14

It seems to be just this question that's doing it for me, and the posted non-answer indicates it's not just me.

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21

This is " Zalgo text". Basically a way of misusing unicode characters.

Z̢̮̞̠̠̾̇ͬͩ̆ͩͧ͑̌̅̾̽̿̀̚a̴̻͈̟͍̳̣͓͍͇̻͎͔̟͇ͫ̀ͨ̽͋̈́͗͘l̢̛͓͙̹̯̦̞̞͔͎͊́̈́ͣͨ͌͗̐̓̓̔̔͋ͪ́g̯̤̩͓͇̹̖̪̝̃͌ͩͨ̃͗ͫ́̂̉͐͂̇̃̀͟͡͠ͅo̢̹͓̻̖̤̫̝̟̰̯͖̻̱̤͎͙̱͊͐̽ͦ͊ͨ͒̽̇͊̍̑̚̕͘̕ ̶̨̻̦͔̟̟̰̹̫̭̰͙̭̺͙̐͐̓̓͆͗ͮ͛ͯ̉ͫ̾͂ͯ͑͐́́͞t͒͛ͧ̈̑ͣͣ̇͊̍ͯ̑̀̋̆͌̚̕͢͟͝҉̺̝͕̰̣̗̭̳̥̜̯̝͔͍̞̦͔̹ė̢̐ͮ͗͏̡̠̬̘̲͕̬̝͍̤̟̹͖̥̲͇͎̗̱̺͠x̢̛̼̦̺̘̦̮͔͑͆̾̈͗ͫͥͫ͛ͤͤͮ͒ͅt̑̽͑̑ͨ̈́̐̌̏ͬ̆ͮ͑ͭ͛ͭͫ̓̚҉̢̨̗͇̱͖́͢ ͔̭̰̻̰̼̔ͩͩͧͣͮ̿̆̕̕ỉ̡̩͉͉̪̘̼̘̗̱̬̺̂̐̄ͦͬ̋̉͑̅ͯ̿̿̂͑̓͘͟ͅs̛ͭ͆ͤ̓͂͌̇ͪͭ͌͛̉̄ͨ̾́͊̀͝͏͚̰͇̯̖̙̼̲͎̣̦͍͙͎͕͡ ̵̷̡̙̻̪͙͙̫̪̱͚̯͕̺͛̌̐̇ͣ̾̔̓̔ͯͤͫ͜͡f̸͖̫̯͖̮̺̼̗͉̞̫͕̤̼͈̅͊̄̐̂̅͐̉ͧ̔ͫͦ̅͡ͅͅư̌̽͐̏̑̑̄͠҉͍̥̰̟͍̫͚̺̜̩̜n̡̧̼̪̱̯̺̥̳̝̻͍̭ͬ́̀̍͐̾ͧ̓̋͒͋͊̇̾͂̋̚̚͟͡

You can generate your own here

  • +1 For being the only answer that actually cares to explain "what's going on with this question". – TARS Feb 12 '16 at 10:26
  • 4
    OMG it's spreading! It's coming from inside the house! They're in the walls! We're DOOMED! – Mazura Feb 16 '16 at 1:25
  • 5
    @mazura - ḱ̴̖̗͖͎̻̞̮̭̊̅͘̕e͖̰̠̞̻̦͓͉̱̯͎̖͖͍͑̉ͤ̂̑̆̀̈́͋͜ͅĕ̫̺̼̣̖͚͓̿̈́̆̈́ͨ̊͟͜͜p̢͒͒̉̅͋̃͌̃̈̊̎ͪ̕͠͏͇̺̮͕͚͔͖̟̥ ̸̲̯̩̜̼̦̔ͥ͂ͪ͆͌ͩͧͥͩͫͩ̑ͦ͘̕͝ͅc̸̴͈͍̣͓͍̟̺̮͕͍͈̖̳͇̙̦ͮ̍͗̂̀ͣ͛ͩͮ͗̈ͧ́ͅa̵̠̜̜̯͓̗̖͉͈͂̊͛̑͑ͫͧ̓̿͗ͧͪͨ̄̈́ͥ̀͜ĺ̨̞͎̪̦͖̊͌̅ͪ͒ͯ͐̈́͋͛̋ͣ̂̒͗̾̚͟m̈́̾̃̓̂͆ͪ̕͏̡̼̹͉̪͉̘̤̹́͝ – Valorum Feb 16 '16 at 1:26
  • ...a͎̯̭̫͍̖n͔d̛̥͖̖̯ ̵̠͓̬͓͙c͚͈ͅa͔͇͚̜̻̝rṛy̡͈ o͉ń͚͎͙̠͖̱̲e̯̺͍̩ – T.J. Crowder Feb 23 '16 at 19:28
  • See xkcd.com/1647 – b_jonas Feb 24 '16 at 9:56
12

A pair of accounts were created to post this mess. As @Richard states, it's "Zalgo text" (Stack Overflow has an explanation here). I've deleted both accounts.

From this SE meta post, the ability to do this is by design:

By Mark Gravel comment this is to be considered as now by-design and as such won't be modified unless problems emerge that make the fix worth the effort. In the meantime abuses of the system shall be dealt manually.

  • You may want to ask the devs to take a look at it; a post, be it question or answer or even comment, shouldn't be able to influence anything else on the page. – SQB Feb 12 '16 at 6:12
  • 4
    @SQB I don't think this has a programmatic solution; it's an abuse of a Unicode feature, but that feature does have a purpose. It doesn't seem fair to outright ban the mechanism underlying the abuse when some people may rely on it for legitimate purposes – Jason Baker Feb 12 '16 at 7:12
  • @JasonBaker I disagree. There's an element (a div with class answer) that should contain the answer. Nothing from within that element should draw anything outside its boundaries. That is something for the devs to at least look at. Come to think of it, I'll post it as a bug on meta. – SQB Feb 12 '16 at 8:39
  • @SQB Unfortunately, your complaint here is not caused by a problem with the StackExchange site design, it's an emergent property of Unicode text rendering. The effect occurs because Unicode allows for combining characters - e.g. superscripts, accent marks, and various features of non-Latin alphabets - to stack on top of each other. Theoretically, one could write a function that enumerates the Unicode combining characters and strips out text that uses too many of them, but that might break rendering of certain languages whose alphabets rely on combining characters. – recognizer Feb 22 '16 at 16:07
  • 1
    @SQB There's a fuller explanation of how it works in this question: stackoverflow.com/questions/6579844/how-does-zalgo-text-work and a question addressing the possibility of preventing it, and answers addressing the drawbacks thereof, here: stackoverflow.com/questions/22277052/… – recognizer Feb 22 '16 at 16:08
  • @recognizer wouldn't it be possible to enlarge the box of whatever element the Zalgo text lives in (a <p>, a <div>, a <span> and so on) so that the Zalgo text doesn't bleed out onto other elements and other content? – SQB Feb 22 '16 at 16:22
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    @SQB Not really - HTML/CSS line height is based on the em-height of the text, the height of a normal capital letter without considering diacritics and other combining characters. The nature of combining characters is that they break out of the normal line-height. There's no real off-the-shelf way to determine the height of Zalgoed text, so some code would have to be written to determine the maximum amount of combining characters that are stacked on each other in one place within the string. – recognizer Feb 22 '16 at 16:43
  • @SQB One way to deal with it in comments would be to set the comment div to overflow:hidden, which will cut off the Zalgo at the top and bottom of the comment itself. But there's no way to do that in places like "Zalgo text is fun" in Richard's answer, without wrapping each line of text in its own HTML entity. At that point there would need to be client-side code assigning line breaks and such, and the site would be taking over a fair amount of text rendering work from the browser. Very inefficient. – recognizer Feb 22 '16 at 16:45
2

Since I feel that the contents of an element (in this case the div containing the answer) should not be allowed to draw outside the boundaries of that element, I've filed a bug report over on central Meta.

0

Ah, I missed what was going on...

That was the actual posted answer that was doing it. @WadCheber fixed it, but now the whole answer is rightly gone.

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