That ‘Anti-LGBT Emoji’ That Sparked Online Outrage May Not Actually Be An Official Emoji

Social media erupted with outrage on Tuesday when a Twitter user shared a picture of an LGBT rainbow flag with a crossed-out circle through it.

The emoji was believed to be an anti-LGBT emoji, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The “emoji” was also spread by right-wing social media users:

However, Fast Company reports that the emoji doesn’t actually exist.

β€œThe thing is: This new Apple emoji does not exist. It’s simply a glitch in the system. When using unicode characters, it’s possible to put a strike-through circle next to an emoji and have it look as if it’s overlaying it,” WIRED reported.

According to one Twitter user, the emoji appears because of a unicode-related glitch:

According to WIRED, the glitch doesn’t appear for every desktop user.

β€œThe way the emoji appears is due to Unicode presentation on iOS, and on its own is not a violation of our rules,” a Twitter spokesperson told Paper magazine. β€œHowever, if a user is targeted with this kind of emoji, and we have context that the intention is to shame, degrade, or harass based on membership (or perceived membership) in a protected category, we will action under our Hateful Conduct policies.”