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    That URL is cheeky - ?utf8=✓&...

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      By including a character that can not be expressed in latin-1 charset, old browsers are forced to use UTF-8 encoding for form submits.

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        This is the standard Rails feature to set the encoding of a form:

        The hidden input element with the name utf8 enforces browsers to properly respect your form’s character encoding and is generated for all forms whether their action is “GET” or “POST”.

        It was originally a snowman: ☃︎ (Unicode 9731) but that whimsy was replaced.

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          BFG repo-cleaner is a really nice tool I used before putting up some old code on Github. It can go through all the commits and rewrite them so they don’t include specified strings anymore.