Tortilla Reform: Texas Wireless Carriers Must Add Taco Emoji

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Unfortunately this is an April Fools Day post. However, there really does need to be a taco emoji!

Fans of emoji’s, those little illustrations that have become an omnipresent part of texting and other forms of mobile-mediated discourse, may finally be able to have their tacos and tweet them too.

A proposed rule change to the state’s wireless communication carrier act would require all cellular providers to include the taco graphic in their keyboards if they want a license to operate in Texas.

“The lack of a taco emoji threatens the basic liberties of Texans to express our unique food culture,” stated Speaker of the House Joe Straus. “It is time that wireless carriers respect the importance of the Texas market and include the taco emoji.”

A strong grassroots campaign to include the tasty treat in the alternative keyboard may have helped push the Legislature to this point. A change.org petition sponsored by Taco Bell has over 30,000 signatures supporting the digital taco.

Last fall, news broke that the Unicode Consortium was considering both a taco and a burrito, as well as a range of skin tones for emoji characters other than “pasty white.”

Not everyone in the legislature supports the change.

When asked for comment, State Rep. Debbie Riddle reiterated her opposition to breakfast tacos, and said that she planned to vote against the measure.

“First tacos, then what? A bill to allow undocumented children who have lived most of their lives here in Texas and are as Texan as my kids to pay in-state tuition at public universities? This ‘multiculturalism’ must be stopped!”

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About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.

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