To protect himself, Elon Musk is giving new meaning to the poop emoji 💩

In a case pitting him against Elon Musk, Twitter provided evidence of the billionaire’s defamation by displaying a poop emoji addressed to his CEO. But Elon Musk did not mean this emoji in a vulgar way.

Live from the most unreasonable timeline the multiverse could deliver, July 13, 2022 offers us a surprising rebound in the “poop emoji” case. Background: In May 2022, after a text explanation from the Twitter boss about counting fake accounts and bots, Elon Musk posted an unstoppable response. Poop emoticon (with eyes and a smile). This response was surprising, to say the least, as it came from a man who wanted to buy Twitter at the time.

Fast forward to July 2022: Elon Musk no longer wants to buy Twitter, and the social network is suing the billionaire to force the sale. The file, compiled by Twitter’s lawyers, contains the famous “poo emoji” tweet, which immediately sets the tone for subsequent proceedings. Elon Musk’s response is filed in a chapter of evidence that attempts to show that the billionaire publicly “humiliated” the company, even when he tried to buy it. The attack was meant to prove his unwillingness to ensure that the deal went through.

Poop emoji on iOS // Source: Numerama Artwork

Smiley poop is not what it seems

But this is without relying on Elon Musk, who, having failed to buy Twitter after all, knows how to use the social network. In a short tweet, he brings up an element that we hope will shed light on the magistrates’ investigation. “💩 = bs,” he says laconically. In English, “bs” is a diminutive of “shit,” a vulgar interjection that can be nobly translated as “bullshit.” Semantically speaking, then, Musk is usurping the meaning of his emoji: it’s not an insult or a slander, but a roundabout way of saying that what the Twitter boss says is false and not credible.

According to Emojipedia, the emoji bible, the one officially called “Pile of Poo” was designed to refer to feces, toilet themes, and all related slang terms. English nonsense could, at the limit, enter into this definition: the judges will know how to decide.

This is not the first time the emoji has been featured in a lawsuit. In 2017, an Israeli court had to interpret the meaning of the smiling emoji in a sex case. The non-absolute nature of emoji, which are part of everyday speech on the Internet and in instant messaging, makes it difficult, if not impossible, to interpret the written word objectively. Issuer sensitivity and intent will remain key determinants of value.

On the other hand, in the case between Twitter and Elon Musk, it’s safe to say that the poop emoji won’t be the most important element available to the judges.

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