An Australian man allegedly used emoji to arrange drug deals

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As everybody knows, emoji are immensely versatile. They can express the entire breadth of human emotion, be useful as a passcode, and also, perhaps, assist an enterprising young drug dealer.

Queensland police have accused Regan Peter Howett, 19, of dealing drugs and using “lightning bolts and hearts” emoji as references to the drugs MDMA and ecstasy when texting clients, according to the Brisbane Times.

In the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Saturday, Howett was charged with 26 counts of supplying a dangerous drug and trafficking. Police told the court they downloaded Howett’s text messages after he was arrested.

“It will be alleged he used these phones to conduct the business of trafficking drugs,” Sergeant Shane Turner said.

The lawyer for the accused, Brendan Ryan, denied the police claims, and said the drugs found in Howett’s home were merely flour and not cocaine, the newspaper reported.

Whether or not Howett is found guilty when his trial begins in August, the use of emoji to represent less than salubrious habits fits squarely within Aussie trends. A survey of emoji data by keyboard app SwiftKey in April found Australians use 65% more drug emoji than average. We also are inclined to lavishly text the alcohol-themed emoji — double the global average.

Indeed, Swiftkey wrote in its report that “Australia’s emoji use characterises it as the land of vice and indulgence.”

Reports Mashable

Michael ~ its these last two paragraphs that are a worry to me

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