If you use emojis, you’re in good company. By some estimates more than 95% of internet users have sent an emoji at one time or another. In fact, over 10 billion emojis are sent every day.
With the growing use of various chat and mobile platforms, emojis will increasingly appear in professional communications along with personal channels. And that means these little pictographs will increasingly be part of data collections subject to discovery for litigations and investigations.
Beyond the amount of emojis that are sent via various communication channels every day, what makes them even more complicated is the volume of unique emojis that exist today. The Unicode Consortium – the standards body making it possible for software programs to recognize and display text characters uniformly – currently acknowledges 3,664 different emojis.
Most people will never need to struggle with emojis beyond occasional software incompatibility frustrations and basic interpretation, where one person’s pile of poo can be another’s swirl of chocolate soft-serve ice cream. But in the world of eDiscovery, they create additional challenges. Discovery teams need to understand the unique characteristics of emojis and emoticons in ESI as they were originally intended, since transformation often occurs as the source data is collected, processed and presented for review.
When faced with emojis in a data collection, consider these steps for smoother navigation:
- Examine the source data.
- Ask questions along each step of the EDRM process.
- Segment data types prone to contain emojis and emoticons and apply search techniques accordingly.
- Provide common understanding of the source data platform capabilities prior to review.
- Recognize the impact dates, software versions and devices can have on emojis important to your matter.
ProSearch WorkStream™ product manager Jessica Lee recently explored these and other issues related to handling emojis in discovery in a new white paper. For more information, download “Little Pictures Worth a Thousand Words – Emoji Considerations in eDiscovery” or explore our website to learn more about ProSearch collaborative and chat solutions today.