Skin Tone Emoji and Sentiment on Twitter

04/20/2018 ∙ by Steven Coats, et al. ∙ 0

In 2015, the Unicode Consortium introduced five skin tone emoji that can be used in combination with emoji representing human figures and body parts. In this study, use of the skin tone emoji is analyzed geographically in a large sample of data from Twitter. It can be shown that values for the skin tone emoji by country correspond approximately to the skin tone of the resident populations, and that a negative correlation exists between tweet sentiment and darker skin tone at the global level. In an era of large-scale migrations and continued sensitivity to questions of skin color and race, understanding how new language elements such as skin tone emoji are used can help frame our understanding of how people represent themselves and others in terms of a salient personal appearance attribute.

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