A leading diversity campaigner has launched a campaign to get the ‘#’ and ‘@’ symbols banned during Ramadan as they look like waffles and Danish pastries.
According to Jemima Smedge-Throop of the campaign Netters Against Hate, the resemblance between the symbols and items of food could be ‘incredibly upsetting’ to people who are fasting for religious purposes.
She spoke to our Chief Reporter about her campaign, and she said that it was ‘time for more culturally sensitive symbols to be used on social media.’
Ms Smedge-Throop added: ‘How must it feel to be fighting hunger because you are so dedicated to your faith, only to jump on Twitter and see so many icons that resemble delicious waffles and delectable cinnamon swirls.’
‘I have Jewish friends who have thrown their smartphone in a rage on Yom Kippur during the day – ‘hanger’ is a real-world issue that we should be fighting.’
‘It would be incredibly easy to fix this. Twitter needs to set an example by ditching hashtags and going for something less provocative like a ‘trend tilde ~.’
‘It might upset people who get seasick, but that would be a small price to pay to show that we are considering the cultural sensitivities of others.’
‘What is stopping the global email regulator from swapping the ‘@’ symbol for the word ‘at.’
‘As long as you’re not called Andy Turner and live in Austria it could definitely work.’
In a further development, the obesity awareness group FATSA have written to Microsoft and Apple to ask that the ampersand (&) is changed to something that doesn’t upset people who are overweight.