Apple to Replace Pistol Emoji with a Water Gun
Water pistols aren’t just for summer anymore. According to CNN, Apple announced yesterday, on August 1, that they will soon be replacing the oft-criticized handgun emoji with a tiny digital picture of the childhood toy. The new emoji will be rolled out in the tech company’s next version of their iPhone and iPad operating system, iOS 10, this fall.
Along with the new water pistol emoji, Apple will provide tech users with new or overhauled gender-equal images that depict women working in traditionally “male” professions: detective, police officer, and construction worker, to name a few. Other additions include a pride flag, single-parent families, and women participating in sports.
Apple didn’t directly address the hand gun’s replacement in an official news statement that announced the new and redesigned emoji characters. However, the company has shown opposition toward gun emojis in the past, BuzzFeed reports. In May 2016, Unicode—the official organization that selects and regulates emoji—considered adding a rifle to their assortment of image offerings, but both Apple and Microsoft shot it down.
In the past, the gun emoji has caused legal trouble. As CNN points out, a 12-year-old girl in Virginia was charged last December after she threatened her middle school with gun, knife, and bomb emojis on Instagram. And in late 2014, a Brooklyn teen posted a picture of a police officer with three emoji guns pointing at him. The teen was arrested, but charges were later dropped.
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