The Truth About Spoiler Alerts

Published 11 months ago by , Updated April 2nd, 2014 at 9:12 am,

Spoiler Alert Discussion The Truth About Spoiler Alerts

[The following article represents the views of Kofi Outlaw. Not Screen Rant, its other writers, editors, owners or subsidiaries. All angry responses may be directed @ppnkof. Thank You - "Management"]

Today we live in a world where our options for consuming TV and Movies are as extensive as ever. We can do it the traditional way (catching things on live broadcast or when they first premiere in theaters) or we can save that experience for later – either in the near or not so near future – via DVRs, streaming services, digital downloads, and everything in between.

As is always the case, though, advancement in technology brings with it new challenges to our culture. With the advent of more personalized and customizable systems of media consumption, came a new and uncertain terrain of proper cultural etiquette, when it comes to the discourse about the TV shows and movies that capture widespread attention. No bigger evidence of that brave new cultural world exists than the term “SPOILERS.” Born of the digital era, the word exists for no other purpose besides regulating our discourse on TV and movies, in a world where one can never be sure what the next person has seen or not seen.

Memento Ending SPOILER The Truth About Spoiler Alerts

2000 SPOILER: He IS Sammy Jenkins!

However, like so many cultural practices of the new technological era, the issue of SPOILERS has veered somewhat off course, which is why I am here with some friendly course-correction: I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, ladies and gents, but not dropping SPOILERS – in public conversation, on the Internet, WHEREVER – is a courtesy that a person (or Website) chooses to give; it is not one of your unalienable rights or entitlements.

I’m honest enough to admit that I was once guilty of the exact thing I’m about to criticize: I thought that I was entitled to an existence in which the movies and TV shows I had not watched yet were never ruined by those who discussed plot details and twists without discretion. My hardline stance on the subject wasn’t just ideological: back in high school, I suffered the great trauma of having David Fincher’s Se7en – which has one of the biggest surprise twists in ’90s movies – SPOILED for me by a fellow JV soccer player with a chip on his shoulder. I know about the crushing disappointment of having something spoiled for you, and for years and years I called “SPOILERS!” on anyone in earshot who was about to (or just had) ruined something I wanted to watch for myself. And I didn’t feel bad for doing so.

The Sixth Sense SPOILERS Bruce Willis Dead The Truth About Spoiler Alerts

1999 SPOILER: Bruce Willis is dead the whole time!

The turning point came when, this past summer, I was confronted with a situation I could not justify. I was out in public, when a group of young men nearby began a conversation about Sons of Anarchy, which was about to return to the airwaves. The show was about to hit season 6, however seasons 4 & 5 were still sitting in my Netflix que, awaiting my attention. So there I was, ready to tell these young men – excited about the potential developments in the new season of their favorite show – that they couldn’t discuss said show because I had not caught up with it yet.

….And in that moment, as I was about to cry foul, it hit me: I was on the wrong side of this SPOILERS thing. I had no right to do anything but shut up and suffer my penance for not keeping up, or simply remove myself from earshot. The burden of censorship rested on me, the lazy viewer – not them, the dedicated viewers. I was using the word SPOILERS as a coercive tool – and so many others are doing the same, these days.

The closest comparison I can make is cell phones. If you can believe this, kids, there used to be a time when phone calls tended to be held in private – in a particular room or booth that was designated as space for the purpose of phone conversations. Then came the advent of mobile phones (cordless, then cellular, now “smart”) and suddenly it was as if technology had magically granted people new social entitlement: to talk as loud as they want, wherever they want, whenever they want. These days, with bluetooth headsets and such, they can actually talk as loud as they want, wherever they want, whenever they want, looking as crazy as they want  - and woe be to anyone who would try to object. If you’ve been to a movie theater in the last half decade, you’ve surely dealt with this issue.

Terminator SPOILERS Kyle Reese Sarah Connor The Truth About Spoiler Alerts

1984 SPOILER: The Savior was fathered by the same guy he sent back in time!

…Which brings us back to SPOILERS. Like cellphones, the new, singularly-occupied bubble technology now allots to each individual has fostered a belief in some (okay, many…) that life should move at the pace set within their personal bubble. This specious notion has progressed to a ridiculous point: You can’t talk in public without some random screaming “SPOILERS!” like you just spit in his/her face; want to discuss a big TV/movie event on your own personal social media page, with other interested parties? See how many complaints show up on YOUR PAGE from others chastising you for a SPOILER violation. Happen to write for a website or blog? If your headline about a major event in TV/Movies is anything but a vague and bland head-nod to the subject at hand, you might as well make your own effigy for the mob to burn. Nowadays, people treat their respective bubble-worlds like they are holy shrines to be worshipped, and TV shows/Movies don’t actually exist until they finally shine their divine light of attention upon them.

The reality of matter is that cinema (and even more so TV) were created to be communal experiences. Whether in a movie house, or via broadcasts airing simultaneously in millions of homes, we were meant to watch these stories unfold together (a practice now reserved solely for sporting events and awards shows, its seems). Subsequently, the various lanes of discourse that these screen stories engender were meant to be discussed together, often in specifically allotted frames of time. While people are indeed using the new options technology offers them to break from the traditional communal viewership pattern, it still currently remains the trend (by and large) that the discourse about what is viewed takes place in a more traditional, communal (and timely) fashion.

Soylent Green SPOILERS ending The Truth About Spoiler Alerts

1973 SPOILER: It’s Made of People!

In other words: when a movie is finally out, or a show finally airs, many people want to discuss what they saw immediately following the experience; they don’t want to wait a week until everyone on planet earth is caught up (a month, a year, depending on the viewer’s habits). There has been no “on demand” option created for the pop-culture zeitgeist; it moves when and how it moves, and if you follow your trending topics on social media, you know by now the pattern of just how quickly it does move – wholly independent of the habits, preferences and whims of a single individual. That fact alone makes any claim of anti-SPOILER rights not only invalid, but utterly delusional. Live in your bubble, watch things in your own time, fine, but the world outside of your world still moves according to its own rhythm and pace, and claiming that you have some kind of right or entitlement to be shielded from that reality is simply incorrect.

The worst part is that there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to SPOILER qualifications anymore; doesn’t matter if 10 million people are discussing Breaking Bad the morning after it ended – someone is crying SPOILER as if 10 million other people should whisper around them. Doesn’t matter if I’m discussing a movie that’s a couple months, a year, several years, or even several decades old – some nut is crying SPOILERS if I happen to mention what Dil (Jaye Davidson) is concealing under that bath robe in The Crying GameCatching up on The Wire or Lost a decade late? Whoops! Nobody better SPOIL them for you! Ten years let is never too late! You’re entitled! Except that…. you’re not. At all. Nobody owes you any secrets at this point.

Planet of the Apes Ending SPOILER The Truth About Spoiler Alerts

1968 SPOILER: It was Earth All Along!

Yet, everyday people censor themselves in conversation (verbal or web-based) about the pantheon of TV and movies – and some websites (like screenrant.com) even risk traffic and revenue to keep big SPOILERS safely hidden away from the casual observer – lest he/she opt to look for themselves. But let us all be clear: This practice is not done because of what is owed or what is required when it comes to the listener, the reader; it is done as a simple courtesy, because one person (or website team) is empathetic enough to know how bad it can be when the developments or surprises of a good show or film are SPOILED, and we want to preserve that experience for others, as hopefully it was preserved for us. It is a choice kindness – not a hardline duty.

This needs to be remembered, going forward, as we continue to revise our culture to suit the needs of a new era – and it’s only going to get messier, before it gets better. As more big movies open overseas before they do domestically (see: Marvel); as streaming and subscription services offer more alternatives to traditional broadcast television; as social media continues to help the cultural zeitgeist (and all the discourse that comes with it) develop and spread at a rapid pace, the issue of who knows what, when, and how much about a given show or movie is only going to get harder to separate.

Jack LOST series finale The Truth About Spoiler Alerts

2010 SPOILER: Oh, too soon?

….But before you’re so quick to call “SPOILERS!” from now on, maybe take a second for self-reflection, or maybe just fire up that Netflix que and catch up to the rest of us. I’m sure you’ll be happy when your two cents can finally be added to the discussion at hand.

[REMINDER: The following article represents the views of Kofi Outlaw. Not Screen Rant, its other writers, editors, owners or subsidiaries. All angry responses may be directed @ppnkof. Thank You - "Management"]

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TAGS: lost, planet of the apes, terminator salvation

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  1. I think SR should stop worrying about spoilers. Drop the spoiler warning right on the front of the website and right at the beginning of the podcast and then full speed ahead.

    Does anybody go out of their way to check out a comprehensive film review website before watching a movie and NOT expect to be spoiled? No. They might briefly check Rotten Tomatoes for a score, but SR’s articles are good and it is the main reason to look at the site IMO.

    Anybody listen to the Screen Rant podcast and turn it off at the spoiler warning? No. Take a voter pole and ask us how many listeners actually do that. So in essence all that dancing around the plot details in the first part of your podcast movie reviews is a waste of time.

    • We beg to differ. When you appeal to an audiences of millions, everything is true to some degree – including all the things you just claimed “nobody” does. Trust us, somebody does it all.

    • Agreed. I believe they should just give their opinion on the movie for like 2 minutes each, and dive right in to the spoilers.

      As far as posting spoilers in the titles of articles, that’s a dick move.

    • “Anybody listen to the Screen Rant podcast and turn it off at the spoiler warning? No.”

      Actually, I live in Belgium and movies here tend to get released a couple of weeks after their US release date (sometimes even months). This trend seems to be changing but for now it’s still mostly the case.

      I listen to the SR podcasts the day they become available so the SR people always discuss a lot of movies yet to be released where I live. So yes, I do stop the podcast every single time they are about to hit spoilers, and get back to it after I have seen the movie.

      So I do appreciate the spoiler warning, as I do on all movie podcasts I listen to. Maybe it’s a foreigner thing I don’t know ;)

    • I am one of those people who sometimes turn off the Screen Rant podcast when it gets to spoilers – most recently, for the recent Thor episode. I didn’t get a chance to see the movie until a couple weeks after its release, so I waited to listen to the staff’s spoiler section & opinions. I enjoy listening to their take on these things but don’t want to be heavily influenced before forming my own, so sometimes I wait.

      And as for the further discussion on spoiling, I think Kofi is right in that there is a courtesy involved and there’s no right. I’m one of those who is only now viewing The Wire, but I don’t expect anyone to keep from speaking about it around me if they so desire. And honestly, when it comes to current shows, if you don’t want to be spoiled you have options – watch live, or avoid going on social media to keep unwanted comments from filling your timeline. You can’t hold anyone else to your viewing schedule, so don’t try.

    • Actually I do stop the podcast the moment the spoiler section begins and if i haven’t seen the movie yet, so yeah, jokes on you and your assumption.

      (I also wouldnt want to miss the Falcon scream)

      I wasn’t planning on watching World War Z, but after Ive listened to the none spoiler section of the podcast, i hit pause, went out, watched the movie, came back and listened to the rest of it. Cause the Review made me want to watch it and often do other reviews. I don’t just look at the star rating, this kind of behavior would have prevented me from watching Man of Steel in the first couple of weeks. (was it 56% on rotten?) I read reviews and not every review should include spoilers, that’s why i love SR, with their double posts.

      I generally agree with Kofi’s article, the only group of people you can still be allowed to be angry with for spoiling stuff is friends and family, if you they haven’t given you enough time to watch the stuff (friend of mine spoilered watchmen on the way to the theatre the day of the release)
      But after all it’s your personal responsibility to avoid spoilers, everyone is old enough to figure out what to avoid and who to talk to if this kind of danger is present.

    • “Does anybody go out of their way to check out a comprehensive film review website before watching a movie and NOT expect to be spoiled? No. Anybody listen to the Screen Rant podcast and turn it off at the spoiler warning? No. ”

      Absolutely wrong. I have many film nerd friends and family. Like hardcore film nerds… they go to reviews knowing a film won’t be spoiled, and knowing that a spoiler will be clearly labeled. They also listen to film podcasts, and always skip the spoiler sections until after they’ve seen the movie.

      There are millions of people far outside my personal circle who do the same thing. I am very unclear why you think your very-minority viewpoint applies to everyone else. If I had your opinion about spoilers, I would still realize it’s not true for the wide majority.

    • I’m an avid fan of this site and their podcast and depending on the movie, I shut off the podcast at the spoiler warning. Obviously, if I’ve seen the movie, I continue to listen. But as a family man, I can’t always get to the theater during opening weekend. I listen up to the spoiler warning and then I shut it down. I will revisit the episode once I’ve seen the film…which I did this week with the Wolverine.

      Or if it is a film that I don’t plan on watching, I listen all the way through.

  2. I feel like now you can choose to be spoiled or not. I, myself, have chosen many times to stay away from movie sites and articles talking about certain movies I dont want to be spoiled and its worked. We are now such a curious generation that we want to know everythign and anything going on but then get upset because now we know the plot twist. I remember back in the day, Fight Club was spoiled for me but to this day it is still one of my favorite movies and book. Its an intersting thing when we complain about knowing too much and then movie like Iron Man 3 comes out and throws us all for a loop and so many people got angry. Its like they got upset that they were fooled. I agree with this article. If you dont wanna know, stop asking questions.

  3. I think the biggest relevation of all is finding out that Kofi played JV soccer. Mind blown! :)

  4. You are absolutely right. Trying not to spoil things for others is not a rule or based on any kind of entitlement, it is indeed a simple courtesy.

    BUT, if someone is discourteous (synonyms: rude, ill-mannered, impolite, inconsiderate etc.), it’s perfectly fine to think that he’s a dick, because people certainly are entitled to their opinion about this kind of behavior. I’m glad you brought up the example of the bluetoothed loudmouths, because they fall indeed into the same category. Are they required to talk a little softer and to show some consideration and manners towards other people who might feel disturbed by him yelling up the place with the shopping list? No, they are not. But they certainly have to expect that people judge them based on their dickish behavior. If they act like dbag they will certainly be called out on that at some point. That comes with the territory.

    • @theLostWinnchester – I was going to post about those who are discourteous regarding spoilers. You know, like someone who posts Iron Man 3 spoilers before the US release on an article that has nothing to do with Iron Man and I get an e-mail notification because I had commented on that thread. “Those people” get the full wrath of the Professor and have a blog created just for them…I give you, the troll blog:

      http://www.thepointv2.blogspot.com/2013/04/fah-q-troll.html

      • I want Kofi to read my link so I can say “Simpsons did it.” ;)

  5. Let me just reiterate here that, to me, the ridiculous thing about the ScreenRant article and comments that likely prompted this article (the recent Family Guy article) was not that the article’s title was arguably a spoiler, which is what got some folks up in arms, but the sheer idiocy of then putting spoiler warning text at the top of the body of the article, the content of which spoiled nothing.

    It’s like titling an article “Will Any Planet of the Apes Sequels Explain How Apes Conquered The Earth,” putting a spoiler warning at the top of the article itself, and then having the article talk only about Charlton Heston anecdotes from shooting early scenes in the movie.

    If you’re going to be concerned about an article spoiling something, don’t put a spoiler in the title. If you’re not concerned, then make the title whatever you want and don’t bother putting a spoiler warning in the body.

    • @Ethan Richards

      Wow, You still don’t understand that the spoiler warning wasn’t for Brian’s DEATH – but rather about the details of His RETURN, which was the focus of the article.

      Really thought you would’ve figured that out by now…

  6. An interesting article about spoilers from a couple of years ago:

    http://pages.ucsd.edu/~nchristenfeld/Publications_files/Spoilers.pdf

    On a personal note, I’ve NEVER felt that any info “spoiled” or detracted my enjoyment of anything I’ve ever watched. Maybe that’s just me…

    • NO, that’s not only you, but there are PLENTY of people who feel the opposite.

  7. Well, I kind of agree except that spoiling stuff still makes you the Scumbag Steve (not the other way around in which you are automatically a Good Guy Greg for not spoiling). I am not required to do a lot of things that I don’t do because I am sympathetic. As for the “RISK” of loosing viewers because you don’t spoil. How many readers from all around the world do you think you would loose if you stopped letting us know that the following link is going to spoil movies which are two or in some cases three (We haven’t gotten the Riddick movie where I live yet!!) months late. In a ridiculous but a perfect example, imagine that 5 of my friends and I want to party really bad mid week until dawn we got the permits and everything, why should we censor ourselves because just you, my only neighbor, have to be up early in the morning. We are not required to stop, we are the majority does that make you the bad one because we are having to censor ourselves for you? Is it so wrong of you to expect that we try and keep it quiet. That compromise and tolerance is what allows is to live in society otherwise most large cities would be a boiling pots ready for the most insignificant perceived slight to go BOOMBOOM!

    • No one wants loose viewers. We should all try to be tight and toned.

      • Lol, I just laughed my ass off… :D

    • To be fair, Kofi is a New Yorker, so he doesn’t know much about courtesy. :D

      Just kidding, Kofi, don’t get mad. ;)

  8. I think it’s the asynchronous methods of mass communication where this is the biggest issue. Two people talking in a hallway and you walk up and eavesdrop – I see no way to call “Spoilers!” on that one. That’s on you.

    But, when you are broadcasting, that’s a little different. Facebook, Twitter, any one-to-many communication channel (heck, even a bullhorn in the middle of the town square), and I think it’s not an entitlement, but more than just a courtesy too. In those situations, it isn’t a conversation, but we pretend it is. You want a conversation? Message the people you know watched it: call them, text them, DM them on Twitter, send a PM on Facebook. You can have great convos in a more private space. Again, I am not saying that anyone is entitled to a spoiler-free life; I *am* saying that the internet is not a private place, it is not *your* space, not even your Facebook page.

    I remember when there were all the rumors after the last Harry Potter book came out of people reading the last pages and then yelling out the ending to all the people still waiting in line to buy the book. One can certainly argue that crossed a line (assuming it really happened, of course). That’s not communal experience either. Oh, and I know this is a movie/TV site, but this issue is also huge in the reading world.

    • Whoa….

      You mean if I publish something on my Facebook page and a friend reads it (by going to my Facebook page) he has the ‘right’ to complain?

      It is my space. My space to put my views, ideas, loves, laughs etc. It is up to you to decide if you want to read it.

      It is not private. However you have the ability not to read it. Just because I say the world is flat and the sky is green does not mean you have to believe it. You have the ability to not believe. Just as you have the ability not to read/see/hear something you do not want to.

      When you broadcast something you are only broadcasting it to the people that want to hear it. Song on the radio you dont like? Change it. TV show you dont like? Change it. Article on a website you dont like? dont read it. Post on a Facebook page? Dont read it.

      It is actually quite simple.

      If you went over a persons house and everytime you went there they popped you in the face for no reason would you continue to go?

      I remember when a person made a choice to do something now it seems people think it is up to others to make sure they conform to the whatever a person may want.

      Its like putting a label on a hair dryer to not use in the tub. Really? You needed someone to tell you that?

      • I am saying that your Facebook page is not private space. And, your friend does not have the ability to not read your post unless your friend does not look at *their own* Facebook newsfeed because it is right there. That’s how Facebook works.

        The internet is not private space. If you have a Facebook page with no friends, no search, and all posts show to only you, ok, maybe I could be persuaded that is more private, but otherwise, no. It is not private space. It is the equivalent of you getting together with every single one of your “friends” and their “friends” and shouting through a bullhorn. And then your friends and their friends start a whisper/rumor campaign (likes, comments, etc.) which go all over town.

        • Well that’s only if my friends have it set up that way correct? (not that big into FB)

          They have made the choice that they want to see my ramblings anytime I ramble. I mean if I say YES WON! cause they are my team and you were a fan of the other team but didnt want to see the game yet (or couldnt) why is it my fault you wanted to see my postings? Why is it ESPNs fault you visited their site? Why is it (local TV station) is at fault when you didnt change the channel when sports came on?

          You have a choice to view things. These are what I call wants not needs. You do not need to go to a movie site to read about movies. You do not need facebook etc.

          If you know there is a chance why do it?

          Although I am a hog when it comes to spoilers as they do not bother me. As long as the are not very descriptive. As I said in another post Brian Dies (imo) is not a spoiler. It did not ruin the show. There was a lot more going on then just his death that made the show enjoyable.

          • On FB, your friends would have to have actively done something to prevent your posts from showing up to miss it. Otherwise they would automatically see it.

            Now that I understand where all this is coming from, my own view is that I don’t care about spoilers, never have and never will. I’m the type to read the end of a book first and then start from the beginning. I’ll usually read everything I can about a movie I want to see before seeing it. (And for LOST, I had it pretty much figured out early in Season 3 and stopped watching it because it was then no longer interesting.) Adding a major plot twist/point to a title is not cool, imo. But, I am indifferent to having spoilers in the article itself. Truth be told, I expect spoilers from SR and have learned the ending to many movies I will never see here.

            When I have made a choice to wait on something and I don’t want to know, I do a full media black out, no radio, no internet, no phone, nothing until I have seen it. That happened a couple times during the last Olympics.

            That said, in the book world (where I am far more heavily involved), most places I frequent have a spoiler free zone and a spoiler zone from the first moment the book becomes available until 3 months later.

  9. All I can say, in the end… it all comes back to the reader of the article.
    Well, I admit, there are writers who are not wise enough by putting the ‘spoilerific’ info on the headline, but most of the case… it’s up to us reader to decided whether to read it or not. It’s simply a matter of self-restrain.

    For movies or shows I prefer to be surprised, I stayed away from any news talking about it (with or without spoilers) until after I’ve seen it. For movies I will unlikely watch on the other hand, I didn’t hesitate a bit, cause sometimes that spoiler had a tendency to up my interest.

    So yeah, I don’t think anyone should always blame movie sites for posting spoiler, they also need to blame themselves for not being able to resist reading one. As long as a “SPOILER ALERT” button is available, I have no complaint about an article that posted one.

  10. big up Kofi….you can’t expect everybody to be on your timeline, give them the courtesy, it’s up to them to choose to read/listen if they want.

  11. Basically SR, just keep doing what you’re doing with the exception of spoiling things in the titles of your articles so we can keep coming to your site and choose what to read or not read.

  12. Way back before cable, computers, cell phones or anything I can remember when this one kid came to school after seeing the Empire Strikes Back the fist day it came and guess what ? He happily reported to everyone that Darth Vader was Luke’s father (sorry if this is a spoiler for anyone). It was not something that was taken too well, but that guy was a jerk in general so it was just in his nature.

    At this point though a person has to know that if they cannot stop themselves from going online when trying to avoid information about a television show or film, particularly sites that cater to those subjects, then they can’t complain if they are exposed to information they might be trying to avoid.

    And how major is the whole spoiler thing anyway? There are really only a few times when something is really comes off a super clever surprise, and really how much is something spoiled if someone has not actually experienced it? Someone can say what something was like and even if great detail is given it is not the same as seeing or hearing it for oneself.

  13. This is why I avoid all reviews for Arrow, AHS, Homeland etc on this site until I’ve seen them myself because we get Arrow the Monday after the US, Homeland airs 7 days after the US and AHS is around 23 days behind America.

    Sometimes, my own curiosity has gotten the best of me (Cloverfield for example, I read the Wiki page to find out what the creature was because I couldn’t wait the 7 days until UK release to find out for myself).

    I also had a high school friend spoil every detail of The Matrix to me in 1999 and I didn’t get to see the movie myself until 2002. I’ve also known the spoilers for a lot of movies like Se7en and The Sixth Sense years (or decades in some cases) before I got to see the movie myself. Didn’t ruin the movie for me at all.

    Someone spoiled the Mandarin twist before IM3 released and seeing it on screen myself didn’t ruin it, I still enjoyed the movie and loved the plot twist immensely, despite knowing in advance.

    It’s a hard line to tread but in this day and age with information easy to find and people willingly spoiling things for others on purpose or accidentally, it’s up to individuals to take themselves away from a conversation to avoid spoilers.

  14. Right.. like spoiling the cliffhanger with the Governor returning in The Walking dead.. RIGHT after it aired. That literally ruined the episode for me.

    Wanna know why? You idiots posted his picture and said “what did you think the Governor’s return??”

    Where as you could have easily posted a pic of the walking dead… and said.. “What did you think about the surprise cliffhanger in this week’s episode?”.

    That way people like me that follow you on facebook… won’t be spoiled just because we are scrolling our news feed.

    Common courtesy. No other movie website does this.

    • We knew he was coming back at some point. I’m not really sure how that was a spoiler.

  15. When I noted the title of this article I just knew it had to be Mr Outlaw who in recent discussions on this fine site was obviously becoming more eye twitching with each passing “OMG! How could you?” comment. Quite rightly to. Really though, in each case is should simply appeal to the discretion of the individual. It is hard sometimes to not get the feeling that despite repeated warnings of potential spoilers, people then read said spoiler and THEN proceed to rant about it.

    In circumstances of the real world, I managed to avoid spoilers of ‘The Last of Us’ by informing friends and family that I had not played it and by respectfully asking them to be careful when referencing it. I also avoided articles/reviews/discussions online. It worked. Conversely, when I used to be on Twitter I would also do all I could to talk about something without spoiling it out of respect I had many followers from places the movie had not played in. Indeed, for three months I asked if it was okay to talk about who the villain actually was in ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’.

    Screen Rant is an American website. It caters primarily from an American perspective, meaning it would (correctly) assume its readership is primarily American. So when it drops spoilers about content already shown in America and has proven to be quite popular in America, it would assume its core audience, visiting as they are a movie/TV website, would’ve seen it. I have absolutely no problem with this at all. I live in Scotland and regularly have to wait to catch up with the American audience. So I keep this perspective. Nine times out of ten, if something gets spoiled for me, it tends to have been my fault and I absolutely do not expect a successful, American primed website to cater solely to myself.

    • I have the same chats with my friends, it goes along the lines of “Spoil The Last of Us and die painfully” (Before anyone tries I’ve finished the game now so yeah there’s not much point)

  16. Ahh! Lost! I watched the first (4?) seasons and have no idea what that spoiler image means? Did Jack dream the whole thing? Was it some kind of head injury hallucination? What’s with the dog? So many questions.

    • The island was a sort of purgatory and they were all dead.

      The Life On Mars sequel show Ashes To Ashes did it much better anyway.

      • Like ‘Silent Hill 2′, the dog was behind it all. He imagined everything. Jack fades out, camera pulls back and the dog is in an ordinary field wearing glasses, holding a pen and next to a notebook.

        That dog went on to write every J.J. Abrams movie since.

      • you must not have watched it was not purgatory!!

        • I saw the first 5 episodes of season 1, thought it was crap then saw the last 10 minutes of the finale when it was online and read comments stating it was. I dunno, don’t really care about Lost anyway so not too bothered if I was wrong or not, that was just the impression that seemed the most believable out of all the explanations that came from fans and cast members.

      • Wait what? I thought everything on the Island was stated as real it was a special/important time for them all…. they were not dead until the end.

        Some died sooner some very late. The sideway flashes were purgatory. You know the one like where Sawyer was a cop.

        The island was very real….. just never logically explained.

  17. Just adding my voice to the readers who absolutely hate spoilers and love spoiler alerts.

    There can be no polarity on this issue for me. I unsubscribed to The Wrap because they spoiled too many shows with their headlines, etc. Don’t know if they’ve gotten better. Don’t care. I’m gone for good.

  18. Queue. It’s written Netflix queue, from the french word “queue” (which literally means “tail”).

  19. I really appreciate the spoiler warning and find it pretty easy to avoid spoilers in general. I find most people are asking for it by being on a thread where it’s bound to happen. Some moron was pretty maliciously spoiling iron man 3 earlier this year on this website however

  20. Yes, it is a courtesy, but who wants to read a site that is discourteous? If you have an audience that you want to draw in and keep, then you should be courteous. Spoiler warnings are a good example of that. If you are courteous in the past and then turn around and be discourteous, then you will upset people, and they will complain.

    If a site is known for posting spoilers all the time and I go and complain about them, then I’m probably a jerk, but if some site/person changes their behaviour and suddenly starts spoiling things, then guess who’s probably the jerk then?

    We can’t all be entitled to live spoiler free, but if a web site we like starts behaving in a way we don’t like, we almost have a duty to let them know. That way they can judge their behaviour and determine if they want to adjust it or not.

  21. Some people on this site post a spoiler for movie A in a comment section of an article about movie B. That s*** is messed-up.

  22. Screen Rant is an American website. It caters primarily from an American perspective, meaning it would (correctly) assume its readership is primarily American. So when it drops spoilers about content already shown in America and has proven to be quite popular in America, it would assume its core audience, visiting as they are a movie/TV website, would’ve seen it. I have absolutely no problem with this at all. I live in Scotland and regularly have to wait to catch up with the American audience. So I keep this perspective. Nine times out of ten, if something gets spoiled for me, it tends to have been my fault and I absolutely do not expect a successful, American primed website to cater solely to myself.

  23. i guess based on kofi’s rant [see what i did there?] i should be perfectly justified to loudly discuss the ending of the movie i just saw in front of the people in line waiting to see it, cause, well, they should have gotten there earlier.

    i wouldn’t actually do that of course. i had IM3 spoiled by a troll in the non-spoiler comments. i think the polite thing is wait a couple of weeks for movies, and a few days for tv shows, due to so many things on at the same time and getting to the dvr to watch it. i try to ask people if they have seen something before i discuss it. sometimes i forget. thats how i roll.

  24. Terminator was released in 1984? I was six. I have horrible parents.

  25. Totally agreed…. It’s a courtesy. Whoever says the opposite is just headstrong.

  26. Haha, Kofi you still haven’t learned the difference between day, month, year? So your argument for spoiling something in a headline that is a day old would be to counter with should you wait 14 years? Oh you are too much man. Not only do you get defensive about constructive comments on your articles but now you discuss/rant about how annoying your readers are.

    Judging be the top of the article maybe one of your colleagues disagrees with your self imposed 24 hour spoiler law also.

    A real LOL.

  27. I’m in agreement. We live in a time we can choose to be spoiled or not. I want to be spoiled, at least a little, becuase I come to a site like Screen Rant to learn more about the movies and shows I love. If I didn’t want to know anything until I’d seen the movie or show, I would wait.

    That being said, I’ll always ask if someone I’m speaking to has seen a film or show before talking about it, becuase I think it’s the decent thing to do.

    • I concur. I have no problem being told or reading about a movie spoiler and if I dont want to I wouldnt read an article based on that subject.

      To me in order to spoil something you would ahve to ruin my expierence seeing/reading/hearing it.

      Darth is Lukes father (for example)….is not the whole movie. He is Sonny is not the whole movie. It is the expierence leading up to and AFTER that reveal that is the whole movie.

      As for being decent I also concur. I have a coworker and a lot of our conversations veer towards movies and TV. Niether of us care about spoilers and we have told each other time and time this… yet we always ask each other… :D

  28. I think for something thats been out for say 6 months+ it’s fair comment, nobody should expect others to shut up just because they’re well behind. However, for shows/movies/books/games etc that have recently, or are soon to be, released it’s a different matter.

  29. my sole gripe is with the scoundrels that, as others have stated, release spoiler info on a topic board for example that has nothing to do with the topic. specifically with a program that has yet to be released to the public. like, I’m fine following the walking dead week to week, and be left to guess. sure don’t need some tool running some death spoiler on a board concerning Hershel and tyreese discussing morality and farming, because the tool is a part of a legions of viewers obsessed and paranoid over any potential deaths, and feels the need to run the spoiler out of spite when its discovered their favorite characters going to fall.