CAN YOU EMOJI-INE THIS? CONTINUED
WE MUST ASK AT LEAST THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
Culture differences? Technical versus casual? International?
Are the characters exactly the same design across different and ever-changing software programs’ operating systems and devices?
LAWYERS AND THE LAW CAN BECOME ENSNARED
Most attorneys and law firms utilize “high tech” computer legal research resources. The search engines, predictably, rely on key words. One cannot emoji-ine how these companies will be able to search emojis across all possible platforms.
WHAT ARE THE STANDARDS? WHERE ARE WE TO TURN FOR GUIDANCE?
Did you know there exists a “Unicode” consortium, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to develop and promote use of Unicode standards? Will such standards be used by courts as guidance and “authority.” Can a non-profit entity have persuasive authority for the courts? Should not the test be, what did the person who utilized the emoji mean? If your employee uses the same emoji in different communications, will the court accept the explanation that a different meaning was intended between the communications?
OKAY HATED LAWYER, WHY DO I CARE?
Your employees represent your company. They daily communicate with customers, suppliers and … well, you understand. We live in a media trumped up society of people feeling insulted (or finding a lawyer to convince them of so). If you have not trained yourself to defend and prevent defamation situations, see your lawyer NOW! Do your employees communicate on company time and equipment (including software)? May they use emojis? Do you know?
Have you policies regarding text and emoji use? IT IS TIME to consider this growing dynamic in the law and discuss these topics with your staff (of course after you consult with your lawyer!)