Apple Leads the Way and Succeeds in Effort to Block Rifle Emoji from iOS

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A few weeks ago, we reported that a slew of new Emojis will be coming to iOS in a forthcoming software update. However, even despite the Unicode Consortium’s hard work on its latest 9.0 text-handling software, not all Emojis that were originally slated for launch this year will end up making the cut.

According to Emojipedia, the firm responsible for creating emoticons via its Unicode software, the Rifle Emoji — in addition to another, pistol-themed emoticon — were ultimately not included in the forthcoming Unicode 9.0 update. What’s more, as Emojipedia indicated, the change of plan came at a rather late stage in the game — long after the emojis in question had already been coded for the impending 9.0 update.

Emojipedia also noted, according to BuzzFeed, that Apple was one of the strongest opponents of the Rifle Emoji coming to its iOS platform.

BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel writes: “Apple started the discussion to remove the rifle emoji [and] told the consortium it would not support a rifle on its platforms and asked for it not to be made into an emoji. Microsoft also expressed dissatisfaction with the decision to include the rifle.”

The Unicode Consortium’s decision to axe the rifle emoji came as a surprise to some in the tech community, however — many were quick to note that the Cupertino-company’s emoticon encyclopedia already includes several violent figures — such as a gun, knife, bomb, among others. However, the sheer sensitive nature of the rifle, particularly amidst today’s sociopolitical landscape is a pressing issue, which lends good reason to remove that emoticon in particular.

For what it’s worth, Apple has (historically speaking) been on the forefront of supporting and advocating for left-wing issues — particularly when it comes to gun control and social equality. For Instance, the Silicon Valley tech-giant took a major role in the 2014 push to diversify emojis — an achievement that ultimately resulted in the different skin tones we can choose from today. Additionally, though perhaps a bit late in the game, Apple blocked the gun, knife, and bomb emojis from ever showing up in OS X Yosemite — even despite the fact that they showed up on iOS a year earlier.

Even still, for those disappointed by the rifle’s absence, you’ll have a plethora of other, fun emojis to look forward to when they come to iOS later on this fall!

What do you think about Apple’s opposition to the Rifle Emoji? Let us know in the comments!

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