Spoilers in the information age

This exchange, edited for brevity and language, took place on a forum I visit where on occasion TV shows and movies are discussed. This was in a thread labeled as “NCIS/NCIS:LA”, so it was pretty clear what one would find being discussed should they click on it.

ME: Hey did anyone catch the NCIS that aired Tuesday? The one with the drone hitting the intelligence gala?

#1: Yeah. It was pretty good episode. They’re obviously setting up a big story arc for McGee and getting everyone to know about Eleanor Bishop.

ME: I’m trying to figure out with the explosion that was shown and McGee standing outside the building why he wasn’t more severely injured. I get he’s a main character, but they’re usually pretty good with that stuff and kind of dropped the ball there.

#2 HEY, how about a spoiler warning guys, I haven’t seen that episode yet.

From that point on a bunch of people piled on to #2 for clicking on a thread about a TV show where they weren’t up to date in watching. A second smaller group was supporting #2, and said there should have been a spoiler warning in my first post followed by “spoiler space” (which is several presses of the return button creating a buffer so a person wouldn’t accidentally see a spoiler) because the next episode hadn’t aired yet, even though that’s not the custom on that forum. The fact I posted the question five days after the episode originally aired and there was a blog post about the episode on the site’s main page seemed to be lost on some people.

I simply don’t understand why someone who didn’t want to know about a particular TV program or movie would intentionally go to a place that information was being discussed. There are a couple shows I’m planning on watching over the summer on Netflix. Isn’t it my responsibility to make sure I don’t go places where those shows are talked about it if I don’t want to know what happens? And wouldn’t it be the same with shows I record on my DVR?

To take it to the next step, how long until would it be “safe” to discuss something that contained spoilers? Can I openly talk about The Crying Game or The Sixth Sense now, or because the plot twists in each are essentially the whole movie should I always include a spoiler tag? Should I stop posting “Rosebud is a sled!!!” every time someone talks about spoilers? (Even if I should, I won’t; I love the joke too much).

It’s even more ludicrous in some places. During the World Juniors hockey tournament this season held in Sweden many of the games were shown tape delayed in the US and Canada, but could been seen live on the internet. Two different hockey message boards, both with threads for each individual game, required spoiler tags until the game aired on TV. Those tags hide the posts by changing the font color to the forum background color unless a link is clicked on.

Really? I mean, REALLY? Scores and accounts of sporting events are news, so we need spoiler tags for news events now? And spoiler tags in threads specifically set up to discuss the games?


Really. This is because too many people are self-centered idiots that need help to make sure they don’t accidentally stumble into information they don’t want to know when they click on links that take them to the information they don’t want to know. Which, in the long run, spoils things for the rest of us…


2 thoughts on “Spoilers in the information age

  1. Oh god no, “rosebud” is sled?!? Great. Now please don’t spoil the Wizard of Oz for me, I am not past the field of poppies yet … can’t wait to find out how wonderful the wizard is….

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