81 comments

  • Henrique NogueiraHenrique Nogueira, over 1 year ago

    as a black guy, this article was such a waste of time

    56 points
  • Jared KrauseJared Krause, over 1 year ago

    Actual conversation that happened at Anchor HQ:

    Designer 1: "What color should we make the clap emoji?"

    Designer 2: "Use the default one obviously, anything else would be racist."

    Designer 1: "That's what I was thinking, got it."

    42 points
  • Adam Hayman, over 1 year ago

    You know what would have been a way more effective use of your time instead of writing a medium article?

    You: "Hey hello@anchor.fm, do you guys have any plans to add the option to allow users select their hand clapping emoji color? It'd be a great way for people to add a little personalization to their profiles and better represent the diversity of people using the app. Just a thought!"

    Anchor People: "Hey, yeah! That's actually in our roadmap and we're hoping to push that out in the next month."

    You: "Neato!"

    23 points
    • Jon LJon L, over 1 year ago

      Real Quick Disclaimer: I didn't write this article. And as far as I know, that conversation is unfolding on Twitter between the author and the Anchor team. Sit down.

      4 points
      • Adam Hayman, over 1 year ago

        Already am sitting down, but thanks for the concern.

        And I know you didn't. That was more just a general statement of "This is my response to this article" Not specifically directed toward you as the person who posted it. If you'd like I can edit it to clarify. Anything for you, Jon.

        But the bigger question, is Why didn't the author ask them on Twitter BEFORE posting a medium article making them out to be bad guys? Because that wouldn't result in the sweet sweet shares he's getting in the name of "social justice".

        16 points
  • Steven CavinsSteven Cavins, over 1 year ago

    DN: "Skeu vs Flat? Who cares? Should designers code? Who cares. Spotify has a new typeface? Who cares. Microsoft has a new style guide? Meh. The default emoji has racial implications? BEHOLD, I HAVE MANY OPINIONS ON THIS."

    17 points
  • Arix KingArix King, over 1 year ago

    Is this a legitimate argument that using the default emoji color is exclusive of certain audiences because a 134 person pool of "white people" typically use it?

    That's a bit over the top, right?

    11 points
    • Jon L, over 1 year ago

      I think you might be missing the overall point.

      But, I do think that a survey asking POC whether they change their emoji color when they're given the opportunity would be a nice addition to the argument.

      4 points
      • Arix KingArix King, over 1 year ago

        I agree—seeing POC emoji usage would be a nice addition.

        It also doesn't help that he polled his audience, which any statistician will tell you skews the results.

        I'm all for being more inclusive and hope my designs don't leave people out, but I feel like this post is making a big deal out of only assumptions.

        6 points
    • Daniel FoscoDaniel Fosco, over 1 year ago

      Most people of color in my company (which has ~200 employees) use different skin tones for emoji in slack reactions and messaging.

      7 points
    • Darrell HanleyDarrell Hanley, over 1 year ago

      Furthermore, Yellow isn't supposed to represent white people. In fact, I think Apple had to go back and make all their default emoji yellow from paler skin that was derived from white people in earlier versions of iOS.

      I would think that if an issue exists, then its because the emoji might not be yellow enough and the drawings too realistic. It feeds into my long standing beef with Apple breaking emoji by defaulting to white skin to begin with, then trying to correct their mistake by compounding on it, pushing for Emojis to have a race spec, something that hadn't existed prior.

      6 points
      • Jake Lazaroff, over 1 year ago

        I know that yellow was supposed to make the default emojis not represent a race, but I think Apple ultimately failed in that goal. Yellow is often used as a proxy for white.

        I posed this question down below, but I'll repeat it here: What race are all the yellow characters in this poster?

        simpsons characters

        7 points
        • Darrell HanleyDarrell Hanley, over 1 year ago

          This is true, I think again, a lot of this comes down to how Apple has decided to style their emojis. A lot of companies are guilty of not abstracting away details to discourage a racial identification or making their emoji's explicitly based on real people and thus includes race.

          Here's a list of the various clapping hands emoji. Personally, I think only Google, Microsoft, and Twitter got this right. The default emoji should be yellow orange and should have no details like smooth shading or drop shadows.

          I do think that by making it yellow orange and dropping all unnecessary details and textures, you abstract the meaning of the icon enough to avoid Simpsons race identification.

          1 point
        • Andrew LeeAndrew Lee, over 1 year ago

          Crap, Pikachu was white this whole time?

          Aw hell.

          8 points
        • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, over 1 year ago

          Their race is Yellow.

          1 point
    • Blake PerdueBlake Perdue, over 1 year ago

      I found this whole article insulting. The emoji is yellow. I'm white dude and my hands do not look yellow. It's just the default emoji. Nobody is thinking about race until you make it about race.

      19 points
      • Nick MasonNick Mason, over 1 year ago

        "Nobody is thinking about race until you make it about race"

        Wrong.

        People who aren't white have to think about their race every day. You're not the only person on the planet, and your experience as a self-admitted "white dude" invalidates your commentary on the matter.

        This dude straight up told you why he stopped using it, and you dare to sit there and discount his experience. Immensely disrespectful.

        You're insulted? Get over yourself.

        27 points
        • Jon LJon L, over 1 year ago

          Applause

          9 points
        • Garrett Cox, over 1 year ago

          "You're insulted? Get over yourself."

          Right.

          If you're insulted that a company used a yellow clapping hands emoji in place of a star, or a thumbs up, "Get over yourself"

          If you're insulted because a company has less than 10 employees, and all of them are white, "Get over yourself"

          9 points
          • Jake Lazaroff, over 1 year ago

            If you're insulted because companies discriminate against you based on your race, "Get over yourself"

            FTFY

            3 points
            • Garrett Cox, over 1 year ago

              Yeah so if I hung out with a group of 9 or so friends, all of which happened to be white and male, that makes me racist AND a sexist right!? Right?! Man "discrimination" has become such a bastardized term..

              9 points
              • Jake Lazaroff, over 1 year ago

                Or maybe you just don't have to care about systemic barriers that prevent marginalized people from working in tech? The US is only ~50% men and ~64% white, but every other company is made up of white dudes. Where's the disconnect?

                I'm not calling any individual sexist or racist, but we live and work in a sexist and racist system. We need to be conscious of that and work to fix it.

                6 points
                • Adam Hayman, over 1 year ago

                  Wait...just to clarify, you're trying to say that we should be seeing ~50% men and ~64% white people in tech because those are the overall stats for the country we live in?

                  You know that's not how statistics work, right?

                  2 points
                  • Jake Lazaroff, over 1 year ago

                    If you take an unbiased subset of a population, then yes, that's exactly how statistics work.

                    2 points
                    • Adam Hayman, over 1 year ago

                      If things like poor access to quality education, peer pressure, cultural background, poverty, and societal norms don't exist, sure, that's how statistics work.

                      In reality there are a million different reasons other than racism and sexism that we don't see those percentages of people in tech. You're making your assumptions in a vacuum.

                      9 points
                      • Jake Lazaroff, over 1 year ago

                        Or: you're not making any connection between those things and racism/sexism/etc. Quality of education, poverty, access to professional networks, etc, are all things that white males in aggregate experience less—and that's before you get into conscious and unconscious biases that are explicitly based on factors like race. You can't say "it's not racism, it's quality of education!" without taking segregation, redlining, legacy admissions,

                        I'm not making my assumptions in a vacuum: whenever I look at why cishet white men are disproportionately overrepresented in (especially high positions in) tech, and the answers are almost always racism and sexism.

                        5 points
                        • Adam Hayman, over 1 year ago

                          To say that racism and sexism are the only reasons everything is the way it is, is a pretty narrow-minded statement. Ironic, for someone with what's a pretty liberal mindset! :)

                          6 points
                • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 1 year ago

                  Or maybe you just don't have to care about systemic barriers that prevent marginalized people from working in tech?

                  It is a freakin' YELLOW clapping hand icon.

                  Not a job offer.

                  Stop crying wolf.

                  5 points
                  • Jake Lazaroff, over 1 year ago

                    Representation. Is . Important.

                    You're white. Stop telling people of color when they should be offended by racism.

                    8 points
                    • Denis RojcykDenis Rojcyk, over 1 year ago

                      With your logic, you should stop telling people what and why should they care about something.

                      5 points
                    • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 1 year ago

                      To "cry wolf" means to raise a false alarm.

                      I'm not telling them to stop being offended by racism.

                      I'm telling them to stop being offended by something that's NOT racism. Nobody is treated unequally here.

                      5 points
                      • Jake Lazaroff, over 1 year ago

                        Yes white man, tell me how lack of representation of people of color in tech isn't racism

                        3 points
                        • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 1 year ago

                          Emoticons are yellow based off of the original smiley face. You're meaning to tell me the the original yellow smiley face was a racist symbol as well?

                          .edit: also, because I'm white I can't join in a discussion on what is racism and what isn't? You want equality and conversation or do you want me to shut up and say "I'm sorry"?

                          2 points
                          • Jake Lazaroff, over 1 year ago

                            No, I'm not saying yellow smiley faces are racist.

                            You can absolutely join in. But when a person of color tells you something is racist (like in the article), the proper response is not telling them it isn't. The proper response is to listen, because they see racism much more often than you do, in ways that you never will.

                            0 points
                            • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 1 year ago

                              Had a long discussion about this with a friend of mine. I've come around a bit on the subject on the argument of "misrepresentation". Overly representing any particular race means you're underrepresenting others, and thus furthering the belief that one is worth more than the other.

                              While I'm still of the opinion that it'd help the writer of the article to not care about sticks 'n stones, I do now see the error in my assumptions.

                              Thanks for not letting up on trying to convince me, it made me go out of my way to reach out to others for more opinions and changed my point of view.

                              Apologies for being a bit of a dense twat. Suppose that's my inner ignorance surfacing. Hard.

                              1 point
        • John PJohn P, over 1 year ago

          Maybe stop culturally appropriating emoji, it's a Japanese invention.

          0 points
        • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, over 1 year ago

          Isn't one person invalidating another person's commentary based on race..............racist?

          2 points
          • Nick MasonNick Mason, over 1 year ago

            No. One person refuting a point made from a position lacking knowledge whilst trying to interject is pointing out the Dunning-Kruger effect.

            Also known as not being a dick.

            1 point
      • Jake Lazaroff, over 1 year ago

        The emoji is yellow. I'm white dude and my hands do not look yellow.

        What race are all the yellow characters in this poster?

        simpsons characters

        6 points
    • Kirill ZakharovKirill Zakharov, over 1 year ago

      Avatar checks out.

      0 points
  • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 1 year ago

    How about, instead of taking offense to a clearly yellow emoji (a colour chosen to fit in with all the other yellow smiley faces) we focus our efforts on eliminating discrimination? Like, actually stop mistreating people.

    I really hate narrowmindedness. Which means I hate discrimination with a passion. But it annoys me when people cry wolf too. Grow a thicker skin please. You're taking offense to the colour of a hand-shaped cluster of pixels.

    I think it's everyone's job to create a great planet to live on, together. But if you create a fuss about nothing, you're not contributing. 2 sides to this coin. No.1 is obviously to be excellent to eachother. No.2 is not assuming the worst.

    10 points
  • Adam Hayman, over 1 year ago

    Sure, being able to change the color of your clapping hands emoji would be a great feature, and I'm sure they've probably got it in the pipeline. But in the grand scheme of building an entire product, that's a pretty small detail that goes in the "nice to have" category and will be hammered out when they have time.

    You're seriously going to waste your time getting your panties in a twist because of that?

    Besides, I thought it was generally agreed that in the emojis, white = white, black = black, and yellow = nondescript.

    9 points
    • Luke GodwardLuke Godward, over 1 year ago

      panties in a twist

      I'm not surprised you don't realise but just FYI this is offensive.

      6 points
      • Adam Hayman, over 1 year ago

        To who, exactly?

        4 points
        • Chase GiuntaChase Giunta, over 1 year ago

          The gigantic community advocating for starched no-wrinkle panties.

          9 points
        • Luke GodwardLuke Godward, over 1 year ago

          Whether you mean to or not you're associating being upset with something 'for no reason' with being a woman.

          3 points
          • Chase GiuntaChase Giunta, over 1 year ago

            It sounds like you're making the very offensive assumption that only women wear panties.

            16 points
          • Adam Hayman, over 1 year ago

            I would think at least equally offensive is a random person online assuming that women are too weak and easily offended to get upset over the saying "panties in a twist". Ironic, isn't it?

            I certainly don't mean to offend women by using that saying. And I suppose I COULD change it to "undies in a bunch" but then again, I'm confident that women are strong and self-confident enough to realize that it's simply a saying and not a big deal.

            6 points
      • Jonathon HalliwellJonathon Halliwell, over 1 year ago

        Oh no, not offensive

        4 points
      • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, over 1 year ago

        What isn't offensive these days? Maybe hummus and guacamole?

        1 point
  • Matthew BlodeMatthew Blode, over 1 year ago

    Snowflake

    6 points
  • Todd BenningsTodd Bennings, over 1 year ago

    Yall can discuss the validity of this issue all day, but there truth is that actions are being taken by anchor to address the invaluable opportunity to be inclusive in detail rather than on the surface. Before this medium post I'll bet this wasn't a thing for anchor.

    Similarly, someone had to speak up when there weren't images or video of black or brown hands holding phones in apple ads - I'm sure it wasn't a big deal to you, but I see a lot of those black hands holding phones with your dribble shots in them nowadays. But I ain't one to gossip. (Thanks Facebook.design)

    You should be ashamed if you are here dismissing a person raising a concern about what it's possibly an easy fix to a UI just because it doesn't offend you. But you are forever holding up the banner of UX and the "little big details". I'm disgusted.

    6 points
    • Adam Hayman, over 1 year ago

      I'm all for them including more skin tones in their app. Seems like a great feature, and if they truly hadn't thought of it before I'm glad the author brought it to their attention. BUT I don't think the right thing to do was write a medium article about it, vilifying them before even giving them a chance to make it right.

      If it was already in their pipeline and being worked on, great! If they genuinely hadn't thought of it, well now they know and they have a chance to make their app better. Either way, it's dealt with in a mature manner. Not shouted from the rooftops, dragging a decent company's name through the mud, all in the name of faux social justice.

      3 points
    • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, over 1 year ago

      I wonder if the author of the post also mentors young black men/women to help them understand the work he may do (whether in design or medical or whatever). Cause that seems like a much more important aspect of reducing the white landscape in professional industries than complaining about the Simpson hands.

      1 point
  • Andy LeverenzAndy Leverenz, over 1 year ago

    or "How to make me stop reading medium articles"

    3 points
  • Jonathon HalliwellJonathon Halliwell, over 1 year ago

    Designer News: Social Justice Edition

    2 points
    • Adam Hayman, over 1 year ago

      Pretty much the same thing that's happened over at Cotton Bureau. Shame. It used to be such a nice place :/

      0 points
  • Arix KingArix King, over 1 year ago

    While were talking about emoji...

    WTF APPLE

    ...why do the adolescent emoji all have blonde hair (Male & Female) no matter the skin tone? None of the other emoji do this. Seems much more offensive than default yellow clappy hands.

    Plus, the inconsistency drives me nuts. :^)

    2 points
    • Darrell HanleyDarrell Hanley, over 1 year ago

      So that emoji is actually the "man with blond hair/woman with blond hair" emoji. Why does such an emoji exist? Because Emoji aren't a real spec and is actually owned by some company in Japan, so arbitrary characters find their way into the spec.

      As for why you thought this emoji was an adolescent emoji? Because Apple is really bad at designing their emoji to be default inclusive. Woman with blond hair has tied back hair because that's what some illustrator decided that's what women with blond hair do. Doesn't help that blond hair is the default, when most other systems default their emoji to either be hairless (Google uses a bowtie on the head to signal sex) or default brown hair, the most common hair color in the human race.

      3 points
      • Arix KingArix King, over 1 year ago

        Holy shit, you're right.

        I just assumed they were the "adolescent" because they both look to be aged between the Man/Woman and Boy/Girl emoji. Especially since Man emoji has a mustache and "adolescent" girl has her hair up, which—for whatever reason—changes my perception of age for both of them. Learn something new everyday.

        (Although—I think they should embrace the "adolescent" model. Makes more sense than "Blonde Person.")

        3 points
      • Gen Uine, over 1 year ago

        Actually no company in JP owns Emoji. The closest thing to "ownership" would be the Unicode Consoritum, who decides which emoji gets added to the Unicode spec.

        Shigetaka Kurita from DoCoMo created the original emoji set.

        0 points
  • John PJohn P, over 1 year ago

    Non-yellow emojis were a mistake.

    Evident when Slack included a thumbs up one that actually cycles through the skin tones just to stop multicolored thumbs up under every post.

    2 points
  • Daniel WearneDaniel Wearne, over 1 year ago

    yeah wow

    1 point
  • Vinicius Coelho, over 1 year ago

    Holy shit, so many people offended by this article...

    I've never thought of how a emoji could turn into a user's ethnic metric. I wouldn't even go with the yellow emoji, I would just put a black/white Font Awesome like icon.

    1 point
  • Joe BlauJoe Blau, over 1 year ago

    I'm still waiting for Apple to let me do this in Messages — I should file a radar.

    0 points
    • Jake Lazaroff, over 1 year ago

      Behold, the iOS system keyboard:

      emoji skin tone picker in iOS keyboard

      9 points
      • Joe BlauJoe Blau, over 1 year ago

        :thumbsdown::skin-tone-5: — That is not what I'm talking about. I want the option in Messages as a global setting, not on a keyboard. In Slack you can set the global skin tone, in iOS you have to do each emoji manually one by one.

        this

        2 points
  • Joshua KaufmanJoshua Kaufman, over 1 year ago

    by the way, watching actual designers get triggered by this article in the @designernewsbot comments is fun

    でじことdex digital (author of the Medium post) on Twitter

    Yup.

    0 points
  • David ThornDavid Thorn, over 1 year ago

    This dude assumes his solution is the ultimate fix by just letting everyone select their race for their clappy hands. He even suggests using it as a metric for what people identify with so the podcaster can see it.

    But the podcaster is the only one to see it. And in order to see the claps you got, they'd have to be broken down by race or shown on a timeline, AND THAT COMPLETELY MISSES THE ENTIRE POINT. It then becomes entirely about race, not what people resonated with.

    Ex. Why did I only get one white applause here, and a bunch of black applause here? Should I edit my content for the olive skinned audience?

    This also negates the fact that some people gasp may not choose an accurate skin tone to represent themselves, or may STILL stick with the default, thus further skewing the statistics the author believes is the silver bullet. What if most people stay with the default, either out of safety, lack of caring, or because they specifically aren't comfortable sharing? That should be user tested, not fixed via squeaky wheel on Medium.

    There's also gender identity, country or city of origin, and a whole lot more is also incredibly relevant. But this isn't a metric service. It's a fucking app to distribute and listen to podcasts.

    The point of the hands was a "fun" way to provide feedback to the podcaster that something resonated they said with people. The authors "quick and easy" solution confuses this very simple point and doesn't even begin to critically think of any of the challenges this would represent.

    Black representation is an issue, but there needs to be more thought than knee jerk reactions and half-assed product advice. If I was responsible, I'd probably get away from anything depicting skin regardless of abstraction, race is not a simple issue to solve for and this is the wrong context to tackle it in. There are other icons that can be used that show that someone likes something.

    0 points
  • Andrew Parker, over 1 year ago

    Hmmm - I read it and thought "couldn't the emoji color be selected from the skin tone of the avatar"?

    Why does it need a setting - surely it should feel "built for you" rather than needing the user to configure that sort of thing...

    0 points