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White House quietly removes much discussed emojis from its report on millennials

File photo

File photo 

The White House has apparently reconsidered its patronizing effort to attract millennials.

The much-touted “emoji strategy” was quietly removed from the administration’s “15 Economic Facts About Millennials” report over the weekend, the Washington Times reported.

The original reported was modeled after a Buzzfeed-style listicle and featured emojis sprinkled throughout.

“This is an example of what we heard about back in 2008, Obama using digital technologies to excite a new, younger demographic,” Natalia Mehlman-Petrzela, an assistant professor of history at the New School University, told The Atlantic on Friday. “In the world of Twitter and Instagram, millennials are using emojis more and more, so it makes sense to use that strategy to appeal to people.”

But Mehlman-Petrzela also warned that the strategy could backfire.

“I am most curious to see if this is something millennials find offensive or engage with it. I don’t think he is trying to say, ‘millennials don’t know how to read,’ or ‘this is the only way they can be reached,’ but I think a millennial could find this tremendously infantilizing,” she said. “And a lot of the data [in the report] suggests, based on the White House’s own conclusions, millennials are anything but unserious and anything but over-playful. They are more focused on their studies than other generations have been, more focused on their businesses, so one would think the White House would and does realize that the millennial generation is more than capable of reading, not just looking at cute pictures.”

Guess they realized that those cute images were out of place next to some of the dismal numbers like youth unemployment and the rising student debt.


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