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The first e-mote turned 40 this week

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This week the emote that started it all turns 40. Scott Fahlman, a professor at Carnegie Mellon, explains how the emoticon came to be on September 19, 1982. Unsurprisingly, it was because people were getting into fights online. 

According to his post on the university website (opens in new tab), in the early ’80s, the Carnegie Mellon Computer Science community was really into bulletin boards—what would be referred to these days as internet forums—to talk to each other about a wide range of topics. Falman noticed that some sarcastic or humorous posts would be taken seriously and lead to lengthy angry exchanges, which would deviate from the original topic.

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