Pride Month is a spectacular celebration of self-expression and justice. Coronavirus may have changed the way that celebration looks this year, but we’ll always have the internet. And how do people express themselves on the internet? With emojis! 🥳🤩 So what emojis did people use to show their Pride this year? 🤔
Collecting tweets 🐿
Ten thousand tweets containing #PRIDE2020 were collected using the R package ‘twitteR‘. Duplicates and retweets were removed, leaving only 2,693 tweets. Of those tweets, only 570 contained an emoji. That is to say, approximately 20% of all unique tweets retrieved containing #PRIDE2020 contained an emoji.
Emoji detection 🧐
Detecting a Unicode emoji is a bit more complex than simply finding all Unicode within a given tweet. That’s because many of our newer emojis aren’t stand-alone, but rather a combination of sequences and modifiers. For example, a rainbow flag 🏳️🌈 is created by the combination of flag 🏳️ + rainbow 🌈. In other words, emojis have the equivalent of compound words. As it turns out, rainbow flags show up a lot in #PRIDE2020 tweets. Who would have thought?! 🤗
Additionally, there are certain emojis that when paired, take on a new meaning. For example, ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ has a slightly different meaning than ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜. Because rainbow hearts showed up so frequently together, I considered them to be their own emoji. However, I also considered other rainbow heart combinations such as ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤 and ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤🤍 to be a rainbow heart emoji.
Top emojis 🏆
The rainbow flag 🏳️🌈 and the rainbow 🌈 were by far the most popular emojis. Heart ❤️ emojis, consisting of any color or combination not specifically considered ‘rainbow hearts,’ were the third most popular. The rest of the top emojis were all seen considerably less than the top 3. Rainbow hearts ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 were seen only 42 times compared to heart ❤️ emojis which appeared 157 times. Popular emojis following rainbow hearts include smiling face with heart eyes 😍, clapping hands 👏, two hearts 💕, sparkles ✨, and smiling face with hearts 🥰.
As expected, the top emojis for Pride this year were the rainbow flag 🏳️🌈, the rainbow 🌈, and hearts ❤️. As for next year, I predict we’ll see the transgender flag make the list. The transgender flag is a brand new emoji that was just released this year. It’s so new, in fact, that your phone might not have it. 😔 However, you should be able to get it by the end of 2020.
I hope everyone had a Happy Pride Month! For a more in-depth analysis on Pride emojis, I recommend emojigraph’s blog post: Top 🏳️🌈Pride Emojis.
Jeff Gentry (2015). twitteR: R Based Twitter Client. R package version 1.1.9.
Carson Sievert (2018) plotly for R. https://plotly-r.com