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article imageSkype removes 'offensive' emoticons

By Tim Sandle     Apr 30, 2014 in Technology
The online video chat service Skype has taken down instant messaging emoticons showing a middle finger and a woman's legs.
Skype community managers have said they have reviewed complaints about the emoticons and have concluded that they do have the "potential to offend." An emoticon is a pictorial representation of a facial expression (or other body part), designed to convey an emotion. The first and most widely known was the "smiley," depicting a happy face (or for those of a certain age, rave culture). Emoticons began as a series of dots and lines, like the 'smiley' :-) These days they are also represented by graphics.
Some of the icons on Skype included a smiley face showing its middle finger and a woman's legs wearing high heels. According to the BBC, a number of Skype users have complained on the site's forums about the update, which was brought in with the upgrade to version 6.14 in February 2014.
The complaints appear to have convinced Skype. TechCruch reports that the emoticons have now been removed.
Skype is currently owned by Microsoft. The service allows users to communicate with peers by voice using a microphone, video by using a webcam, and instant messaging over the Internet. Phone calls may be placed to recipients on the traditional telephone networks. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free of charge, while calls to landline telephones and mobile phones are charged via a debit-based user account system.
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