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๐Ÿค” Why Apple modified its Pistol ๐Ÿ”ซ emoji?

A water pistol in lettuce or yellow-orange hues, pointing the muzzle to the left. This is how most platforms now display the revolver emoji, which looked like a classic firearm when it was approved in Unicode 6.0 back in 2010.

Apple was the first to redesign the emoji, launching a modified version in the beta version of iOS 10 for iPhone and iPad. Moreover, the platform didn't officially announce the ๐Ÿ”ซ Pistol emoji update and the reasons behind it but merely stated in the tenth iOS release that there were hundreds of new emojis.

But what prompted Apple to change the plausible image into a fun and not scary childish picture?

Pistol emoji
Modified pistol emoji icons on various platforms

It is believed ะตั€ั„ะต this was due to an increase in gun violence since 2014 in ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ USA. At the same time, the number of criminal cases involving school children and teenagers also surged. ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿ‘ฆ Children sent messages to their classmates that were interpreted by ๐Ÿ‘ฎ Police as threats because of the use of a gun smiley in the texts.

Such a situation caused a public outcry and launched an anti-violence campaign on social media with the hashtag #DisarmTheiPhone. Meanwhile, to draw attention to the movement, activists appealed to Apple to make a "symbolic gesture" and change the emoji.

The company deemed it right to remove the realistic gun image from the platform and updated the emoji in the autumn of 2016 with a plastic toy alternative.

Gun emoji
Gun emoji icons on various platforms

Despite mixed reactions to the modification, the IT giants supported Apple's initiative. So by 2018, the emoji had almost everywhere been displayed as a water gun. The emoji with a weapon resembling the real gun remained available only from a few emoji vendors or in outdated kits.