Jessica Lee: 5 Key Factors to Consider When Handling Emojis in eDiscovery

Extract from Jessica Lee’s article “5 Key Factors to Consider When Handling Emojis in eDiscovery”

Emojis have grown in use considerably in recent years. It may be easy to dismiss emojis as inconsequential to traditional textual communication, but the reality is people are more likely to express themselves and indicate tone through emoji. In global settings, many people believe that emojis make it easier to communicate across language barriers.

By some estimates, more than 10 billion emojis are sent every day in various electronic messaging mediums. With the use of chat and mobile platforms only increasing today, there is growing attention on the volume of emojis being created and their long-term impact, particularly in eDiscovery.

Tackling emojis may seem daunting, but keeping these key factors in mind will help you navigate them more smoothly:

1. Examine the source data. The occasional emoji here and there in emails and text documents might not have much of an impact on your matter. In mobile and collaboration data, however, emojis have become ubiquitous, as they allow users to quickly convey emotions, ideas and even coded communications. Not seeing emojis in texts and chats could mean very little, but it could indicate a gap in the ability to collect, process or produce emojis, diluting the quality of the ESI.

Also consider the possibility that while commonly used emojis might present no issues either in presentation or interpretation, less common, custom and proprietary emojis could easily be excluded or overlooked during discovery, especially if displayed as a “”, but could actually provide more context and insight to your matter.

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