To follow up on my previous question, would it be possible to add markdown parsing to in comments in the “needs ♦ moderator attention” Flag dialog?

I don't think this needs a (client-side) preview; I'd be satisfied with keeping it strictly server-side, so that only the mods actually see the pretty version.

  • It does work in the sense that markdown was partly designed so that if the markup was not rendered to HTML it would still be readable.
    – Zoredache
    Mar 14, 2011 at 16:24
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    Why would this be helpful? Can you give an example of a comment you might attach to a report that would benefit from markdown support? Mar 14, 2011 at 18:22
  • @Adam: like I commented below, I've wanted to use it for links before.
    – Matt Ball
    Mar 14, 2011 at 18:24
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    I really don't see the point of this -- what would it accomplish? It seems like a distraction, so thus a net negative. Mar 14, 2011 at 19:08
  • Okie dokie, there's the official response.
    – Matt Ball
    Mar 14, 2011 at 19:09

2 Answers 2


This was implemented a while back. The reason? It's useful to have working links in some flags, particularly those generated by the system, and maintaining separate logic for identifying and sanitizing these was... error-prone. So flags are now rendered using the same "mini-markdown" renderer used for comments.

Normally, this isn't something anyone would need to care about, but it is probably worth noting that if you paste a URL into a flag it'll work - and so will shorcuts like [gardening.se] or [su].

  • 2
    OMG, it wasn't automatically rendered properly all this time!!! I feel sorry for all the moderators who handled my flags :-(
    – Aditya
    Dec 30, 2013 at 18:00
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    So does that mean that bold and italic and code and whatnot works in flags now?
    – Undo
    Dec 31, 2013 at 6:20
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    Sure. But, uh, why?
    – Shog9
    Dec 31, 2013 at 6:24

There isn't a need for markdown in comments. You shouldn't need emphasis, code formatting is not something you should be turning to mods for, and links are automatically hyperlinked if you just paste the URL. Spend less time (and characters!) prettifying the message, more time concisely telling us what's wrong. If you have to decorate your message, do it in verse.

  • Agreed; I used to use markdown in mod flags all the time before I realized it doesn't work, but it was entirely for links Mar 14, 2011 at 15:58
  • "code formatting is not something you should be turning to mods for" - are you talking about asking mods how to use markdown? That's not what I had in mind.
    – Matt Ball
    Mar 14, 2011 at 15:58
  • @Matt I can't find a reason you would use code formatting in a mod comment other than to point out problems with code in the post. And I cannot think of a good reason to flag down a moderator for that kind of issue, especially thanks to the new edit suggestions system.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 14, 2011 at 15:59
  • In line with @Michael's comment, it would probably be just for prettier links. I can live without it, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
    – Matt Ball
    Mar 14, 2011 at 16:02
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    @Matt Less pretty, more practicality. I'd rather just see the URL than have to hover over it first. It doesn't hurt to ask at all, but you wouldn't ask if you didn't want an answer, neh? ♪
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 14, 2011 at 16:10
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    "If you have to decorate your message, do it in verse" -- We can't! There aren't enough characters allowed for my Silver... Tongue... er, Keyboard! Jul 26, 2011 at 23:25
  • @Brock Back when we had only 150 characters, there were a handful of users who regularly serenaded the mods with poetry and song. Just ask Bill. Y'ain't trying hard enough if you're feeling restricted! ♪
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jul 27, 2011 at 13:32

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