If you try to enter a internationalized domain name as your "website" in your profile, it will be silently stripped of any non-English characters.

Ex: My webiste is http://linus.unnebäck.se/ but when I try to enter that it saves it as http://linus.unnebck.se/ when it actually should display linus.unnebäck.se and link to http://linus.xn--unnebck-9wa.se/ (or just link with the ä, don't now what is the right thing to do).

As I wrote this post I also noticed that the markup ends the link at the first non-English character aswell, look at the example above.

  • With markup I mean the form where you write your posts, or actually the backend which converts the things I type to (x)html. Mar 9, 2010 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


When John Smithers edited this post, I noticed that it works if you escape the unicode character. So http://linus.unnebäck.se actually works. The markdown source for this is http://linus.unnebäck.se. It's still just a workaround, but better than those xn--bla-xyz things.

Since SO takes a whitelisting approach to characters in links, I suspect there won't be a change anytime soon; especially since Jeff is notorious for talking about "crazy moon language" for umlauts et al. But I agree it would be nice.

Epilogue: Seven weeks after I wrote this, Jeff hired me – and it only took me a little over five years to make good on the "it would be nice" thing. And umlauts and ASCII characters lived together in harmony and happily ever after.

  • 3
    Jeff is a bit too anglo-centric for my liking sometimes. After all, he's running an international community. On the other hand, IDNs arguably add a layer of horrible chaos to what used to be a half-way straightforward system. I think we would have been better off without them.
    – Pekka
    Mar 9, 2010 at 18:51
  • 1
    "Jeff is a bit too anglo-centric for my liking sometimes" - I18n is an incredibly complex thing to get right, especially for the first few releases of a project, even more so if you've never done it before. Some projects have a person just dedicated to I18n! I don't think it's fair to blame Jeff for this. (P.S. Germans are also anglo, as in anglo-saxon) Mar 9, 2010 at 20:52
  • I don't understand your crazy moon languages!! But then, I barely understand English, or as we like to call it, "American". Mar 9, 2010 at 23:56
  • Surprised to see that this actually works in my profile. Wouldn't that allow for url-obfuscation of some kind? Mar 10, 2010 at 18:58
  • We detected an invalid link in your post, please correct it. (this message will be automatically removed when the link is fixed)
    – Community Bot
    May 14, 2012 at 5:24
  • working on fix for the invalid detection
    – waffles
    May 14, 2012 at 7:02
  • 1
    It'd be nice if this were fixed for Japanese.SE. A user wanted to link to 国語文法.com and had no idea how. I was able to work around it for now by escaping, but...
    – user215040
    May 15, 2015 at 15:01
  • 1
    Awesome epilogue! Thanks for taking the time and adding it :) Jul 5, 2015 at 16:23
  • @Pekka: Re "Jeff is a bit too anglo-centric for my liking sometimes": Has the state of affairs improved since then? Feb 17, 2022 at 12:01
  • 1
    @This_is_NOT_a_forum hmmmmmm mobile.twitter.com/codinghorror/status/1291842963090206720 😂
    – Pekka
    Feb 17, 2022 at 14:03

As balpha notes, there is a workaround -- use the encoded version of the crazy moon language characters:


This is fairly standard for oddball URL characters since we have a strict whitelist.

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