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Should we forbid Unicode characters completely/partially/or not at all, in the hope to prevent abuse and possible vandalisms on SO?

٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ ٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶ ٩(-̮̮̃•̃)

Should it be disallowed?

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5  
aight- I'm hooked. Which site did you go to to get those? –  RichardTheKiwi Feb 16 '11 at 18:12
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What vile vandalisms could be done with Unicode that could not be done with plain ASCII text? –  Grace Note Feb 16 '11 at 18:12
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ಠ​​​​​​_​​​​​​ಠ –  mmyers Feb 16 '11 at 18:14
    
@Grace I think we are going to see some creativity in this topic. –  karlphillip Feb 16 '11 at 18:18
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... should I be upvoting or downvoting? –  Pops Feb 16 '11 at 18:25
    
+1 for the inspiration! Unicode smileys open a whole new dimension. –  Pëkka Feb 16 '11 at 18:28
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I changed the question from forbid to allow so you guys don't kill all my rep points because of it. Thank you. –  karlphillip Feb 16 '11 at 18:36
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Suggesting edits to answers for +2/answer after editing the question? Brilliant! –  Pops Feb 16 '11 at 18:41
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Actually, we need auto-link support for Unicode URLs! http://☃.net –  Arjan Feb 16 '11 at 21:20
    
@raven did you do that by hand? –  Rosinante Feb 17 '11 at 2:31
    
Vote down means forbid unicode, vote up... allow it! –  karlphillip Feb 18 '11 at 0:49
    
@Kop Why did you rollback? Am I not allowed to ask what I want? The question has been like that for 4 months already, what do you think justifies a rollback at this point? When you finish playing with my question could you please revert it to the way I left it? Thanks. –  karlphillip Jun 14 '11 at 21:15
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@karl: no, you are not allowed to invert the meaning of your question. If you want to do that you have to open a new question. –  Andreas Bonini Jun 14 '11 at 21:18
    
@Kop If I do that the question will be closed as EXACT DUPLICATE. I'm pretty sure the people that contributed to this thread don't mind, else I would have heard from them months ago. –  karlphillip Jun 14 '11 at 21:21
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6 Answers

up vote 32 down vote accepted

No.

  • Banning Unicode would make globalization of the sites impossible, so at best this could only be temporary.

  • Using a white- or blacklist for allowed/disallowed characters is extremely problematic.

  • The community handles spam on its own very quickly either by editing it out, or flagging.

  • As a potential abuse of the system, posts with this content can be seen by, or reported to, moderators who can penalty-box users as appropriate for repeated offences.

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No. We � Unicode!

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8  
We question Unicode? –  Shog9 Feb 16 '11 at 18:30
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wooooosh hehe :) –  Ólafur Waage Feb 16 '11 at 18:35
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If you’re really going to use "We \N{UNICODE REPLACEMENT CHARACTER} Unicode!", don’t pretend it’s saying something it isn’t, you know. There are lots of better hearts: uninames heart reveals ♡ 02661, ♥ 02665, ❣ 02763, ❤ 02764, ❥ 02765, ❦ 02766, ❧ 02767, 💑 1F491, 💓 1F493, 💔 1F494, 💕 1F495, 💖 1F496, 💗 1F497, 💘 1F498, 💙 1F499, 💚 1F49A, 💛 1F49B, 💜 1F49C, 💝 1F49D, 💞 1F49E, 💟 1F49F, 😍 1F60D, and 😻 1F63B. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re mojibake. –  tchrist Jun 13 '11 at 0:16
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And once again I am penalized for somebody else’s UTF‑16 buglet where they forgot to count characters correctly. How aggravating! And oh by the way, and if you’re somebody who still needs George Douros’s Symbola font for Unicode 6.0, well gee now you know where to find it. 😜 ¡λɐp ƨnolnqɐɟ ɐ əʌɐɥ puɐ ƨdləɥ ƨᴉɥʇ ədoɥ –  tchrist Jun 13 '11 at 0:20
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☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃

٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶ Forbid unicode ?

┃╲       ┃ ┏━━┓
┃  ╲     ┃ ┃   ┃
┃    ╲   ┃ ┃   ┃
┃      ╲ ┃ ┗━━┛

☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃ ☃

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11  
I say we ☢ them. –  mmyers Feb 16 '11 at 18:18
    
We "soccer ball" them? –  bobobobo Jun 12 '11 at 23:54
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@bobobobo: No, you’re confusing ☢ U+02622 RADIOACTIVE SIGN with ⚽ U+026BD SOCCER BALL. There are lots of other balls, too, like 🏈 U+1F3C8 AMERICAN FOOTBALL, 🔮 U+1F52E CRYSTAL BALL, 🌍 U+1F30D EARTH GLOBE EUROPE-AFRICA, 🌎 U+1F30E EARTH GLOBE AMERICAS, 🌏 U+1F30F EARTH GLOBE ASIA-AUSTRALIA, and even 🎃 U+1F383 JACK-O-LANTERN. Whether ⚤ U+026A4 INTERLOCKED FEMALE AND MALE SIGN goes in the balled category, I leave up to your (in)discretion — and perhaps the 🔞 U+1F51E NO ONE UNDER EIGHTEEN SYMBOL. 𝑺𝒆𝒆 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒔𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒆? –  tchrist Jun 13 '11 at 0:39
    
@tchrist those are so cool. –  Pëkka Jul 18 '12 at 9:54
    
All spheres show as boxes! –  hexafraction Aug 28 '12 at 20:17
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While you like to play with unicode's less used parts, do remember that å, ä and ö are unicode characters too. Banning these would make a whole bunch of people angry... :)

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So are many math symbols. –  Donal Fellows Feb 17 '11 at 11:05
    
So too are many quote marks, currency symbols, subscripts, punctuation, and much more. People still living in an ASCII world are so out of it I don’t even have a ready metaphor to describe their bassackwardness. If you run unichars -ga '[\p{Common}\p{Inherited}]' '[^\pM\pC\pZ]' 'NFD !~ /\p{ASCII}/' using my utilísimo y celebérrimo unichars script from my Unicode toolbox, you’ll find 6,110 useful code points in Unicode 6.0, not counting Han or Hangul even, but just plain Common type characters! –  tchrist Jun 13 '11 at 0:03
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Of course we should allow freakin' unicode.

Unicode support was such a big deal 10 years ago. Removing support represents an enormous step backwards, for no good reason. How can you have a programming site that doesn't even support Unicode in 2011?

This is an awful question the way it is stated, if anything an ASCII diagramming toolkit should be created to create ASCII tables and the like, for use in ASCII diagrams. Plus it would break this answer.

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Surprisingly some high-end programs such as Autodesk Maya still have problems with Unicode today. Although the issue does only affect a relatively small number of use-cases, it still is a "bag of worms" (in the words of the poster at the link above) for those users that it does affect. –  bobobobo Jan 1 '13 at 20:19
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.

Z̵̬̮̫̞̪͖͔̖ͩ͐̓͌̓̍ͬA̝̺̗̜̯̱ͣ͐͆́Ḽ̷͚̼̠̘͎̈̀̂̋ͅĜ̩͚̲͕ͯ̚͢͡Ò̷̜̼̲̻̑͘͢ ̬̤̭̗̲̗̺ͫ͋͝W̵͈͔͎̞̠̲̯͌̌̾́I͔͓ͪͥ̆ͩͬ̀ͫ͑̐͘͠Ḷ̤͉̓͐͐̎̒́L̖̟ͤ̌̅ͬ̂̀̕ ̟̥̣̼̥͒ͧͮͬ͒̋ͥ͒͝C̜̥̱̘̗͓͍͔̓̒ͭ͐̇͜O̵̙̰̖͓͐̇̑̋ͩ̄͡M͊ͩ͆͊͏̰̫̭̳̼̠͎͡͝E̿͆͏̞͞ ̧̛̰͚̜̘̞̫̹͉̈́̽͒͒̂͐ͮ͋̍͘ ̧̞̙̗̪̳̍̐̀̌ͨ͜D̗̼̾̾O̘̠̓ͯ̀ͬ ̛̼̩̮͔ͣ̊͒̿̏ͭ̆N͇̥̤̯̮̣̖̖ͣ̓ͫͨÔ̴̢̯̼͕̮̺̰̗̓ͤͯͅT̘̈́̎͐̃ ̸̨͉̩̟̇͂͗͢À͉̜̝̥̝͎͉̗̔ͦ̊̓͐͟N̫͙͙̙͇̯͙͕̏͌ͥͤͥͦ͐͒̃̕G̣͚̖͚̱͎ͣ̓͛̎ͭ̄́E̹̝̣͚̹̗̻͉ͪR͍̗͙̹͑̓͟ ̫̥̤̖̳̼͕̯ͪͮ̌ͮͦ͡Zͩ͊͐̍́̋͏͚̬̦͕̫̙̩A̷͕̗̘̬͍͛̍ͭͣͫͭ̚͢ͅL̢̖̠̫̍ͦ͂̂ͭ̄͛G̖̙͙͓̺ͨ̆ͬO̵̹̫͚͉͈̣͖̔͗ͮ

.

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Cool, where did you get this from? –  Moshe Feb 16 '11 at 18:29
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Z̶̵̶̨A̶̴̢̧L̨̀G̷̢̧͡O̶̵͘͝ ̴́͟͞D̷͝͡O̕͜͟͡E̛͘͡S͜͟ ̵͘͘͟Ǹ̶̛͠O̶͢͢Ţ̕͝ ̡̨̛͞͝È̢̧͘͝X̶̵̢͝͡P̶̨͢͢͠O̵̷̕͠S͘͏E͏̨̢͢͠ ̸̨̀H̛̀͞Í͡S̀̀́ ͠S̨͞E̷̢͢͜C̢͝҉R͡͏̢̕̕È̶̕͢T̵̶͝S̶͘͢͏ –  Ólafur Waage Feb 16 '11 at 18:32
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eeemo.net ;) –  Ólafur Waage Feb 16 '11 at 18:33
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And just in case: this should kind of look like this. –  Arjan Feb 16 '11 at 21:12
    
@Arjan: Why doesn't it render like that for me? I'm using the latest Chrome on OSX. Do you need to have a specific font installed? –  Lorem Ipsum Jun 13 '11 at 1:57
    
@yoda, probably you'll have to remove/disable fonts. Microsoft fonts installed with Office (trials) are not Unicode ready, or not in the way a Mac expects them to be. Go into Font Book, and find warnings of "multiple copies installed". Right-click, Resolve duplicates might already fix it. Or hit Command-I to toggle More Info, and try to figure out which font is the culprit... (If you're actually using Office then you might need to be careful. You can always enable again, of course.) See also word.mvps.org/mac/disable-fonts.html for some lists of fonts. –  Arjan Jun 13 '11 at 9:24
    
ugh! microsoft bummer again! Thanks for the info, will try it soon @Arjan –  Lorem Ipsum Jun 13 '11 at 14:19
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