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Spoiler issues are a type of issue that can arise in Discussions. Users often don't like to be spoiled after new content has been released. Discussions Moderators should either forbid or allow spoilers, depending on the community, fandom and type of content. It's good to solve this via general consensus.

Spoiler policyEdit

Forbidding spoilersEdit

Pros:

  • Lets everyone, those up to date and not, browse Discussions safely,
  • keeps the Discussions activity up even after the newest episode, book or game is released.

Cons:

  • Blocks some discussion about things that may be spoiled,
  • creates more work for Discussions Moderators.

This can be a good policy, because it makes a wiki a safe place even for those who have not watched the newest episode. People might avoid Discussions if they are afraid the fun might get spoiled for them.

Specifying a "no spoilers for x days after newest episode" rule is a good choice for everyone. This rule should be created via community consensus, to ensure everyone is comfortable with the number of the days. Thanks to forbidding spoilers, noone should be afraid of peeking into recent Discussion threads, and that in turn increases Discussions activity.

However, some may think that not being up to date with a show, book, comic or game is only the particular fan's fault and everything should be freely discussed at a wiki. Due to this, a part of the community won't like such decision.

Sometimes, a form of more or less harsh punishment for posting spoilers might be needed, but such issues should always be talked about and resolved in a way that suits a community in the best way (see Moderator approaches). Forbidding spoilers also adds more work for Discussions Moderators, because they have to watch out for spoilers and react as soon as possible.

Allowing spoilersEdit

Pros:

  • Doesn't block any discussion,
  • can be a compromise, if spoilers are hidden,
  • doesn't add work for Moderators, if spoilers are not hidden.

Cons:

  • Not everyone can browse Discussions safely,
  • can cause a decrease in Discussions activity after the newest episode, book or game is released.

This can be a good policy, because it allows more discussion and doesn't restrict it. Anyone is allowed to discuss anything, so there's fresh information and speculation after new content releases. That attracts anyone who is eager to talk about what they just saw or check on people's opinions.

What's more, this option lets the users have a compromise. If spoilers are allowed, they can still be hidden in a way. Therefore, users who are up to date and those who are not can both enjoy Discussions safely. What's more, Discussions Moderators don't have extra work if spoilers don't have to be hidden. If they have to be, Moderators still have to look whether they are hidden.

On the other hand, this policy might stop some users from visiting Discussions for short periods of time after new releases to avoid spoilers and that decreases Discussions activity. If spoilers are not hidden, then users cannot avoid them in any way while browsing Discussions, so they have to avoid Discussions and can't participate in the conversations. If spoilers are hidden, this problem is solved and only people who don't want to be tempted to see spoilers will not visit Discussions.

Also, depending on moods and type of the community, more work might arise anyway, if spoilers are not hidden, because some users might be displeased.

Hiding spoilersEdit

Post spoiler hiding policyEdit

One way to hide spoilers is to:

  • Put information about spoilers in the title of the post,
  • hide the contents of the post.

The warning in the title can take many forms. It can be [SPOILER], ***SPOILER WARNING***, SPOILER, or other visible text that is required on the start of a post title.

Contents of a post can be hidden by leaving several lines with * or some form of punctuation on it before typing the rest of the post. They can be hidden by leaving several lines with a word, too.

Another way is to note that posts containing spoilers must not have any spoilers in the title or within the first 3 lines of the post (due to these lines appearing in the preview).

If links are posted, a thumbnail appears. It's a good idea to require removal of the thumbnail, if links with spoilers are posted.

It's important to note in the guidelines how long spoilers have to be hidden (e.g. 7 days after a new episode).

Categories spoiler hiding policyEdit

Discussions categories provide a way to get spoilers out of one's view. An administrator can create a "Spoilers" category and require spoiler posting in that category.

Any user can filter posts by selecting categories they want to see. This way, they can select all categories except the "Spoilers" category and then freely browse a spoiler-free feed. This method is convenient for those who discuss spoilers, too, because they can easily find all fresh debates on the newest topics in the category with spoilers.

The only problem with this method is that such posts are still visible when they are trending or recent, so an user has to remember to quickly filter posts when they visit Discussions.

It's important to note in the guidelines how long spoilers have to be hidden (e.g. 7 days after a new episode).

ExamplesEdit

The following examples show how spoiler issues can be handled in Discussions guidelines: