Do you use emojis? If you do, then you might want to make sure you’re clear on your meaning as this headline from Canada clearly demonstrates.
That’s because, while many of us use them here and there for casual, vague conversation, they had actual legal weight in a ruling against a farmer wherein his use of emojis was interpreted as his ascent to a contract of $CAD 82,000, The Guardian reports.
The ruling came down from a bench in Saskatchewan that took the farmer’s thumbs up emoji to to be the same as a verbal agreement to a contract involving grain. Apparently, a buyer with South West Terminal sent out a mass text message to clients seeking to purchase the grain at $CAD 17 per bushel. Chris Achter responded and the buyer, Kent Mickleborough, texted him a picture of the contract with the text “Please confirm flax contract” to which Achter responded with a thumbs-up emoji symbol. When it came time to deliver the grain, Achter didn’t and the prices actually went up since that time.
Achter disputed the assertion that the thumbs up was an agreement to the contract and, instead, said it was confirmation that he had received the contract for review. Apparently, the two parties had agreed to contracts over text in the past but the use of an emoji in this instance is what makes it different. In the ruling in favor of Mickleborough, the judge called the emoji a “new reality” for the Canadian legal system and dismissed the defense’s complaints that interpreting symbols in this way could lead to a kind of unanticipated chaos.
Do you use emojis in your communications? What are your thoughts on those symbols being used to agree to a contract? Let us know your thoughts on this Canadian court ruling in the comments below.
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