Can an Emoji Be Considered as Defamation? A Legal Analysis of Burrows v Houda [2020] NSWDC 485

  • Priya Singh University of KwaZulu-Natal
Keywords: Defamation, emoji, emoticon, tort, delict, Burrows v Houda, Lord McAlpine v Bercow


This article considers the Australian case of Burrows v Houda 2020 NSWDC 485 and the English case of Lord McAlpine v Bercow 2013 EWHC 1342 (QB). Both cases considered the question of whether emojis could be considered to be defamatory and answered the question in the affirmative. This article also explores whether the South African courts will follow the lead of the Australian and English courts and concludes that emojis also have the potential to be considered defamatory in our law.


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