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The Last Word: Panic of Emojis

They Are Communications, But of What?

It was bound to happen—an Israeli judge has found prospective residential tenants liable to an apartment owner for $2,200 based on emojis sent to the landlord that caused the landlord to take the apartment off the market. See Eric Goldman, Emojis and the Law, 93 Wash. L. Rev. 1227, 1266-70 (2018) (discussing decision of Israeli small claims court). In the case, a couple seeking the landlord’s apartment texted him a smiley face, a comet, a champagne bottle with a popping cork, dancing women with bunny ears, and a chipmunk. Id. at 1268. The court held that these emojis constituted bad faith negotiations that caused the landlord to rely to his detriment on the tenants’ seeming agreement to lease the apartment. Id. at 1267.

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