12 Year-Old-Girl Faces Criminal Charges For Using These Emojis
Emoji’s have become the unofficial dialect of teens and internet enthusiasts.
And while most use the colourful icons to illustrate their day or add comic effect, one 12-year-old has been Fairfax, Virginia, has been charged with threatening her school after police said she posted a message on Instagram in December laden with gun, bomb and knife emojis.
“meet me in the library Tuesday”
Probably not the wisest selection of emoji's.
The pursuit of legal action is apparently not uncommon. The Washington Post reports that recently a grand jury in New York City recently had to decide whether the policeman emoji followed by a gun represented a true threat to police officers.
“Emoji are new enough that people are finding their footing,” said Tyler Schnoebelen, a linguist and founder of a company called Idibon. “Almost all of these cases have emerged in the past couple years. They are all going into fresh legal territory.”
The Washington Post continues to report that the challenge for detectives in interpreting text messages containing emojis has escalated to unprecedented proportions.
Meanwhile in Virginia, a search warrant states the girl admitted to authorities she posted the messages on Instagram and did it under the name of another student. She was charged with threatening the school and computer harassment. A spokesman for Fairfax County schools said the alleged threat was deemed “not credible.” It is unclear whether the student will face prosecution.
“She’s a good kid. She’s never been in trouble before,” the spokesperson said. “I don’t think it’s a case where there should have been charges.”
Prosecutors and the judge will decide whether the bomb, gun and knife emoji indicated a desire to threaten the school or simply, make her followers laugh.