Emoji threats are to be considered serious
January 19 , 2014
The topic of emoticon threats is not an explored territory but experts said you could get into trouble for threatening someone using emoticons.
Mashable notes the case of a reporter who received an emoji death threat ( gun emoji pointing at a smiley face) on Instagram from a drug dealer but Instagram never removed the post when he reported it.
An expert mentioned that it needs to be determined if "a person would have been reasonably threatened" and a message could mean assault, stalking or harassment. An emoji threat could be seen as intentional wrongdoing in civil court but a lawyer notes that the concept is theoretical. "Whatever laws exist in the real world are usually applied to a threat in the digital world."