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While writing this answer, I noticed something weird. This is a graph of About Me length versus number of users.

[Observe the 3k mark]

As per this post, the limit for About Me's is 3k characters, something which quite a few users seem to have crossed. More specifically, these 45 users on MSO.

So, are there certain characters or formatting that do not count towards the 3k limit? Or is it something else entirely?

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    That's probably looking at the length of the HTML-rendered post, but the limit is applied to the original raw Markdown. I looked at a few of the users from your results, and none of their profiles contained more than 3k rendered characters, so the rest is probably formatting that's inflated when it's compiled. – REINSTATE MONICA -Jeremy Banks Aug 25 '13 at 17:24
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    @JeremyBanks Yes, SEDE seems to store the HTML rendered post. Thanks! – asheeshr Aug 25 '13 at 17:33
  • A workaround would be if you have more to share would be to link to your own external content. – danny117 Aug 26 '13 at 3:05
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    @JeremyBanks Perhaps make that an answer? – Bart Aug 26 '13 at 3:09
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    Pro Tip: Using Double-Byte Characters still counts as 1! so if you want to be real obnoxious you can type in full width characters – jmac Aug 26 '13 at 5:54
  • Dangit; got an answer already. I was going to guess something like, UPDATE Profiles SET Body=''... ;) – Andrew Barber Aug 26 '13 at 16:52
  • This begs a very important question - what is the longest html-rendered length you can have? I'd assume it uses stuff like Stack Overflow, Music: Practice & Theory, Arqade, The Workplace, but you never know. – Richard J. Ross III Aug 26 '13 at 17:31
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You cannot enter more than 3000 characters for your About Me. The 3000 character limit works properly, but it applies to the Markdown source you enter for the profile's About Me field. However, the Data Explorer does not use the raw Markdown source, it uses the HTML that this is rendered into.

Markdown is a more succinct format that HTML, so any formatting/non-plain-text will become larger when it is rendered into HTML from Markdown. I looked at a few of the users with the largest About Me fields according to your query: none of the profiles is larger than 3000 characters once you ignore the formatting. You'll also notice that those profiles which appear to be the furthest over 3000 characters tend to be the ones with the most formatting.

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    So... magic then? – juan Aug 26 '13 at 16:42

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