Diverse Emojis Finally Arrive and Black Twitter Couldn’t Be Any Happier

What Black Twitter demands, Black Twitter gets.

So is the case with the official arrival of diverse emojis that finally made their way to Apple device owners everywhere who installed the latest iOS update.

The new update comes with an abundance of new features but none seemed to take over social media quite like the introduction of the long-awaited Black emojis.

From now on, texting and tweeting will never be the same.

Black users can now set their Apple devices to use a plethora of icons that more closely identify with their own appearance.

In usual Black Twitter fashion, users celebrated the new diverse faces with comedic tweets.

“Y’all finna see this Black power fist all over your time TL,” one user tweeted.

Another wrote, “Shoutout to this Black queen emoji! Let our girls know!”

“#ByeFelicia has so much more impact with this dark-skin hand next to it,” another quipped.

Of course, the wave of celebrations was short-lived for some who couldn’t help but look to the future and sigh at what is only the inevitable.

“Y’all gonna rethink asking for these diverse emoji when someone hits you w/ a little black face next to watermelon during a racial spat,” one user tweeted.

Another added that the diverse emojis will take over as the “Black best friend” excuse.

“White people gonna be like I’m not racist. I use black emoji all the time,” the tweet read.

Others acknowledged that the new emojis are certainly going to shake up social media and disturb racists, but they didn’t seem too concerned about their possible reactions.

“Oh man, I can’t wait to use this new black Santa emoji to enrage conservative friends and family next holiday season,” another user wrote.

In fact, controversy has already been bubbling with some users getting a head start on making offensive posts about the diverse digital faces.

“Where’s the emoji for black on black crime,” one user wrote.

Still, no tweet garnered as much backlash as Clorox’s failed attempt to ask for a bleach emoji.

With the addition of 300 new emojis there are certainly a lot more symbols for users to play with and only time will tell what new meanings the Black Twitter subculture will give to the new icons.

After all, it would be hard to find a single person who identifies as a part of Black Twitter who uses the eggplant emoji to symbolize the unpopular fruit.

Among the 300 new emojis, however, a bottle of bleach was not present, which drove Clorox to send out its own misguided request.

“New emojis are alright but where’s the bleach,” the tweet read along with a bottle of bleach composed of emojis.


It wasn’t long before the social media site was sent into a frenzy.

“You guys couldn’t possibly think that tweet would be a good idea,” one user wrote.

Another added, “Someone’s social media intern is in deep [poop emoji].”

Others questioned if the tweet was purposefully offensive or just the result of someone not thinking things all the way through.

“I don’t even think they were trying to be racist,” one tweet read. “Just bein stupid.”

“Ah… Should have ran that by someone first. Bad call,” another tweeted with a screenshot of Clorox’s controversial post read.

Clorox has since responded and insisted that it had no intention to hurt or offend anybody.

diverse emoji

The tweet was definitely a misstep as far as interpretation and showed a lack of consideration of the current landscape on social media as race relations continue to crumble in America.

Either way, the Clorox tweet should be the least of Black Twitter’s problems.

According to a report released in 2014, 50 percent of Clorox’s independent board of directors are “minorities” and roughly 10 percent of their employees are Black.

While that number can certainly use a boost, it’s actually a larger number than the current percentage of Black employees at companies like, oh let’s say, Twitter and Apple.

Twitter diversity

Only about 2 percent of Twitter’s own workforce is Black and Apple shouldn’t be excused for its own diversity issues simply because it rolled out some diverse emojis under serious pressure from their consumers.

While it’s refreshing to see Black social media users attempting to take on the watchdog role against would-be racist corporations, their focus on a Clorox bottle tweet may also be a little misguided when the very platform they are using to launch the attacks seems to show no interest in hiring any of them.

Meanwhile, in the midst of the diverse emoji celebrations, nobody has mentioned the fact that there are now probably more Black people on an iPhone’s keyboard than there are actually working at Apple.

Twitter’s New ‘Retweet with Comment’ Feature Garners Mixed Reviews as It Symbolizes the Platform’s Ongoing Evolution

Depending on what kind of social circle you have immersed yourself into in the Twitterverse, your timeline may have been excitedly squealing about Twitter’s new “Retweet with Comment” feature or angrily smashing their keyboards to push out expletive-filled tweets cursing the new feature’s existence.

It’s one of the moments that truly underlines the great Twitter divide that tends to exist between the social media platforms original, classic users and the newer users who are turning to Twitter as a blogging platform.

The new addition at the center of the digital discourse is the “Retweet with Comment” feature that the tech giant has been testing since last summer.

The feature allows users to add a comment within a retweet to make adding commentary to tweets easier and more convenient.

The feature is being rolled out on the site’s iPhone app, but the site promises that the feature will be coming to its Android app in the future.

From a general view, it’s a new feature that adds a lot more flexibility for users and caters to the desire to make ongoing dialogue easier to follow.

Previously, if users wanted to comment on a retweet they would have to make due with whatever space was left in the already short 140-character limit.

This often resulted in users shortening the original tweet, which could sometimes alter the context of the message. In other instances, users would have to significantly shorten their own comments or use other third-party apps to find their way around the character limit.

This new feature gives users their own additional 140 characters to use to comment on whatever interesting tweets they decide to share on their timeline.

Seems like there is very little not to like about the new feature if you are a part of a growing community of bloggers who use Twitter as a space for dialogue and general dissemination of news.

This is a population that is relatively new to the Twitterverse.

Long before the arrival of a wave of users driving extensive dialogue on the site, however, the brevity of 140 characters was an essential part of the platform’s appeal.

It was a restriction that presented a challenge for those who originally ushered Twitter into social media spotlight — the virtual comedians.

It’s a culture that’s hard to explain but easy to witness if you find yourself in certain digital subcultures like that of Black Twitter.

The brevity of the messages when commenting on retweets laid the foundation for certain emojis to be granted new meanings, shortened phrases and hashtags to hold greater context and essentially helped formulate secondary digital languages within certain subgroups on Twitter.

While commenting within the same retweet was often messy, difficult for some to follow and lacked any real sense of organization, it was also a cherished part of the Twitter experience.

For that reason, some users aren’t taking too kindly to the new feature that seems to have a Facebook-ish design behind it.

Retweet With Comment When the official Twitter page sent out a tweet to demonstrate the new feature, these users were quick to urge the social media giant to take another stab at the new addition.

“Revamped? It’s garbage,” one user replied to the tweet.

Another user wrote, “Change it … it looks atrocious.”

“I HATE IT,” another added.

Others voiced their frustrations that they would now have to seek a different Twitter app to use while the official Twitter app would now be boasting the new “Retweet with Comment” feature.

Others, of course, were excited about the feature’s arrival.

A series of thumbs-up emojis flooded Twitter’s replies along with tweets like “finally!” and “THANK YOU.”

Others didn’t seem too interested in the feature and instead suggested Twitter should have been working on a way to allow users to save .gifs from tweets or be alerted of people taking screenshots of their tweets.

It’s also important to note that it is not possible to embed the full retweet with comment to other platforms and websites.

For now, Twitter users remain extremely divided on the new feature’s arrival, but there is also a simple solution for the users who aren’t happy about the feature’s appearance or how it may impact the platform’s previous strictly enforced culture of brevity.

Don’t use the new feature.

Black Twitter Does it Again: The Online Push For Black Emojis Has Been Answered

The virtual collection of Emoji icons on mobile devices might receive a revolutionary update that will finally include ethnically diverse characters.

For at least a year now, Black Twitter has had an interesting question for the creators of the emoji icons: Where are the Black people?

The variety of faces used to express certain emotions and depict common items has long excluded Black characters.

An Asian man, an Indian man and even gay couples fill the emoji repertoire on Apple and Android devices, but if Black users ever wanted a face that looked a little more like themselves they were out of luck.

That’s finally about to change… possibly.

The Unicode Consortium recently announced a possible method for creating a wider range of skin colors for users to have access to.

The proposal is still being reviewed but Unicode Consortium president and co-founder Mark Davis said the odds are looking good that Black emoji icons are on the way.

“It isn’t completely set in stone; we are still collecting feedback on the proposal,” Davis said in an email to the Washington Post. “But I think it is very likely.”

The draft of the proposal said that the company understands that users want to see human diversity reflected in the technology they use and Unicode Consortium is ready to provide them with that.

“People all over the world want to have emoji that reflect more human diversity, especially for skin tone,” the draft said.

The update will do more than just add one Black emoji; it will allow users to take any existing emoji and select the skin tone they would prefer to use.

These skin tone swatches would range from a pale, creamy color to a darker brown/Black option.

Black emojis

The skin tone options would be effective for single faces as well as group emoji icons like couples.

The skin tone options would not, however, allow users to change only one person’s skin color in group emoji icons.

The announcement of the possible update comes after Twitter and other social media platforms served as a catalyst for users to voice their complaints.

Timelines across the country were filled with users pushing for Black emoji.

Some users voiced their concerns by joking about the absence of a Black emoji.

“They have Drake from Degrassi on here but no Black people,” one user tweeted along with the wheelchair emoji.

The tweet was a reference to the handicapped character Drake played in the popular teen series.

Others didn’t feel like the lack of diversity in emoji icons was a laughing matter.

“So there’s a gay couple emoji’s but not black person emoji,” another user tweeted. “Just gonna point that out.”

“I just know this IOS 8 update was gonna come with Black emojis,” another user tweeted. “Y’all can keep this.”

Even pop star Miley Cyrus and actor Tahj Mowry joined the call for more emoji diversity.

“It makes me mad that there are no black emojis…” Mowry tweeted back in March.

Cyrus asked her followers to retweet her message if they agreed with the movement to add a Black emoji icon.

The tweet quickly gained more than 6,000 retweets and 2,200 favorites.

If the plans are approved, the ethnically diverse icons could make their way to mobile devices by mid-2015.


#BlackTwitterStudyResults Bashes USC’s Black Twitter Research

When the University of Southern California announced its latest study on Black Twitter, the virtual community gave the student researchers a firsthand taste of just how powerful of a digital vehicle Black Twitter really is.

The university’s Data Science at the Annenberg Innovation Lab website explained the details of one of the school’s latest studies – a closer look at the online sub-culture that has become known as Black Twitter.

Problems arose, however, when many users felt the research method watered Black Twitter down to nothing more than Scandal-watching live-tweeters with short attention spans.

“In order to observe the unpredictable flow of Black Twitter activity, we turn instead to a structured set of events around which a significant percentage of the Black Twitter community has gathered,” the DSAIL website explained. “Our case study focuses on the popular television show, Scandal (of which the protagonist is notable actress, Kerry Washington). From October 3 to December 12, 2013, we tracked the activity of any user tweeting about Scandal, and logged their Twitter conversations and user metadata. With this collection as a starting point, we have begun to map out relationships among users who ‘live-tweet’ Scandal in an effort to identify sub-groups of users that interact with one another outside of their shared interest in the TV show.”

The study, which initially seemed to be headed by only three white males, came across as offensive to many Black Twitter users who responded to the research in true Black Twitter fashion – with a sarcastic hashtag.

The hashtag #BlackTwitterStudyResults started circulating on the social media site rather quickly and even garnered attention from BET.

“#blacktwitterstudyresults: people still like #CollegeHill …That’s why we are re-airing it. MIDNIGHTS,” BET tweeted.

Others joined in by slamming the false perceptions that often swirl around the online community.

“Lacking the ability to multitask, Black twitter often forgets about Black on Black crime #BlackTwitterStudyResults,” another user tweeted.

Others used pop culture phrases to inspire their tweets.

“#BlackTwitterStudyResults Felicia is clearly disliked as everyone wants her to leave #ByeFelicia,” another user tweeted.

It wasn’t long before users began mentioning some frequently discussed topics in Black Twitter such as “shade throwing,” the term “beat face,” and thinning edges.

“If one catches fade then they also may be the victim of shade throwing? Something about edges. Still deciphering. #BlackTwitterStudyResults,” another user tweeted before quickly gaining over 100 retweets.

After the hashtag started to garner more and more attention, a young Black woman was added to the project’s website’s attribution section.

The woman, who was identified as Dayna Chatman, eventually took to her own timeline to defend the project that she claimed was her idea from the start.

“I want to voice my frustration with how the research is inaccurately represented online,” she tweeted. “I will say more about my role in the project.”

Through a series of tweets, Chatman said her only goal for the project was to “archive and understand the voice of Black people” because she feels it is not “done enough in Communication.”

She also explained that she “pitched this project” as a part of her dissertation.

Many users felt as if this was merely a tactic being used to help fend off some of the backlash aimed toward three white males heading a research project on Black Twitter.

Others simply felt as if the study would serve to be pointless and was far too narrow-minded.

“If you want to understand the way blck ppl communicate you’ll have to go beyond Twitter #BlackTwitterStudyResults,” one user tweeted shortly after Chatman explained her involvement with the project.


More Than Fun & Games: The True Power of #BlackTwitter

With well over 600 million active users, it was always apparent that Twitter would become a powerful social vehicle, but in recent years it has been a niche community inside the social media giant that has unveiled itself as being unbelievably and undeniably powerful.

Every now and then you may see the hashtag — #BlackTwitter — but most of the time you will find yourself unknowingly stumbling upon Black Twitter’s hilarious antics or growing social movements.

Black Twitter is the name that was given to the community within Twitter that has always held Black popular culture, news and controversies at the center of its timeline.

While it initially became famous for outrageous jokes and sparking worldwide trending topics in a matter of minutes, it has recently become the latest and perhaps one of the most effective tools for social justice and racial equality.

Black Twitter’s list of accomplishments includes the cancellation of a book deal for a juror in the George Zimmerman case; Reebok’s rejection of rapper Rick Ross’ endorsement deal after his infamous date rape lyrics; and more recently,  promoter Damon Feldman’s withdrawal of a George Zimmerman celebrity boxing match.

The community has managed to use clever hashtags to gain support from other Twitter users across the globe to achieve commendable goals, all through the use of 140 characters and countless numbers of retweets.

“It’s kind of like the Black table in the lunchroom, sort of, where people of like interests and experiences and ways of talking and communication, lump together and talk among themselves,” said Tracy Clayton, a blogger and editor at BuzzFeed.

In fact, if anyone knows the power of Black Twitter, it’s BuzzFeed.

During Zimmerman’s trial, Black Twitter began sending out its own BuzzFeed-type lists with the hashtag #BlackBuzzFeed, which put BuzzFeed’s social media to shame.

“Black Twitter made this the No. 2 hashtag worldwide,” BuzzFeed later tweeted about the #BlackBuzzFeed hashtag. “Our wig has thoroughly been snatched. *Bows down.*”

Even the NAACP realized the momentum and power behind Black Twitter and made the community a part of its strategies.

The NAACP used hashtags like #TooMuchDoubt to gain support for halting the execution of Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis, and the #OscarGrant hashtag trended nation wide, leading to support for the film “Fruitvale Station.” The film documented the life of the young Black man who was unjustly killed by a police officer.

“We realized more than anyone that we had to go in that direction and we’ve done it,” NAACP interim President Lorraine Miller said of the organization’s social media use.

Perhaps the real magic behind Black Twitter is the combination of fighting for justice and captivating comedy.

Black Twitter gains attention through humor, while also bringing attention to major issues.

For example, when celebrity chef Paula Deen admitted to using racial slurs in the past, Black Twitter created the hashtag #PaulasBestDishes, which began trending nationwide.

The hashtag earned tons of laughs with imaginary recipes like “Massa-Roni and Cheese,” “We Shall Over-Crumb Cake,” “Three-Fifths Compromise Cheesecake,” “Coon on the Cob” and “Swing Low, Sweet Cherry Pie.”

At the same time it garnered attention to Deen’s remarks, created a national discussion via Twitter about the use of the N-word and led to the cancellation of several of Deen’s endorsement deals.

In short, Black Twitter has stepped to the forefront as the lead watchdog when it comes to racial injustice and other controversial issues.