Condom emoji blocked by industry ‘tech giants’

  • 09/09/2016

The peach, the eggplant, and a combination of hand gesture emojis are all well-known innuendos in the online world.

Now a New Zealand charity is fighting to get a condom emoji added to your smartphone.

The New Zealand Aids Foundation (NZAF) had their application for a new emoji rejected this week, and spokesperson Joe Rich says "tech giants" are to blame.

"We are really wanting to call it out as a bit of a double standard everyone knows what people are using this technology for but Facebook and Google aren't letting us have that talk about safe sex," he said.

The idea came about on World Aids Day in 2015 when the foundation teamed up with Durex and international Aids charities to try and promote safe sex on the web.

However earlier this week the group found out the company that selects new emojis, Unicode, turned down their applications because "industry partners" didn't support it.

Apple, Facebook and Google are listed among those on Unicode's website.

Now, the foundation has launched a petition to rally support for the emoji and to prove there is a need for young people to be able to talk about safe sex online.

Mr Rich says previous conversations "have often fallen on deaf ears", and puts that down to conservative American policies.

NZAF is taking a particular aim at Facebook and Google after the companies shut down or blocked their advertisements because condoms aren't considered family friendly.

Earlier in the week Durex also made headlines when announcing they were going to release eggplant flavoured condoms.

"That was them wanting to draw attention to the issue, saying 'this idea is as ridiculous as them not creating a condom emoji'," Mr Rich says.

While the idea turned out to be a humorous statement about the use of the eggplant emoji, it did create a buzz about the issue online.

Sign the petition here