I am looking for a canonical question and answer on this issue.

This question (see edit history) on Pets.se has prompted me to ask this question.

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In all honesty I think we just don't need a comic strip to explain what a user is saying. Currently I edit out emoticons I see, but this post presents a whole new type of .... ? what I'm not sure.

Is there are community consensus on this either way?

These questions are related β€” but different:

Please try and answer sensibly (rolls eyes at the prospect of a flood of emojis in answers) β€” so we can actually have something that we can link to new users (or old users) when editing this stuff out β€” or (even worse), defending its existence.

  • 6
    IMO, it's not different from other noise like "thanks", "I am 24 years old from Springfield", etc. Just edit it out, and if asked say it's noise. Posts should be focused on the question/answer only, without background noises. Aug 19, 2017 at 14:43
  • 1
    @ShaWizDowArd care to write an answer - that we can get upvoted and purge this plague before it goes viral?
    – user310756
    Aug 19, 2017 at 14:44
  • No time now, will do when having time and if nobody else will do it. :-) Aug 19, 2017 at 14:45
  • 15
    No, please, absolutely not. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ˆ Aug 19, 2017 at 15:08
  • @JohnMiliter aha!!! I knew it would happen :)
    – user310756
    Aug 19, 2017 at 15:09
  • 2
    Should a thing be allowed here which should have never been allowed into the Unicode? Hmm that's a hard question… Aug 24, 2017 at 13:15
  • 1
    How is "rolls eyes at ..." better than the succinct "πŸ™„ at...?" Personally, I think there would be much less hostility if I could display my intentions via emoji. Perhaps this is unique to me, but there have been times I've wanted to leave SE altogether because of galling comments. On one specific occasion I know I read the sentence different from the user's intention. This led to a short conversation which added no value to the question/answer, but cleared up my confusion. It could have been avoided with more precise wording, or with a simple emoji. Apr 12, 2018 at 4:13
  • Additionally, many people use emoticons (e.g., :-) ) without issue. Emoji provide the same value in fewer bytes. Apr 12, 2018 at 4:15
  • 5
    Emoticons render on most systems. They scale well.This isn't always true of emoji Apr 12, 2018 at 4:25

4 Answers 4


I would consider it noise in context. It adds little to the post, and is no different from indiscriminate, superfluous formatting.

Not to mention that emoji hardly render in a consistent way, so another user might see a series of boxes. There might also be some ambiguity in interpretation, and/or difficulty in reading it for some.

I'd say this is something I would strongly discourage, except when the emoji is an essential part of the question (and even then, some babysitting is needed).


Well, the only place where I need to use an emoji is to coax users to accept and upvote answers that they found helpful instead of typing "thanks" and moving on.

Don't write thanks in the comments. Instead, click the accept button (the tick βœ…οΈ button) and upvote it (the πŸ”Ό button) as a token of gratitude. This lets everyone know that the problem is solved.

Of course, I actually have to put the emoji because I've seen a few newbs who ask "Where are the upvote and accept buttons? I can't find them!".

And of course, the most bloodboiling newbie response, "What does a tick symbol look like?".

  • 7
    Well, every American I know calls that symbol a checkmark. Aug 21, 2017 at 0:14
  • 4
    Haha that's exactly the point @JeffreyBosboom . We in India and probably even in UK call it a "tick". Aug 21, 2017 at 6:56
  • 1
    @Unitato my thoughts exactly - not everyone knows what it is.
    – user310756
    Aug 21, 2017 at 18:08
  • 5
    I prefer textual Unicode symbols: upvote (∧), accept (βœ“).
    – Melebius
    Jan 3, 2019 at 14:31

There are cases where I see emojis are useful. For example, in Software Recommendation there is a feature request to have checkbox. Or when the conversation seems to be heated, an emoji can reduce the heat but still convey the necessary information.

If you use Windows, you can use AutoHotKey and add emojis via Markdown with this script.


The emoji do, or did, serve a purpose in text conversation. You don't hear inflection nor see physical clues as to the intent of the words... I'm guilty of using smiley faces because I never know when my sarcasm has gone over the endurance of people... A form of apology in advance?

  • 2
    What about here though? One would expect posts to be written with a reasonably formal tone. Texting on the other hand is informal. You can also assume emoji work on most modern phones. Not true of many browsers on desktop Aug 20, 2017 at 23:47
  • You have good point. It's ato write erudite
    – Cailin
    Aug 20, 2017 at 23:56
  • 4
    This might pass in chat or comments, but NOT in posts. Aug 21, 2017 at 6:21
  • @ShaWizDowArd I still haven't seen Emojis used much even in chat lol. Aug 26, 2017 at 14:05
  • Yep I agree - in chat, but not posts. @ShaWizDowArd
    – user310756
    Sep 14, 2017 at 6:06

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