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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 6th May 2016 > SYMBOLIC GESTURE

SYMBOLIC GESTURE

The surprising punk history of the “Man in Business Suit Levitating” emoji

THE SITE Emoji Tracker launched in 2013 to document the real-time usage of emoji icons on a massive spreadsheet. Every time an emoji was used on Twitter, its box on the sheet would light up, creating a fascinating vapor trail of public moods. Toward the top, the most popular expressions—crying with laughter, kissy face, heart eyes—flared up multiple times per second. Toward the bottom, the least popular icons (mostly outdated tech like floppy disks and pagers) lit up every couple of minutes. Missing from the list— and the most enigmatic of them all—was the icon of a floating small man in a business suit. What is it?

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