Instagram Won’t Let You Search For THAT Emoji

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram.
Yesterday, Instagram announced a new feature: You can now use emojis in hashtags. Finally, the emoji was set free, able to be hashtagged and searched in the photo-sharing service along with its keyboard-formed brethren, unfettered. But, alas, not all emoji are created equal. One beloved, cartoony icon stood alone (and it wasn't the cheese): Instagram banned the eggplant emoji from being searched. Why? The eggplant is just too sexy. Or, more specifically, it looks like a penis and is often used to tag objectionable content because of its phallic resemblance.  Buzzfeed explains that Instagram banned the eggplant because this particular emoji "consistently is used for content that violates their community guidelines." And, here we were thinking it was just a vegetable that's tasty when fried.  As far as we can tell, you can search every other emoji hashtag: Phallic fruits and veggies like the banana are fine. So are the twin cherries and the corn on the cob. So are ethically questionable icons, like the chef's knife and the gun.  Luckily, according to data from third-party iOS and Android keyboard Swiftkey, none of these icons are the most popular among its users. Across the board, happy faces are the most popular emoji, followed by sad faces, then hearts, then hand gestures. Canadians are the most frequent users of "violent" emoji (like that gun), as well as (interestingly) the happy poop emoji. Australians enjoy sharing their love of drinking by using alcohol-related emoji the most. Of the lesser used emoji, Americans are the ones using the naughty banned eggplant emoji most often, as well as the fried chicken leg — hopefully because chicken is delicious when it's fried.  If you oppose this condemnation of the eggplant emoji, you can rally around the hashtag #freetheeggplant. Just don't include an eggplant in the hashtag. 

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