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Tag wiki excerpts are plain text. The description when editing tag wikis states:

The tag wiki excerpt is a brief plain text introduction to the topic that the tag represents. It is shown at the top of tag question lists, and as a tooltip wherever the tag appears. Complete this first!

Emphasis mine

This means that Markdown does not work there:

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Unfortunately, for users on /review, it is rendered as Markdown, and therefore can easily be approved although clearly attempting to use unsupported formatting (see bold text on the left):

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Tag wiki excerpts in /review should not render Markdown, as it will just lead to fancy formatting in tag wiki excerpts by users used to using Markdown, that are then approved by higher-rep users without them being able to see that excerpts aren't actually formatted.

  • I only got to see the suggested edit that removes the formatting, but 1) it's still wrong there and 2) it's reasonable to assume regular adding the tag wiki behaves identically. – Daniel Beck Dec 6 '11 at 7:39
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Indeed we shouldn't be giving you an option on those post types. Starting with the next build, we'll remove the markdown-processed view button and show only the raw-text diff for tag wiki excerpts.

Thanks for the report!

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