Facebook's Community Rules, which also apply to Instagram, have been updated to apply to emojis. More specifically, it applies to sexually suggestive emojis.

The changes were supposed to have been adopted as early as August, but were not noticed until Tuesday, when several US media snapped up an article from the Xbiz site that said the new rules were aimed at sex workers.

This is the chapter on "Offensive content" where the section "Marketing of sexual services" has been clarified and now contains a prohibition of, inter alia: Contextually specific and common sexual emojis or emoji strings.

"Not the emojis themselves as we act towards"

Exactly what emojis are considered to imply on sex is not clarified in the new rules, but according to an Instagram spokesperson, an overall assessment of posts reported as offensive is made. In order for content to be deleted, it requires that it contains an emoji "of a sexual nature" in combination with an implicit or indirect request for, for example, sex or nude images. If the request is made in text or in the form of pictures and other emojis is not clarified.

"It's not the emojis themselves that we're acting against," Instagram tells the New York Post.

Following the rule changes, Facebook and Instagram could interpret this sequence as a call to sell sexual services. Photo: Mounting emojis

Posting posts for the purpose of advertising or soliciting sexual services on the platforms is already prohibited. The new guidelines can be said to facilitate the flagging of posts that use emojis just to do this.

In addition to prohibiting the use of emojis for sexual purposes, it is also prohibited to post images on naked bodies where body parts are covered with the help of emojis.