London: Photo-sharing website Instagram has blocked searches for the eggplant (or aubergine) emoji after some users posted it to represent a penis.
It has launched a surprise crackdown on the symbol and a search for an eggplant results in "no tags found" for fear that it might be used to share obscene photos, the Guardian reported.
The eggplant has been blocked from Instagram's newly unveiled function to search for images by emoji. The illustrations for the banana and the peach remain unaffected.
The emoji keyboard features pictures representing guns, knives, pills and skulls, all of which are still searchable in Instagram. The eggplant can still be used in photo captions and provides results when used in the "people" search.
Some Instagram users have also started using the banana to direct users to images of the eggplant emoji, the report added. According to Instagram, the eggplant was blocked because it violated their community guidelines.
"Over the past few years, emoji have become part of a universal visual language," Instagram wrote in a blogpost.
"And just as, we share photos and videos, we use emoji to communicate emotions and feelings in ways that anyone can understand, regardless of language or background".
"With emoji hashtags, you can discover even more by adding them to your own photos and videos, searching them on the Explore page and tapping on them when you see them in captions," it added.
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Updated Date: Apr 30, 2015 15:06:04 IST