Our users have been having fun with a display bug (or what looks like one to me) in the chat star display.

If you have a chat item that begins in a number, that leading number gets the bold treatment when displayed in the chat sidebar for starred content.

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I can't see a reason why this would be a feature, but please enlighten me if that's the case. It seems only the star and the system count should be emboldened and not the user content itself.

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  • Could that be the usage of right-to-left control characters? I remember something similar done to the comments ones. Mar 12, 2012 at 14:42
  • Ah, here is one of them: What is up with this comment timestamp? Mar 12, 2012 at 14:43
  • Should I just delete this since my characterization is incorrect - the users bolded the numbers so the system didn't add it or is this useful to have if others make the same mistake as I in assuming there might be a bug.
    – bmike
    Mar 12, 2012 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


I'm pretty sure those users did the bolding themselves specifically to fool people, and this is not a bug. This was done in The Tavern on MSO chat years ago. Note that the five in "5 votes left for the day" is not bold.

  • Oh man - you are totally correct. I guess the bug is me ;-) Having some sort of demarkation between the user content and the bold system content would probably be a bad idea to inflict on all starred content...
    – bmike
    Mar 12, 2012 at 15:26


Also, a good demonstration of how "hacking" can be as simple as exploiting appearance in a UI.

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  • Social Engineering FTW
    – Chris S
    Mar 12, 2012 at 16:21
  • 1
    Wooow, I just gave your answer +5000 with Firebug! I iz 1337 hax0r!
    – balpha Staff
    Mar 12, 2012 at 17:08

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