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Wednesday 09 November 2016

NZAF takes on internet giants over condom emoji

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 11th September 2016

The NZ AIDS Foundation is starting to fight back after its efforts to promote safe sex were knocked back by internet giants Facebook and Google and an emoji approval organisation.


The final straw appears to have been a decision by Unicode, the company that decides on which new emojis to add for people to use on smart phones and apps like Facebook Messenger, rejected a condom emoji when the NZAF, condom-maker Durex and other HIV charities around the world asked for one. By contrast, Unicode has approved a gun emoji.

Unicode rejected the condom emoji idea because it was not supported by leading technology companies, including Facebook and Google, according to the NZAF.

“It frustrates me that these companies find a gun emoji acceptable, but not a condom emoji. The recent rejection of the condom emoji comes after Google shutting down NZAF’s advertising account because they don’t consider condom promotion family-friendly and Facebook frequently disapproves our condom and HIV testing ads because they feature adult products. This stops an important message from reaching people and it can have serious implications for their health,” says the NZAF's new Executive Director Jason Myers.

“HIV is on the rise in New Zealand and talking about safe sex is more important now than ever before. Young people’s attitudes toward safe sex are being influenced by what they are experiencing online and it needs to be addressed. The lack of support from these tech giants is making our work harder than it needs to be,” says Myers.

The NZAF has set up an online petition which is available here.

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