The Stanford Internet Observatory has released an extensive analysis on Gettr, the largely unmoderated right-wing Twitter clone founded by longtime Trump spokesperson Jason Miller. The details — which Miller rejected in an email to Gizmodo as “wrong” — range from amusing to horrific, and you can find them all here. But there’s one aspect of the report I’m compelled to address in detail.
Gettr users love to deploy the LOUDLY CRYING FACE emoji in their posts more than any other emoji. ‘So?’ you’re probably asking. So Gettr has attracted over one million maniacs.
Much like the smiley emoji, this — ???? — has no place in rational dialogue. Someone once made the case that we need this (again: ????) facetious cartoonification of panic and grief in daily conversation, the most fundamental qualification for admission into the emoji library. The Unicode Consortium briefly departed the planet and said yes.
First, I’ll acknowledge my biases. Yesterday, a far more optimistic colleague staked out a case for this emoji, which is: pets. Pets are freaking cute, she pointed out, so much so that words can not describe the reaction only captured by the most emphatic glyph in contemporary iconography. Bless her heart. She has one. I admit that a long, downward spiral into Jeff Bezos and alt-right-conspiracy theory reporting has blinded me with hatred for maximum drama and driven me to wild screeds about particular emojis on Friday afternoons while my colleagues post their pets on Slack.
That said, I’m not a serial killer! Emoting is good for you, and it’s good for your friends, who need dinner conversation material for their partners, who know their stuff already. Pets and messy bitches who live for drama spice up an otherwise doldrum existence. But the “:loudly crying face:” darkly betrays their gifts by trivializing the depths of despair, only once in modern history done justice by Claire Danes. Versus a pinhead-sized sticky-note yellow rendering of a nineties smiley face. Fucker, you don’t know pain.
Then, consider the context. If you’re using this emoji literally, to indicate your innermost misery, it’s time to lie down or indicate your predicament. If you’re annexing this sniveling puddle of sorrow onto regular sentences, this usually translates roughly to “I need your time,” such as “I’m going out all alone ???? you should come pleeeeease ????.” “????” is the calling card of a time thief. “????????????” is the neediness of a Karen. In a work context, I regret firing this off every time. Editor: “more edits for you.” Me: “????.” Get back to work and put it in your blog.
There are two categories of people who need this emoji. They are 1) people suffering from a debilitating medical issue that’s caused their eye-hoses to spout dual Niagara Falls and 2) a baby, a person who will literally shit her pants and die if you don’t heed her wails. Unfortunately for loudly crying face, neither of them can type.