The poop emoji: a legal history

Image: Mengxin Li / The Verge

In July 2022, the world watched with bated breath as Twitter sued Elon Musk. No one knew whether the deal was going to happen or whether it had all been an elaborate troll to begin with. (The two weren’t mutually exclusive, either.) Billions of dollars and the fate of a major worldwide social media network hung in the balance. The lawsuit was, in some ways, unprecedented. Legal experts found themselves besieged with all kinds of tricky questions.

For example, was this the first time the poop emoji showed up in court?

The answer is no. In 2018, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Emerson v. Dart in which a corrections officer, Paula Emerson, sued the county alleging workplace discrimination. While the…

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