Use of thumbs-up emoji costs Saskatchewan farmer $82,000

Use of thumbs-up emoji costs Saskatchewan farmer $82,000
Written by Techbot

The farmer used the emoji to respond to a question, binding a contractual agreement, the court found

Jul 7, 202312:32 PM EDT

A Saskatchewan farmer must pay thousands of dollars for failing to deliver products after using the thumbs-up emoji to reply to a question.

Back in 2021, Kent Mickleborough, a South West Terminal grain buyer, was looking to buy 86 tonnes of flax from Chris Achter, a farmer in Swift Current.

Mickleborough said he spoke with the seller on the phone and texted a picture of the contract, which included a November 2021 delivery date. “Please confirm flax contract,” Mickleborough wrote. The seller responded with the “👍” emoji.

Mickleborough took this as an agreement, citing the other contracts he’s completed with Achter, who confirmed orders through texts and delivered them by the expected date.

“I deny that he accepted the thumbs-up emoji as a digital signature of the incomplete contract,” Achter said in his affidavit. “I did not have time to review the flax contract and merely wanted to indicate that I did receive his text message.”

But the court sided with Mickleborough, stating the emoji does equate to a contractual agreement.

Justice Timothy Keene pointed to, which says the emoji “express assent, approval or encouragement in digital communications.”

“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,” Keene said in his decision.

Image credit: Shutterstock 

Source: Court of King’s Bench for Saskatchewan Via: The Canadian Press 

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