Tuesday, 19 February 2019

👑👠💰

Emoji are popping up more and more as evidence in court cases, as Slashdot informs, subject to interpretation and double-entendre, and often demonstrate that judges and attorneys are not prepared to deal with a level of innuendo and implicit deniability.
The inherent ambiguity in language is of course nothing new and employees legions of legal experts to study and in some cases capitalise on shades of meaning, but the case in point—trying to determine the guilt or innocence of a man entangled in a prostitution sting operation and whether he was proposition the undercover informant with the emoji string in the title in a text message—proceeded by the phrase “Teamwork make dream work”—is interesting to ponder because their seems, without further context, compelling arguments either way.
What do you think? Moving beyond the realm of awkward advances that can quickly become harassment or grounds for infidelity (sometimes an aubergine is just an aubergine), parsing meaning and intent becomes even more fraught as one is asked to judge what’s insulting (💅), threatening or intimidating—confounded by the fact that reception of messages sent as positive or negative is not insignificantly coloured by the forum and platform that one uses.