I saw a certain loophole used somewhere on Mathematics to get around the 15-character minimum for comments. Normally, it wouldn't be visible, but when I clicked 'refresh', the LaTeX on a page flashes without the dollar signs - in other words, for a split second, $y=x^2$ appears as y=x^2.

The shortcut used is to simply write the expression ${}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}$, which leaves a blank comment. You can cut down the pairs of brackets and insert a small phrase that would otherwise not make it past the 15-character limit.

Does SE know about this loophole? Can it be removed?

  • There's very little benefit here. What is the use of making an empty comment? And if it bothers you, flag it for moderator attention and get rid of it (from your view at least).
    – Werner
    Dec 14, 2014 at 19:19
  • @Wener Like I said, you can reduce the brackets and put in something like '+1' - which is why the 15-character-minimum is there in the first place.
    – HDE 226868
    Dec 14, 2014 at 19:20
  • @Sompuperoo: That doesn't really seem like the same issue to me. (That post is about actual < 15 char comments that somehow got into the database; the comments discussed here are technically over 15 chars, even if some of those characters are invisible.) Dec 15, 2014 at 9:55
  • 1
    somewhat related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/240175/…
    Dec 15, 2014 at 11:20

1 Answer 1


There are a lot of ways you can use MathJax to circumvent the limit, blocking them all is likely not worth the effort, it it is at all possible.

The proper way to deal with this issue is to convince the community that these workarounds are annoying, and start flagging them. I doubt you will succeed on Math.SE with this, but you can certainly try.


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