Google’s Egg Salad emoji is now minus one egg, in an attempt to make the dish more palatable for Vegans.
Jennifer Daniel, the Google UX Manager at Expression design team, tweeted about the change on Wednesday in an offhand remark, likely not expecting a big response. But there was one.
The tweet said:
“There’s big talk about inclusion and diversity at Google so if you need any evidence of Google is making this priority may I direct your attention to the ? emoji— we’ve removed the egg in Android P beta 2, making this a more inclusive vegan salad.”
Check out the before / after emoji and the tweet itself here.
And the internet began to do what it does best: React.
And react it did. The many (upwards of 3,600) comments on the post ranged from thanks and good wishes from grateful vegans to a wide array of people commenting about how the world is trying too hard to be inclusive, and how a push for inclusivity is diminishing senses of identity by trying to make everything have the greatest possible universal appeal.
In a later response to the unexpected flurry of comments, Daniel posted another response to clarify the company’s decision:
“Hello carnivores, vegans and everyone in between! Just want to clarify that the goal of salad emoji redesign was to create an image more faithful to unicode’s description. “A bowl of healthy salad, containing lettuce, tomato, and other salad items such as cucumber.” Bon appetite!”
But comments on the internet have continued to disprove of this response. Many a keen eye has noticed that the salad does not contain any cucumbers, so internet warriors have taken to the keyboard to demand that this inaccuracy be rectified.
This is not the first emoji edit the world has seen in the past few years. Some of the more memorable – and more dramatic – emoji shifts have come from Apple, such as their move to replace their pistol emoji with the more family-friendly water pistol. While this action sparked up a fair bit of internet dust, other major companies took the hint and followed suit, with Microsoft and Twitter making similar moves in the following months.
Then there was Apple’s move to add skin color options to many of its more realistic person and hand gesture emojis. While the classic smileys stayed in default yellow, many of the equally cartoonish “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” hand gestures were also changed, which sparked a bit of negative feedback: Many felt the default “yellow” was already racially ambiguous, and that this move from Apple was negatively impacting the racial emotions brewed by its emoji keyboard by separating them by skin color, when they had previously been all yellow. Others praised the decision, quick to point out that the “yellow” option still exists, and any naysayers are free to ignore the changes if they don’t want to take advantage of them.
Removing an egg from a salad is nowhere near as serious as these other issues, but it’s still a change that reflects inclusion efforts made by companies to better match the state of current political climates. But maybe the little salad revision isn’t quite worthy of the social media storm its given birth to.
Will Google answer Twitter’s kale to action? Will Google turn against the grain after olive the attention from this corntroversial issue? Or will they beet the pressure, rooting themselves in their decisions and stay cool (as a cucumber) in the Twitter storm? The final fate of Google’s salad emoji remains to be seen.