Costly misinterpretation: A thumbs-up emoji leads to a ₹50 lakh fine in Canadian farming deal | Mint
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Business News/ Technology / News/  Costly misinterpretation: A thumbs-up emoji leads to a 50 lakh fine in Canadian farming deal

Costly misinterpretation: A thumbs-up emoji leads to a ₹50 lakh fine in Canadian farming deal

Misunderstanding emojis can lead to costly mistakes, as shown in a recent incident in Canada. A farmer was fined ?50 lakh for misinterpreting a thumbs-up emoji as confirmation of a contract. This highlights the need to be cautious and understand the meanings of emojis to prevent misunderstandings.

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For representation purposes only

Misunderstanding the precise meanings of emojis can sometimes lead to costly mistakes, as demonstrated by a recent incident in Canada. In Saskatchewan, a local grain buyer sent a message to farmer Chris Actor in March 2021, assuring him of purchasing his crops in November. Chris Actor responded to the contract with a thumbs-up emoji. 

However, when November arrived, Chris Actor was unable to fulfill the agreement, and unfortunately, the price of the crops had significantly risen by then. As a result, Chris Actor was fined 50 lakh. This incident serves as a valuable lesson for all of us regarding the potential consequences of misinterpreting emojis.

Although Chris Actor asserts that he used the thumbs-up emoji to indicate that he had received the contract, he did not explicitly confirm the contract itself. Conversely, the grain buyer maintains that the farmer acknowledged the terms of the contract with the thumbs-up emoji.

Following the court proceedings in Canada, the judge upheld the thumbs-up emoji as a valid and official signature. As a result, the farmer was penalized with a fine of 61,442, which is approximately equivalent to 50 lakh, for breaching the contract.

Studies indicate that the thumbs-up emoji is commonly employed to express approval or convey a sense of "okay." However, according to a report in the Daily Mail, the thumbs-down emoji may signify disagreement or disapproval. It is important to note that various hand emojis can carry distinct meanings.

This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of exercising caution when using emojis and ensuring that the intended meaning is clearly understood. It is advisable to familiarize oneself with the commonly accepted interpretations of different emojis to avoid any potential misunderstandings or miscommunications.



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Published: 10 Jul 2023, 09:36 AM IST
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