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Apple Pushing for More Ethnic Diversity in Emoji Icons

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Apple has said that it is working with the standards body responsible for the design of emoji cartoon characters that can be used in text messages to improve their ethnic diversity.

The emoji's have been critisised in the past for having a bias towards Caucasian or a few Asian characters, with no representation of black or other ethic groups.

The emjois themselves were not standardised until 2010, when the Unicode Consortium, which already manages computer fonts took on the task of ensuring cross-device compatibility.

Any company can create emojis and Apple could roll out a wider selection, but to ensure that non-Apple devices can display them, it needs the standards body to approve the designs.

"Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms," Katie Cotton, Apple's vice-president of worldwide corporate communications, told MTV. "There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard."

Apple was responding after a petition was posted online calling for the company to do more to broaden the ethic diversity of emoji characters in the iPhone.

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Tags: apple