These culturally accepted uses of emojis make traditional social media analysis, especially artificial intelligence and natural language processing a bit more complicated.
But what’s obvious to everyone on Twitter, might confuse an algorithm trained to associate the bread emoji with food. One of the top 50 emojis, the skull emoji ( 💀), is a perfect example of this.
Traditional assumptions about that emoji might be that it would be used negatively, when discussing literal death, or in scared/fearful conversations.
Just as likely, people use the emoji when something is extremely funny, alongside phrases like “I’m dead” or “you’re killing me” after jokes or memes online.
You can see in the topic cloud, when people use the skull emoji, several “crying laughter” emojis and variations on LMAO arise as major keywords and topics.
To understand this audience of people most likely to use skulls during jokes, we wanted to find out how this group differs from the average Twitter user.
Below is a list of the interests that best predict who tends to use the skull emoji in funny or joyful ways: