The brewing crisis over the pile of poo emoji

An excellent post to the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC2 WG2 mailing list sums up critical feedback over recently approved emojis, including a fierce denunciation of the (IMHO) excellent "frowning pile of poo" emoji, which is viewed as a slippery slope to an entire "a range of emotions to PILE OF POO."

MICHAEL EVERSON: This character is damaging to both ISO/IEC 10646 and the Unicode Standard. It is bad enough that the ESC came up with it, but it beggars believe that the UTC actually approved it. Organic waste isn’t cute. The existing PILE OF POO character was added for compatibility with Japanese telco sets. It is a pity that Apple followed Softbank rather than KDDI in its reference glyph, since a coil of dog dirt with stink lines and flies is surely the only proper semantic. The idea that our committees would sanction further cute graphic characters based on this should embarrass absolutely everyone who votes yes on such an excrescence. Will we have a CRYING PILE OF POO next? PILE OF POO WITH TONGUE STICKING OUT? PILE OF POO WITH QUESTION MARKS FOR EYES? PILE OF POO WITH KARAOKE MIC? Will we have to encode a neutral FACELESS PILE OF POO? As an ordinary user, I don’t want this kind of crap on my phone. As a representative of the National Standards Authority of Ireland, I have to wonder what possible good could come of encoding such a character. Bullying, perhaps? Requested change: Remove this character from the PDAM and reject its encoding.


I'm concerned that this character will open the floodgates for an open-ended set of PILE OF POO emoji with emotions, such as CRYING PILE OF POO, PILE OF POO WITH LOOK OF TRIUMPH, PILE OF POO SCREAMING IN FEAR, etc. Is there really any need to add a range of emotions to PILE OF POO? I personally think that changing PILE OF POO to a de facto SMILING PILE OF POO was wrong, but adding F|FROWNING PILE OF POO as a counterpart is even worse. If this is accepted then there will be no neutral, expressionless PILE OF POO, so at least a PILE OF POO WITH NO FACE would be required to be encoded to restore some balance. I recommend removing FROWNING PILE OF POO pending further study and public consultation on the need for additional PILE OF POO emoji.

Feedback from WG2 email discussion list on PDAM 2.2 [Debbie Anderson/UTC]