Internet

The legal case for emoji

Emoji are showing up as evidence in court more frequently with each passing year. Between 2004 and 2019, there was an exponential rise in emoji and emoticon references in US court opinions, with over 30 percent of all cases appearing in 2018, according to Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman, who has been tracking all of the references to “emoji” and “emoticon” that show up in US court opinions. So far, the emoji and emoticons have rarely been important enough to sway the direction of a case, but as they become more common, the ambiguity in how emoji are displayed and what we interpret emoji to mean could become a larger issue for courts to contend with.

From Dami Lee, amplifying Santa Clara University School of Law professor Eric Goldman’s ongoing research into the role of Emoji in legal proceedings. Lee tells us emoji have “shown up in all types of cases, from murder to robbery,” and the examples in the story include solicitation and a civil complaint. Goldman is especially concerned about how the courts will handle the different rendering of emoji on on different devices.

The problem with economies of scale

Economies of scale quickly become economies of hassle

From Jessamyn, amplifying the exasperation people feel when daily activities are made more complex by poor application of technology. In the example given, the phone app reduces costs for the provider, but doesn’t improve the experience for the customer. People may not expect parking to be delightful, but that’s not an excuse for making it frustrating.

Interconnected, machine readable data, at scale

The NGA provides a free database with no regulations on its use. MaxMind takes some coordinates from that database and slaps IP addresses on them. Then IP mapping sites, as well as phone carriers offering “find my phone” services, display those coordinates on maps as distinct and exact locations, ignoring the “accuracy radius” that is supposed to accompany them.

“We assume the correctness of data, and often these people who are supposed to be competent make mistakes and those mistakes then are very detrimental to people’s daily lives,” said Olivier. “We need to get to a point where responsibility can be assigned to individuals who use data to ensure that they use the data correctly.”

From Kashmir Hill writing on the role of interconnected data in our modern lives. In this case it’s geo IP data, but it’s a story that’s increasingly common and likely in any field.

Two years after MaxMind first became aware of this problem with default [geo IP] locations, its lawyer says it’s still trying to fix it.

You can identify a dog on the internet, but will you bother to?

You can construct any [effing] narrative by scouring the internet for people claiming something. It doesn’t make it relevant. It doesn’t make it true.

From Agri Ismaïl’s media criticism (start here). This isn’t an issue of not knowing the dogs on the internet, it’s a matter of not caring who’s a dog in the interest of either clicks or political interest.

Parents in 1996 vs. 2016

This thread from Breanne Boland, which starts with a screenshot1 of another tweet:

Your parents in 1996: Don’t trust ANYONE on the Internet.

Your parents in 2016: Freedom Eagle dot Facebook says Hillary invented AIDS.


  1. Have you noticed that people are screenshotting tweets more than re-tweeting lately? [return]

An American iPhone in Europe

By way of update on my earlier post after researching options for AT&T iPhone users in Europe (with an unlocked phone), I ended up not bothering with local SIM cards in either The Netherlands or France. A savvy user should be able to find a local pay as you go SIM plan that’s less expensive […] » about 600 words

Preparing My iPhone For Europe

There’s uncertain talk of a European trip coming up, so I’m making nonspecific preparations for it. One of the questions I have is how to avoid hefty roaming charges from AT&T. In previous trips abroad I’d purchased overseas voice and data add-ons so I could use my iPhone. That works, up to a point. On my […] » about 400 words

Notes To Self: Twitter’s Website Rocks On Mobile Devices

Twitter’s mobile site rocks on my iPhone. Especially worth noting: they’ve figured out how to pin their header to the top while scrolling the content in the middle. They’re also using pushState() and other cool tricks to make the experience feel very native, but the scroll behavior is rare among web apps on iOS. Kent […] » about 200 words