorites is the super-sleek Google Pixelbook, and it's on sale right now from Amazon for $200 off, letting you score this premium laptop…
Computing

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.
Computing

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up Speech Recognition in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.
Computing

Get the most out of your high-resolution display by tweaking its DPI scaling

Windows 10 has gotten much better than earlier versions at supporting today's high-resolution displays. If you want to get the best out of your monitor, then check out our guide on how to adjust high-DPI scaling in Windows 10.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.
Computing

Nvidia’s GTX 1650 graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over the 1050 Ti

Rumors suggest Nvidia might soon launch the GTX 1650, and a leaked benchmark listing from Final Fantasy XV suggests that the new graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over last generation's GTX 1050 Ti. 
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code.