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A Thumbs-Up Emoji Can Represent an Actual Signature, Says Canadian Court

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By Jaden Francis - - 5 Mins Read
A person giving a thumbs-up sign
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A court in Saskatchewan, Canada recently ruled that a thumbs-up emoji can be considered a valid alternative to a physical signature. Similarly, in India, an inked thumbprint is often used as a substitute for a traditional signature.


It all started when a Canadian farmer replied to emailed terms for the sale of flaxseed with a Thumbs Up emoji, signifying a sign of agreement but failed to deliver the seeds. 


In March 2021, Kent Mickleborough, who is a local grain buyer, sent a bulk text chain to his clients, informing them that he'll like to purchase some tonnes of flax from them. At that time,  Mickle borough's company was aiming to purchase 87 tonnes of flax from the farmer Chris Achter asking him to confirm the order of flax. 


According to the Court document, Mickleborough signed the contract for the deal, sending a picture text of it to Achter, and wrote, "Please confirm flax contract, " and Achter responded with a thumbs-up emoji.


However, Achter did not deliver the flax to Mickleborough, which made the grain buyer file a lawsuit stating he thought Achter's thumbs-up emoji was an agreement to the contract.


Mickleborough explained: "At the time, I understood the thumbs-up emoji as a signal that Chris was agreeing to the contract, and this was his way of signing the agreement."


While Mickleborough understood the thumbs-up emoji to be a sign of agreement to the contract, Archer only sees it as a simple confirmation that he received the flax contract but not a sign of agreement,” 


He said: “That was not a confirmation that I agreed with the terms of the Flax Contract. The full terms and conditions of the Contract were not sent to me, and I was expecting that the complete contract would follow by fax or email for me to review and sign.”


Nevertheless, the argument didn't sway the judge, who said that a thumbs-up emoji is a non-traditional means to 'sign' a document and ordered Archer to pay $62,000, saying the emoji constituted a valid contract signature.


Here's A List Of Other Emojis And Their Meaning 

As interesting emojis are being used to express feelings and emotions, it is important that the meaning of each emoji is understood to avoid passing on wrong information. Below is a list of a few types of emojis and their meaning.


Emoji list and signs
Credit: Domingo Alvarez/Unsplash


The Smile Emoji 😄

The smile emoji portrays a person who is happy when sending a greeting text or simply used to compliment something or the other.


The Wink Emoji😉

This emoji signals a hidden meaning of a joke which won't be understood by many when used.


The Heart Eyes 😍

The hearted eyes emoji is used to convey feelings of love and attraction. It can be used for someone you like and are attracted to.


The Shushing Face 🤫

This emoji represents a sign of quiet as it can be used when the chat has gone with multiple loads of messages, and you want to make everyone quiet.


The Zipper Mouth face 🤐

This means that there's a secret to be kept. It is used when secrets and promises are meant to be kept among a certain number of people.