Infographics on Instagram and captions on TikTok videos are using the watermelon emoji as a symbol of protest for Palestinian independence. The use of this emoji is increasing as social media users suspect platforms of censoring content about Gaza, with the corresponding emoji being used in place of the Palestinian flag. The watermelon has long been a symbol of protest for Palestinians and, like the flag, the emoji is also red, green, and black. Israel has retaliated against Hamas with unprecedented force, leading to devastating effects on the Palestinian territory. The death toll has surpassed 10,000 in the past month. Many creators are using the watermelon emoji instead of certain hashtags that they suspect will be flagged or suppressed. Throughout this, a Reddit user revealed that they don’t understand the meaning of the emoji. The use of these linguistic workarounds is becoming increasingly common on social media for discussing sensitive topics. A recent TikTok filter promoting the watermelon also goes viral, with its creator pledging profits to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza. The watermelon has been used as a symbol of Palestinian nationalism in cuisine and art for a long time. Its resurgence on social media is closely tied to the ongoing bans on the Palestinian flag. It has come to represent solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation globally, as governments continue to enforce bans on the Palestinian flag. The use of the watermelon emoji has deep real-world roots in resistance to censorship and symbolizes Palestinian resistance to occupation.

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