A popular form of expression, emojis have made it from texts, emails and social media content to the courtroom, as we blogged about in 2016 and 2017. As a result, they’re posing preservation challenges for e-discovery providers.
Law.com recently reported that many modern search tools struggle to capture all emoji types and iterations, despite configuring them to account for pictorial information. One provider called the emoji search “dead on arrival” without that configuration in place. More specifically, it’s because of how some search technologies deconstruct and interpret documents and attempt to limit junk content — discarding spaces, punctuation, and visuals like emojis — in order to yield more relevant results.
In addition to configuration challenges, there’s also the tedious task of actually entering the emoji in the search bar with an emoji keyboard. The same provider interviewed by Law.com suggested a different approach: indexing documents with emojis to include both the actual emoji itself and its descriptive name.
Another provider stated, however, that no one tool could ever account for every type of emoji that could appear in a document. New emojis are being created every day, including private collections that are neither easily indexed nor deciphered.
But the challenge of an evolving data type is nothing new to e-discovery service providers. 💪