If a hyperlink is followed by a colon, the colon is treated as a part of the hyperlink.

An example:


If you have a question about a Stack Exchange site, the best place to ask is on Meta Stack Exchange or the site's own meta. (Look under "help" on the top bar.)

As a result the hyperlink is broken, it then leads to a 404 page.

This is inconsistent with prior behavior, which treated the colon as not being part of the link, and as such breaks existing posts with colons after links which depended on the colon not being part of the link.

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    The usual workarounds include putting the link in angle brackets, e.g. <https://meta.stackexchange.com/contact>:, or making a proper link with link text, e.g. [contact](https://meta.stackexchange.com/contact):. – Sebastian Simon Oct 23 '20 at 2:33
  • Anything you place at the end of a bare URL is being treated as part of the URL, except for the space character. EG: https://meta.stackexchange.com/contact🃏123 meta.stackexchange.com/contact🃏123 - doesn't work even though 🃏 isn't a valid character for an URL. --- Whereas, meta.stackexchange.com/contact 🃏123 is OK (note added space character). --- In comments it's OK, in the editor it's broken. – Rob Oct 23 '20 at 3:34
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    Are we sure this is a bug? This may be working as intended. Colons can be part of a URL, right? – Mast Oct 23 '20 at 7:05
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    @Mast In the past, colons at the end of a bare URL link used to not be treated as part of the URL, so this breaks links in posts that depended on the prior behavior. – Sonic the Curiouser Hedgehog Oct 23 '20 at 7:14
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    @Mast it's a special case of "breaking changes" done by moving to a proper parser. It's almost impossible to have full backwards compatibility. So it's technically not a bug, but still since it breaks existing posts, better be fixed somehow, e.g. automated job that will fix the colons. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Oct 23 '20 at 9:04
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    @ShadowWizardWearingMask Yea, I figured as much months ago. – Mast Oct 23 '20 at 10:54
  • @ShadowWizardWearingMask it wont break them untill they are edited. At which point the editor should notice. – Luuklag Oct 23 '20 at 11:26
  • @Luuklag And hopefully the editor won't leave bare links around at all. They look bad. :D – Catija Oct 23 '20 at 12:58
  • Works fine for your question URL. – Ollie Oct 23 '20 at 13:08
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    @Ollie not relevant, you can put anything after the question ID, it's ignored on the server. The problem is with links that don't lead to questions. ;) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Oct 23 '20 at 14:07
  • @Luuklag good point, wasn't aware of that. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Oct 23 '20 at 14:08
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    Questions only get re-rendered when they are edited, otherwose the rendered version is stored in the DB, @ShadowWizardWearingMask – Luuklag Oct 23 '20 at 17:10
  • @ShadowWizardWearingMask What about the link to my profile, then? Doesn't scream 404 at me. – Ollie Oct 24 '20 at 0:40
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    @Ollie same as questions, it doesn't matter what you put after the user ID. The problem is with links that don't lead to questions or users. ;) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Oct 24 '20 at 6:08

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