Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal are common in business environments. The widespread use of these mobile messaging applications has made it mandatory for companies to invest in enterprise messaging solutions that can record mobile messages and other mobile channels in a compliant manner.

Establishing and understanding the context of the archived mobile message such as SMS or WhatsApp chats are important during litigation. Companies should be able to preserve the records of their business communications without altering their structure or omitting any characters – including emojis. Emojis are commonly used for workplace mobile communication as companies let their employees use mobile messaging apps.

What are Emojis? 

According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, an emoji is a pictograph of a face, object, or symbol. They are designed to add more emotion when communicating virtually. Emojis can be sent across various platforms and operating systems meaning iOS users can receive an emoji from someone who is using an Android device and vice versa.

A survey done in 2019 by Adobestates that among 1,000 American workers, 76% use emojis in their workplace and professional communications. The widespread use of emojis in business communications is the reason why companies and legal authorities are not only required to capture these electronic communications but also to interpret them.

Emojis in Court Cases

Eric Goldman has documented the appearance of emojis and emoticons in U.S. court opinions since 2004 and has seen the rapid spike in their usage. 53 cases in 2018 compared with 33 in 2017 and 26 cases that contained emojis in 2016. However, despite the increase in number of emojis in court cases, contextualizing them the right way is still a tough job for most court judges and lawyers. Here are some factors why emojis can be a difficult part of litigations.

•    Cross-Platform Representation of Emojis
•    Describing Specific Emojis
•    Interpretation

For more on this, here is an infographic by Telemessage.