Skype Removes Rude And Naughty Emoticons

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Skype users slap their forehead and shake their heads after Microsoft removes potentially offensive emoticons

WTF? Skype users have reacted angrily after Microsoft quietly removed potentially rude and naughty emoticons from the VoIP service as part of version 6.14, which was released in Febrary.

The “offensive” emoticons that have been removed include one that displays a middle finger, WTF, and one that shows a woman’s legs. However a quick test by TechweekEurope has revealed that some rudish emoticons remain, including our personal favourite (mooning).

Middle Finger

Skype Outlook FeaturedEmoticons have branched out since their humble begins as a smiley face, and now often include detailed graphics and animations.

But Skype community managers have reportedly decided that some of the emoticons had become too racy after complaints. According to Skype community manager “Claudius,” the change was made because they had “the potential to offend some users.”

“These hidden emoticons indeed got removed with 6.14 because of them or their shortcodes having the potential to offend some users,” he wrote.

Microsoft acquired Skype in 20122 for £5 billion as it sought to phase out its Windows Live Messenger service in 2013 in favour of Skype’s instant messaging service. And now Microsoft is integrating Skype into many of its services including Outlook.com.

Following the acquisition, Skype CEO Tony Bates was appointed as president of Microsoft’s Skype division, reporting directly to then CEO Steve Ballmer. However Bates left Microsoft in March in the wake of Satya Nadella’s appointment as chief executive.

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