They bug me.
I just want to get that out there. They've done so for a long time too, though it just struck me why, so here's a post on that.
It's because they're the wrong way. Literally.
You read text from left to right, right? If so the smiley should read LTR too. Visual and Asian smileys work both ways as they read up and down, but these other ones are just wrong!
I'm all about open standards too. Norms. Like English - a language that we all understand, that makes it so much easier for all of us to communicate.
I understand not everyone writes in English; not everyone writes in a LTR language, but the backward smileys I stumble upon are definitely always written in language where this is the norm. For you RTL writers out there: this isn't aimed at you. Keep writing as you usually do. If I happen to learn your language and read your text and the smiley isn't written the way I'm accustomed to I'll just have to change my customs, because I suppose that's the custom for you. Ditto, right?
So please, whichever way you type: type your smileys facing the right way.
That is all.