Numerous people on the social networking site have complained since March 2021 that use of the emoji results in a Twitter ban, apparently when tweeting in connection with football. The independent Image editor Charlotte Hodges herself temporarily suspended her account for such a tweet.
The connotation of the emoji with conversations about soccer likely alerted the Twitter algorithm due to the racist behavior of soccer fans, although it appears that some innocuous posts are being caught in the company’s wide web of moderation policies.
Those affected are asked to delete the tweets in order to post again, but are warned that those tweets could be replaced by a warning that the account had attempted to post “hateful content.”
In May 2018, anti-racism activists called on FIFA to investigate abuse of French players by Russian fans during a World Cup preparation match, when chants of monkeys were heard from the crowd in San Petersburg on Tuesday when black French players touched the ball. in a friendly against Russia.
The abuse was also heard on a television broadcast after Pogba scored France’s second goal in a 3-1 victory.
In March of the same year, Brighton asked the police to investigate whether Burnley fans directed “monkey chants” at their players.
Players have been subjected to racist abuse ever since, much of which occurs on social media, and a variety of voices from across sport have called on tech companies to do more to stop the abuse.
The emoji represents one of the three animals Mizaru, Kikazaru, and Iwazaru from the Japanese maxim “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”, which often refers to those who ignore injustice in favor of silence.
The representation of the macaques, a common species in Japan, was popularized with a 17th-century carving on a door at the Tōshō-gū shrine.
However, it is not the first time that the use of monkeys has been eliminated for fear of being offended. Academics at the University of York removed an image of the monkeys from their website after deciding that it “exploits racist stereotypes,” although the animals are generally viewed positively in their culture.
The University of York removed the image because it appeared in a document requesting the submission of research papers related to blacks, indigenous people and people of color, it said in a statement, and because it wanted to avoid the possibility of offending others.
Twitter said the bans occurred due to a bug in its automated systems.
“We use a combination of technology and human review to enforce the Twitter Rules throughout the service, “said a spokesman. “In this case, our automated systems took compliance actions on the account that was referenced in error. This action has been reversed and access to the account has been restored. “
He also said that any appeals would cover the labels, such as the ones that state posts have been removed for “hateful content,” which can also be applied to users’ tweets.