We can do better.
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Symbols such as *, +, |, and ~ can be used literally by placed a \ in front of the text.
A user's name surrounded by at signs (@) links to their profile, and the user is notified that you mentioned them.
A word surrounded by hash signs (#) becomes a tag and links to posts with that tag.
Text after a blank line that is indented by two or more spaces is reproduced verbatim in a different font.
URLs become links. However, new users cannot post links in comments.
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Text can link to URLs by using the following format: [linked text](http://theurl.com)
Youtube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, Twitter, and Spotify urls will embed the content automatically.
Image URLs (.png, .tif, .gif, and .jpg) will embed automatically.