The TV IV:Proposals/Spoilers

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It seems that there needs to be some consensus of where, when, and how we can put spoilers. We already have two methods of spoilers in place, a short spoiler, and a long spoiler, but when is it necessary to use them? What pages can safely have unmarked spoilers? Which pages can't? And to what extent of information should the spoiler reveal?


  1. Personal opinion: For defunct shows, character pages are fair game for any kind of spoilers. For active shows, character pages should have marked spoilers for current season events for a month or until deemed unnecessary to the page. For all shows, season pages should reveal nothing too major about the season itself, and episode pages should not reveal anything from future episodes. For unaired episodes on active shows, spoilers shouldn't be marked because they're implied, as long as the episode page has the Unaired template attached to it. --Wizardryo 17:24, 28 Oct 2005 (EDT)
    1. As an addendum, I think that major spoilers for Unaired episodes should have an additional spoiler, just as a precaution to people who might have accidentally clicked or wandered into the link. Major spoilers would probably be things like character deaths or resolutions to big mysteries. --Wizardryo 00:34, 4 Nov 2005 (EST)
  2. I pretty much agree with Wizardyo. Here's how I'm doing things for Lost. The Character pages (ex. Jack Shephard) have the most important Season 2 stuff in long spoiler tags. Small details like the name of the hospital Jack worked for are unspoiled. The Character Dossiers page either has to be updated rarely, or has to include spoilers. The Timeline page and some other pages can work with short spoilers. What does everyone think? --Stabbey 00:21, 3 Nov 2005 (EST)
  3. Clearly character pages are the strongest possibility for unconscious spoiling. Character development will happen during the course of a series and even through seasons. For this reason, I'm really against the idea of current season in spoiler tags but everything prior open season. Originally I was a fan of the idea of 'current season' spoiler protection, but working on Alias from a S1E1 perspective, any protection given to season five puts the character pages completely offlimits to me.
    I'd propose a character page be divided into three basic sections, with nearly automatic spoiler protection for the second. The first would be basic information, the second season by season character details, and the third being the quotes/memorable episodes/misc material which is probably safe enough without substantial spoiling. This puts some burden on the content writers, but allows people enjoying a completed series, such as The X-Files, a character page that they can find useful from the first season in syndication/DVD to the last without a constant threat of reveals that Scully is really a flukeworm because it happened in season 5 and was deemed not current and thus unspoilered.
    Now, of course, for shows without dramatic reveals (say Wings), you can easily leave it unspoilered and uncomplicated. But focusing on Season Two seems shortsighted and removes the character page from value to those currently experiencing it on DVD or overseas. To clarify, the Lost page for Jack would be unspoilered Basic Information, Spoilered S1 Pre-Crash, separately spoilered S2 Pre-Crash, spoiler post-crash S1, spoiler post crash S2. --Ape Agitator 22:09, 3 Nov 2005 (EST)
    1. See, this proposes a dilemma. The X-Files has nine seasons. Should we put every single piece of information we receive about Scully or Murder in spoilers? It's just too cumbersome and doesn't provide enough fluidity to the page. I think people who haven't finished the show and who aren't comfortable looking at future spoilers shouldn't delve into the character pages because it is a spoiler-city relative to most of the other types of pages we have. --Wizardryo 00:34, 4 Nov 2005 (EST)
  4. This is an informational website and thus should be as functional and efficient as possible in dispensing that information. The burden is on the reader to decide whether or not he or she has seen enough of the series to feel comfortable reading an indepth look at the character which will most certainly contain spoilers from past seasons. Episodes from the current season, I can understand being spoilered for a while and then integrated into the normal information (or integrated and spoiled with short spoilers). Unaired episodes should be spoiled in an entirely different section to avoid confusion. However, for past seasons, tough luck. I basically agree with Stabbey and Wizardryo.
    With episode pages, episodes that aired before the episode in question (i.e. While working on 4x04, the first three seasons and 4x01-4x03) are fair game but episodes occuring afterwards are most certainly not (i.e. 4x05 through 6x22). --IndieRockLance 23:26, 3 Nov 2005 (EST)
    1. I'd suggest a simple 'If it hasn't aired yet in it's native country, it's a spoiler', and then consider all 'current' pages (a season that's airing, a character in a show that's on right now etc) to be spoiler possible, and throw up a spoiler template on the page 'Hey, this page may have spoilers!'. There's no way editing every page a million times to get the text hidden is going to work in the long run, you've got too much TV.
      Pretty much, I agree with IndieRockLance. Ipstenu 16:04, 22 Nov 2005 (EST)
  5. I do agree that stuff from currently running seasons should be spoiler-tagged, and I even put off updating it for Season 2 for the sake of overseas viewers, but there are practical limits. The page will look ugly and will be cumbersome if I fill it with boxes seperating season 1 pre/post crash stuff and season 2 pre/post crash stuff... The page won't have much visible information and will be filled with boxes. As for overseas viewers, in the UK, they're up to episode 15 of Season One, and it'll be a while before they finish the last 10 episodes. I don't see a practical way to make the pages informative for overseas viewers without making the pages useless for North American viewers. Unless someone comes up with a better idea, I'm going to leave the Season 1 stuff unspoiled, and the Season 2 stuff in spoilers for now. I think it's OK to leave minor information from season 2 unspoiled, like "Sun has a degree in art history". The Character Dossier page either has to include spoilers, or there will have to be a seperate one for each season. --Stabbey 00:06, 4 Nov 2005 (EST)
    1. Well, wouldn't it be a better compromise to put everything in a header labeled 'Spoiler through Season 2' and include, to use Lost as an example, Pre-crash and Post-crash information from both S1 and S2 up to the current aired episode? In that way, it doesn't leave large sections of the character page as spoiler bait and removes the burden of season differentiation from content creation. And, should someone come to some knowledge of an unaired episode, they can and should spoiler that separately. It might also give some parity to completed shows like the X-Files, which will have one concise spoiler block for Fox Mulder, and a show like Lost, which will have an expanding spoiler block for Jack.--Ape Agitator 07:13, 4 Nov 2005 (EST)
    2. I don't think I understand what you're asking. The show's format with the jumping flashbacks makes it a hassle to split everything up by season, then by pre and post-crash. If I post it in order of the season, then the pre-crash history for many characters would go backwards. When it comes to Season 2 spoilers, if you look at Jack's page, you'll see in the pre-crash section a long-spoiler tag which contains information that is chronologically in order, but from a different season. Here's how it would look the way you do it - the pre-crash information is completely out of chronological order and is confusing: Stabbey's Sandbox. THat's not the way I want to do that. I don't post any information based on unaired episodes, except on the Season 2 page, which has the name of the episode and person who has a flashback. That's the extent of the unaired information. --Stabbey 10:04, 4 Nov 2005 (EST)
      1. Sorry, I realize that wasn't quite clear. No, my suggestion would be to spoiler all season content, without regard for which season it appears in. So, to use Lost's Jack as an example, the character is broken up into a spoiler protected S2 and unspoilered S1 material. I would just suggest it be completely spoilered. I mean, just looking at it as an example, his page tells you Boone has died, which is a pretty big spoiler in an of itself for anyone. So, to clarify a bit more, I wouldn't suggest making any differentiation on which season is spoilered or trying to segment it into season by season spoilers. Instead, one big spoiler block for big spoilerific character information. Now, as far as dealing with mundane information that doesn't need to be spoilered, that's fine in Basic Information and the Trivia/Quotes section. But I'm hard pressed to think of what you'd put in the season block that wouldn't merit some spoiler protection. Hope that helps.--Ape Agitator 16:18, 4 Nov 2005 (EST)
        1. I don't think I agree. Here's how Jack's page would look. If I removed all the seperations it would just end up being an incoherent mess. If we were to spoiler all the season information, we would have to entirely delete the cast information from the main page. That's a huge spoiler. Some other pages, like the Character Dossier page would have to be deleted as well. Should we delete pages that have spoilers? Should we delete the cast information off of the main page? Should I delete Boone's page, because it gives a "final appearance" date? Once something has aired overseas, can it be unspoiled? Even if it happened several years ago? You don't seem to think so. "One big honkin' chunk of spoilers for all seasons" is not acceptable for me, too messy. I understand your view, but I can't agree with it. --Stabbey 19:00, 4 Nov 2005 (EST)
        2. Personally, for me, there'll be a point where we'll ask "How much is too much?" If we were to spoiler it, will there come a point when it'd be considered old enough to be unspoilered? Especially for a show as huge in revelations and plot twists like say, Buffy, which ended a few years ago. Should we be spoilering the fact that Willow is a lesbian, or that she tried to destroy the world, or that she is the sixth season's big villain? I know many people watching the show who aren't that far into the show to know about it, and, assuming that they won't want to know, then they won't click on the respective character page. It'll get to a point where we're spoilering things for the sake of having spoilers, and it no longer turns into an informational site. If we were to spoiler everything Willow did in all 144 episodes she appears in, we'd be left with 5 basic informational sentences that encompasses the first few episodes of the show, and everything else would be stuck behind a spoiler tag. --Wizardryo 00:47, 5 Nov 2005 (EST)
        3. So is the position now that we shouldn't spoiler anything that's aired in the US and retain the spoiler tags only for special circumstances or for yet unaired episodes? I really don't agree because it makes the character page valuable only to someone who has watched every episode of the series. Considering we have a very legible and functional spoiler system, without the unreadability and clumsiness of mouse over black on white text, and that it expands the value of the character page for people looking for quotes or trivia but don't want to know what happens in an episode they haven't seen, I'd say a large spoiler block isn't a negative thing. If given the option of no spoiler protection, fractured spoiler protection, and (proposed) full spoiler protection I don't see why the latter is a bad thing. It doesn't put the burden of making a ton of clickable spoiler boxes and allows the user to make the judgement call on whether they want to risk seeing something. Just to make it clear, I wasn't suggesting per-season spoiler blocking, or judgement calls on which seasons to leave spoilered or unspoilered. Just one clickable button so a casual user can delve deeper if they want to. I think it's clean, very easy to provide guidelines for people to use, and works well for new, continuing, and concluded series.--Ape Agitator 12:53, 5 Nov 2005 (EST)
          1. While your argument has a lot of merit, using Lost is a poor example since there are only 2 seasons of the show. If you use a plot-driven show like the 7-season Buffy the Vampire Slayer or 9-season The X-Files, things may get out of hand very fast. Your example also completely negates the use of a Table of Contents since headers in spoilers aren't recognized, so in this case, per-season spoiler blocking would be the best example of spoiler protection. This also comes with the problem that you're still disabling users in the middle of a season to click on the character page. What would we do with Buffy, which usually has huge plot twists in the middle of its seasons? When someone clicks on it, they're being privy, to, yes, information about the shows they've watched, but they're also going to end up inadvertently seeing information about an episode 4 episodes later. We can adopt a "don't read until you finish a season" policy, but that may seem narrow in scope. I agree, however, that it may be better than the current implementation.

            And what would we do with the Character History section of a character page? I think it is very useful for episode-to-episode developments, but, again, is a breeding ground for spoilers. What would we do with Memorable Moments describing when a character dies, or quotes that have a significant impact of a mystery? We can't put a block spoiler around it because it implies to the average reader that a major "memorable moment" consists of a death, marriage, or murder. I think you have a very good idea, and its concept is great in theory, but the execution would mean a major overhaul of the Character page. I'm all for providing the best possible facilitation for information, but, as I created the character page, I was not doing it with the heed of spoilers in mind. It seems that for every worthwhile idea that promotes the use of spoiler tags, there's always two problems that are presented by its execution, and I won't be adverse to finding compromises with them. Upon spoilering, for example, how would we go about "editing" the Final Appearance variable in the infobox? I think it is very useful and an informative piece of information, but merely spoilering it suggests that there was a final appearance, and leaving it open suggests the same thing. --Wizardryo 00:50, 6 Nov 2005 (EST)
        4. If you have just one big block, then someone who was OK to read a spoiler for Season 1 because it just finished airing could get a spoiler for Season 2 or later by accident. Take Veronica Mars, for example, where Season 1 has aired in Canada, but Season 2 won't until May. I think limited protection, split into Seasons is the best. I am willing to go through the Lost character pages and spoiler the Season 1 stuff for the UK people. But whatever the consensus is. --Stabbey 16:54, 5 Nov 2005 (EST)
    3. And another thing: First of all, I don't see why there is any need at all for parity between a completed show and a still-running show. Those are two different situations. And secondly, I don't think that a single huge spoiler block for Mulder is that good of an idea. How long will that be - when do the chunks of spoilers start? Season 2? 3? 4? 7? Certainly for the big spoilers tags may be appropriate, but I don't think that you need to tag everything that happens after Season 1 of X-Files in one huge chunk of text. Just break the show up into Basic information and Seasons, and tag the biggest spoilers in the seasons paragraphs. Just my thoughts... --Stabbey 10:15, 4 Nov 2005 (EST)
  6. I don't see why cancelled/ended shows should have spoiler tags, or even previous seasons of active shows. The example above of spoiling everything post-Season 1 in Mulder's bio is a bit ridiculous. In fairness, there's a difference between someone catching the latest episode of something and telling you about it the following day, and hearing about an episode of something that aired 4 years ago. I understand that people might only get into a show after it finishes, but if they're that concerned about spoilers, maybe they shouldn't be looking up character bios/episode synopses on the Internet. I think a safe bet is to keep current season stuff spoilered (to allow for the fact that, e.g., US shows don't generally get shown in say the UK for at least 6 months, and other countries can take even longer to air them), but anything older than current season is fair game. Just my €0.02. --IrlZaphod 08:46, 16 Nov 2005 (EST)

Rolling Spoiler-tags

  1. Perhaps some kind of rolling spoiler-tag system would be an interesting idea. I'm thinking that only the last two episodes of a currently-airing show will be put into spoiler tags, and as more episodes air, the previously-spoiled episodes will shift out and be free to view. Two episodes will give plenty of time for a viewer to catch up on their tivo recordings. Thoughts? --Stabbey 10:53, 6 June 2006 (EDT)
  2. I'm going to institute spoiler tags for just one the latest week's episode, for people who recorded the episode. Whenever I get around to updating Heroes character pages, I'll do the same thing, I guess. --Stabbey 15:46, 27 October 2006 (EDT)