Australians warned after a single thumbs-up emoji cost $122,000

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Australians warned after a single thumbs-up emoji cost $122,000



Australians warned after a single thumbs-up emoji cost $122,000

Australia fined $122,000 for not using thumbs-up emoji icon in text messages

Australians are being warned to approach the thumbs-up emoji with caution after a Canadian court ruled in a landmark decision that it is as valid as a signature.

A buyer was forced to pay US$82,000 (AU$122,000) after a farmer failed to deliver a shipment of grain after exchanging text messages.

A Canadian judge has ruled that the buyer should be refunded after the supplier replies to their text ‘Please confirm flex contract’ with a thumbs-up emoji.

However, even after a month, the buyer did not receive the hemp invoice.

Court documents show that Farmer argued that the emoji was only his confirmation that he received the contract, not that he was agreeing to its terms.

But a judge disagreed, saying he was satisfied on the ‘balance of probabilities’ that the deal had been approved with a commonly used icon.

Australians are being warned to approach the thumbs-up emoji with caution after a landmark decision in a Canadian court found it was as valid as a signature.

An Australian legal expert has since warned that judges could use the Canadian ruling as evidence in a similar case involving the thumbs-up emoji.

Andrew Rich, head of national industrial and employment law at Slater and Gordon, said there was ‘nothing to stop’ an Australian judge citing the case.

‘An Australian court may consider this legal decision when making a judgment. It can be thought of as advice or counsel to another court,’ Mr Rich told 7News.

He said Australians could be caught out if their boss sends them a contract and they reply to the message with a thumbs up to confirm they’ve received it.

This misunderstanding could mean that they are agreeing to the contract.

Mr Rich urged Australians to take their time on any legally binding contracts and seek legal advice if they feel confused or unsure.

A Canadian judge has ruled that a buyer should be refunded after the supplier replies to their text ‘Please confirm flex contract’ with a thumbs-up emoji (stock image).

This comes after the thumbs up emoji was ruled ‘passive aggressive’ by Gen Z.

Whether the chat is informal, between friends or at work, the icon seems to have a very different, ‘rude’ meaning for the younger generation.

A 24-year-old Gen Z on Reddit summed up the argument, saying it was ‘never used under any circumstances’ as it was ‘offensive’.

‘Nobody my age does it in the office, but Gen X people always do it. Took me a while to adjust and get it [it] It’s beyond my head that that means they’re mad at me,’ he added.

Others agree that it’s bad form, especially in the workplace where it can make the team look unfriendly and disjointed.

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