The cliché "A picture is worth a thousand words" should be replaced with "emojis are (sometimes) worth a thousand dollars" after a judge in Israel ruled against a couple for misleading their prospective landlord via text. Yikes! Due to a few emojis that communicated an intent to rent, the married couple's fate in court shows us the worst possible outcome of deciding to ghost someone.
So how exactly did couple Rosen and Nir Haim Saharoff walk away owing $2,200 in small claims court? When the couple was interested in renting, they reached out to the landlord to talk further. The landlord deduced from their previous conversations and emojis that they were going to move forward with renting the space, and took down the ad soliciting it as available. However, when the couple stopped responding to the landlord's messages, and that's when things got ugly.
The landlord Yaniv Dahan was so upset he filed a lawsuit in small claims court arguing that the emojis used misled him. How? Well, throughout conversation the following emojis were to blame: dancing lady, two people dancing, a chipmunk, a peace sign, a smiley face, and a champagne bottle. The couple later asserted that they were not impressed with the condition of the home, but the judge still ruled in Danan's favor. The series of emojis, while not altogether in one text, these all conveyed "a great sense of optimism" according to Judge Amir Weizebbluth.
Here is the official argument for ruling against the couple:
So what does this mean for habitual ghost-ers or emoji lovers? Maybe nothing. Or that you have to be very careful with how you text or address a lack thereof. This case was decided in Israel, and while it doesn't mean much if you're in the U.S., it could. In the U.S. we've seen privacy cases in terms of text messaging be decided by the Supreme Court; we've also seen how the idea of a "contract" be as simple as writing it on a cocktail napkin (i.e., Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving).
In both instances, this was more about actual text than emoji. But as emojis become more popular and even political, deliberating how those emojis "communicate" or "convey" a certain message is just on the horizon from the looks of it. Think about it! The last landmark case in the U.S. that gets halfway there ruled in favor of an employee whose text messages were seized as evidence.
This was in 2009, but just imagine if they had a sophisticated emoji keyboard at their fingertips. This case was considered narrow, because the situation was arguably an unreasonable search and seizure, which violates the 14th Amendment. However, what if the 57 of the 450 text messages reviewed had only emojis? In this hypothetical case, and other real cases in the future, dealing directly with matters of intent will have to consider every part of the message, and that includes emojis!
Aside from interesting the case is, does no one else think this could've come in handy after your first, third, and seven hundredth actual love interest disappeared? I mean, small claims is a stretch, but it may be necessary in some cases.