That Emoji You’re Sending Is Open to Interpretation

Science Friday airs on WSQX Fridays from 2-4pm.  

A new study finds that emoji, the tiny graphic images increasingly used in text communications, can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that, due to differences in graphic design, certain characters could convey a slightly negative emotion when rendered on one mobile phone platform but a slightly positive emotion when viewed on another platform. And the problem is not just a matter of translating from Apple-ese to Android-ese. Even within one phone system, different users could interpret a single character in a range of ways.