‘Homophobic’ emoji set off online uproar.

From GayNZ Team, 22 February 2019

Reports of a new emoji showing a gay pride flag with a “no” or “banned” symbol on it have users on Twitter and Instagram up in arms.

The symbol, which some are calling homophobic, appears to be the result of a seeming glitch created when users post the code for the rainbow flag followed by the banned symbol. The mashed-together emoji appears only on mobile apps.

"The way the emoji appears is due to Unicode presentation on iOS, and on its own is not a violation of our rules," a Twitter spokesperson said "However, if a user is targeted with this kind of emoji, and we have context that the intention is to shame, degrade, or harass based on membership (or perceived membership) in a protected category, we will action under our Hateful Conduct policies."

Despite the latest uproar, some online posters have known about the glitch for years. Emojipedia wrote about it in 2016, according to the publication.

Jeremy Burge, the founder and editor of Emojipedia, wrote in a series of Twitter posts Tuesday and Wednesday that the superimposition of the "banned" symbol on other emojis, including the gay pride flag, is not a glitch but simply how the strike-through emoji works. He criticized some media coverage of the topic.

"I get that not everyone can be an expert on everything but when it comes to hateful messages and trolling attempts to create a narrative that don’t (yet) exist in the public sphere: perhaps take a bit more time before hitting publish on the article," Burge wrote on Twitter.