Can Your Investigation Interpret Emoji?

by Christa Miller, Forensic Focus

Emoji are everywhere — including in your evidence. Used across private-messaging apps and email, social media, and even in passwords and account names, emoji are pictographic representations of objects, moods, and words. They’re a convenient shortcut for users who want to convey tone and emotion in digital communication without using a lot of words.

Preston Farley, a Special Investigator with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), believes “emoji will emerge as a prominent form of communication sooner rather than later,” and that there are potential ramifications for digital forensics examiners and investigators when it comes to analyzing and testifying about emoji.

Presenting at the Techno Security and Digital Investigations conference in Myrtle Beach in June 2019, Farley explained that emoji present two distinct challenges.

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