ou probably know that Skype lets you insert emoticons into your chats, but you may not have been aware of the hidden rude emoticons. Microsoft knew all about them, and they finally decided that they had to go. So you can no longer flip someone the animated bird in Skype.
It easy enough to understand why Microsoft would want to “clean up” Skype. You wouldn’t expect Apple or Google to have a middle finger emoticon hiding out in their chat apps, and, really, you wouldn’t expect Microsoft to either. Big companies generally try their best to make sure they’re not offending anyone — or at least offending as few people as possible. A good chunk of corporate bureaucracy was created to ensure that the delicate sensibilities of the general public are protected.
The change happened a few weeks back. In addition to the (finger) code, Microsoft has removed (wtf) and (fubar). They also removed the odd (hollest) code, which was an image of a woman’s legs and high heels. That was an Easter egg homage to former Skype CEO Stella Hollest. It’s not particularly offensive, but apart from being a fun inside joke for Skype staff there’s not really any need to leave it there.
Fortunately, Skype still lets you send video messages to your pals. If you need to get your point across with the ‘read between the lines’ gesture, you can always record it on your webcam and give it that personal touch. You can also resort to good old NSFW ASCII, too.
Heck, you can still (moon) your pals on Skype with the built-in emoticons… for now, at least.