Edinburgh Uni study shows darker emoji skin tones promote diversity
A study of Twitter posts, conducted by researchers at Edinburgh University, shows that a diverse range of emoji skin tones is used positively and rarely abused.
Fears that a range of skin colour options for the social media icons might be used inappropriately – in provoking antagonistic racial sentiment – have been unfounded since their introduction in 2015, the results show.
Drawing on a sample of a billion tweets, researchers found that most people who chose to modify their emojis opted for a skin tone that aligned with their own.
In tweets where the selected skin tone was different from that of the user, posts were found to be mostly positive.
Users with darker skin, according to their Twitter profiles, were most likely to modify their emoji, while users with light skin were less likely to make any changes. This underlines the importance to users of being able to express their identity online, researchers say.
Almost half of modified emojis used a light skin tone, because most users are white, the study found. The darkest skin tones were used least throughout most regions of the world, even in Africa, perhaps reflecting the lack of internet access in developing regions.
The study, by scientists at the University of Edinburgh, is to be presented at the 12th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media in Stanford, California, in June.
Dr Walid Magdy of The School of Informatics said that “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.”
Why innovation and marketing are the perfect partners to make changes that matter￼
With the rapid evolution of traditional marketing and the appearance of digital marketing, technology and innovation has become part of any marketer’s life without the need of working for a…
Transitioning to a four-day week – CEO’s vow to strike a healthier balance in the workplace
I came to Scotland nearly 20 years ago from Ireland, with no contacts but a lot of determination. While Ireland will always be my home, Scotland has given me amazing…
Women Lead: The female-led company championing intuitive working
Over the last two years, the pandemic forced a shift to more remote and flexible working practices. Whilst we might be seeing a “return to normal”, some companies are choosing…
Women Lead: My passion for young people to consider a career in digital
Twenty years ago, I stumbled across my career in digital marketing almost by accident. It was during my honours degree in marketing at Glasgow Caledonian University. I was on work…
Women Lead: Inclusive Silicon Valley cohort gives hope to entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds
Things are happening on the Scottish tech scene. Big and small initiatives are creating a fantastic ripple effect on the sector, bottom up and top down, thanks to the recommendations…
Women Lead: The story of an entrepreneurial scientist
I first arrived in Scotland over 20 years ago. I had £75 in my wallet and a scholarship offer to do a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. Sometimes I…
Please mind the gap… or healthcare may fall
Imagine sharing a lengthy train journey with others. From beginning to end, imagine how often you might hear ‘mind the gap’ messages about embarking and disembarking safely. Picture how navigating…
Women Lead: My journey from Dragons’ Den to Silicon Valley
Following her appearance on Dragons’ Den, Sheila Hogan, serial entrepreneur, founder and chief executive of digital legacy vault, Biscuit Tin, shares her experience of her time in the Den and…