Twitter officially removes, replaces pistol emoji

Twitter officially removes, replaces pistol emoji

Twitter has finally killed off the pistol emoji, following the lead of fellow tech giants such as Apple, Samsung and WhatsApp.

Instead, the icon has been replaced with a cartoon water pistol, which is designed to look less threatening — but some users are furious about the decision.

These new changes are part of Twitter’s latest Twemoji 2.6 update.

The social network regularly adds, removes and changes emojis — and the pistol ban is arguably long overdue.

Twitter’s original emoji design for the pistol looked clearly like a revolver, with a brown stock, a short barrel and an obvious revolving cylinder for bullets.

But the new version is colored green and clearly looks like a water pistol.

Obvious defining features on the new emoji include a fun curved shape, an orange tip and a plasticky yellow trigger.

The change is likely a bid to help clean up Twitter’s reputation online.

Twitter has been struggling to get to grips with trolling, bullying, harassment and threats of violence on the platform.

Changing the pistol emoji could soften threatening tweets — a water pistol has very different connotations, after all.

The decision also comes at a time of heightened tension around firearms in the USA.

Back in February, 17 students at a school in Parkland were killed — prompting US President Donald Trump to call for teachers to be armed.

The shooting sparked a wave of protests calling for better gun controls in America.

Unsurprisingly, people are divided over Twitter’s decision to scrap the emoji, with some users blasting the social network over the change:

One irate user said: “Honestly, someone was offended by the little tiny gun emoji?

“Your five-year-old is playing GTA and you are worrying about an emoji!”

Another said: “We’re now living in a world where any form of ‘violence’ has to be removed.”

“A gun emoji, do you know how pathetic that is that it’s being replaced with a water pistol because of people being childish and gun laws getting involved with an emoji…”

Others have come out in support of the change:

In any case, Twitter isn’t exactly leading the charge here.

Apple was first to make the change back in 2016. The iPhone maker was quickly followed by WhatsApp and Samsung.

It’s entirely possible that the pistol emoji will fade away completely, as tech companies look to crack down on online harassment and the promotion of violence.

However, users can still upload several other potentially problematic emoji to Twitter, including icons for a bomb, a knife, an explosion and fire.

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