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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.

Enter image description here

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 — but different:

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

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    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. – Shadow The Coffee Wizard Aug 19 '17 at 14:43
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    @ShaWizDowArd care to write an answer - that we can get upvoted and purge this plague before it goes viral? – Yvette Colomb Aug 19 '17 at 14:44
  • No time now, will do when having time and if nobody else will do it. :-) – Shadow The Coffee Wizard Aug 19 '17 at 14:45
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    No, please, absolutely not. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😈 – John Militer Aug 19 '17 at 15:08
  • @JohnMiliter aha!!! I knew it would happen :) – Yvette Colomb Aug 19 '17 at 15:09
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    Should a thing be allowed here which should have never been allowed into the Unicode? Hmm that's a hard question… – Sarge Borsch Aug 24 '17 at 13:15
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    How is "rolls eyes at ..." better than the succinct "🙄 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. – Rubellite Fae Apr 12 '18 at 4:13
  • Additionally, many people use emoticons (e.g., :-) ) without issue. Emoji provide the same value in fewer bytes. – Rubellite Fae Apr 12 '18 at 4:15
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    Emoticons render on most systems. They scale well.This isn't always true of emoji – Journeyman Geek Apr 12 '18 at 4:25
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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).

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    Examples of the valid use of emoji: How do these icons work: 🌍🌎🌏✅️?, Why are emoji characters like 👩‍👩‍👧‍👦 treated so strangely in Swift strings?. Other than that, I'm not sure site such as Pets 🐶 deserves a post with emoji 😁... – Meta Andrew T. Aug 19 '17 at 14:59
  • can I accept this now without being too prejudicial? – Yvette Colomb Aug 19 '17 at 15:00
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    Well, I have a definite bias here ;p – Journeyman Geek Aug 19 '17 at 15:02
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    It's so hard to say no to a dog wearing a hat – Yvette Colomb Aug 19 '17 at 15:03
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    In addition to not rendering at all for some people, they're just plain illegible to others without zooming way the heck in just to see the tiny pictures. I don't want people to use emojis for essential content (if they use pictures instead of words) because they are not accessible. At the very least, there'd need to be tooltips, but that doesn't help on touch screens. – Monica Cellio Aug 20 '17 at 4:50
  • @Elias Interestingly One of the questions you linked is exactly what I was thinking of when I wrote about inconstant rendering – Journeyman Geek Aug 21 '17 at 12:50
  • "It adds little to the post" I strongly disagree. It allows one to relate intent. This helps some people realize one is arguing "to the idea" and not "to the man." – Rubellite Fae Apr 12 '18 at 4:18
  • Also, in this very thread @JourneymanGeek used ;p. How is 😜 worse? – Rubellite Fae Apr 12 '18 at 4:19
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    It's in a comment. And one with no real baring on the answer – Journeyman Geek Apr 12 '18 at 4:20
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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 ✅️ button) and upvote it (the 🔼 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?".

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    Well, every American I know calls that symbol a checkmark. – Jeffrey Bosboom Aug 21 '17 at 0:14
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    Haha that's exactly the point @JeffreyBosboom . We in India and probably even in UK call it a "tick". – Unitato Aug 21 '17 at 6:56
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    @Unitato my thoughts exactly - not everyone knows what it is. – Yvette Colomb Aug 21 '17 at 18:08
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    I prefer textual Unicode symbols: upvote (∧), accept (✓). – Melebius Jan 3 at 14:31
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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.

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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?

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    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 – Journeyman Geek Aug 20 '17 at 23:47
  • You have good point. It's ato write erudite – Cailin Aug 20 '17 at 23:56
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    This might pass in chat or comments, but NOT in posts. – Shadow The Coffee Wizard Aug 21 '17 at 6:21
  • @ShaWizDowArd I still haven't seen Emojis used much even in chat lol. – Unitato Aug 26 '17 at 14:05
  • Yep I agree - in chat, but not posts. @ShaWizDowArd – Yvette Colomb Sep 14 '17 at 6:06

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