Why are display names now limited to alphanumeric characters?

Alexander S shared this question 8 months ago
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Previously the only limitation was that they had to be unique, but now you can only use alphanumeric characters and this feels very limiting compared to the old system.

It'd be nice if we could have more variety in our names.

Comments (4)


Yeah, yesterday I tried to add a tag (with brackets) in front of my username and I was surprised that it's no longer possible. Oo


Beforehand the username rules were very lax which opened it up for abuse (adding smileys for example).I started out with alphanumeric as a base, if there are necessary characters you need and you can convince me I will add them. I can see reasoning for a separating character like "_" or "-" but not many else.

The tag-system, if enough users need this, should be solved in a different way (e.g. another input field in the settings).


Right now one of the biggest issues I see is that people who use languages with non-standard characters (like with accents or chinese/japanese characters) then it would be impossible for them to use their desired name. However some names in other languages can be abused to create very spammy usernames which we have seen several times.

What kind of abuse do you want to prevent by limiting the characters a user could choose from? Is it just unsightly names in general? Also why aren't spaces allowed?

About the tag system it might be interested to work on a team system and have the tags dependent on what the team leader sets and perhaps whether or not the user wants to enable it.


I think the characters I'd like to see besides alphanumeric are: -_~()[]{}<>,.'`"'

separation: -_~

tag related: ()[]{}<>

punctuation: ,.'`"'

not sure if this covers all the necessary punctuation though

I'd like to see spaces allowed as well but I'm not quite sure what problems could be present with that.