Thursday, May 21, 2015

Animated Emoji in Gmail subject line - the 90s are back!

A few weeks ago I noticed several emails in my spam folder in gmail had animated icons in the subject line, such as blinking stars.

I couldn't believe my eyes.  I didn't even know about colored emoji characters, let alone animated emoji!  And how could it get into a subject line?

Terence Eden explains it pretty well in a blog post here.  I like how he focuses on the fact that spammers can and will use this to catch people's attention.  Way to go Google.  Thanks a lot!

Google has defined some special Unicode characters that they will automatically turn into embedded images in the subject line.  What's next Google?  The marquee blink?  The 90s are calling and they want their geocities back!

At least with normal characters, even colored emoji Unicode characters, I can control how they look.  E.g., if I don't want color, I can uninstall the "Segoe UI Emoji" font.  But when Google turns characters into embedded images, they control how it looks.

The best I could do was install the Toggle animated GIFs Firefox extension.

Please Google, get rid of this nonsense!  Don't make me go back to using mutt all the time!