Last January I wrote of my personal (and, in an update, ongoing) resistance to emoji:
Emoji is a language of borrowed “words” “curated” by technocrats (experts, presumably of technology, at the Unicode Consortium), who release those new “words” to platform vendors like Apple, Google, Facebook, & Twitter, who then decide how their users can express these “words” by altering their visual representation. (See Emojipedia for myriad examples ranging from humorous differences in artistic taste to clear differences in meaning.) The only control in this arrangement that remains for the actual users of emoji are which symbols are used, and whether additional meanings are assigned to them within a specific sub-set of the wider emoji-using culture. (All languages likely are capable of this aspect of use; it’s just that this appears to me to be the full extent of agency for “speakers” of emoji.) In a sense, emoji are to language what Twitter & Facebook are to the web — a proprietary platform created & controlled by technocrats that limits the agency of its users — who once exclusively expressed themselves through a messy, but wide-open & democratic platform instead.
The Republic of China flag emoji has disappeared from Apple iPhone’s keyboard for Hong Kong and Macau users. The change happened for users who updated their phones to the latest operating system.
Updating iPhones to iOS 13.1.1 or above caused the flag emoji to disappear from the emoji keyboard.