Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Emoji are great and/or they will destroy the world

310 views

Published on

Outside of emoji researchers, lots of people still forecast disaster or dream of universal communication even if most of us are confident that neither is nigh. Despite our protests, emoji inspire visions of apocalypse and utopia.
As with many linguistic resources (sounds, words, syntax), people use emoji to grind all sorts of axes. For example, people who say that women use more emoji than men are usually making some point that the data don't support. The first step in such an analysis is to ignore or discount the fact that, say, Snoop Dogg and Kyle MacLachlan are among the biggest emoji users in the world.
In this talk, I'll demonstrate how ideologies of emoji work themselves out across 870 journalists that political scientists have separately scored as liberal, conservative, or centrist. This lets us compare objective vs. subjective stances and inverts the idea that gender explains emoji to show how it is that emoji are a way that people "do" gender differently based on their political commitments.

Published in: Social Media
  • Be the first to comment

Emoji are great and/or they will destroy the world

  1. 1. EMOJI ARE GREAT AND/OR THEY WILL DESTROY THE WORLD TYLER SCHNOEBELEN (@TSCHNOEBELEN)
  2. 2. KEYNOTE FROM EMOJI2018, JUNE 25TH, 2018 AT STANFORD HI, WELCOME TO THE WRITTEN VERSION OF THIS PRESENTATION ▸ Outside of emoji researchers, lots of people still forecast disaster or dream of universal communication even if most of us are confident that neither is nigh. Despite our protests, emoji inspire visions of apocalypse and utopia. ▸ As with many linguistic resources (sounds, words, syntax), people use emoji to grind all sorts of axes. For example, people who say that women use more emoji than men are usually making some point that the data don't support. The first step in such an analysis is to ignore or discount the fact that, say, Snoop Dogg and Kyle MacLachlan are among the biggest emoji users in the world. ▸ In this talk, I'll demonstrate how ideologies of emoji work themselves out across 870 journalists that political scientists have separately scored as liberal, conservative, or centrist. This lets us compare objective vs. subjective stances and inverts the idea that gender explains emoji to show how it is that emoji are a way that people "do" gender differently based on their political commitments.
  3. 3. EMOJI ARE GREAT! A BETTER WORLD THROUGH EMOJI!
  4. 4. EMOJI WILL DESTROY THE WORLD! WELCOME TO THE EMOJIPOCALYPSE
  5. 5. “MISUNDERSTANDING IS WHAT IT’S LIKE TO LIVE AFTER BABEL” - SCHOR VISUAL LANGUAGE IN SERVICE OF PERFECT CLARITY ▸ Francis Bacon: words can refer directly to thought itself, ideograms are even more powerful and require no translation ▸ John Wilkins, the first secretary of the Royal Society, proposed a new language purely of ideas with 2,030 characters ▸ Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz said that we should produce not organize knowledge with a pictographic system, a little like Egyptian hieroglyphs: an incorruptible language of logic
  6. 6. 🤪
  7. 7. MOST SCRIPTS START OUT FOR ACCOUNTING OR ADMINISTRATION EMOJI ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT FOR LOGIC, BUT… ▸ Here’s the basic order of what you do when you get a writing system: ▸ Commercial, legal, contracts, some magical and religious uses ▸ Chronicles and ritual texts are later ▸ Instruction and entertainment later still
  8. 8. IF YOU WANT TO READ A LOT ON THE NEUROSCIENCE OF EMOTIONS UNDERLYING REASON, GO FOR ANTONIO DAMASIO’S “DESCARTES’ ERROR” RESEARCH ON MISUNDERSTANDING, LOGIC, EMOTION ▸ Consider the present impossibility of emoji-as-a-language given ▸ lack of non-repetitive emoji sequences ▸ e.g., Medlock & McCulloch (2016) ▸ inconsistencies of interpretation ▸ e.g., Miller et al (2017)
  9. 9. OH PARADISE EMOJI ARE, OF COURSE NOT A LANGUAGE OF IDEAS ▸ Most of us think of them as adding in nonverbal conversational cues that happen in speech but are absent in text ▸ e.g., Tigwell & Flatla (2016), Pavalanathan & Eisenstein (2015), Steinmetz & Schnoebelen (2014) ▸ Cramer et al (2016)'s analysis of what emoji are up to include: ▸ Adding emotional/situational meaning ▸ Adjusting tone ▸ Making a message more engaging ▸ Conversation management ▸ Relationship management
  10. 10. STOP CHANGE STOP CHANGE STOP CHANGE STOP CHANGE DOOMSDAY PRESCRIPTIVISTS ARE “CONSERVATIVE”…TO A POINT Ps—“Literally” has been used as a figurative intensifier since the 1760s
  11. 11. STOP CHANGE STOP CHANGE STOP CHANGE STOP CHANGE DOOMSDAY PRESCRIPTIVISTS ARE “CONSERVATIVE”…TO A POINT
  12. 12. FROM PULLUM’S “IDEOLOGY, POWER, AND LINGUISTIC THEORY” THE JUSTIFICATIONS AND FEARS BEHIND RULES ON LANGUAGE USE
  13. 13. 🔌
  14. 14. IDEOLOGY! There are no “collections of facts” free from the assumptions we make about the world
  15. 15. ROXANE GAY FROM “EMOJI”, A 2013 ZINE REPRESENTATION
  16. 16. A LOT OF SKIN TONE MODIFIERS BECAME AVAILABLE ~APRIL 2015 THE FIRST BLACK SANTA AT THE MALL OF AMERICA WAS DEC 2016
  17. 17. MICROSOFT TRIED TO REMEDY “SINGLE SKIN TONE” ~2016 SO MANY FAMILY TYPES…BUT THEY HAVE TO HAVE THE SAME SKIN TONES
  18. 18. FROM THE TV SHOW “GIRLS” REPRODUCTION
  19. 19. A BIT MORE DEFINITION WHAT AN IDEOLOGY IS ▸ Ideologies aren’t really epistemic (about knowledge), they are political ▸ Ideologies exist to confirm certain viewpoints ▸ Serve the interests of certain people ▸ Perform functional roles in social/economic/political/legal institutions ▸ Ideology is “an action-oriented system of beliefs” (Daniel Bell) ▸ The goal isn’t actually to render reality transparent ▸ But to motivate people to do or not do certain things
  20. 20. FROM THE NOW CORPUS (NEWS ON THE WEB: ~6 BIL WORDS SINCE 2010)
  21. 21. FOUR RECENT EMOJI DEBATES WHO GETS REPRESENTED? WHO DOESN’T COUNT? (…IDEOLOGY)
  22. 22. SEE ALSO BAMMAN ET AL (2014) “GENDER IDENTITY AND LEXICAL VARIATION IN SOCIAL MEDIA” THE MOST COMMON DISTINCTIONS AROUND GENDER AND LANGUAGE ▸ Men use informative language ▸ Prepositions (to), attributive adjectives (fat), higher word lengths (gargantuan) ▸ Women use involved language ▸ First and second person pronouns (you), present tense verbs (goes), contractions (don’t) ▸ (Argamon, Koppel, Fine, & Shimoni, 2003; Herring & Paolillo, 2006b; Schler, Koppel, Argamon, & Pennebaker, 2006…they are working off of dimensions in Biber 1995 and Chafe 1982)
  23. 23. RIGHT. THESE GUYS AREN’T “INVOLVED”
  24. 24. SEE ALSO BAMMAN ET AL (2014) “GENDER IDENTITY AND LEXICAL VARIATION IN SOCIAL MEDIA” OR “CONTEXTUALITY” ▸ Men are formal and explicit ▸ Nouns (floor), adjectives (big), prepositions (to), articles (the) ▸ Women are deictic and contextual ▸ Pronouns (you), verbs (run), adverbs (happily), interjections (oh!) ▸ “Contextuality” decreases when an unambiguous understanding is more important or difficult—when people are physically or socially farther away ▸ (Mukherjee & Liu, 2010; Nowson, Oberlander, & Gill, 2005 building off of Heylighen and Dewaele 2002)
  25. 25. CHECK OUT “LANGUAGE AND GENDER” BY ECKERT & MCCONNELL-GINET IN MANY LINGUISTIC STUDIES, IT’S WOMEN WHO USE THE STANDARD VARIABLES ▸ Here are the kinds of explanations offered for why they don’t do as much dialect stuff ▸ Did they do it for prestige (to acquire social capital)? ▸ To avoid losing status? ▸ Are women actually creating norms, not following them?
  26. 26. At its most basic
  27. 27. “HUGS AND KISSES” XO ▸ A lot more women use xo than men ▸ 11% of all women ▸ 2.5% of all men ▸ But that means that 89% of women aren’t using it at all. ▸ People who use xo are three times more likely to use ttyl (‘talk to you later’) ▸ The style is more commonly adopted by women ▸ But there’s other stuff going on here: age, job, etc. ▸ It’s not clear that gender is even the most important, it’s just that we’re starting with gender- colored glasses
  28. 28. CHEN ET AL (2017) “THROUGH A GENDER LENS: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF EMOJI USAGE OVER LARGE-SCALE ANDROID USERS” 134,419 USERS FROM 183 COUNTRIES; 401M MESSAGES ▸ The pattern of “women use more emoji than men” holds, but not everywhere (e.g., not in WhatsApp)
  29. 29. SO WHO USES THE MOST EMOJI?
  30. 30. ❌ $%
  31. 31. $& $'http://bit.ly/CherEmoji
  32. 32. CORPUS BASICS POLITICAL JOURNALISTS ▸ 873 political journalists identified as left/right/centrist ▸ StatSocial (2015) ▸ 549 men, 234 women ▸ 257 left, 271 right, 255 center ▸ (roughly 70% men and 30% women for each)
  33. 33. FIRST THE CONFIRMATION OF GENDER-COLORED GLASSES
  34. 34. NOW SOME MORE NUANCING
  35. 35. IDEOLOGIES OF SELF-EXPRESSION AVERAGE EMOJI PER MILLION WORDS Women Men Ratio Center 2,179 899 2.4 Right 3,799 837 4.5 Left 3,364 1,912 1.8
  36. 36. IDEOLOGIES OF SELF-EXPRESSION AVERAGE EMOJI PER MILLION WORDS Women Men Ratio Center 2,179 899 2.4 Right 3,799 837 4.5 Left 3,364 1,912 1.8 Celebrities 30,816 30,487 1.0
  37. 37. 🤔 IS USED BY 190 OF THE 873 JOURNALISTS; 361 /873 JOURNALISTS DIDN’T USE ANY EMOJI (FOCUSING ON JAN 2017-APR 2018) GETTING A FEEL FOR THE CORPUS ▸ Top emoji across the whole corpus, raw counts ▸ 😂🤔🔥😳😍😀🙄👏👇1 ▸ Top emoji by number of journalists who use it at least once ▸ 🤔🔥😂❤1😉👍👀👏🎉 ▸ Top emoji by average words per million ▸ 💙😂😍📞9💛😀🙌😳😊
  38. 38. DOWN AND ACROSS: LEFT, LEFT, RIGHT, CONS FOCUS ON HIGH TF-IDF EMOJI PER AUTHORS
  39. 39. DOWN AND ACROSS: LEFT, RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT FOCUS ON HIGH TF-IDF EMOJI PER AUTHORS
  40. 40. LANGUAGE CHANGE INCREASES THE RESOURCES WE HAVE AVAILABLE PEOPLE ARE GREAT AT ADAPTING THINGS ▸ As long as people use language, language will change over time ▸ Not everyone has access to all the same resources—linguistically or materially ▸ People are structured by big social forces and technologies (structure) ▸ But they also create and adapt those structures (agency)
  41. 41. gɪrma kowaji-k ati-e Girma ball-ACC kick-PAST "Girma kicked the ball ' gɪrma-k kowaji-k a< ʃe Girma-ACC ball-ACC kick MAL ‘Girma kicked the ball (although someone else wanted it) ' Malefactives
  42. 42. A DETERMINER IS SOMETHING LIKE ENGLISH “THE” TONGAN ▸ Different determiners express sympathy to their nouns (Hendrick, 2005) ▸ si’i and si’a
  43. 43. Czech Diphthongs Prague-like, can also intensify affection Or pejoration
  44. 44. SICOLI (2009) ZAPOTEC ▸ Voice quality ▸ Falsetto: Respect to godparents, God ▸ Whisper: Important messages ▸ Breathy: Scolding, demanding ▸ Creaky: Commiserating
  45. 45. XORU IS BASICALLY “I, RUPAUL, SEND YOU HUGS AND KISSES”); DRUMPF COMES FROM TRUMP’S FAMILY NAME BEFORE AMERICA NON-STANDARD SPELLING, EXPRESSIVE LENGTHENING
  46. 46. OLD SCHOOL EMOJI EMOTICONS
  47. 47. SCHNOEBELEN (2012) FROM EMOTICON RESEARCH ▸ Valence (positive, negative) ▸ Immediacy (I’m sad vs. then they took it away #sadface) ▸ Flirting ▸ Teasing
  48. 48. USE THE RESOURCES YOU HAVE HANDY PUNCTUATION: PERIODS, EXCLAMATIONS, QUESTIONS, ELLIPSES
  49. 49. TEXT WHAT IF INSTEAD OF DIVIDING BY GENDER FIRST WE ACTUALLY WENT AFTER “POLITICS” ▸ Calculate *trump* per million words for each person ▸ Median: 7,811 pow (IQR: 3,220 to 14,854 pmw) ▸ Make three groups: top quartile, bottom quartile, everyone in the middle ▸ Re-examine emoji usage
  50. 50. A PROXY SCALE FOR HOW POLITICAL THESE POLITICAL JOURNALISTS ARE AVERAGE EMOJI PER MILLION WORDS Women Men Ratio Least Trump 5,675 2,180 2.6 Middle 2,524 949 2.7 Talk most about Trump 1,274 777 1.6
  51. 51. GO FOR EXCEPTIONS! HIGH TRUMP USER WHO ALMOST NEVER USES EMOJI
  52. 52. ALTERNATIVES HOW TO AVOID “👇”
  53. 53. NON-EMOJI USER HOW TO HAVE REACTIONS THAT DON’T INVOLVE ROUND FACES
  54. 54. NON-EMOJI USER HOW TO HAVE REACTIONS THAT DON’T INVOLVE ROUND FACES
  55. 55. “DR” VS. “MISS” VS. “BOY” VS. “ROBERT” VS. “BOBBY” REFERENCE ITSELF IS A PLACE FOR SHOWING RESPECT, DISLIKE, ETC
  56. 56. WRAPPING UP TOWARDS A CONCLUSION ▸ We can’t actually do our jobs or live our lives without making distinctions ▸ We can recognize that distinctions have consequences ▸ We can practice more care and questioning in our cutting
  57. 57. TOWARDS A CONCLUSION WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ATTEND TO IDEOLOGY? ▸ You’re still looking at phenomena, but you’re also looking at what you choose to look at it, how you choose to look at it, and how your analysis gets put to work ▸ In our case, we want to see how linguistic-symbolic meanings: ▸ Encode ▸ Produce ▸ Reproduce ▸ Relations of power and domination
  58. 58. SEE ALSO KATE CRAWFORD ON AI WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN FOR US? ▸ Most of the people who build technology and do research come from privileged backgrounds ▸ This makes it difficult for our imagination and empathy to extend out to everyone our systems and analyses will affect ▸ The implication is that we need NOT ONLY to attend to issues of diversity and representation ▸ AND to include educate communities who will be affected so that they, too, can voice their goals and values
  59. 59. THANKS! 🖖
  60. 60. APPENDIX
  61. 61. 🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩 THIS MADE THE DONUT EMOJI TAKE ON POLITICAL MEANING
  62. 62. CHEN ET AL (2017) “THROUGH A GENDER LENS: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF EMOJI USAGE OVER LARGE-SCALE ANDROID USERS” 134,419 USERS FROM 183 COUNTRIES; 401M MESSAGES ▸ When you look at emoji differences more closely, you can almost always find exceptions to “women use them more than men”, as in these tables where for “Pattern 2 and 2.1”, you get men using more than women

×