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Has The B Emoji Gone Too Far?

About

B Button Emoji is an ideogram featuring a red block with the letter “B” written inside. While some have used to symbol to represent the B blood type, it has also been used online to represent the Bloods street gang and the kinship slang term “B” (short for “brother”). Additionally, characters in words are often replaced with the emoji within circle jerk and ironic meme communities, most notably the “g” letters in the word “nigga.”

Origin

In 2010, the B Button emoji was added to Unicode 6.0 under the name “Negative Squared Latin Capital Letter B” (shown below).


Spread

On October 5th, 2016, YouTuber Swolotag submitted a video titled “Spell Icup Nibba” using the B Button emoji (shown below).

On November 17th, Twitter user @Flipasian posted a photoshop of Spongebob Squarepants dressed as a Bloods gang member along with the phrase “The Bool Brab” written in the emoji (shown below, left). On November 24th, the @GhettoMemez Twitter feed posted a Thanksgiving-related copypasta in which the first letter of every food item was released with the B Button emoji (shown below, right).


On January 25th, 2017, Redditor ROBOTunderscore submitted a post asking about the prevalence of in emoji in internet memes to /r/OutOfTheLoop. On February 3rd, Redditor evilbarron submitted a post using the emoji to /r/dankmemes, where it gained over 16,000 votes (87% upvoted) and 70 comments within one week. On February 6th, Redditor Matth3wpr posted a Spongebob Squarepants comic featuring the the emoji to /r/dankmemes (shown below, left). The following day, Redditor DrCooldude posted a low resolution photo of iDubbbz with his arm around Tana Mongeau with the caption “Say Nibber” to /r/DeepFriedMemes (shown below, right).


P Button Emoji 🅿

On December 29th, 2016, Redditor JakeAintFake posted a Deep Fried version of an Expanding Brain meme using the 🅿 emoji to /r/deepfriedmemes (shown below, left). On February 17th, 2017, Redditor sailend submitted a post titled “REAL NI🅿🅿AS USE 🅿 EMOJI 😤😤😤💯” to /r/DeepFriedMemes, featuring a deep fried version of the Vince McMahon reaction (shown below, right).


In early May 2017, posters on the /r/dankmemes and /r/DeepFriedMemes subreddits began using the 🅿 emoji ironically in a similar fashion to replace letters. Additionally, memes comparing the emoji to 🅱 began reaching the front page of the subreddit (shown below). On MAy 7th, Redditor weswes887 submitted a post asking about the 🅿 usage to /r/OutOfTheLoop. Meanwhile, Redditor Sgetti5 submitted a post speculating that the emoji was “taking over 🅱s place in the market” to /r/MemeEconomy.


B Button Emoji Debate

The emoji is incredibly popular on /r/dankmemes, as users often substitute the emoji into titles for their posts. The practice became so ubiquitous that many felt the emoji was actively hurting the subreddit. This led to the creation of a poll posted to the subreddit on whether to ban the use of the B Emoji. As of June 16th, 2017, “No” votes are beating “Yes” votes by a razor-thin margin of 11,877 votes to 11,708 votes, a difference of only 169 with 23,585 votes. The ordeal caused Daily Dot to examine the B Button Emoji and its relevance in meme culture.


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