Proposal to add the 🍿 emoji as a reaction

I propose that we add the :popcorn: emoji as a new reaction option on our forum. This emoji would serve as a way to indicate that a post or comment is perceived as potentially contentious or controversial.

The point of this emoji isn’t to stir up drama, but more like giving a heads-up that things might get interesting. It’s a nod to those threads where opinions start to clash big time, and a gentle reminder for everyone to keep it respectful and on point. I think that this emoji could add a little fun to some of our discussions.

The :popcorn: allows participants to express that they are watching a debate while not taking a stand on a controversial position (and therefore the existing up/down/laugh/heart emoji don’t really cut it). It’s a way to engage with a thread in a neutral way without dismissing anyone’s opinion.


Funny idea.
But I’m not sure if all users - worldwide - will understand it.


I suggest adding the Github defaults :rocket: , :tada: , :eyes: first. They are much more useful, familiar, and proven for showing progress, achievement, and attention.
If you use :popcorn: for “voting” “abstain” / neutral, then :white_check_mark: and :negative_squared_cross_mark: should be added together. They are less emotional and discouraging than thumbs up & down. For reference, Paradox forums for games use :heavy_check_mark: and :x: for agree and “respectfully” disagree.


I believe this is in keeping with the long tradition of {{vote|wat}} on the wiki.


In all seriousness, :popcorn: is used on Slack and it doesn’t cause any discord and the discourse remains civil. Like someone would say something like “I really think landuse ought to be glued to roads” and people would react “:popcorn:”. I think that’s a lot lighter than “hey, are you aware how controversial this is and that there are a bunch of hurt-feelings debates on it?” which feels argumentative.




Even though funny proposal, it would start to be a UI problem if we keep adding emotes for reactions, like the suggestion for Github ones. Good emotes, but I think the list should not be long enough when using it. Unless it becomes a Discord-type one, where it shows most used at the top, then suggested and below that search for any emote you want :stuck_out_tongue:

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I like the idea and the icon as well (have never even noticed it before I have to admit) and I think it’s quite easy to understand (referring to the comment of @Mammi71):

The observer placing it: Hey, this could become some interesting debate, lemme get my popcorn, lean back and see what happens.

And for any participant: Yep, maybe it’s better I get some popcorn and cool down before replying.

Good choice. :+1:

It’s a fairly neutral emoji and to me simply means “I have an interest in this topic and will see how things develop over time”. So for me it’s a thumbs up!

( cultural sensitivity )

The interpretation of :popcorn: emojis can vary across cultures.

What is considered humorous or light-hearted in one culture might be seen as disrespectful or inappropriate in another.

It would be advisable for the OSM Communications Working Group to make this decision based on the opinions of the Eastern culture OSM groups.

" Previous research suggests that people from different cultures weigh cues in the eyes versus mouth differently while interpreting emotions. In Western cultures, where overt emotional display is the norm, people weigh the mouth region more heavily when interpreting facial emotional expression in comparison with people from Eastern cultures. By contrast, in Eastern cultures, where subtle emotion display is the norm, people weigh the eyes region more heavily in comparison with people from Western cultures. Emojis are frequently used paralinguistic cues that convey emotions. Here, we report the results of an online quasiexperimental study in which emotion cues in the eyes and mouth regions of emojis were manipulated to test for differences in the perception of emotions among Westerners and Easterners (N = 427). Consistent with previous research, relative to one another, Westerners’ and Easterners’ ratings of the emotional valence (i.e., happiness/sadness) of emojis were influenced more heavily by the mouth and eyes, respectively. Thus, the present study adds to the literature suggesting cultural differences in the use of mouth versus eye cues to interpret emotions and supports the notion that these differences extend to paralinguistic cues such as emojis and, consequently, have implications for digital communication."

The thumbs up :+1: emoji is often used to indicate agreement or approval, but its meaning can vary widely depending on the cultural context. In many Western countries, such as the United States and Canada, this emoji is a positive sign of agreement or support. However, in countries such as Greece and the Middle East, the thumbs up emoji is considered an offensive gesture and is best avoided.

I disagree :stuck_out_tongue: . For real, I’m not aware that the thumbs up gesture is considered bad in Greece. It isn’t used much, but when used I never saw whiners/grumpy people about it. And I use it sorta a lot. It’s just another “good job/great” gesture.

About the popcorn emoji, I think regardless of cultural understanding, it’s also about how one will see it who is for example supporting the post’s opinion. I believe that emoji would be an additional reason to trigger people.

The icon looks like a 70s pack of French fries at McDonalds to me. It that what it is?

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Like others I’ve never seen it, and to me it’s not even obvious it is popcorn (mouseover helps of course) : and even then it requires familiarity with various memes etc. My guess is that this would be largely meaningless to older people. Emojis, unless really obvious can be challenging as one gets older and eyesight not as good : I don’t think this is a good idea on accessibility & diversity grounds. (AFWIW neither is {{vote|wat}}).


Get off my lawn!

(it’s a joke, in case it’s not obvious)

My immediate reaction is whether I am counted as an “older person” at this point. The photo in my avatar is actually me, though it is from eight years ago just to paint a bit of a picture. It is certainly interesting that we have such age diversity on the project. I am always reminded of this each time somone pops onto a chat channel and says “I just micro-mapped my high school (that they attend).” Honestly if someone uses :popcorn: to mean “I like french fries” because they are older and don’t understand the slang usage, it strikes me that this would be a perfectly harmless outcome.

As it is, I’m not really sure how to use the :hugs: emoji. I guess it’s intended to express caring, but when I use it, I mean “this person seems very irritated and it sounds like they need a hug.” So far nothing has broken due to my personal interpretation of that reaction…

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I think this is a bad idea.

I’m not for un-elaborated emoji reactions in controversial topics in the first place, because a healthy discussion is not a numbers game, and emoji reactions make it look like one. It makes it too easy to follow the crowd without critical thinking. Although there is also something to say for having a way to express “this is such a non-issue”, and to let the silent majority support reasoned viewpoints in an easy way. (But :popcorn: is not that way.)

Specifically, while funny for other bystanders, I believe a :popcorn: reaction is too easy to interpret as passive aggressiveness or ridiculing the message it is applied to, and causes unnecessary hurt for passionate parties involved in discussion.

Perhaps :person_shrugging: (shrug) would be a better idea. To me, it would signal a disinterest in engaging in debate, while still marking “I’ve seen this”.


It’s completely meaningless to me. Without the label, I would never have guessed it was popcorn. Once I got that, I wonder what the guy means : maybe he is bored and is going to watch a movie instead of following the thread. Or perhaps he is hungry and is going to take a snack and that’s the reason why he will be AFK for a while …

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What also came to mind just now, are the ratings on comments at Slashdot: they have a score and a textual attribute. For example, you may find comments that are marked “5/5 Insightful”, “5/5 Interesting”, “4/5 Funny”, etc.

The forum software (Discourse) probably doesn’t support it, but a system with nuanced textual attributes kind of looks like an interesting idea.


While :popcorn: is definitely hilarious, I would rather have :tada: and :eyes: integrated. I think those would add to the quality of the discussion.

While we’re at it: Remove the :hugs: thingy. It is very rarely used. Could someone run some statistic to see the percentage of all emojis that are not :+1: :-1:? That’d be interesting.

I do think that we should reevaluate the reactions, to improve the communication of the community. (:popcorn: might be a bit too tongue in cheek though.)

Edit: Yeah, I :hugs: you too…


What does :eyes: mean to you? (IMO it means “this is suspicious”, or “this is worth looking at”)

+1. plus, (possible) nonconsentual physical contact is… :grimacing:


That’s rather difficult over the internet, but have it your way