Is (Unicode 'pile of poo') considered NSFW?

  • Can I use the character as a legitimate status indication on, say, a web application, or in a desktop application? Or will it offend/embarrass people?

    NSFW = "Not safe/suitable for work", although it's also become generally used regardless of the environment (for example: public places), and speaks to a general impression given.

    Who doesn't love chocolate frozen yogurt? It's safe for work (until HR/management tells you otherwise). It's just in bad taste and would make you look unprofessional (unless you worked in waste management, or on a comedy show).

    Keep in mind that many users (e.g. me) can't see that character.

    Ironically, this is now a Hot Network Question and will appear whenever someone goes to Stack Overflow/Stack Exchange for work.

    "…and for today's extra content we have this shit emoji. it can troll your conversations at any time, so we must deal with it."

    Well, I hope this isn't NSFW, because I've just viewed it. At work.

    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.

    I would say it depends on the context @Stephen Branczyk. I work for a major consumer products company that makes disposable baby diapers (as well as toilet paper). I once saw an internal presentation wherein the speaker had legitimate reason to use the smiling pile of poo emoji no less than 10 times. So in my organization, it is totally safe for work, if a little cliche. Your mileage may vary, however. Basically, every time somebody does a #2, we make money. :)

    fwiw, I can't see the character.

    "NSFW" often refers to material that's not even safe to view at work. The poo emoji doesn't fall into that category. However, I would personally consider use of the poo emoji *unprofessional*.

    Out of curiosity: why some of the commenters do not see this emoji? I though that with a proper `Content-Type` the browser should render it correctly?

    @WoJ I've actually kind of been wondering that as well. It's been in Unicode since 2010, and I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that, in 2017, there are enough browsers and platforms that both a) do not support at least the somewhat common symbols in Unicode 6, *and* b) are being used to view this question on UX, that it comes up in comments. I'm also curious. It's too bad "Can you see this character: " wasn't on the Developer Survey.

  • DaveAlger

    DaveAlger Correct answer

    4 years ago

    If you have to ask, it's risky (not necessarily offensive)

    This doesn't mean it won't get the job done for your users and the best way to find that out is ask a few of them and gauge their reaction.

    Something delightful may quickly turn annoying

    Keep in mind that just because something delights users when they first encounter it doesn't mean it will stay delightful on subsequent visits. This is especially true when it gets in the way of getting their task accomplished.

    There is usually more than one solution

    Consider what you're trying to communicate and see if there is a more universal way to say it.

    Look for a solution which doesn't cater to one persona over another. In the case of a poo emoji you could communicate the same sentiment with the frown or angry (or possibly ice cream?) emoji.

    This is pretty much the main point to think about: ***"If you have to ask, it's risky"***. If you need to think twice then it's clearly something you're unsure of and thus there is a reason for your uncertainty of using said emoji. After all, it is a ***smiling pile of poo*** according to Apple's text to speech feature.

    @DanielJames I see I'm a mere mortal compared to Apple's text to speech engineers. No matter how hard I look, I can't tell whether that pile of poo is smiling.

    "Something delightful may quickly turn" - When I was first learning Javascript, I found something simple to test out my skills. I took the "Loading, please wait" on long running reports to have a small list of more creative phrases. Most thought it was cool. One person actually called my boss and was pretty upset about it. Note that this screen already had a dancing banana gif... so to this day I'm still not sure how the messages (which were all in good taste, admittedly so by Mr. Grumpy) were a bad thing...

    @DmitryGrigoryev and DanielJames, Apple renders the emoji with a smiling face.

    @DmitryGrigoryev i bet that is a special case where they hardcoded that Unicode to that text. No engineering at all besides an entry into a static table. The "smiling" part is probably an attempt at making it less *smelly*.

    @Mindwin So the Apple engineer mis-heard "smelly pile of poo" and wrote it as "smiley pile of poo"?

    @GalacticCowboy I also bet that if you think outside the box about that, you will come to the conclusion that poo would sell better if it was smiling rather than smelling. [history channel guy]: "marketing".

    "parallax scrolling on web pages was delightful at first but quickly became annoying since the windows scroll thumb designed for navigating pages of content was being hijacked as a video scrubber" Is this the thing where "parallax scrolling" is constantly misused by authors to refer to something that actually has no relation to parallax scrolling whatsoever? That's what I glean from the term "video scrubber", at least. Because actual parallax scrolling doesn't hijack the scrolling mechanism to do something it wasn't intended for - it visually *augments* scrolling, and is usually non-intrusive.

    Oops, wrong answer. Meant to comment on the post.

    I felt the parallax example was a distraction and opted to remove it from the answer. Like anything else it can be used properly or improperly. The point is to be aware the first time a user sees something and is delighted doesn't mean they will have the same feeling on subsequent visits.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM