How is it possible that the % character got adopted as the "negative hashtag" (which as a concept is also a bit unclear to me)? I mean, it's the PROcent character, not any kind of CON character.

Clearly the person first suggesting it wasn't a linguist.

@Stoori I didn't know that! I keep expecting it to be a formatting mark...

@Stoori
It’s not usually used in sentences so it’s a good character to match in regular-expression filters. Makes it easy to filter out particular kinds of distressing content, over and above CWs.
(It started among French-speakers on witches.town, IIRC. That’s where I first saw it explained, anyway.)

@ghost_bird Depends on the text type, of course, but I'm constantly dealing with texts where % is used in its original meaning, i.e. shorthand for the word 'percent'.

Perhaps Mastodonians are not that into numbers that they encounter it very often, and thus it may work here, but this really makes it a suboptimal choice as a universal character for this purpose.

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