Currently, I can't or I don't know how to differentiate between posts that were posted through desktop/ mobile web browser/ app.

Have you considered displaying a wise-stamp or any icon to let readers know that the post was published through mobile/tablet web browser?


I have tried posting a couple of answers in EL&U from my Android mobile browser and to be honest, I am finding it very difficult to add markdown formatting to my answers. More often than not my answers end up looking bland, less appealing to readers and disoriented due to lack of formatting. I know I can ace mobile web with more practice but I can never match the speed and accuracy of a standard physical keyboard and mouse.


  • This will allow readers of the post to excuse any formatting / alignment errors.

  • (Just a wild guess...) This could possibly allow more statistical analysis for users of mobile/phablets vs users of desktops/laptops.


  • This may be a trivial change request that might not add any UX benefits...

  • Please add if you find any in comments.

Has this been already discussed before(I don't seem to find matching posts)? If not, is this worth considering?


2 Answers 2


An interesting idea, but I don't think we should.

I don't think formatting errors should be excused. They should be edited. And that's the case whether or not they were posted through the mobile web.

Our focus needs to be on content, and I don't think this would improve our quality of content.

If formatting is good enough to understand, it should be edited; otherwise, it shouldn't make a difference if it was mobile or not. Voting is where this could come more into play, and I don't think people who vote down due to bad formatting will be all that influenced by whether the poster was on mobile.

That said, per your "wild guess," it could be interesting to have this data exposed through the Data Explorer. Although realistically, I think people would be more upset about the privacy of exposing this data than it would be useful.

  • Thanks Matt. I appreciate your views. I do agree that formatting errors should be edited and not excused. I felt that we should give some leeway to users posting through mobile.
    – BiscuitBoy
    Feb 10, 2016 at 5:59

Such metadata could certainly be useful in analytics, but that's not the crux of your question, I suspect.

I suggest authoring your post to the best of your ability, submitting it, then adding a comment letting readers know that you posted from mobile and could use some formatting assistance. Any necessary edits can be filled in, and the comment flagged for removal after the fact.

Or, if you want to make it as trouble-free for everyone as possible, an alternative is to author your post in a way that requires as little formatting as possible in the first place. For instance, it's normal for some answers to consist of nothing more than a few plain-text paragraphs (and maybe a simple bullet list, or a quotation or two).

  • I concur. I have posted only 2-3 times from mobile web browser. On 2 occasions, the first 1 or 2 votes were downvotes. I need to work hard on my touch screen typing skills! On an unrelated note, have I offended somebody? Why this barrage of downvotes for this question , I wonder!
    – BiscuitBoy
    Feb 10, 2016 at 10:30
  • 5
    The downvotes probably mean "this doesn't sound like a good idea". Votes on suggestions tend to mean disagreement on meta. Feb 10, 2016 at 10:31
  • But it's costing me rep on this site, unlike the other individual site metas! :/
    – BiscuitBoy
    Feb 10, 2016 at 11:26

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