The poop emoji: a legal history (and encoding challenges)

The poop emoji has been in the news a lot lately, thanks to Elon Musk setting up an auto-response to any emails sent to Twitter's press contact address that contains nothing but the swirling brown icon. Don't believe me? Email and see for yourself.

But that's "only the tip of a brown iceberg," as it seems to have gotten Sarah Jeong thinking, how do the courts handle the poop emoji? How often does the poop emoji show up in filings? She'll answer this and more over on the Verge.

She also quotes law professor (and long time privacy/internet/email/spam legal expert) Eric Goldman, and it turns out that he published a whole paper on "Emojis and the Law." I didn't know this existed yet I am so glad it does. Eric helps us understand the very real concerns about encoding and compatibility, how intellectual property concerns around emoji art can negatively impact communication, and, most importantly, notes the potential for legal issues -- in the wonderfully titled chapter, "Does a Chipmunk Emoji Indicate Contract Formation?" This is a must read.

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