Two peach emoji side by side. The first is round at the bottom, the second one is pointed at the bottom.

A lot of people call emoji a language, but few people seem to think about what the effects of using languages are. A language isn't a neutral or universal way of communicating with others - it's a particular way of seeing the world.

I think that rather often the same is assumed of the standard emoji we're used to on our phones and computers, but they actually represent a limited view of humanity, even more limited than the written or spoken word.

The reason this is so is because we are only usually allowed one set and only one group of people get to decide what's in that set - the Unicode Consortium and various tech companies (mostly Silicon Valley ones). But it shouldn't be this way and it doesn't have to be.

Mutant Standard is a project that was started in 2017 with the aim of changing this by creating a new set (and accompanying technical standard) that expands the range of human expression, and by doing so, encouraging others to change how we think about and use emoji in our daily lives.

- Dzuk