Judge Amir Weizebbluth -- who ruled in favor of the landlord in Tel Aviv small claims court -- wrote the following opinion on the matter (emphasis added).
The…text message sent by Defendant…included a smiley, a bottle of champagne, dancing figures and more. These icons convey great optimism. Although this message did not constitute a binding contract between the parties, [it] naturally led to the Plaintiff’s great reliance on the Defendants’ desire to rent his apartment…These symbols, which convey to the other side that everything is in order, were misleading.”
This wound up costing the couple 8,000 shekels -- about $2,200 -- which is apparently the price of admission in the Got Sued Over My Emoji Club. The legal implications of lawsuits hinging on emoji, however, are a bit fuzzier. As Bradley Shear, a lawyer whose worked in social media law, told Mashable, even the various smiley-face emoji carry multiple interpretations based on context, some of which convey positivity 😊, and some of which actually convey something completely different 🙃.