Spoilers and spoiler policies

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nevermore, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Hey guys,

    over the course of the past few months, I've discovered that various sites and message boards have very... interesting spoiler policies, to say the least.

    Recently, someone on another board asked not to post any potential "spoilers" about the Watchmen movie, namely events from the comic book which has been in publication for over 20 years by this point. This makes for an interesting example.

    To sum it up, the following spoiler policies exist:

    1) No spoiler warnings ever. News, set reports, story leaks etc. about upcoming movies, TV shows, comic books etc. are blatantly spilled out and discussed in the open. Anyone who enters a thread or accesses a website and learns about pre-release information they didn't want to know about is at fault for clicking the thread or reading the site in the first place. An understandable mindset, but not particularly respectful with regards to other users.

    2) Any information coming from official sources (trailers, interviews with the producers, third party licensees etc.) is no longer a spoiler. Kind of an "on the fence" thing: If the producers want their audience to know stuff, does it make sense for the audience to create their own rules? Is someone who wants to learn information strictly from the officially published work itself ignorant? Are people who follow official pre-release information tools?

    3) Once the episode has aired on TV, the movie is officially in theaters, the comic or book is out in stores etc., the whole plot is open for discussion with no spoiler warnings necessary. Regardless of the specifics, this is a pretty reasonable rule.

    4) A "one week"/"one month" limit following the official "release" as per 3), to allow for people who haven't been able to watch the episode on its premiere date, buy the book on its first day of release etc. to catch up. Likewise, for people in other countries who may not get the movie, comic etc. until a week or two later. Still a reasonable rule and mostly a courtesy thing.

    4a) Specifically for websites with a target audience in a country that's not the movie/TV show/book/comic's origin country: Once the story has been officially released anywhere, it stops being a spoiler, regardless of whether it has already been released domestically or not.

    4b) Still a spoiler until the work has been officially released domestically.

    4c) "One week"/"one month" limit following the official domestic release.

    5a) Plot points are free for discussion as per 3) or 4), but limited to discussions specifically about the original medium. Adaptations are exempt from this rule. So even if you've been reading the X-Men comics for several decades, Wolverine's healing factor would have still been a spoiler in discussions about the then-upcoming movie until the movie was released to theaters. This mostly affects adaptations from "minor" to "major" media (usually movies or TV shows). Reasonability questionable.

    5b) Plot points are free for discussion as per 3) or 4), but limited to discussions specifically about the work itself. For example, it's okay to discuss episodes of Lost in a thread about Lost, but any specific plot twists must be marked as spoilers in a thread about Heroes and vice versa.

    6) Any major plot points are to be considered spoilers and marked accordingly for all eternity because there will always be new audiences growing up that may not have watched the Star Wars movies yet and might not know yet that Darth Vader is Luke's father, and would therefore spoil their first viewing of the movies. Likewise, plot twists from season 1 of Lost are still considered spoilers in discussions about season 5, because someone who hasn't watched season 1 yet might accidentally stumble into a season 5 discussion. Reasonabilty highly questionable. The biggest problem is the scope of such a spoiler policy - does it affect all works? How about the ending of Citizen Kane? Grimm's Fairy Tales? The ending of Romeo and Juliet? Historic facts such as the Titanic sinking?

    If you were in charge of a website, which spoiler policy would YOU enforce?
     
  2. MnemonicSyntax

    MnemonicSyntax Rooks Gang Leader

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    What? Darth Vader is Luke's father?

    Oh great, thanks!

    But seriously, there is a comic book thread on Rangerboard, titled "Comic book thread, EXPECT SPOILERS" this guy went in there, forgot his name, let's call him Sam, and bitched about the spoilers. So, one of the admins changed the title to "Comic book thread, EXPECT SPOILERS Sam"

    It was great.
     
  3. GW_Freak

    GW_Freak Banned

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    You want to see some whiny bitches about spoilers, go to TheDoctorWhoForum and look at the people who bitch about spoilers IN THE FUGGIN SPOILER FORUM!
     
  4. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    On a German movie/TV show board, one of my posts in a thread specifically titled "Lost season 5" was edited by an admin because I had talked about two characters dying in seasons 1 and 2 without spoiler warnings.

    Oddly, said board is specifically concerned about any character deaths being "spoilers", but any other plot twists are apparently fair game. Crazy.
     
  5. Joe Moore

    Joe Moore Is Not Jim... Administrator

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    I hate the middle of the road crap. Be a spoiler site, or a non-spoiler site. Catering down the middle winds up catering to neither. I liked it better when TFW was all spoilers out in the open. You knew what you were getting when you came here and we got a LOT more traffic because of it.
     
  6. GW_Freak

    GW_Freak Banned

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    You know, the Internet is for Spoilers....

    Spoilerphobes really ruin it for the rest of us...
     
  7. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

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    All out in the open, no concessions for people with no common sense.

    BTW, Ozymandias did it.
     
  8. Cheetatron

    Cheetatron Eh

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    That's Impossible!!!
     
  9. Spartan-117

    Spartan-117 Well-Known Member

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    I'm of the opinion that if a thread is created for the discussion of a topic than everything and anything pertaining to that topic is fair game within that thread and you shouldn't go clicking unless you're willing to accept spoilers.
     
  10. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

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    Search your feelings, you know it to be true.
     
  11. nkelsch

    nkelsch Do you know this Icon? TFW2005 Supporter

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    Like I understand Snape kills dumbledore... But remakes can't be spoiled. I mean people were bitching about Kong being spoiled. How do you spoil King kong? I mean come on!

    Does anyone honestly think "the day the earth stood still" can't be spoiled? It is a remake of a 50+ year old movie.
     
  12. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    Interesting. Easy answer for me.
    If I'm running a Transformers website, anything and everything related to them will be discussed freely and out in the open. "Middle-of-the-road" or "no spoilers" creates an extra level of administration that affects everyone, from mods to individual posters. Ever since the backlash from the death of a certain BW character, people have tried to accommodate the "no spoilers" folks, with limited success. It's a nearly impossible task, and one that should fall back on the reader, not the website that individual has chosen to visit... PROVIDED there is notice on the front page of the boards stating the entire site contains spoilers without warnings.

    It seems people want unencumbered access to information, but expect others to selectively edit that to meet their needs. I don't think this can work.
     
  13. David

    David . TFW2005 Supporter

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    This...

    Spoiler alert!!

    I like it much better when we where the bad boys of the fandom.
     

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