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  • Writer's pictureArkus

World emoji day: a picture can say a thousand different words

The emoji has become a key part of daily communication in personal and business messages including text messages, instant messaging chats, emails, CVs, and they even feature as evidence in court cases.



Did you know?

  • The most popular emoji is currently the face with tears of joy.

  • World Emoji Day is on Monday 17 July.

  • Japanese designer Shigetaka Kurita invented emojis in 1999 as part of a project for Docomo, a popular phone operator in Japan.

  • The word “emoji” entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013.

  • There are over 3,000 emojis set by the Unicode Consortium, ranging from food and drink to hand gestures, activities, and facial expressions.

  • Emojis could appear differently based on their recipients' devices.

  • Emojis that represent real people, living or dead, are prohibited by unicode.

  • Emojis can be used as evidence in court.

Using an ‘emoji’ within a text message, email or instant message can create and convey emotions. This can lead to a negative, positive, X-rated interpretation, misinterpretation as well as the fine line between humour and threats.

Like all electronic data, emojis can be used as a ‘secret code’ or used to symbolise something very different to what they were originally created for.

At Arkus we believe that all electronic data needs to be understood for what the data says, not just what the data is.

James Lawson, Head of eDiscovery, explains: “As I’m not of the ‘snapchat’ generation, using the wrong emoji is something I do all the time. For example, I always thought the ‘sleep face’ emoji meant upset… don’t worry I always knew what the swirl of chocolate ice cream was.

"The use of phone data, such as WhatsApp, has exploded since the Covid era. This has brought more casual communications into almost every case. With the integration of tools such as natural language programming (NLP), which helps our clients understand data better in areas such as data topic and type analysis as well as sentiment analysis; the understanding of what data means as opposed to just what it says is truly the next frontier for our clients.

"This idea of data having different literal meanings is nothing new. For example, code words have been used as far back as the Egyptian days. For many years we have frequently used concepts to identify the themes relating to words as opposed to the actual word itself. These document concepts can be grouped together into clusters which help legal teams identify similar themed documents.”


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