Forum Bug: Minimum character limit.
For some reason, any characters inside <> don't count toward the 8-character minimum for a post.
Most likely the backend runs strip_tags() on the content before counting the characters, which leads to the bug you're noticing. This should be reported directly to NodeBB rather than JNC:
@Terabyte The funny thing is that they still count toward the maximum character limit...
Will look into reporting it.
The maximum character limit is a technical limit on storage capacity.The minimum character limit is a social construct to encourage posting a post that actually has... content.