Extract from article by Kathryn Cole
Imagine if the above emojis, casually fired off in a text message (or in an Instagram or Facebook post) to a friend or colleague, could be used against you as evidence of workplace harassment?
Or if another combination of cartoon-like representations of emotions could be used as proof of defamation?
Or if inclusion of a face emoji with its tongue sticking out could preclude a reasonable reader from concluding the potentially defamatory statement was anything other than a joke?
Some disbelieving readers may think, never! But, not so fast. In fact, there are a growing number of cases, both in the United States and elsewhere, where emoji images have been entered as evidence requiring the judge or the jury (as the case may be) to interpret what exactly was meant by the emoticon.
- Digital Emotions: The Evidentiary Impact of Emoticons and Emojis
- Defamation with the Click of a Mouse: Assessing Damages