A new emoji that looks like an anti gay flag has sparked outrage on social media, and many queer people have been using it to criticise or make fun of intolerant or hateful tweeters. But it's not an official emoji and it hasn't been made by Unicode, the company that creates emojis. In fact, it seems to appear when you combine the LGBT pride flag emoji with the
The result appears as a strikethrough placed on top of the rainbow flag emoji – or at least that's how it shows up on mobile devices. A Twitter user claims to have discovered this "glitch" a month ago and told American LGBT magazine Out that he was shocked to find out about it. He says he found the anti gay emoji by combining two blocks of Unicode — the type of coding that creates emojis — into one symbol.
Unicode is investigating the issue as a breach of its rules on the display of sexually explicit or offensive characters and has asked for more information from the creator of the anti-LGBT emoji. It has also apologised for the error in the emojis and said it doesn't want to see discriminatory content on its platforms.
But the anti-LGBT emoji hasn't stopped some people from using it in more harmful ways, with several trans non binary users reporting trolls spamming them with homophobic messages. One Instagram user has even called on the company to ban the emoji as it goes against its community guidelines.