In a global first, Twitter has launched Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island flag emojis, and they rule.
The emojis appears on Twitter whenever a bunch of hashtags relating to Indigenous issues and causes are used, including #1967Referendum, #RightWrongs, #IndigenousAU, #IndigenousX, #IndigenousRound, #MarnGrook, #ReconciliationWeek, #Reconciliation2017, #NRW2017 and #Recognise2017.
It marks National Sorry Day (May 26) and the beginning of Reconciliation Week, and is a huge step forward in digital representation of some of the world’s oldest cultures.
Luke Pearson, a Gamilaroi man and founder of the Twitter-based @IndigenousX project, says Indigenous Twitter users have been calling out for such an emoji for ages.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flag emojis have long been sought after by Indigenous social media users,” he says, “and for Twitter to deliver just before #NRW2017, so that they will be online for such significant dates as Mabo Day’s 25th anniversary (#Mabo25), the 20th anniversary of the Bring them Home Report (#BTH20), the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, as well as current events like the Uluru convention, the AFL Indigenous Round, and ABC’s Right Wrongs project will be a much welcome addition to the already buzzing Indigenous Twitter landscape.”
The social media platform – while, let’s be real here, not always the greatest place to be online – is a key place for conversations around issues like the push to #ChangeTheDate and the #IndigenousDads movement, a.k.a. the grassroots response to Bill Leak‘s infamously racist cartoon.
“Twitter is a place for conversation, where all stories can unfold,” says Kara Hinesley, Twitter’s Head of Public Policy and Government. “After speaking with our partners, it was clear there was a community desire for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags to be represented on the platform, and we wanted to support that.”
Hey look at this: Twitter has new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flag emoji #IndigenousAu
— Koori Mail (@koorimailnews) May 26, 2017
Hell yeah <3.
Photo: Anadolu Agency / Getty.