Today I saw this in the "Hot Network Questions"

Zalgo text in HNQ

I know that questions with zalgo are allowed, that's not my point here: my point is that I believe we should not allow this kind of text in the "Hot Network Questions" (or in the "Featured on Meta" box, or anywhere else except in the question itself). It looks bad.

In this specific case it could be only "Operation Unzalgo" and then, if the user clicks on the link, the actual question appears (with zalgo or whatever).

  • 8
    Unicode ruins everything. – Shog9 Jul 18 '19 at 3:09
  • 3
    ... It looks bad. That's subjective, this title is not really that horrible. Are there any other (non-aesthetic) reasons to disable zalgo? – default locale Jul 18 '19 at 3:16
  • 6
    Unicode is why we can't have N͆̿͘iͣ̅ͮͭ̍c̵̎̃̓̍͌ͧ̌eͩ̇́ ̍̉̅̈ͤͩ͏t͋̀̕h͊ͣ̓͂ͮ̚í̶̽̅ņ́̑͐̑̇̑ĝ̨̿̾ͫs̄ͤ̑̑͆ͪ ̇̌ͨ͒҉ – Journeyman Geek Jul 18 '19 at 5:42
  • 2
    @defaultlocale it has the potential to obscure the titles above and below, and it might end up breaking the list layout. – TheWanderer Jul 18 '19 at 9:25
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because h̷eͤ͛̈́̂̔̽̾ ͤ̀̈́ͨ̂̌c̒ͦ̇oͣ͐̊͊̄m̧͐ͮ̅e̽̄̇͒͑͛͂͟sͬͫ̀̕. – Robert Columbia Jul 18 '19 at 10:18

I don't think this is a "problem" worth spending time on.

As you acknowledged, aesthetics are subjective; what "looks bad" to one won't bother another. In that case though (really it's not bad faith on my end), unless I don't know something, Zalgo is static? So it's not as disruptive as a blinking label, an emboldened one, a colored one, etc.

Basically it looks like a couple more pixels (to me, again) in a list partially hidden on the right. And it's not like all titles are Zalgo either; it's one (at the moment), displayed randomly between 99 other questions.

Finally it doesn't seem frequent enough to warrant an additional treatment. How often does Zalgo make it to HNQ? I think in 18 months of using SE, that's the first time (maybe second) I've seen one.

  • 1
    Its actually a pretty tame case of diacritic abuse. There's one post on SE that... breaks stuff pretty bad since its diacritics yaaaaaaay high – Journeyman Geek Jul 18 '19 at 7:44

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