12-Year-Old Faces Criminal Charges Over Emojis

Who knew a bunch of "menacing" emojis in a social media post could get someone arrested for harassment?

The younger generation seems to mostly communicate in emojis and memes, but how many times has it crossed our minds that our excessive, and mostly redundant, use of emojis could have us labeled a potential shooter and landed in jail?

Authorities at Sidney Lanier Middle School in Fairfax County, Virginia, were alarmed when they came across this Instagram message, featuring the heady trio of a knife, a gun, and a bomb, according to The Washington Post.

A team from the school started investigating the message, talking to students on campus. A request was also made to obtain the IP address of the user associated with the Instagram profile.

The enquiries pointed to one 12-year-old girl, who was a student at the same school. The underage culprit confessed to having made the threat from another student’s account.

As is clear to many people, the police believes that this threat peppered with emojis is "not credible." The girl, however, was charged with threatening the school and "computer harassment."

The girl’s intentions are unknown at this point. However, her mother insists that this was an outburst, a reaction to the bullying the girl faced in school.

“She’s a good kid. She’s never been in trouble before,” the woman said. “I don’t think it’s a case where there should have been charges.”

Although the girl’s motives have not yet been brought to light, it's safe to say the reaction seems a little too excessive.

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