New (Slightly Revised) Spoiler Policy
There are two parts to concealing a spoiler. First, and obviously, you need to hide a spoiler in spoiler text. Second, for those people who want to see some spoilers but not others, you must make it clear where the spoiler is from. You also need to indicate which installment of the work is being spoiled, if the work has multiple installments. The obvious examples here are TV shows (indicate which episode or season) and webcomics (indicate which strip or arc), but this also includes DLC and content-adding patches for video games. If a thread references exactly one work in its title, it is assumed that all spoilers are from that work unless otherwise noted, so there's no need to specify the source work (though specifying episode/season/arc should still be done where appropriate).
A spoiler that meets both criteria is considered properly hidden. Off-site links are treated similarly: their content is pretty much always hidden unless the url itself is a spoiler, but they must still be labeled as spoiler links.
It obviously becomes inconvenient to hide all plot points for a work when in a thread that's about that work. How long do plot points count as spoilers? If installments of a work are released regularly (e.g. a weekly/nightly TV show), the normal span between installments is the length something must be hidden. That is, spoilers from a weekly TV show like Glee
are fair game after a week. If a work doesn't have regular installments (e.g. a video game with or without DLC, a novel, a stand-alone film), spoilers become fair game in a thread about that work after one month.
There is one exemption to this rule. If the work is available freely and legally online and can be consumed in less than fifteen minutes
, new content comes out of spoiler text five posts after a link is posted. This will cover most webcomics and some other web series.
Where does this put adaptations and earlier works in a series? Adaptations are considered separate works from the original and must be treated accordingly. If there is enough interest in comparing two versions of a story, a new thread might be created for that purpose (see below). Earlier installments, on the a other hand, are fair game if their story directly leads into the story of the work being discussed and are from the same medium. For an example here, a thread on The Empire Strikes Back
can spoil A New Hope
right and left, but has to properly hide events of Splinter of the Mind's Eye
—though both A New Hope
and Splinter of the Mind's Eye
were released before The Empire Strikes Back
and cover the adventures of the protagonists of Empire
before that film begins, Splinter
is a novel.
The other sticky situation comes up for release dates. For the purpose of spoilers, the "release date" is first English-language release date for works that have an English-language version or translation in the making. Remember that since spoiler rules count by release date, Interquels
count just the same as Sequels
—no exemptions for events taking place earlier.
Now that it's clear what is and isn't a spoiler, the following rogue spoilers
are grounds for immediate loss of posting privileges
- Spoilers in thread titles—you can't hide them, after all.
- Improperly concealed spoilers from works not mentioned in the thread title or otherwise exempted above.
- Improperly concealed spoilers from material that has yet to be released, excluding official previews for such material.
Improperly hiding already released material in the thread for it will just get a Rules thump, but do realize that getting too many of those is just an alternate path to ban-town.
If there's so much spoiler content being discussed that the thread looks like Swiss cheese, you can Holler a mod to split the thread into multiple versions with their own spoiler policies. The following thread types are "standard" and can be referenced in the thread title without further elaboration—custom thread-specific spoiler policies must be noted in the thread title and explained in the first post of the thread.
- Spoiler-free: No spoilers of any kind. Only officially released content can be discussed. Future speculation must be based only on currently released content.
- Live Reactions: Spoilers allowed from the moment of official release. This will generally come up for TV shows, with people posting their reactions mid-broadcast.
- [Adaptation] Spoilers: The work is an adaptation or remake of an earlier work, and comparisons will be made between the old version and the new version. Both versions count as thread topics. Change the tag as appropriate—use your common sense.
- Unmarked Spoilers: Everything related to the work in the title is fair game: cast interviews, leaked information, the whole shebang. Spoilers from other works must still be hidden appropriately.
edited 23rd Sep '12 5:59:22 PM by Ironeye
I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.