Canadian Judge Allows Thumbs Up Emoji As Legal Form of a Contract Agreement

/ 12 months ago

A judge in Canada has ruled that the “thumbs-up” emoji is an official form of a contract agreement and has cost a farmer C$82,000.

Thumbs Up Contract Agreement

As reported by The Guardian, the thumbs up emoji has been ruled as a valid form of a signature to agree to a contract and has ordered a farmer to pay C$82,000 (£48,000). The case involves a grain buyer by the name of Kent Mickleborough in Sakatchewan who in March 2021, was advertising their interest in purchasing 86 tonnes of flax at a price of C$17 per bushel. The buyer spoke to farmer Chris Achter over the phone and sent a picture of a contract for the flax to which Achter responded with a thumbs up emoji. The flax was expected to be delivered in November and when this date came around no flax was delivered prompting Mickleborough to open a dispute with Achter. The dispute claims that the thumbs up emoji was an agreement of the contract which Achter denies and claims the thumbs up was to simply say he had received the contract.

Unfortunately for Achter his claims led to a long search to find what exactly the emoji means and led to a final decision. “This court readily acknowledges that a 👍 emoji is a non-traditional means to ‘sign’ a document but nevertheless under these circumstances this was a valid way to convey the two purposes of a ‘signature’,” and has led to Achter being ordered to pay C$82,000.

Honestly, this is really silly and I really hope that we aren’t going into a future where an emoji is a form of agreement to a contract. The judge claimed that courts need to adapt to the “new reality” of how people communicate which is an awful method of communication and this judge really needs to rethink what they’ve just opened up to. Emoji’s can mean absolutely anything especially in this case where the thumbs up was simply to say ‘i’ve got your message’. I should’ve signed my eTeknix contract with an aubergine emoji.

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