Farmer Fined 61000 Dollars For Using Thumbs Up Emoji Canada Court New Law Says It Represents Contract Sign

In a shocking decision, a Canadian court has held that the “thumbs-up” emoji is tantamount to consent to a contract. You too may have sent a thumbs-up emoji to show consent many times while text chatting with someone, but this emoji has brought trouble for a farmer in Canada. A Canadian judge ordered the farmer to pay $ 61,442 (about Rs 50.7 lakh) for breach of contract, considering this emoji to be similar to the person’s signature.

A report in The Guardian states that the Canadian judge has also said that courts have to understand how people interact and adjust to the new reality. The report states that the Court of King’s Bench in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan heard that a grain buyer had sent a broadcast message to his customers in March 2021, announcing that his company would charge $12.73 (about Rs. 1,051) per bushel. But is planning to buy 86 tonnes of flaxseed.

The buyer, Kent Mickleborough, called farmer Chris Ector and sent him a picture of the contract for grain delivery in November, along with the text “Please confirm the flax contract.” Farmer replied to the message with a thumbs-up emoji.

However, despite this the farmer failed to deliver the flax till November and by that time agricultural prices had shot up. Later, there was a dispute over the thumbs-up emoji which the buyer was taking as acceptance of the contract. The buyer states that the use of the thumbs-up emoji by the farmer in lieu of the contract indicates that he had accepted the terms of the contract. Farmer, on the other hand, claimed that the emoji only indicated that he had received the contract in the message.

In an affidavit, Farmer said, (translated) “I deny that he accepted the thumbs-up emoji as a digital signature of the unfinished contract. I haven’t had time to review the Flax contract and I Just wanted to let you know I got his text.”

Justice Timothy said the emoji was “a non-traditional means of ‘signing’ a document, but nevertheless, in the circumstances it was a valid way of expressing the two purposes of the signature.” He also dismissed the other side’s concern that allowing the approval of the thumbs-up emoji would change the meaning of other emoji, such as “fist bump” and “handshake.”

Kashif Ali

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