Why do some incidents have multiple question marks within the subject field?
Workspaces, Incident Processing
Oracle Service Cloud all versions
Multiple question marks "????" in the Subject of the incident is a result of conversion from symbolic Unicode character (for example: "emoji") to non-Unicode character.
Subject field within "incidents" table is a varchar type field which is non-Unicode type. That simply means Unicode characters such as "emoji" cannot be saved in the database and thus are converted to other (acceptable) characters "????" for example.
Such a symbol in the email's subject may be an indication of a SPAM mailing and possibly should be filtered.
As the same condition applies to the "Subject" field in the mailbox "Discard Filters" configuration. It is not possible to filter email by Unicode character in the Subject as mailbox filter field is also a varchar type and you will get the same question marks if attempt to save "emoji" in a mailbox filter field.
The way around is to create a business rule and filter by the character after it converted into non-Unicode:
IF Incident.Subject contains "????"
Then Do not create incident.
When you first create this rule, it is best to allow the incident to be created and route them to a specific queue or staff member for review. This ensures that the rule is not acting on emails that you want to allow in to your site. Then, after a time, you can determine if the rule is adequately catching the emails of interest and then you can modify the rule to not create the incident.