The Atlantic

The Dark Side of Slack’s New Emoji Statuses

The cutesy feature could pressure employees into sharing their every move—both on and off the clock.
Source: Norm Hall / Getty

Last week, emoji continued their unstoppable invasion into Slack. They began popping up alongside my coworkers’ names in the popular messenger-app’s interface: First, it was just a few early adopters, who were just trying one on for size—I chose a contemplative —but soon, they were everywhere.

The proliferation was the result of a new Slack feature that allows people to pick an emoji and type some words to create a status, as if on AIM or MSN Messenger. But since Slack is meant to help employees, not high schoolers, communicate with one another, they’re pitched a little differently. If you’re busy, the

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