New answers tagged character-set
If it is the "world" database downloaded from here, it is in latin1 encoding. Use that for importing. UTF-8 (utf8 or utf8mb4 in MySQL) has become the de facto standard nowadays for operating systems and global comunications (except in some countries and specific areas of knowledge), and utf8 is now the default encoding in MySQL (since 5.5). latin1 was the 1 ...
Sessions can negotiate its own character set (SET names). That was a problem because, at least for some time, the PHP connector selected its own character set disregarding the MySQL server preferred one (default_character_set). There are several things that people have done to handle that. If possible, fix the client configuration or enforce it on ...
so, I understand that you just want to remove '?' have you tried this: UPDATE tablename SET column=REPLACE(column,'?','');
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