Off Topic: Let's Talk Spoilers

Here's a question: how responsible should you be for your own protection against spoilers? Say something crazy happened in Game of Thrones and you spent all day on Twitter and Facebook and someone accidentally spoiled you. Who is to blame? You or the spoiler?

I've been thinking a lot about this recently, as almost everyone on my Facebook page has had a whinge at some point about being spoiled on a TV show or a game. Part of me has sympathy, particularly for people who have been deliberately spoiled by some jerk who thinks it's funny.

But another part of me thinks that if you want to stay spoiler free, stay off the internet. Take responsibility for yourself.

Should the rest of the internet have to stop conversation directly in its tracks because a handful of people haven't seen an episode of a show yet, or got to a particular point in a video game? Isn't that equally unfair?

Or is there simply an etiquette? If people want to discuss spoilerrific content, should they do so via private messages or use spoiler tags?

What are your thoughts?


    I say you should ask and let people know when you're about to discuss it. Give them a chance to avoid it rather then shoving it in their face.

    On the flipside, if what you're discussing happened at least a year ago then nobody really can complain about it. If they cared they would have seen it by then.

    I personally don't mind spoilers because my enjoyment of content isn't focused on information being revealed. I understand others not wanting it spoiled though so if i want to discuss things I just wait and make sure everyone in the conversation knows that im going to talk about it. Its just common sense really. Dont be a dick

    I believe all potential spoilers should not be discussed in public until a year after the subject matter has been out. For example, not everyone gets a game on release date but that does not mean they don't want to play it or experience the story first hand at a later date. There are plenty of ways to chat about shows and games privately so that spoilers are not an issue.

    If you want to avoid spoilers, you need a media blackout. There is no other way!

      Not necessary! I never see spoilers for the shows I watch, be that Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy, Hannibal, The Walking Dead, Archer or whatever else I watch that's popular. It all depends HOW you use the internet. I can browse my favourite social sites fine and avoid spoilers for all the shows I watch. I don't see how it's so hard for others.

      Last edited 29/04/14 11:37 am

        The fact remains that it IS hard for others. So I'd say as a rule of thumb to anyone who is bothered...don't risk it.

      I'm on Kotaku and Facebook and Reddit for the good parts of my days. I waited for DS2 on PC, I'm two episodes behind on GoT, I haven't gotten Stick of Truth and nothings been spoiled. If you see something remotely discussing or even mentioning the subject you don't want spoiled, skip it. You don't need to read everything on your screen

        You know what, you're totally right on those accounts. Personally, when I think of spoilers I'm trying to avoid, it is 90% of the time sports related. In my experience, people are far more likely to blab about a sports result than they are the latest episode of GoT (unless it's a finale.) Certain sport results are the only thing I would get genuinely annoyed about seeing a spoiler for and they are very prone to coming up in my fb news feed. With regards to not reading everything you're right, but if I see someone's name who I know is a fan of team X and they are posting: YESsSSSS!!!111 then I have fallen prey to a spoiler.

          Ah, fair enough. That does sound harder to avoid

    I avoid social media completely (mostly for productivity reasons), and try to get my shows as soon as possible to avoid spoilers.

    People suck for posting them though, I did a google search on a Walking Dead actor, Scott Wilson, to see if he really has ....
    in the search results for his name, near the top was a MASSIVE SPOILER, one that really ruined my enjoyment of the entire season I was part way through.
    I was so pissed. I'm ultra careful, but sometimes a spoiler will get you anyway.

    The doctor on TripleJ is really bad for it too.

    Spolier tags not working for me! Had to edit post quickly.

    Last edited 29/04/14 11:29 am

    First World Problems.

      I must have missed the Kotaku article that was about solving world hunger and curing cancer. Perhaps you could direct us to it?

    I assume the functionality doesn't already exist, but Facebook and Twitter should add spoiler functionality to their service. Problem solved. Then you're just publicly sharing closed envelopes that people can choose to open or not.

      Funny thing is that Twitter is doing the opposite at the moment - it is sending me alerts and directly linking me to people discussing Game of Thrones. Really annoying.

    depends on what you consider a spoiler, for me hearing that you play as ellie in the last of us was a spoiler for me but probably not for everyone, and at this stage probably didn't need to be in tags. It also depends on how easy it is to conceal spoilers in whatever medium you are using. if it is as simple as a small html script or clicking a button to conceal it then it isn't really asking a lot to hide things like names of people who died (great deku tree notwithstanding)

    If however you click on an article that clearly says spoilers, or implies spoilers in its description, or is about something that you wish to not be spoiled, and you still click on it? then that is your own fault if it becomes spoiled.
    If you are browsing facebook or trawling through twitter posts a day or 2 after the release of a particular TV show (GoT is the big one at the moment) and it is something you intend to, but have not yet seen, then you are on your own and it isn't really on other people to hold their tongue/fingers from discussing information about it, spoilers or no.

      Also, irony that spoiler tags are not currently working in an article about spoilers. I had play as Ellie in tags but that was all. Unless Lord Serrels is sitting there quietly chuckling to himself over people posting spoilers in tags after he disabled them for this particular discussion which is a pretty amazing joke btw >.>

    On the one hand, keeping other people in mind when you discuss things is being courteous and a good human. On the other hand, how far should you go in suppressing someone's freedom of speech just because someone "might" find it objectionable? Personally, if I don't want spoilers, I don't go looking in places they are guaranteed to abound. If something does happen to get spoiled, it's not really an issue for me as I still enjoy things regardless.

    Sometimes I think some of the people who complain about being spoiled actively seek out spoilers so they can complain :/ My Facebook is pretty tame on spoilers, for what ever reason given about 3/4 of my friends watch Game of Thrones and rave on about it constantly. Twitter is the same since I don't follow people who tweet every waking second of a TV show..

    What gets me is how people get wound up when you reference a part of show from it's early days and especially when the show had been around 5+ years already. Some of them act like you just spoiled the latest episode with a major plot twist. People are over sensitive if you ask me.

    Personally I don't care for spoilers, i'm either caught up on a show or I take it with a grain of salt and usually forget it since well for all I know the person who told me could've been exaggerating things.

    I have a hatchback, so I'm a bit on the fence about spoilers...

      I have a Focus ST and the spoiler on it is rather tastefully done (for a spoiler on a hatchback)

        My XR5 one is better :P

          Puts on best bogan voice
          "Oi come over here'n say dat you derogatory insult of your choosing"

          I am kidding of course, 65kg 29yo nerdy man-children such as myself cannot pull off aggressive insults over vehicles with any kind of conviction.

          edit* apparently putting things in makes them vanish
          edit again* in trying to make my point I forget my point by putting it in these things > < (except the other way around with text in them)

          Last edited 29/04/14 1:39 pm

            Yeah, they get picked up as being tags that don't work. I think you can have them still appear by using &lt and &gt. Though I haven't actually tested out using them like that, let's see what happens. Edit: ok so it didn't work this time. I know I have gotten it to work in the past though, so maybe it's the janky site not working now :P

            Last edited 29/04/14 1:49 pm

    I want that Prodrive spoiler for my WRX

      You will need to sell your kidney for that. WRX owners from all over the world want one.

    I hate spoilers, I really do. But there is a time period where after that you kind of have no real right to get pissy about it. Someone spoiled the ending of Red Dead Redemption for me as I was about a quarter of the way through it. I was annoyed, but it also took me like 2 years after release to get around to playing it, so I could be annoyed, but it was kinda my own fault for not getting around to playing it sooner, especially since it was/is such a big hit.

    Were it something obscure that got spoiled, I'd be a bit more annoyed. Something like Virtue's Last Reward or the Ace Attorney, to me anyway, seems like a niche title that fans would want other people to play, but without spoiling anything. (Oh, case 3? Can you beleive XYZ is the killer!?)

    Bigger stuff (like Game Of Thrones, The Walking Dead, ect) are too big to really be avoided in this social media age.

    If I really care about something, I should be consuming that media within a fairly quick timeframe, barring any sort of issues (No local release, money, time, ect) because it's way too hard to avoid spoilers. But I always make sure I ask someone where they are up to in something before I start discussing story with them.

      I still haven't gotten around to finishing Twilight Princess, or starting Skyward Sword, so I always yell out SPOILERS when my friends start talking about it :P Though by this point it's probably more for the joke of it than anything else.

    spoilers for spoilers sake suck... but i don't have any issues with others discussing something i might regard as a spoiler for the sake of discussion. In my office i sit in an area populated with alot of Game of Thrones viewers. They enjoy discussing the show the following day and good for them... It is a thought and discussion provoking show so i can hardly blame them. I choose to wait until the season has finished so i do not attempt to impose a spoiler free rule as it is MY CHOICE to wait. If you wait then you risk something being spoiled...

    In life as in programming - expect people to ignore any guidelines you'd [otherwise] expect them to follow (such as common courtesy and consideration for others, in this case). If you're concerned about having something spoiled for you, stay away from discussion of that topic online. If certain sites you frequent are occasionally lax in making sure article titles, images and blurbs are spoiler-free, stay off those sites until later. Can't really offer a solution for twitter/facebook/google+ other than filter your feeds if you can, stay off them if you can't - I just stay off them in general.

    Last edited 29/04/14 12:18 pm

      This. This is common sense right here. This is taking control of the situation for yourself. Well said.

    Oh my God, I really hate spoilers sometimes. Especially in the first Need for Speed Most Wanted, they all looked like shit.

    I don't really mind them, though. I know what's gonna happen, but I don't know the context or circumstance of which it will happen.

    And when somebody says that someone dies, I just shrug and smile. We all die eventually.

    Last edited 29/04/14 12:28 pm

    It's kinda hard to spoil game of thrones. The books have been out well over a year.

    Accept the fact that the universe doesn't exist for your benefit and that other people are allowed to talk about the things they enjoy.

    If there's the option for spoiler tags (ideally ones that actually WORK, hint, hint), use them as a courtesy to others and if someone knows you're a fan of something and haven't yet seen a notable episode and they make a specific effort to tell you major plot points, by all means call them a dickhead but otherwise, get over your sense of entitlement.

    Last edited 29/04/14 12:57 pm

    For GOT etc, I now give everyone a 2 days moratorium from the day it airs on facebook etc. If during that time, they haven't seen it and in that time it airs on Australian TV via foxtel or free to air? I find it to be fair game to talk about it. If someone puts off watching it past its initial airing date, then that's their choice. However, going in screaming and dickswinging about spoilers is a bit different, when you run in saying 'TYRION RIDES A DRAGON ALL THE WAY TO DREAMWORLD AND ROASTS ASLAN AND ALL THE OTHER NARNIA CHARACTERS NEXT SEASON!' just because you can? You're a dick, through and through. BUT if you've given that time period, and you're simply discussing with others what's happened, that in my opinion is fine.

      2 days is not reasonable.

        According to you. Within 48 hours if someone hasn't seen something that's aired on Australian tv, 48 hours previously, that's their deal not mine. Like the article says, if you don't want spoilers, stay off the internet.

          Staying off the internet is the most ridiculous solution I've ever heard. How any person can try to state this with a straight face is completely beyond me. You are quite seriously suggesting that I put on hold all media and social exposure because I want to be able to enjoy a tv show. For what reason exactly? Because you have no self control. For you to be able to consume and enjoy a tv show you need to recount on Facebook or Twitter a particular story element. I’m sorry, but I really don’t understand this desire and have never personally felt the need to do so. If you are wanting to actually DISCUSS a particular story element, Facebook and Twitter aren’t even decent mediums to do this through.

            Which is your opinion. Ive had many discussions in fb threads about BB and GOT that were fascinating. When I talk to others online who have seen it and we discuss it as a group, its great. But when one person wanders in a few days after the episode has aired and says "Hey guys spoilers ive got it on my dvr and am watching this weekend!" Fuck them. Noone invited them to participate and the internet is about freedom of choice. But accuse me of no self control? What self entitled twattish attitude is that. I MUST wait a week? A month because your busy life makes you unable to watch it? Thats bad for you but your complaint of staying off the net being impossible is just stupid. Of course you can stay off social media. Of course you can unfollow people and avoid sites.

            But to hell with it. Why not impose a self entitled attitude on everyone else eh?

            Last edited 30/04/14 5:59 pm

              But to hell with it. Why not impose a self entitled attitude on everyone else eh?
              Oh, the irony of this statement.

              And someone complaining about spoilers on facebook a few days after it aired is unreasonable? Fuck them? You come across as childish and petulant.

                There's nothing 'self entitled' with saying I might talk spoilers in a private thread on my facebook within a thread after I give a few days for people to watch it after it's aired on Aussie TV. However the belief I have to subscribe to others wishes and wants over a tv show? Give me a break. A few days is more than reasonable, especially given the rate at which shit is posted on fb and everywhere else.

                You have the choice to participate in conversations on facebook, the internet etc. Actually exercise that ability instead of complaining about when others do. It's a free world mate and not everyone has to kow-tow to your whim.

                  I don’t think you actually know how facebook works. There is no such thing as a “private thread”. Everything you post shows up on all of your friends newsfeeds in between what someone ate for breakfast and another persons pictures of their cat.
                  You're right, it is a free world. You are free to ruin shows for your "friends". It's disrespectful and a reflection of bad manners, but it's not illegal. Congratulations, you're not a criminal, just kind of a jerk.

                  @phlaiman And if we're gonna throw names around, you're acting like an entitled twat. I guess that makes us two of a kind. Have a great day.

                  Entitled how? One of us is capable of showing courtesy to other people. The other one just says "fuck you". I've read all of the GoT books years ago and I generally keep pretty up to date with most tv shows. I'm just calling out bad manners when I see it.

                  @phlaiman a private thread on facebook is one that your friends only can access and not the general public :P

                  As for everything else, the simple fact is, I give two days to people spoiler free. If in that time they haven't seen the episode, that's fine, that's their deal. In this day and age you have dozens of ways to see a program. If you haven't by then, it's your deal not mine and I care not why. If I want to discuss a show I'm not going to go asking if it's ok on social media before I do so, I also won't go advertising huge spoilers but I will talk about them inside the thread which, by my own facebook settings, is set to private, as you can do, so I'm not entirely sure if *you* are aware how Facebook works or not... so I do ask you this, why should I kowtow to people who take their merry time to watch a show, sometimes a week or two, when I want to talk about it with my friends who have seen it? Why should five of us be beholden to one person who is slack? Why should that one person not go watch the show then come back to us and revel in it? If they can't, why should they even be allowed to say 'SPOILERS!' at us, instead of merely unfollowing us, knowing we will be talking about it?

                  The problem here, is personal responsibility. You want everyone to watch out for you. How about watching out for yourself.


                  You talk about a "personal thread" but I have no clue what you are talking about. If you are referring to private messaging, then you've completely missed the entire point of the discussion. If you are talking about a facebook status update then there is nothing private about it, unless you are specifically hiding the post from everyone except for specific friends and you've still missed the entire point of the discussion.
                  If you quite literally only have 6 friends on facebook and you only use facebook to blab about tv shows, then it's still not part of the discussion.
                  It's pretty clear that the article has the average facebooker in mind, who would at least have a couple hundred friends.

    Hard to say I looking at the comment section on GoT face book Page on deanery speech to the slaves in meereem? And stumbled on to a few people talking about Jon snow and who his mother is.

    Is it my fault for reading? yes, but why was something totally unrelated to the quote being discussed so annoying but doesn't ruin the show for a single bit just gonna be less surprised when it get discussed on the show

    I feel like over the last few years I've got more and more spoiler-sensitive, in that I'm wanting to know less and less about things before I play them. To the point where I'll maybe find out about a game through its announcement trailer, then never bother to look up or into anything else about it until I play it. It's kind of silly.

    when a certain kotaku writer writes an article that is titled as discussion on things you may have missed in this weeks GoT episode with a spoiler warning saying don't read unless you've seen this weeks TV episode and then proceeds to talk about points from the books with links to the books wiki it's her fault and your sites fault for publishing it.

    I don’t really understand the raging desire to blurt out spoilers on social media. Surely carefully wording comments so that only those who have seen the material would understand would be enough to satisfy you. If you really need to have an in depth conversation about the latest episode of GoT then private messages to people you know who have seen it would be more appropriate. 140 characters on twitter doesn’t make for an easy way to have a conversation and Facebook status/comments aren’t that great either.
    There are literally THOUSANDS of message boards that you can discuss tv shows etc., on. Most of these even have spoiler tags. If you want to chat with people you know irl about it, start a private group chat or phone call or talk about it next time you have lunch.
    I shouldn’t have to not login to Facebook for several days every week just because some idiot can’t control himself.

    There needs to be a cooling off period of at least a week. Giving people that really care time to catch up.

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