"blissfully happy" or "ready to fight": Varying interpretations of emoji

Hannah Miller, Jacob Thebault-Spieker, Shuo Chang, Isaac Johnson, Loren Terveen, Brent Hecht

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

114 Scopus citations

Abstract

Emoji are commonly used in modern text communication. However, as graphics with nuanced details, emoji may be open to interpretation. Emoji also render differently on different viewing platforms (e.g., Apple's iPhone vs. Google's Nexus phone), potentially leading to communication errors. We explore whether emoji renderings or differences across platforms give rise to diverse interpretations of emoji. Through an online survey, we solicit people's interpretations of a sample of the most popular emoji characters, each rendered for multiple platforms. Both in terms of sentiment and semantics, we analyze the variance in interpretation of the emoji, quantifying which emoji are most (and least) likely to be misinterpreted. In case in which participants rated the same emoji rendering, they disagreed on whether the sentiment was positive, neutral, or negetive 25% of the time. When cosidering renderings across platforms, these disagreements only increase. Overall, we find significant potential for miscommunication, both for individual emoji renderings and for different emoji renderings across platforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2016
PublisherAAAI Press
Pages259-268
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781577357582
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Event10th International Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2016 - Cologne, Germany
Duration: May 17 2016May 20 2016

Other

Other10th International Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2016
CountryGermany
CityCologne
Period5/17/165/20/16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

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  • Cite this

    Miller, H., Thebault-Spieker, J., Chang, S., Johnson, I., Terveen, L., & Hecht, B. (2016). "blissfully happy" or "ready to fight": Varying interpretations of emoji. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2016 (pp. 259-268). AAAI Press.