Looking at the junk mail folder of my outlook.com account, I see some mails that have unusual icons on them - check box, American flag, maple leaf (symbolizing Canada I suppose, though the color is a bit off).

At first I thought these where some wacky new emojis. But looking at Inspect element, those appear as img tags - for example, the US flag is <img src="https://a.gfx.ms/emoji_1F1FA_1F1F8.png" class="Emoji$1F1FA_1F1F8$C76 RenderedEmoji" title="מחוון אזורי עבור ארה" ב"="" alt="מחוון אזורי עבור ארה">.

How do spammers get Outlook.com to render these icons?

Outlook.com with icons

enter image description here

  • 3
    See: stackoverflow.com/questions/28095387/…
    – MrWhite
    May 19, 2016 at 7:11
  • That's the answer I've been looking for - non-standard emoji's rendered by outlook.com - and apparently gmail as well, wonder if they're standard between them and other providers...
    – Jonathan
    May 19, 2016 at 11:49

1 Answer 1


In view of OP's Comment (That's the answer I've been looking for ...) to @Mr White's Comment:

See: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/28095387/animated-icon-in-email-subject

A few lines from @Alexander O'Mara's comprehensive answer:

They are referred to internally as goomoji, and they appear to be a non-standard UTF-8 extension. When Gmail encounters one of these characters, it is replaced by the corresponding icon. I wasn't able to find any documentation on them, but I was able to reverse engineer the format.

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