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Court slaps $61,000 penalty on man over Thumbs-Up emoji; it can be dangerous for you too

The Thumbs-Up emoji cost this man $61000. Know what the court said about Thumbs-up emoji meaning.

By: MD IJAJ KHAN
Updated on: Jul 08 2023, 09:49 IST
Man fined $61,000 for thumbs-up emoji in landmark case. (Emojipedia)
Man fined $61,000 for thumbs-up emoji in landmark case. (Emojipedia)

In Canada, a judge has made a decision that says the Thumbs-up emoji can be considered a valid form of signature. The judge believes that courts should adapt to how people communicate nowadays. Because of this ruling, a farmer was told to pay a penalty of $61,442 for breaking an emoji Thumbs-up contract, BBC reported.

A grain buyer from South West Terminal was involved in a case heard in Saskatchewan's Court of King's Bench. In March 2021, the buyer sent a text message to a large number of clients, stating that they were interested in purchasing 86 tonnes of flax for $12.73 a bushel.

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The buyer, Kent Mickleborough, called the farmer, Chris Achter, and provided him with a picture of the contract for the delivery of the flax in November. Kent asked Chris to confirm the contract.

Also read: Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

Chris Achter, the seller, responded with a Thumbs-up emoji. But in November, Achter didn't deliver the flax, and by then, the price of the crop had gone up.

Thumbs-up emoji meaning

The seller and the buyer didn't agree on what the emoji meant. The buyer used previous messages to say that the emoji showed that the seller agreed to the contract terms.

Achter explained that the emoji only meant that he had received the contract.

Justice Keene used a definition of the emoji from Dictionary.com to support his argument. According to the definition, emojis are used to show agreement, approval, or encouragement in digital communication. Justice Keene said that while this definition might not be official, it matched his understanding of emojis.

He stated that, while a signature is the traditional technique of confirming someone's identification, newer ways such as emojis can also do so. Justice Keene mentioned that a thumbs-up emoji might not be the usual way to "sign" a document, but it still does two important things: it shows who signed it and it shows that the person accepts the contract. In this case, the signatory was identified by their cell phone number.

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First Published Date: 08 Jul, 09:48 IST
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