A Canadian judge has ruled that the widely used thumbs-up emoji can prove that a person is legally entering into a contract.
According to a report from the New York Times, judge TJ Keene said the decision reflects a “new reality in Canadian society” as more people use emojis to express themselves. in all circumstances, including business dealings.
The case seeks to determine if a farmer agreed to sell tons of flax to a grain buyer in 2021. According to the report, the buyer sent the purchase contract to the farmer, and wrote “Please confirm the flax contract”.
Upon receiving the thumbs-up emoji as a response, he understood that the farmer “agreed to the contract” and the emoji was “his way” of accepting it. The farmer, on the other hand, said that the emoji was meant to confirm that he “received the flax contract”.
The judge noted that the farmer and the buyer had a long-standing business relationship, and that the farmer responded to previous sales agreements with texts such as “looks good”, “ok” or “yup “. In the decision, Justice Keene pointed to dictionary.com’s definition of the thumbs-up emoji: “used to express approval, approval or encouragement in digital communications, especially in Western cultures.”
Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, told the Times that despite the decision, the meaning of the thumbs-up emoji remains an open question, depending on each case. The professor noted that some young people may use the emoji in a sarcastic or dishonest way, while others may use it to confirm that they have received a message. The move could also offend some countries in the Middle East, he said. The case reminds “people that using the thumbs-up emoji can have serious legal consequences,” Goldman added.
Magazine: The legal dangers of joining DAOs