Saturday, February 4, 2012

[TSS] On Spoilers


What confounds me about spoilers is that I do not know when they start.  Really, when does the plot of a book stop being a teaser summary and start veering into spoiler territory?  20 pages in?  50 percent in?  On the penultimate page?  I never know where to draw the line.  This is why plot summaries for books are so impossible for me to write; I'm so terrified that someone will accuse me of having "spoiled" the book for them that I instead cripple myself from writing any sort of useful plot summary at all.  I feel like everyone has a different set of criteria for defining a spoiler and so it is impossible to please everyone.

I clearly don't know where the line is for any spoiler situation, based on the below scenario:


A few weeks ago, I watched an episode of Once Upon a Time.  Soon after that, I made one of my rare appearances on Twitter and said something like, "That episode of Once Upon a Time just broke my heart."  Someone  responded, we started chatting and I got excited because I don't know anyone else in my daily life that actually watches Once Upon a Time.  So much of what I miss about my previous experience on Twitter is the ability to have these really in-depth conversations with a bunch of people at once about subjects that interest and matter to you, and so it was really great to get back on randomly and have an almost instantaneous connection with someone on a topic like that.  Also, Once Upon a Time is by the makers of Lost, so there is a LOT to talk about with regard to plots, secrets, possibly developments, etc.  I was ready to dig deep into the conversation.

And then, very quickly, I was chastised for talking about the show by another Twitter user because I was giving away spoilers.  She is also an avid watcher of the show, and it hadn't aired yet in her region.  And she was DVRing it, anyway, so didn't know when she'd get around to watching it.  She would prefer me not to give away any more information about the show.  Apparently, talking about TV show plots is an "obnoxious" thing to do on Twitter, and I and other plot spoilers should be ore careful.


 
Really?  Obnoxious?  That's a pretty strong word.  I was talking about a show that has its own Twitter hashtag (#onceuponatime), after it had already aired  in at least in half the country, on a completely public forum.  What is obnoxious about that?  People write all sorts of stupid things on Twitter, many without even expecting responses.  Why can't I use the site for a real conversation on a timely topic?

After going back and forth about this for a while with the person who said that divulging plot secrets is "obnoxious," I got pretty angry and have since retreated back into my "I use Twitter for about five minutes a week" habit. She is still on very regularly and talks about all sorts of non-TV-show-plot-related things.

There are many aspects of the above that really bother me, as you can probably guess:

1.  Why can't I use a public forum to engage in discussions that are relevant to me and other people using that forum?  
2.  Why does someone else have the right to spend hours on Twitter talking about whatever topics she wants, but I am not allowed to do the same?  
3.  Why is it considered rude for people to talk about plot points in a public place, but it's not considered rude for other people to specifically request that everyone refrain from discussing a trending topic?
You might say, "Well, if you really want to discuss the book/movie/show, you can do it off-line or in a private place so as not to ruin it for everyone else."  Yes, I realize that.  And I do that.  But why can't I discuss it with a wider range of people, many of whom I don't really know that well or interact with that often, but who share a passion for the same subject matter?  Why does your desire to have nothing "spoiled" trump my desire to share in a collective conversation?  Is it so crazy for me to suggest that maybe you should just get off Twitter for the three hours after which Once Upon a Time has aired in the East Coast and before it's aired in the west?  Or are you so completely addicted to the site that you can't leave, and then must cry foul at people who are discussing it in real-time?


Maybe this was feasible when you only talked to people about books and TV shows and movies in person or over the phone when you could abruptly cut the person off or change the TV station.  But now, it's really encroached into the digital space, too.  Instead of just glossing over tweets or ignoring Facebook status updates or avoiding forums in which plots are discussed, the spoiler police seems to believe it has the right to tell everyone to stop talking about the subject.  Because it makes more sense for everyone online to stop talking about it than for the spoiler-phobic to just leave the website.

This is why I dislike the spoiler police so much.  The whole concept of scolding people and requesting them not to talk about certain topics until X amount of time has passed or Y milestones have been met implies that one population's anticipation and enjoyment of an event is more important than another population's understanding and discussion of that same event.  Why is there no attention paid to the fact that the spoiler police are making my life more difficult and unhappy by being so obsessive about not hearing spoilers or speculation or guesses or discussion?  My experience of a book or movie or TV show is significantly decreased when I can't gush and debate its meaning with other people while it's fresh in my mind.

And while I can (sort of- I admit I am a spoiler fanatic myself) understand not wanting a key plot point revealed, or wanting to discover for yourself exactly how the drama will unfold, I do not understand why this is desire is viewed as sacrosanct.

As Mary Elizabeth Williams says in her article, Death to the Spoiler Police, "Once a work enters the pop culture vernacular, it is not society’s responsibility to provide you with earmuffs until you finally get around to experiencing it."  Jay Black said, "What's happened is that people have come to expect the same level of courtesy extended to every episode of TV that we give to the surprise ending of Fight Club.  This is ridiculous. I'm sorry, Spoiler Nerds, but there is a fundamental difference between a midseason episode of Private Practice and the ending to the original Planet of the Apes."

I couldn't agree with them more.

What are your views on spoilers?  Do you think people who chat about plots before you've had a chance to watch a show are obnoxious?

60 comments:

  1. I can't speak much about the so-called "spoiler police" (having thankfully never encountered anything of the kind before...), nor about spoilers for TV shows, but as for the definition of spoilers of books... I have my opinions on that.

    A few months back, I realized that many publisher blurbs gave away too much of the plot and felt as though they were giving off spoilers. I blogged about the matter, suggesting that blurbs should be limited to describing only the first 10% of a book (10% being a semi-arbitrary number I've grown to believe in). Thinking about it now, I would say spoilers begin a bit afterwards - somewhere in the 15-25% range, depending on the book.

    Beyond that, I typically prefer some kind of warning or indicator of the manner of a spoiler. But it's also my responsibility as a reader to be hesitant when knowing that someone is discussing a book I don't want spoiled for me. I've been known to disappear from the internet in order to hide from spoilers - anyone who really wants to avoid having something "ruined" should know to do that as well...

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    1. Yes, I suppose any number placed on the spoiler thing will seem arbitrary, won't it? What if something REALLY BIG happens in the first few pages that would be a spoiler? For instance, I just finished reading a book that is the 20th in the series and in the first four pages of the book, something big happened that would be a spoiler for followers of the series, but probably not for other readers... so hard to decide!

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  2. Yeah it's a really tough call. I do get off Twitter for that time period for shows like The Vampire Diaries, but it's also not my fault that I live on the West Coast and maybe for some people that's the period of time they have to use Twitter? (not true for me, I definitely learned my lesson about getting offline when shows like that air if I want the joy of discovery)

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    1. I guess you're right, but it's not my fault I live on the East Coast and watch shows first, either. And it's often not even just the few hours, but a few days that people expect, to give them time to watch the show on DVR. I can understand what you say about that being the only time they have for using Twitter. But I could easily turn that question around, too- what if right after the show on a Sunday night is the only time *I* have to be on Twitter, too?

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    2. Another thing that can be done is warning ppl you will be tweeting about spoilers beforehand? That way it's not something they see inadvertently. I've seen some people do that.

      But yeah the DVR thing is definitely too much to ask, once a show has aired in all time zones...well...

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    3. Even all time zones is difficult. Take Downton Abbey season 2 for example. It showed last year in the UK, in January in the US, but doesn't show here until June! I would never expect not to talk about it until we have seen it because it just isn't practical!

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  3. Frankly, I think calling you obnoxious is rude. Not everyone can have their needs met all of the time, although some folks seem to think that they should. Her desire to not have the series spoiled is a reasonable one in theory but implying that you shouldn't talk about it in a public place until she deigns to watch it on DVR is a little beyond the pale. Your desire to discuss something of mutual interest with someone is also reasonable, in fact possibly the more reasonable one.

    Once something is in the public domain, it's fair game as far as I am concerned. I can understand this person's disappointment about hearing some key plot point before she got to see it but you did nothing wrong and certainly didn't deserve to be scolded and made to feel bad.

    As for books, the less I know about them before I read them the better I feel. Too many times the synopsis has given too much away or just been plain misleading and cast a shadow over my reading. I hate spoilers but I hate rudeness and entitlement even more.

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  4. I agree with you Aarti. People should be able to talk about it on social media. And I agree with Amy's fix, which I also did for True Blood. I.e., I would say if you want to avoid tv show spoilers by east coast people, stay offline until after you've seen the show. The east coast people should be able to tweet about it, and the west coast people should figure out the time zone thing if they don't want to see anything about the show! Tweeting doesn't give you enough room for warnings, and even if it did, one person's spoiler is not another person's. I know with some books, I have felt the opening scene would be a spoiler - I thought this with the last Karin Slaughter book I read, so I didn't talk about the plot at all, just the characterization. But I saw the opening scene described in many other reviews. The guidelines I use for books is that if *I* would think it's a spoiler, I will assume others will. That's not a foolproof guideline but unless one avoids plot summaries altogether, one has to come up with some line of demarcation! But one also has to realize that everyone's line may be different, and not just go on the attack based on one's own preconceptions.

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    1. Yes, it's so hard to know where the line is, isn't it? I am glad all of us only have fairly vague guidelines for it, makes me feel better about being called out before about giving spoilers away!

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  5. Definitely that person should avoid going online until they've watched a show that might be discussed, or leave once they realize it. It's not obnoxious for you to have the discussion.

    Personally, I don't converse on Twitter. Brief interactions.

    I do a bit more on Facebook.

    I was once accused of inserting a spoiler into a review I wrote, which astounded me, since I'd given away no more than the publisher in its blurb.

    Some people are never pleased!

    Thanks for the conversation...very invigorating.

    Here's MY SUNDAY SALON POST and here’s
    MY WEBSITE

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    1. I was accused by an author once for giving away too many spoilers. For the book Room, by Emma Donoghue. I don't know how one can describe that book without giving away spoilers at all!

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  6. As far as TV goes, spoiling is not much of an issue for me because I'm always way behind on shows. In fact, I often run across big spoilers without meaning to and, you know what?, they hardly ever truly "spoil" the experience. Maybe I would have preferred not to know ahead of time, but I don't get mad if I happen across something after the show has aired. The east coast/west coast thing is a little more problematic, so those few hours might be a good time to be vague in discussions, but it seems silly to me to get furious over a slip.

    As for spoilers in books, I don't consider something a spoiler if it happens in the first third or so, and the more important the element of surprise is, the more vague I am in my discussions. But I came to the conclusion a while ago that it's impossible to please everyone. I like reviews and posts that get into some detail, but many people consider any details at all to be spoilers. Are their preferences more important than mine? Spoiler alerts are easy enough to add, but if every plot point is a spoiler for someone, every post would need a spoiler alert, and that just seems silly.

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    1. Yes, spoilers never really spoil anything for me, either, so I don't mind knowing about them at all :-)

      And I agree with you about spoiler alerts- when you're on a book review site, I feel like spoilers may be pretty much expected. Though maybe that's why people comment more on posts of books they have already read than books they haven't yet read.

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  7. I absolutely hate when people spoil offline, when you say 'please don't spoil it for me' and they continue on anyway (I've actually had people do that when we're the only two people hanging out, so the excuse of talking to someone else about it doesn't apply). I think offline there's a period of at least 6 months to a year that has to be waited out before it becomes acceptable to release big spoilers in casual conversation. Wait until I've gone to the bar, or the loo before then, please.

    Online I kind of accept that I'm going to be spoiled, because lots of people I know online live in the US where series finish before they even get to the UK. Like Amy says I can leave the computer if I don't want to know what happened and often there are other plot twists that haven't been discussed which I still get to discover on my own, even if I do happen to find out bits of what happens ahead of time. But then I don't think I'm as strict about spoilers as some people are - deaths are the one big thing I don't want to know about and unreliable narrators.

    One thing that really annoys me when people ask you not to spoil their favourite show, because they haven't seen it yet, but are quite happy to spoil other programs.

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    1. I think 6-12 months is a pretty long time to expect people not to talk about plot, though I agree that if it's just 2 people talking together, then that should be respected.

      I like that you have two hard stops for spoilers - deaths and unreliable narrators. I think that probably makes it easier for people who converse with you regularly on where to draw the line!

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  8. I think of it as more my own responsibility to avoid spoilers for things I don't want to be spoiled on. If there's a book review about I book I haven't read but will shortly, I'll read the review after I'm done (sometimes people's opinions, even if they don't include traditional spoilers, will influence my own reading, so I try to avoid that.) And in my own reviews, I do try to avoid talking about things that aren't run-of-the-mill or apparent pretty quickly in the story, just because with some books finding out a twist or a major plot point can really change a first reading -- for example, I'm thinking of something like Whelan Turner's The Thief here.

    The big key here, for me, is that people don't *have* to read anything on the internet, and that includes a Twitter stream. No one's forcing me to read your tweets. If you're discussing something about a show that I want to watch and I'm worried you're going to spoil it, I can just turn off Twitter for a while, or even avoid reading your tweets, or, if I'm compulsive about reading your tweets and Twitter is fed directly into my brain such that I can't turn it off, I could even unfollow you for an hour or two.

    And to suggest that you should not have a certain innocuous but perhaps spoilery conversation just because someone doesn't want to see it -- someone not included in the conversation to begin with -- is, I would suggest, both obnoxious and arrogant.

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    1. Yes, The Thief (and really, all the books that come after it) is all about the huge plot reveal!

      And I really don't understand why some people don't think to get off Twitter for a little while. Maybe because I don't understand the appeal of the site nearly as much? I suppose if you're in the midst of a really good conversation, you'd not want to leave. But then you could just take that off-line instead of suggesting that I take my conversation off-line...

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  9. What sounds completely obnoxious is that person calling you obnoxious on twitter! A ton of people would have already been talking about it and if it's a big deal they can avoid twitter or just ignore your tweets. Just like a review. I dislike spoilers but that just means I'll skip conversations online about a book I want to read and don't want to know anything about. The responsibility is on ME, no one else. Now, if someone sent a message @me saying oh btw THIS HAPPENS, THEN I'd think it was obnoxious. But simply having a conversation online - totally allowed.

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    1. Thanks, Amy :-) Glad to see many people agree with me that it was pretty out of line to say.

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  10. That really is unfair that you were chastised for tweeting about a programme, Aarti. I take the view that if I'm reading anything (a book review, a discussion on a messageboard, whatever - I don't do Twitter - about a TV programme or book, that it may well contain spoilers and if I do inadvertently read something I didn't want to know, I blame myself, not the person who wrote it. And it sounds like most of us do that. Whoever accused you was completely out of order.

    I expect anyone who reads my blog to do the same - though one reason I write pretty minimal reviews is to try to avoid spoiling in the main blog, but that doesn't apply to the comments - if anyone wants to discuss a book in detail in the comments section, please feel free!

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    1. Ooh, that's good to know! I'll be sure to be more detailed in my comments on your posts now!

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    2. You'll be very welcome to, Aarti :)
      I love discussing books in detail most of all, that's why I organise a bookclub.

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  11. I'm pretty tolerate of spoilers. Back in December, I started watching American Horror Story. It had already aired in the States and Canada was a month behind. I turned it on about 3 episodes in and wondered if it was something I'd want to watch. So I Googled it and found the Wiki page. I read the summary for the whole season. I knew who was going to die and who the baby's Daddy was but it didn't bother me. I enjoyed the show anyway and it was still suspenseful. You can still know things and still enjoy the experience. Maybe that's just me.

    Anyway, if I really didn't want to know something, I would avoid Twitter or mute users until it aired in my area. Though I don't discuss spoilers until the next morning and try to be vague if I'm tweeting while watching. As for waiting for people to watch it on their DVRs, that's a bit much. I'm waiting to watch the first season of Downton Abbey, I certainly don't expect no one to talk about it because I haven't seen it yet.

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    1. I am the same way, Chris. Spoilers don't bother me. I actually like to see the way the story strings together, if I know what the end game is.

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  12. I remember that conversation... (from the side, as I didn't participate)

    I'm personally anti-spoiler, because I really like to experience things twice, the first time fresh and naive, and the second with the knowledge beforehand. This is why I love rereads so much, and why I'm happy I didn't, for instance, know anything at all about Jane Eyre before I read it. I don't think it's difficult to warn people about spoilers in reviews, and that sort of thing, and I avoid blogs that frequently discuss major book spoilers in depth without any sort of warning in advance.

    However, places like twitter? Well, I kind of feel that it's the responsibility of each person to avoid spoilers on their own. If there is something going on that I know might get spoiled for me, I simply avoid twitter. I know I can't control other people's actions, nor is it right for me to expect someone to change their conversation to suit my convenience. To expect so is a very self-centered way of thinking. I think that courtesy can go both directions, of course, and that it would be kind (for example) not to discuss book spoilers with someone else about a book that hasn't been officially released yet. That sort of thing. But just because that's courteous doesn't mean everyone will do it, so I usually take the responsibility on myself to avoid spoilers, just like I do when picking out which blogs to read.

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    1. I wonder if the blogs that discuss what you define as plot spoilers really think they are giving the plot away? I ask because, as I say above, I have a very vague idea of when spoilers start. Particularly if it's a review of a book in a series.

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  13. Obnoxious is calling someone out for "spoilers" in a public forum where there are scads of people discussing the same thing. In my opinion, it's to be expected that in an open social forum, there will be spoilers and it's unnecessary to announce them and it's really unnecessary to call people out for spoilers.

    Sorry you had this sucky experience, Aarti.

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    1. Aw, thanks, Andi! I probably would have cared more if I were on Twitter a lot, but I really am not. That person is on a lot, though, so I just think it's a little strange that she was on all the time but said she disliked hearing spoilers. Why not just get off, then?

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  14. Great post! Trying to deal with "spoilers" is like everything else - you can't make everyone happy and not everyone agrees as to what is a spoiler. But really, people need to quit taking things like this so darn seriously and it's like someone else said, no one is forcing them to read about it. But the end of the original Planet of the Apes is pretty awesome and staggering enough to think about that probably everyone could agree that giving that away would be a "spoiler".

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    1. Ooh, I've not seen that movie and don't know the ending to it. Yet :-)

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  15. I think as a reader (or TV watcher) it's MY responsibility to avoid spoilers, if I want to, and as a blogger it's my right and privilege to write about whatever I want. If there's a big surprise in a book that I happen to think that people might not want to know about in advance, I will try to insert a warning, but maybe that's exactly the aspect of the book that I want to discuss. So if you don't want to know, don't read the review/Twitter conversation/Facebook post.

    I watch Once Upon a TIme, and although nothing will ever be like LOST, it is good. I was think about writing a Once Upon a TIme post, so you'll have to come over to my place and discuss it sometime.

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    1. Absolutely! I look forward to it. I think the show would be less confusing (though perhaps also less intriguing?) if we had any idea of the time frame on the flashbacks to story land!

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  16. I seem to be sitting on the fence for this one. I agree with other posters that it is my responsibility to avoid spoilers. However I try to avoid revealing too much when discussing potential spoilers when on Twitter, Facebook or my blog. It seems polite to do so. Some spoilers are so well known they've entered pop culture. I have never seen the original Star Wars films but I know that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father. Perhaps I've just broken my own rule by posting that!

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    1. Yes, I think it's polite not to spoil things for people you know, but I also think it's polite not to expect everyone to adhere to your own wishes, I feel. It's clearly a topic people feel ambivalence on!

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  17. Aarti,you're not going to like this but I agree with the Twitter person. Maybe she was on Twitter for something else at the time and you're spoiling Once Upon a Time for her. Because I'm in Cali, you guys watch EVERYTHING before we do. I don't like it but I've learned to stay off of Twitter before an episode of a great series is set to come on, because someone is bound to spoil it for me.

    I think people forget that part of the magic of stories lies in the surprises. When you wrote that that episode of OUAT broke your heart, I instantly knew what you were talking about. It broke my heart too. I wouldn't want to spoil that moment for someone who's not caught up with the series yet.

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    1. You're allowed to disagree with me, Vasilly! Totally fine :-)

      You said that you stay off Twitter before an episode of a new series airs, though- and I think that is a valid point. I just don't see why I have to stay off and not talk about things that half the country has seen, but the other half of the country can stay on. It just seems to favor one population over another unfairly.

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  18. If I don't want to read about something, because I don't want it spoiled, then I don't read about it. I don't think that I read my Twitter feed closely enough for something to be spoiled for me, unless I am carefully reading someone else's conversation. In my own reviews, I try to avoid spoilers, or to put a spoiler alert, but sometimes I feel like key plot points are revealed on the book jacket, so why be so careful?

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    1. Yes, a lot of book jackets reveal huge plot points, I agree!

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  19. Only just joined Twitter, so I don't know the 'etiquette' yet but it seems too far for that person to call you 'obnoxious'. As for book review spoilers, if there's a book I'm really worried about being spoiled on, I won't read the review, or I'll just skim it a little. I keep my reviews fairly spoiler-free, but judging what is or is not a spoiler is entirely subjective. So I think there needs to be more tolerance and less "spoiler police." For those who like going in blank-slate, they should probably just not read the review. Otherwise, I would just keep out big events like deaths, or whodunits or a significant plot twist.

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    1. I don't really know the etiquette of Twitter, either, clearly, as I was chastised when I was on there! I think keeping reviews spoiler-free is a good idea, but I don't know why going on a public forum should be.

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  20. I do feel annoyed when people on facebook post spoilers like, for example, The Bachelor, and they get on say "So-and-So was voted off!!!" I hate those because there is no chance for me to have caught up on the show first or to have avoided the update. But if there is some type of warning, like with your hashtag, I would assume that once my eyes saw that if I hadn't watched it yet I would ignore. Plus, if it had been maybe more than a day it would be more expected that I would have already seen it. Twitter's a weird kind of place because people have conversations while others can watch. That happens on FB too but not in the same way!

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    1. Yes, Twitter and Facebook both don't let people avoid things, but at least on Twitter if you avoid the site for a few hours, you basically miss the conversation. On Facebook, it can just keep showing up if people comment on it.

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  21. As someone who has been known to read the end of the book first, spoilers don't really bother me. There are a few books that I think are better off read not knowing the plot. And I don't like books about books that reveal all the major plot points (Pat Conroy did this and I hated it), but part of the fun of books and movies and tv is talking about what you've read or seen...if other people don't like it, they should just leave the room (and in your case, twitter would be the room).

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    1. I do the same thing! I always like to know the endings of books before I get there.

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  22. I typed up this really long reply last night but it looks like it's gone missing. Dang.

    Anyways, what I was saying was that I really hate spoilers for books I am about to read - the less I know about a book I want to read the better. Even a misleading synopsis on the back can be off-putting for me. But as for television, if I see a discussion happening about a series that I haven't seen yet and don't want spiled, I quickly avert my eyes. Once something like televeision series are in the public domain, I think it's fair game for discussion to be honest.

    To call you obnoxious is rude and a little self-entitled to boot. Your first tweet wasn't the big reveal of a plot detail, after all. Especially given this person was DVRing the series and had no idea when she would watch it - sorry is the whole world of social media supposed to avoid this topic just for her viewing comfort? Don't think so somehow.

    While I understand the disappointment when you find out something you wished you hadn't, it's hardly fair to take it out on someone else.

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    1. I saw your response yesterday! I don't know where it went, either :-( I agree about TV shows being fair game, too. It's a series of shows over many months- I can't see why everyone should have to wait for one person to catch up before talking about it.

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  23. That's the problem with Twitter. While it's a great place to find people with similar interests to talk with, those discussions are available to be read by anyone and so if you are discussing books or TV spoilers they can get read, even accidentally, by anyone following you. The only thing you can really do about this is, as one commenter suggested, offer a warning that the following discussion will contain spoilers. And if one of your followers is annoyed by this they could just stop following you. Though for such discussions it's better to go to a forum such as Goodreads (for books) where you can start a topic, announce that it will contain spoilers, and then discuss it as openly as you want.

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    1. Yeah, I guess that's true, but my point was more why does everyone have to compromise for the spoiler police rather than them compromising for other people?

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  24. I'm not bothered about spoilers for TV shows, because since I'm in the Netherlands, we get TV shows about 3 years after everyone else has seen them. Or, most of the time, never. When I talk to a person about a TV show directly, I always ask where they are in the series (or at least I try to) so as not to reveal anything, but it can be hard! But when it's a conversation on the sidelines, I mean, I talk to Amy about TVD all the time, on twitter, and I'm sure many who are still in season 2 might find spoilers there, but I also don't really feel I *should* therefore remain silent. I really think the obnoxious one in that twitter conversation was the one requesting you to not talk about it.

    As for spoilers in books, I really don't know where to draw the line either. Sometimes I feel I should just post a general warning that there may be spoilers in here. I cannot write about books without talking about some of the themes, and therefore, part of the plot always comes up. Perhaps it is because I don't really mind spoilers myself that I find it harder to draw the line?

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    1. Ooh, what is TVD? I am watching The Wire now, but it's off the air now and I'm at least three seasons behind the last one so I don't expect people to keep spoilers from me, either.

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  25. I'm with Tracy and Iris on this - haven't come across the spoiler business myself on Twitter (being a fairly new chick on the block there), but I reckon that if you're reading a review of something you can expect there to be spoilers - so shouldn't get too grumpy about it if they're on there. I'll put a spoiler alert on Bookhound if I reveal a major plotline (if for example it's really impossible to discuss the book unless you give some indication of that crucial plot twist at the end), but if it's a minor storyline I wouldn't bother.
    I guess the problem is that some people think that any information is too much, while others really don't care - I don't mind knowing what happens in the book / tv prog as it doesn't spoil my enjoyment - only exception for me is sport - I hate knowing the result if I was intending to watch the game later (there were major complaints this morning on BBC breakfast as the result of last night's Superbowl was revealed)!

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    1. Yes, I agree that people judge spoilers differently. Since I don't personally care about spoilers, I have no real idea of where people would be upset about plots...

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  26. This is such crap. You really can't control for people being in different time zones and using Twitter. Block that silly girl.

    And now for a spoiler anecdote...while I was combing through Amazon, looking at the reviews for the Blu-Ray version of Rome seasons 1 and 2, people were yelling at one another for giving away the ending of season 1. Yeah, someone spoiled HISTORY for everyone else. Boo effing hoo.

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    1. Haha, that is funny :-) Though I guess if you don't know history, maybe you'd consider it a "spoiler." Or if it was a spoiler about the characters that wouldn't make it through history. But I agree that is ridiculous.

      More ridiculous is depending on TV to give you accurate history. Um, The Tudors was NOT ACCURATE. Not sure about Rome!

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  27. I'm just here to flail about the combined referencing of OUAT and Doctor Who.

    *flails*

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    1. Flailing noted and appreciated :-)

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  28. I believe in being polite, but I don't believe in spoilers or that plot summary is a good idea. More people need to get over the idea that reading is all about surprises.

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  29. Mmmmmmmmmmm, I have mixed feelings about this while generally coming down strongly in favor of spoilers (of course). I would say it might be worthwhile to refrain from saying spoilery things about an episode of television JUST UNTIL it airs on the West Coast. And then do whatever you want the day after it airs. Because West Coast folks have actually no way of seeing the episode before it airs in their time zone, so they aren't responsible for having seen it, or for shielding themselves from spoilers. That's a compromise I would think was reasonable.

    Having said that, and still being strongly on the side of spoilers, the reason that I see for favoring the convenience of spoiler-haters over spoiler-lovers is that spoiler-haters actually will not enjoy the book/TV episode/movie if they know the end. Isn't that the idea? Like that the book/episode/film is no longer any good to them once they've discovered the ending? So my talking about spoilers will ruin the thing for them but not talking about them won't ruin it for me.

    BUT I LOVE SPOILERS. And I hate it so much when spoiler-haters say "Is she going to die?" and then I say "Yes!" and they get mad at me for telling. WHY ASK IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW. So now I always say "Do you want to know?" before I tell them -- and it annoys me to have to do that.

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  30. I think way too many people enjoy live tweeting a show to suddenly make it a faux-pas. The thought of shushing people I follow on Twitter because I'm not planning on getting to an episode until days later seems like the epitome of self centerdness to me. Seriously? That's really rude. Especially when shows advertise their twitter hashtag and encourages you to tweet/discuss/argue/fan about it right in the opening credits.

    I will say though that I was incredibly upset by a book spoiler I got on Twitter once, it thoroughly disgusted me. The book is the latest in a series, is highly anticipated, and at the time wasn't going to be out for six months. Suddenly this tweet pops up about this awesome book I'm looking forward to and this person just busted out with a huge spoiler. The blurb on the back of the book leads you up to this suspenseful situation and the person just tweeted what would happen (with many explanation points, natch) to resolve it. The book isn't coming out for MONTHS. Why would you do that? Why? That is not okay.

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  31. The spoiler police are completely out of control. It's insisting that those who are late be catered to. It's not my job to wrap their world in cotton batting.

    You watch Once Upon A Time too? I love that show!

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