The Internet at the Speed of Thought

Man Jailed for Sending Gun Emoji to Ex-Girlfriend

at 11:50 am | By

Could your emojis be considered “death threats in the form of an image”?

Breaking up is hard to do, and in our ever-connected digital age, getting over your ex is far from easy. Just when you think you’re moving on, they post a new photo online showing them with someone else, or Facebook keeps putting their stories at the top of your newsfeed.

Social media makes relationships hard, especially if you don’t give your partner–or ex–a little space, and now one man found out the hard way just how serious a toll technology can have.

Do you think an emoji could land you in jail? After a bad breakup, one man’s text message had him in police custody in no time.

gun Antonio Guillem

Source: Shutterstock/ Antonio Guillem

NEVER send this text to your ex…

In the first ruling of its kind in France, a 22-year-old man was sentenced to 3 months in jail and over $1,100 in fines after sending a “threatening” text to his ex-girlfriend.

gun Vitabello1

Source: Shutterstock/ Vitabello1

But in fact, it wasn’t even the wording of the text message that a court found troubling. Rather, it all came down to him sending a gun emoji, or as the court ruled, a “death threat in the form of an image.”

gun Apple

Source: Apple

Under article 222-17 of the French penal code on death threats, persons found guilty of such a crime can face up to three years in prison and over a $50,000 fine, so it seems like the young man got off easy.

But was sending a simple emoji a crime in the first place?