FidoSysop Blog

WordPress 4.2 Adds Emoji Support That Breaks Smileys

Received a WordPress 4.2 update notification when logging into my admin

As usual i hit the update button and WordPress 4.2 was installed without a hitch, or at least i thought so.

wordpress 4.2 emoji example

An example of what an emoji is supposed to look like. The wink shortcode i use is now a distorted light gray circle.

Using Firefox browser i switched to my blog’s front end. On the home page i saw a light gray emoji where a yellow wink smiley once was. Using Google chrome browser a tiny black X can be seen where my wink smiley once was. Internet Explorer displays the light gray emoji the same as Firefox.

Not knowing what wordpress 4.2 had done to change my smileys i started Googling up wordpress 4.2 and smilies. As usual Google hits the search target and zeroed in on this new topic on wordpress.org support forums: Emoji and smiley js and css added to head.

So what the programmers at wordpress did with 4.2 is to replace the existing smilies with these new emoji icons. This breaks posts where normal smilies were inserted via normal wordpress shortcode.

Does not make logical sense to enable another another option that breaks another. On one of my blogs i have seven years of blog posts that use wordpress smiley shortcodes that are now broken.

In the above wordpress.org support forum another blogger ‘apocalypseboy.com’ provided these code snippets to be added to your functions.php file. That code does not work for me using an Artisteer 2.3 generated theme.

remove_action( 'wp_head', 'print_emoji_detection_script', 7 );
remove_action( 'wp_print_styles', 'print_emoji_styles' );

This is a screen capture of another of my wordpress blogs home page. In Google Chrome wink smileys are displayed as black x’s. Something is seriously mucked up here.

wordpress smiley display with emoji code

Another of my wordpress blogs showing it’s wink smileys as black x in Google chrome browser.

My feelings on this subject are. Roll this emoji addition back in the next wordpress 4.2.x update. Or make emoji an option in the display settings admin. Or even better add wordpress emoji support to JetPack as an option that can be toggled on with separate shortcodes so emoji does not break previous posts.

I have been using WordPress since it’s early days and seriously appreciate all the hard work the development team has put into it over the years. But this latest emoji addition is a disaster for many of us. Please consider my suggestions above.

Updated 04/26/2015: Here is a temporary fix to restore your smileys back to their WordPress default. This plugin Classic Smilies restores smilies back to their classic default.

As usual just my two cents worth 😉