A Canadian court has decided that a thumbs-up emoji can represent contract agreement
Lawyers should be aware of emojis to defend their clients
The irruption of the standardized use of the new technologies in every single aspect of life has changed the way people communicate via online. The emojis appear with social media as they represent small images of what the user is trying to express. For instance, if someone is happy, they can send the other person a happy face which displays happiness. But even if they are simply understood by everyone it might cause some serious misunderstandings between users such as the one made by a Canadian farmer who sent a thumbs-up emoji, and the court has stated that is valid for the payment of $61,442 of a contract agreement.
The social media has caused that people with an account in them has the ability to create their own opinions and misconceptions of what the transmitter wants to communicate. This is what happened to a farmer that made an agreement of selling 87 tons of flax at $12.73 per bushel to a grain buyer that sent a massive message to a lot of sellers in 2021.
The buyer signed an agreement and sent it to the farmer in order to continue with the procedure that resulted with him answering back with a thumbs-up emoji. The farmer stated that the emoji was sent with the intention of confirming the buyer that he has received the contract but not that he had an agreement.
The Canadian court has stated that the virtual world and the social media has brought a new reality to the ways that humans have in order to communicate so, for that reason, they have decided that the emoji used by the farmer is a new way of agreeing with someone.
This is due to the buyer that showed that he sent the photo of the contract and also the text that said that: “Please, confirm the contract if you agree with the conditions”. For that reason, the buyer understood that a thumbs-up emoji meant that the farmer agreed with everything displayed on the contract.
In addition, the Canadian court has show the new legal reality that can bring a lot of problems in other companies as the emojis will be valid as a form of not-traditional way of signing a document.