Q

Enter the hidden world of emoji gatekeepers

Clive Thompson sheds light on the Unicode Consortium, an elite group that oversees the creation and circulation of new emojis.
Who are the people that decide which emojis should represent our internal emotional states? (Fabiola Carletti/CBC)
Listen7:13

Have you ever scanned through your emoji keyboard desperately seeking a way to express debilitating existential angst or the bittersweet anxiety of fledgling romance?

Well, rest assured that somewhere out there, a team of professionals is working on it. 

q tech columnist Clive Thompson joins Shad to discuss the hidden world of the Unicode Consortium, the elite group that oversees the creation and circulation of new emojis. Turns out the consortium must grapple with quality controls, passionate complaints, and competing projects — like encoding rare alphabets and addressing the needs of the emoji-less population.   

The consortium is expected to come out with their 2016 approved list of standardized emojis in June. 

We checked Shad's 'frequently used' emojis and found this wonderful wind instrument. Nothing says Shad like a smooth saxophone. (Fabiola Carletti/CBC)

Clive Thompson on tech. Author and journalist Clive Thompson always takes the red pill. Follow q's whip smart tech correspondent to the frontiers of science and technology — from virtual reality journalism to life on Mars.

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