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Should HTML comments be stripped when validating answer length?

See my answer here: http://meta.stackexchange.com/a/123638/155556
(now only 10K+ viewable (since the OP was deleted))

I was able to make my answer "" (yes that was on purpose)

In the end you can read the edits to the answer and get the point, but why should I be able to do that?

I assume

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marked as duplicate by Tim Stone, Sathya, Michael Mrozek, Robert Harvey Feb 27 '12 at 18:10

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

7  
Ssshhhhhhh...don't tell them...they'll steal it from us! –  Time Traveling Bobby Feb 27 '12 at 16:03
    
@Bobby :-P haha I left you a message here –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 27 '12 at 16:05
    
On a more serious note, I can remember that discussion mostly about comments...the result was that people came up with many creative ways to circumvent whatever was in place. –  Time Traveling Bobby Feb 27 '12 at 16:05
    
@Bobby I promise. ^_^ –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 27 '12 at 16:26
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Did the great circle of meta just begin again? I seem to remember discussing this sometime in 2009. (Although back in my day, we had much more elegant solutions than mere HTML hacks. Bah!) –  mmyers Feb 27 '12 at 16:57
    
@mmyers hehe I was't hear waaaay back in 2009. But as the old saying goes: "History repeats itself". ^_^ –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 27 '12 at 16:58
    
Yeah, I've heard that one before. –  mmyers Feb 27 '12 at 16:58
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Seriously @random ... :-( –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 27 '12 at 17:20
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I came close to re-opening this. On the one hand, we can't have people with diamonds next to their name deliberately circumventing quality filters. On the other hand, the guy does own the place. It's his party, his booze and then there's the stuff that he provides that we actually want. This would break out into unicorns stabbing themselves with their own horns. That's rather hard to deny. I'm not locking this, I'm just asking anyone that votes to re-open to strongly consider if this will actually result in something constructive or meme bait. That's all, nothing less, nothing more. –  Tim Post Feb 27 '12 at 17:36
    
@TimPost ahhh, but what is constructive here on meta? meta.stackexchange.com/q/107073/155556 –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 27 '12 at 17:37
    
@amanaPlanaCAnalPAnaMA My decision was basically this: Let's have fun spanking Joel while making light of what sparked this over a single answer, or raise the question in a less antagonistic way. That's what I mean by constructive. –  Tim Post Feb 27 '12 at 17:45
    
@TimPost haha I am not trying to be antagonistic :-P I am just wondering why I should be allowed to do it. Edit away as much as you want to make it sound better ^_^ –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 27 '12 at 17:47
    
@Tim - I hope my answer wasn't misconstrued; it was meant as a meta joke :) I find nothing wrong with using html comment to circumvent the filter, so long as you have a legitimate, good reason. I'd say Joel's post is the best example of a legitimate reason. –  Adam Rackis Feb 27 '12 at 17:51
1  
This is one of those times where I feel moderation should be basically hands off. As I said, I'm not locking it, if it turns into green orange and yellow slime mixed with egg, well, you should have edited more :) I Agree with @random's choice to close it in the original form, or it would be open by now. This is your question, it's up to you to edit it, not me :) –  Tim Post Feb 27 '12 at 17:56
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Examples of where this is actually being used to circumvent low-quality filters? And preferably examples drawn from somewhere other than Meta... –  Cody Gray Feb 27 '12 at 18:02

3 Answers 3

I wholeheartedly support fixing this problem. I'm sick and tired of people using this trick to get around the quality filters!

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2  
HA! +1 from me :-P –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 27 '12 at 16:12
    
@amanaPlan - HA! Nice edit :) –  Adam Rackis Feb 27 '12 at 16:32
    
I thought so :-) –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 27 '12 at 16:34
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-1 for jealousy that your answer is more amusing than mine, and is also voted higher. SUPPORT VOTE ENVY! –  Adam Davis Feb 27 '12 at 17:30
    
There's an odd dynamic going on here. The question gets 10 downvotes, but this answer gets 12 upvotes? :o Apparently it's OK for the OP to do this, but not the CEO of Stack Exchange. –  Robert Harvey Feb 27 '12 at 17:49
    
@Robert - hehe - the idea struck me...looks like othes were amused too. I'm just glad Adam Davis's answer is back on top - that's the real answer. The filter bypass is not really a problem, and, honestly, only ever seems to be used judiciously and intelligently. –  Adam Rackis Feb 27 '12 at 17:52
    
@RobertHarvey haha Thanks for the support :-) That's where SE's world domination plan comes into effect ^_^ –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 27 '12 at 17:54
    
This is a very valid point. I don't disagree with you. –  Tim Post Feb 27 '12 at 18:00

It seems like minor enough of an issue that it can be dealt with by hand using the flagging tools. If it were an epidemic, then "fixing" it might be worthwhile - and could consist solely of converting the sanitized markdown to HTML, then making sure the HTML output meets the size requirements.

But I don't think that's necessary. Let people have their little toys, and you may avert larger problems.

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Sounds good ^_^ –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Feb 27 '12 at 16:07
    
'If it were an epidemic...' And when those spammers can post constructive white-/other-invisible-space... –  Grant Thomas Feb 27 '12 at 16:47
    
@Mr.Disappointment I don't believe invisible text is rendered to the final webpage, so it doesn't affect search engines or visitors. Haven't checked recently, though. Look at the page source and see. –  Adam Davis Feb 27 '12 at 16:57
    
@AdamDavis I don't think so, I was just playin'. –  Grant Thomas Feb 27 '12 at 16:58
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@Mr.Disappointment NO FUN HAVING ALLOWED. >:( –  Adam Davis Feb 27 '12 at 17:00
    
I need a second upvote so I can get this answer on top (always) .... –  Adam Rackis Feb 27 '12 at 17:31
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Probably the most sensible answer by far. –  Tim Post Feb 27 '12 at 19:08

I think that this question (and especially the answer by Jeff) really covers the SE stance on things like this:

Zero-width non-joiner allows unclickable titles

Especially this line:

The short answer is "don't do that", and the longer answer is "if you keep doing that, there will be consequences."

NOTE: This is just in addition to Adam Davis' answer, which I think fully covers this specific case.

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10  
-1: Needs more invisible material. –  Josh Caswell Feb 27 '12 at 16:50
2  
"if you keep doing that, there will be consequences." Yeah, like being limited to only being able to change your name once every 30 days. –  John Feb 27 '12 at 18:39

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