Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Emoji, Fake News and 99% Invisible

This morning, I was listening to 99% Invisible, the podcast all about architecture and design.
thinking face
This episode "Person in Lotus Position" was about the process of adding a new emoji to the official set. At one point, they spoke to Jennifer 8. Lee who is on the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee. I know Jenny through Misinfocon. This is a new effort to fight the spread of disinformation on the web via a Knight-funded Credibility Schema Working Group. The goal is to create ways which signal whether a given piece of information on the web is credible.
Most of the podcast episode describes the workings of the Unicode committee, which is official standards body for deciding which characters computers and phones will recognize and exchange. It gave a pretty good introduction to the importance and difficulty of this kind of standards work. (As well as being involved in the Credibility Schema Working Group, I'm also the Chairman of the IPTC, the news technology standards body. So, I like to think I have some insight into how these things work).
If you, like me, are interested in emoji and/or the workings of technical standards groups, then I recommend the episode. (Also, if you're interested in stopping the spread of fake news or in promoting technical standards within the global news industry, feel free to get in touch).

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