An LGBTQ pride flag with a strikethrough symbol layered across it has appeared on Twitter. The presence of the emoji has caused a huge stir on social media, with users outraged at what is likely to be a glitch. Tweets about the emoji first appeared on the night of February 18.
The homophobic emoji, which was referred to as the “no homo” emoji by Paper Magazine, appears to only work on mobile and not desktop. The mobile version puts the strikethrough on top of the pride flag while the desktop version puts the strikethrough after the flag. The emoji was not made by emoji creator Unicode. In a statement to Paper Magazine, a Twitter spokesperson said, “The way the emoji appears is due to Unicode presentation on iOS, and on its own is not a violation of our rules. 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.”
The glitch appears for users if they tweet the pride flag and “banned” together. A Twitter user name Mitchell, who has since changed his handle to reflect the fact that he discovered the glitch, says he discovered the glitch. Mitchell says that he had noticed the flaw a while back and only posted about it on February 19. Mitchell later told Out that he was “shocked” when discovered the flaw. He added, “It shouldn’t be possible. I’ve been embracing it, but it’s also dangerous for people to use it hatefully.”
The fact that the emoji only appears on mobile should be worrying for Jack Dorsey and co., Omnicore says that 80 percent of Twitter users are on mobile.