-1
$\begingroup$

I recently posted a comment with 1 visible character. I could even do it with 0. I have a demo comment on this question to give you an idea of what I mean.

It exploits mathjax in order to use up characters which give no visible content.

In fact it's as easy as putting in

$

Then

{}{}{}{}{}{}{}

Then another

$

..just without the separation (which if I never added it would've turned out like)

${}{}{}{}{}{}{}$

Or as little {} you need in between the $s

This same method can be applied to empty spoilers.. Or to bypass answer character limit

Before;

After;

${}{}{}{}{}{}{}$

Although it may not seem like a big difference, the after picture don't have a space you could copy to clipboard if you were to do so.

First of all Is this new? Secondly can it be fixed?

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6
  • $\begingroup$ ${}{}{}{}{}{}{}$ $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Dec 25 '14 at 3:19
  • $\begingroup$ 1${}{}{}{}{}{}$ $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Dec 25 '14 at 3:40
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Okay, yeah, I think we get it with just the first few. $\endgroup$
    – Doorknob
    Dec 25 '14 at 3:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ${}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}$ $\endgroup$ Dec 25 '14 at 6:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @V see? ${}{}{}$ $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Dec 25 '14 at 15:36
  • $\begingroup$ Question from Meta . . . which is a duplicate of this one. And for the creative types, there's this one with Unicode. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Dec 28 '14 at 0:10
6
$\begingroup$
  1. Is this new?

    No. This "bug" can be exploited on all Stack Exchange sites with MathJax.

  2. Can it be fixed?

    Well, think about it. Which of these would you rather see?

    I agree

    or

    I agree -------

    or

    I agree asdfghj

    or

    I agree

    There's really no reason to disallow one workaround when there are many, many others that people could use (ex. you could also pad your comment with zero-width spaces).

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21
  • $\begingroup$ I still think this should be patched, the point of a limit is to be a limit... $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Dec 25 '14 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ Ok............. $\endgroup$
    – Doorknob
    Dec 25 '14 at 3:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ (point being: No reason to "fix" one workaround when people will just pad their comments in a million other ways.) $\endgroup$
    – Doorknob
    Dec 25 '14 at 3:51
  • $\begingroup$ A comment including more than 3 repeated characters is highly unlikely, they can easily block that. $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Dec 25 '14 at 4:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I see. asdfghjkl $\endgroup$
    – Doorknob
    Dec 25 '14 at 4:16
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @warspyking You probably don't want to place arbitrary restrictions because there's always edge cases. How about "LLLLLLLLUURURDDDDDD is shorter by 2 moves"? $\endgroup$
    – Sp3000
    Dec 25 '14 at 8:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Doorknob Any more than 3 consonants in a row with no value after is obviously jibberish and can be blocked $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Dec 25 '14 at 15:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @warspyking But then this very comment would be blocked by your patch $\endgroup$
    – Doorknob
    Dec 25 '14 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ With no vowel* autocorrect changed to value lol. And how? $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Dec 25 '14 at 18:30
  • $\begingroup$ @warspyking "tch". Do you not realize that placing useless restrictions will do absolutely nothing to stop people who want to post a certain comment? "Ok. [padding padding]" All you're doing is preventing legitimate comments like "'Brrr' is an expression used when one is cold." $\endgroup$
    – Doorknob
    Dec 25 '14 at 18:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Doorknob I do understand, but why is the restriction even there if it's so easily by passable? $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Dec 25 '14 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ @warspyking It exists simply to discourage comments like "+1" or "thanks" or "lol" or "I agree", not to prevent them outright. $\endgroup$
    – Doorknob
    Dec 25 '14 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ Or to think of it another way, the restriction is to make sure that you can't post a frivolous comment like "+1" or "lol" by accident. Anyone who tries to circumvent the restriction will have to put some thought into doing so, and hopefully at some point in that thought process it occurs to them that maybe there's a reason they shouldn't be doing what they're trying to do. (The reason, of course, is not "short comments are bad" but rather "bad comments are bad".) $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Dec 25 '14 at 19:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ +1 ${}{}{}{}{}$ $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Dec 25 '14 at 22:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ thanks ${}{}{}$ $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Dec 25 '14 at 22:19

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