Most likely the backslashes magically exist because the PHP directive magic_quotes_gpc is on. This is an old feature of PHP, and should be disabled and not relied upon. Also, the PHP function stripslashes() may be used to strip the backslashes from the string.

Note: directive note: magic_quotes_gpc

The magic_quotes_gpc directive defaults to on. It essentially runs addslashes() on all GET, POST, and COOKIE data. stripslashes() may be used to remove them.

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