The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

Opinion: Big White Planet discriminates with emojis

Stephanie Sansoucy
Paul Heckert

Stephanie SansoucyCurrently, there are 58 smiley face emojis, a gay couple, a pair of lesbians, 29 white emoticons, an Asian man, emotional cats, expressive monkeys and icons for different holidays across the world.

And yet, there are not any black emojis.

When the emojis first came out, I assumed it was an oversight by the creators. But after downloading the iOS 6 upgrade on my iPhone, I am not so sure anymore.

The company that makes emojis, ironically named Big White Planet,  is based in Kounov, Czech Republic, according to bigwhiteplanet.com.

In the Czech Republic, there are three major ethnic groups: the Czechs, the Moravians and the Slovaks, which all make up 96 percent of the population. The other four percent are listed as minorities, according to cia.factbook.gov.

Therefore, it could be said that since the Czech Republic is home to very few people of African descent, the company doesn’t realize they are missing from the repertoire of emoticons.     

However, if I were a global company marketing an app that has the potential to sell to every iPhone user, I would think about including more races in the emoticon menu before putting in every phase of the moon’s lunar cycle.

From a business perspective, it only make senses to expand the diversity of your product to match the demographics of all of your consumers rather than restrict it to a handful of audiences.

Our modern society makes a conscious effort to end discrimination in every way possible.

The United States government has set up anti-discrimination laws for schools, sports and employment. “Politically correct” is a household term. Even the Disney princesses jumped on the bandwagon when they added Princess Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog,” Disney’s first black princess.

Yes, we live on a big planet. But it’s time for us to be all-inclusive, even when it comes to emoticons.

 

Stephanie Sansoucy, a freshman journalism major from Raleigh, is a senior news reporter.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Appalachian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *