It’s a sad day. As is so often the case, my copy editor was about to flip me the virtual bird on Skype and she couldn’t. Why? Because Microsoft is a prude.
It turns out, Skype has removed its emoticons for showing people the middle finger, as well as its animations for (wtf), (fubar) and the slightly odd (hollest) emoticon, which displayed a set of women’s legs with high heels.
This change apparently happened more than a month ago. According to Skype community manager “Claudius,” the change was made because the shortcodes had “the potential to offend some users.”
Oddly enough, you can still happily moon your chat buddies(), puke on them(), have a smoke with them () and pretend you are virtually drunk (). Skype is good with this guy, too ( ). Maybe because he is offset by this emoticon: .
But don’t . Thankfully, Skype has come up with a set of new and unoffensive icons for your use. Just type in (sheep) — with the parentheses — and you can see a defecating sheep . If that’s too much for your eyes, (shielddeflect) will bring in Captain America to protect you. Indeed, Skype now has a full range of corporate sponsored Captain America emoticons.
In addition, there is also now a (cat), a (dog) and something called (talktothehand).
Chances are you are already annoying your friends with your new-found Skype superpowers, but it’s worth noting that Microsoft does sometimes have an aversion to things it deems offensive. It doesn’t want you to upload profanity-laden videos from your Xbox One, after all. In the meantime, Bing is still a pretty good search engine for porn.