Microsoft has been doing this for decades. Ever try to collaborate on a web project using MSN Messenger? Every message you sent that contained 'index.php' was mysteriously dropped. It IS Orwellian, but you should not be surprised. The big communication services all seem to have their own little moral or technical hacks they use to keep your discussion limited and away from certain topics / words.
Proprietary IM networks are just that. Email is based on standards, with RFC's defining behavior. Moreover, proprietary IM is based on a some level of membership in that network. Email is open and often involves individuals outside of Apple's iCloud network, users who haven't agreed with Apple to any terms of service or the like.
That's so surprising I tried to find evidence of it online, but I couldn't. Partly because "index.php" is such a common thing that Google won't use it for a search term, which is ironic. Can you point to anything corroborating that?
It is even worse than that -- it also seems to automatically insert graphical smilies whenever it sees what it thinks is a text smiley. Makes it very hard to cut-n-paste a code fragment. Of course you can turn this off, but only on the receiving side -- if you are sending someone a command or piece of code (that contains parentheses and colons), you have know idea if their end will convert to the graphic smilies, and you end up sounding strange to them.
That is not "even worse", that is relatively insignificant. An IM client converting text to smilies by default is standard and easily disabled, or avoided by a different using client.
On the other hand, the issue above represents a horrible failing on the part of MSN as a network/protocol. Silently dropping messages without giving error to either party is insanely stupid behaviour, and MSN's done it frequently for as long as I can remember.
Actually, any mangling of the text is bad. It is bad to drop text, and it is bad to change a line of code to have cartoon graphic images randomly scattered (which you, the sender, don't see but only the receiver does), which makes you look stupid in the eyes of the person receiving it. At least dropping a message makes it look like a network error, the other can make the message sender look like an ignorant fool. (I'm very sensitive to having what I write get changed by something, which is why I absolutely hate auto-correct in a word processor). Both cases have the effect that our corporate-mandated IM client is utterly useless for IT work where you have to send commands or code snippets to others on the team.
No, MSN Messenger did change it for the sender, too. The receiver of a message's settings determined whether they saw the image. You could turn it off in the Text Formatting options, just a simple checkbox.
So I'd disagree with the 'utterly useless' aspect.
That's exactly what I said, if you, the sender, have smilies turned off, you will see the normal code (...:) for example. But if receiver (the person you are sending the message to) doesn't know to turn smilies off, they will receive a graphical picture where the ":)" is in your message, even if it is part of a code block. And there are so many smilies that I don't recognize (not just the ":)" ones), that I never know what the receiver is going to see. Hence, it is useless for sending code fragments (or anything else other than conversational text), since you never know if what is on your screen matches what the receiver will see.