After various major technology and social media companies have taken steps to replace the gun emoji with a water gun, attention was turned to the last few companies that were holding out. After Facebook and Google committed to the replacing of the handgun with a water gun on its emoji list, Microsoft becomes the last major company to do so.
The tech giant has revealed through a tweet that it has received feedback and is changing the emoji to reflect its values as a company and in solidarity with the current issue involving gun violence in the United States. With this, Apple, WhatsApp, Samsung, Twitter, Google, Facebook and now Microsoft have all committed to and drawn up plans to remove the gun from their emoji collections.
It’s certainly been a matter of no company wanting to be left behind, and Microsoft’s action now marks the last of the major tech giants taking affirmative action.
We are in the process of evolving our emojis to reflect our values and the feedback we’ve received. Here’s a preview: pic.twitter.com/BlB3yYTSht
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) April 25, 2018
The current moves to do away with the firearm in emoji comes after increasing incidents of gun violence in the United States. As citizen movements intensify around implementing some kind of gun control measures to prevent the careless and violent use of firearms, people have looked to tech giants to lend their support. While replacing an emoji may not actually do anything to prevent or reduce gun violence, it stands as a matter of solidarity and support with what is being seen as a major political issue in the United States.
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The water gun has been adopted as a replacement to the actual firearm, as it allows the continued use of a ‘gun’, albeit a physically harmless one.