A new update for Android users replaces the gun emoji with an orange-and-yellow toy water pistol, Emojipedia announced in a blog post Tuesday.
Google’s decision mimics changes previously made by other companies, including Twitter, WhatsApp and Samsung. Apple led the charge in 2016, effectively saying a gun didn’t have a place in common pictorial language, according to TechCrunch.
According to Emojipedia, a Facebook spokesperson said the social platform has plans to replace its gun emoji with the toy gun as well.
Microsoft would then be one of the only major platforms left with a realistic gun emoji. What’s interesting is that Microsoft initially displayed the gun emoji as a toy ray gun and then updated it to a revolver in 2016, part of an emoji re-haul.
“The main problem with the different appearances of the pistol emoji has been the potential for confusion when one platform displays this as an innocuous toy, and another shows the same emoji as a weapon. This was particularly an issue in 2016 when Apple changed the pistol emoji out of step with every single other vendor at the time,” Jeremy Burge, Emojipedia’s founder and vice chair on the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee, told TechCrunch. “I know some users object to what they see as censorship on their emoji keyboard, but I can certainly see why companies today might want to ensure that they aren’t showing a weapon where iPhone and Samsung Galaxy users now have a toy gun.”
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