The EuroGA system does not support these. If you include them in your post, the post gets chucked out and you get a message like this
For those technical among you, it is basically these. It looks like all these use 4 bytes and all are codes above 0×7F (127 decimal) i.e. non printing characters. On the airport database project we will simply be stripping these out, among other data validation measures. However, the issue is too expensive to fix right now on EuroGA which is written in Ruby and there is a vast amount of code.
This issue used to crash the PM system, years ago, but that was fixed. I don’t know how it was fixed (whether the emoticons get stripped out, etc) but as far as is known the PM system is now entirely reliable. Well, obviously, subject to the usual spam email filters at the receiving end…
There is also a general cross platform issue with emoticons. People expect them to “just work” but they don’t – example.
You can use the typed emojis e.g. :) (colon followed by a round bracket) etc. These are all “printable” characters. And the forum text entry form has the two emoticons
It is possible for me to add new ones but it hasn’t been an issue in recent years.
In forum posts, supporting graphics drag/drop, you can obviously also drop in a small graphic which contains an emoticon.
Some work has been done on this issue.
The ability to store these four-byte characters in the message database was there for years, but somehow got dropped in the move to the new server early in 2019. It is now back, so a post should not just vanish if you drop in an emoticon from an Iphone etc
BUT these characters should still be avoided, because they are not cross-platform compatible. An Iphone/Ipad emoticon will look right on another Apple device, but on Android an Iphone smiley is likely to look like this
and on Chrome on a PC it looks like this
Avoid them in PMs too, for the same reason.
Also, some emoticons (e.g. ones from Android devices) can still look strange (depending on which fonts you have accessible in your browser) or cause problems. For example this, from an Android phone
looks like thison my PC (win7-64, Chrome)