Using certain emojis when tweeting specifically conveys to people that they should expect a financial return on their investments, a federal judge recently declared in an interesting court ruling.
This unusual decision could have an impact on crypto-Twitter, where tweets frequently feature emojis that indicate potential profits, such as the rocket, the chart with an upward trend, and the money bag.
Lisa Braganca, a former branch chief for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), cautioned users about the potential legal repercussions of using these emojis that can suggest future gains.
A federal court judge ruled that these emojis 🚀📈💰objectively mean "one thing: a financial return on investment." Users of these emojis are hereby warned of the legal consequence of their use. #emojis #rocketshipemoji #DapperLabs https://t.co/4yRfWBH96R
— Former SEC Branch Chief Lisa Braganca (@LisaBraganca) February 23, 2023
Certain Emojis Might Suggest Financial Advice
The decision against emojis was made as a result of a lawsuit brought against Dapper Labs and its CEO, Roham Gharegozlou, for allegedly breaking securities rules when they offered their NBA Top Shot Moments. Lisa Braganca tweeted a link to the rulings.
NBA Top Shot Moments (NFT) are non-fungible tokens that document significant highlights and videos from NBA contests.
The plaintiffs claimed that through its marketing materials and carefully chosen emojis, Dapper Labs promoted NBA Shot Moments as investment opportunities.
The filing stated,
“Although the literal word “profit” is not included in any of the tweets, the “rocket ship” emoji, “stock chart” emoji, and “money bag” emoji objectively mean one thing: a financial return on investment.”
Dapper Labs has countered that the usage of the emojis in the tweets was not designed to boost sales but rather to bring accuracy to market data.
On February 22, the NFT firm also declared that the judge had denied its motion to dismiss the complaint during the case’s pleading phase. Dapper Labs tweeted,
“The judge did not conclude the plaintiffs were right, and it’s not a final ruling on the case’s merits.”
Today’s order in the Friel v. Dapper Labs matter – which the Court described as a “close call” – only denied our motion to dismiss the complaint at the case's pleading stage. The judge did not conclude the plaintiffs were right, and it's not a final ruling on the case's merits.
— Dapper Labs (@dapperlabs) February 22, 2023
Some members of the cryptocurrency community have also commented in varied ways on the rulings, with some suggesting that emojis can represent different things to different individuals and that banning their use could impede individual freedoms.
Meanwhile, one Twitter user called the information “tragic,” and another noted that the ruling might suggest that emojis are no longer protected under the First Amendment.