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I just came across this highly active user: https://stackoverflow.com/users/495470/495470

Who's username is the unicode character U+0618 ARABIC SMALL FATHA.

At least on my mac, that character has 0px width and therefore cannot be selected or clicked on, and it's generally a pain in the ass to refer to the user when discussing a question.

Is it OK for users to have a username like that? I think it should be banned, you should have to have at least one "normal" character in your username. Special unicode characters, especially diacritics should not be allowed?

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  • twitter.com/balpha/status/468267405828173824
    – balpha StaffMod
    May 19, 2014 at 5:51
  • @balpha does that mean the zero width character names are supposed to be invalid? May 19, 2014 at 9:54
  • I think that zero-width usernames shouldn't be allowed, but isn't it also a bug that Chrome can't click on it? fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/0618/index.htm
    – Danack
    May 19, 2014 at 12:48
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    @Dannack I don't think it's a bug in chrome. Rendering of the glyph seems to be consistent across all apps, at least on Mac OS X. The character has no width, and is rendered on top of the next character in the text. Any click where it is clicks on the next character instead. In an editable text field, it's also impossible to select the character, it is part of the next character that follows it, as far as the insertion point/selected range is concerned. I had to save the text to a text file and use a hex editor to figure out which character it is. May 19, 2014 at 23:49

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