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Unicode ideogram list-site Emojipedia goes titsup. Wow. Did you just give us the finger?

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An online encyclopaedia of emojis has been chucked offline after vast numbers of people visited the site to gawp at 250 new pictographic symbols.

Industry standards body Unicode has just released a Version 7.0 of the Unicode Standard, adding 2,834 new characters including 250 "emoji" ideograms which range from a charming middle finger icon to a "dagger knife".

The body also added "23 new lesser-used and historic scripts, as well as character additions to many existing scripts" to the standard.

But it seems people are less interested in the improvement of the rendering of the newly added Indic scripts as they are desperate to give each other the finger. After news of the new emojis spread across the interwebs, people rushed to bear witness at a gallery hosted at Emojipedia, which promptly collapsed.

The website quickly 'fessed up to the outage, issuing the following tweets:

Emojis are handy tools for people who are totes emosh (see here for translation) but functionally illiterate, because they allow real feelings to be expressed without the use of boring old words.

The most anticipated emoji is the middle finger, of course – otherwise known as "1F595 – REVERSED HAND WITH MIDDLE FINGER EXTENDED".

As Unicode points out "most of the new emoji characters derive from characters in long-standing and widespread use in Wingdings and Webdings fonts", including the "live long and prosper" Trekkie hand sign and the rolled-up newspaper pictogram. For the benefit of younger readers, this was something we once used to catch up on world events and also to swat flies. Both of these are theoretically possible with a fondleslab, but perhaps not advisable.

Other emojis include a ballot box, which might give a clue about the sort of world Unicode wants to create.

Although the Unicode Consortium explicitly states in the Standard's specification that the colour of the character is not part of the standard, some people are upset that there are still no "people of colour" included.

The consortium provides "reference glyphs", but it is up to the software vendors to render the symbol, character or pictogram. Apple, for one, has vowed to "tackle the lack of racial diversity in its emojis". ®

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