Two years ago Apple decided to ditch the pistol emoji from its devices and instead opted for a water gun to represent any form of firearm. The decision, as we all know, came in the light of the mass shootings and general unrest caused by arm bearers. Notably, Microsoft and Facebook and followed Apple’s footsteps and replaced the gun emoji with water guns as well.
After Twitter and Samsung followed by Google this year, Microsoft and Facebook were the only remaining big tech names to sport the gun emoji on their platforms.
Business Insider has reported that this is changing:
Facebook plans to provide a new image for the gun emoji more in line with the Apple, Samsung, and Android images, a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider. The change is going to be made in the interest of consistency, to prevent confusion, but the company plans to bring consistency across different tech brands up as a discussion topic with the Unicode Consortium, the organization that oversees emoji, the spokesperson said.
Microsoft says it’s “in the process of evolving our emojis to reflect our values and the feedback we’ve received.” The company also tweeted out a preview of its new water-gun emoji as “a preview.”
There had been an apparent increase in the usage of certain emojis in a threatening way which has led the giants of silicon valley and others to take this measure. The water gun emoji that replaces a pistol or a real weapon is more innocent and may not seem as threatening.