Disclaimer: this paper uses emojis from the latest standard and it might not work well in some browsers. You can find a PDF version here.
Non-verbal communication is not easy, but Italians are somehow better at it. See this video of a little Italian girl as an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5wAWyqDrnc. In this paper of the Computational Social Science Lab Holiday Paper Series, we set out to learn about non-verbal, non-facial communication online through the use of one of the most iconic Italian expressions: 🤌. We study its meaning in multilingual Twitter datasets and its association with sentiment to develop a tool to help using hand emoji in online communication. We further study the role of skin color in hand emoji in Reddit and the change in their frequency of use since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as an example of an emojical study focusing on various aspects of the use of 🤌.