It’s just data

Don't throw charset out with the bathwater

Ian Hixie: I think it may be time to retire the Content-Type header, putting to sleep the myth that it is in any way authoritative, and instead have well-defined content-sniffing rules for Web content.

The reason why people can safely enter non-Latin-1 characters in my comments and have them presented properly to all consumers that have installed the appropriate fonts is that these pages specify charset=utf-8 in the content-type header.

Sniffing for the character encoding used is clearly not the answer.  Nor am I convinced that meta http-equiv is either.