“While the world has been quick to embrace the colorful messaging symbols, the slow-moving US justice system is glacial in comparison, and is having trouble handling their appearance in a variety of ways,” Owen reports. “‘Emojis show up in virtually every practice area because emojis are showing up across all types of online communications,’ Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman told The Recorder. ‘Emojis show up most frequently in cases where online chatter is a key source of evidence.'”
“The difference in emoji styling across platforms is also thought to be the cause of some lawsuits, despite attempts by Apple, Google, and others to harmonize what is depicted in each. One study referenced by Goldman notes at least 25 percent of respondents ‘were unaware that the emoji they posted could appear differently to their followers,’ and in cases where they were shown how a tweet of theirs was rendered across multiple platforms, one in five people said they would have edited or not sent the tweet at all had they known about the differences,” Owen reports. “The meaning of individual emoji, or those in groups, is also subject to interpretation by the courts, but they also present unique challenges. Their small size and the fact many emoji look similar makes it easy for a reader to misinterpret the intended meaning from the sender’s message. ”
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