Google has become the latest company to ditch the gun emoji; replacing it with the water gun emoji. Everyone is preaching safety these days, and Google just doesn’t want to be left out. The company has now joined others like Twitter, Samsung, WhatsApp, and Apple to replace the emoji rifle.
Emojipedia announced the change in a blog post on Tuesday. According to the announcement, the change was done to align with “recent changes by other vendors.”
A move away from the gun emoji was first made by Apple two years ago—and even though other companies didn’t buy the idea at the time, everyone seems to be embracing the idea now.
Facebook is also thinking along that line too. The social media giant, according to Emojipedia confirmed moves to replace the gun emoji with a toy gun.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, the decision to change to minimize a situation where a user may pick a toy gun from a native emoji keyboard on other platforms such as Google, Apple or Samsung devices and show it as a weapon on Facebook.
A couple of weeks ago, Twitter replaced its gun emoji with a water gun emoji in an apparent move aimed at sending the right message to its community that the microblogging company wants to get rid of harassment from its platform.
The Twitter gun emoji is popular for the wrong reasons, and now Twitter has replaced it with a water gun emoji. That is more like it considering the number of issues it [the gun emoji] keeps generating on the Twitter platform.
Twitter is struggling to deal with harassments on its network. The gun emoji was a strong source of online harassment before the replacement, and the microblogging company may just have made one of its biggest moves to deal with the problem.
The move will calm the nerves of some critics who were not that comfortable with the pistol emoji in the first place.
“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,” said Jeremy Burge, founder of Emojipedia per TechCrunch. “Now we’re seeing multiple vendors all changing to a water pistol image all in a similar timeframe with Samsung and Twitter both changing their design this year.”
Regardless of how you view these changes, a statement has been made with the updates, especially replacement of the gun emoji. Of course, some users might view these changes as an attempt to censor their rights to use any emoji of their choice, Twitter might just be seeing things differently.