Spoiler tag? February 24, 2009 3:23 PM   Subscribe

Pony: A spoiler tag.

Once again, there's a game thread where strategy spoilers are being made with impunity. That's fine and all, and I could easily just remove the thread from activity and/or scroll past what looks like a game tip in order to read other types of commentary.

However, it got me thinking that a spoiler tag (text appears blacked out; but becomes visible by hovering the cursor over it) would also not only work, but could have applications in other areas - discussions on movies, television shows, books and so on.

Just a thought, no big whoop.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing to Feature Requests at 3:23 PM (37 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

We've talked about this before a little. Since MeFi isn't really for, primarily, discussion of things with likely spoilers, we think this would be added functionality/confusion for something that doesn't come up much. Meaning that even if it were available, some people would still not use it and yet it would give the false sense of security that people would be protected fmor spoilers generally.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:26 PM on February 24, 2009


Just because a tag exists doesn't mean people will use it. I mean how many people do you see denoting emphasis with CAPITALS instead of ITALICS or BOLD?

Also: what JESSAMYN said.
posted by Plutor at 3:32 PM on February 24, 2009


Fair enough.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:33 PM on February 24, 2009


Also, the definition of spoilers is pretty broad - what constitutes spoilers for one person might not be the same for anyone else.

For example, I was avoiding spoilers for the Oscars on Monday afternoon - since with the time delay I was at work when they were on. I came to MetaFilter to avoid the news, only to be spoiled for ALL the big winners by the link in one post: Once again, Stephen Colbert predicted the winners in all of major Academy Award categories.
posted by crossoverman at 3:37 PM on February 24, 2009


Clearly, <spoiler>                          </spoiler>
posted by Electric Dragon at 3:40 PM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, the definition of spoilers is pretty broad - what constitutes spoilers for one person might not be the same for anyone else.

This is what the tag is for: the text appears blacked out - so you know there are spoilers under it. You can choose to leave it alone, or choose to hover it with your cursor to read it.

Anyway, I'm not married to the idea. Just throwing it out there.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:43 PM on February 24, 2009


I would use the tag to keep from revealing the surprising powers of my magic penis until folks were sure they were ready to deal with them (hint: in involves rainbows).
posted by klangklangston at 3:51 PM on February 24, 2009


I'd be for the spoiler tag. I mean, I can see uses for it and it isn't like we don't already have some useless tags, you know?
posted by flatluigi at 3:59 PM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would use this. Given the kind of harsh mob mentality around here towards doing things properly, I imagine it'd be picked up by the majority of MeFites pretty quickly, especially since its specified use would make it common in the threads where it was applicable, and thus quick to eb adapted as a convention.

Alternatively, we could just use the blink tag for this purpose, secure in the knowledge that there is not yet any method for murdering another person over broadband.

Snape kills Trinity with Rosebud
posted by Navelgazer at 4:15 PM on February 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Or people could just be really annoying and use lots of small tags.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:28 PM on February 24, 2009


I'm in the "no, no, a thousand times no" camp on this one.

Metafilter has always been a Proceed With Caution kind of place as far as spoilers go, which I think works pretty well—in a thread about a game, people are likely to talk about the game, in a thread about a film or a book or a genre, people are likely to talk about potentially spoileriffic stuff, and so it goes. Caveat Mefior, etc.

In the rare case of someone unexpectedly committing a big spoiler (and here I'm thinking mostly of big, current spoils above the fold in AskMe or someone unthinkingly—or thinkingly—throwing a spoiler into a post on the blue), people usually flag and let us know pretty quick and we make a quick call depending on the situation.

I also deeply dislike the idea of creating an implicit additional ruleset for what does or does not qualify as a spoiler and inviting extra crosstalk and drama on that front. Leaving it at a combination of "be wary" and "don't be a dick" is a lot less hassle.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:33 PM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why not encourage use of the abbr tag? hover for spoilers
posted by desjardins at 4:36 PM on February 24, 2009 [10 favorites]


I admit it's more or less because I love solving games on my own, and plenty of games get posted here. I'll leave a comment in the thread like "Oh hey, thanks for posting this", the thread stays in Recent Activity, and then next thing I know someone has posted, "I was frustrated until I figured out that all you need to do is kick the dragon in the teeth and then pull down the janitor's pants, which makes the key fall from the cieling." And then I curse myself for not removing the thread immediately after posting my comment.

I imagine it has applications in movies and television discussions as well, for those who'd use it. You could talk about endings with wild abandon and without worrying that you've ruined an ending for someone. I know I'd use it, anyway.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:38 PM on February 24, 2009


So that's a "thousand times no" from cortex.

But your eyes say "yes".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:40 PM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually my eyes say "HOLY SHIT, TALKING EYEBALLS!"
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:52 PM on February 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


Also, good idea, desjardins.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:53 PM on February 24, 2009


All I know is that I had the text of this question entirely on the front page (that is, I didn't use [more inside]), and someone called it a spoiler. Methinks there is a wide range of opinion as to what constitutes spoiling.
posted by niles at 5:06 PM on February 24, 2009


Apparently I spoiled Slumdog Millionaire for UbuRoivas, and I only get to revel in my glee over over it because I am not guiltily feeling the sting of a negative community sanction. Hee hee hee, revelry, whee!

Fuck that guy's film enjoyment, I see all of them, first, eyelids pinned open. Bitter grad student is bitter!! Who wants to have something spoiled? Wendy and Lucy? A hurricane kills the dog. Doubt? Streep is gay too. Rachel Getting Married? Rachel was never molested. Vicky Cristina Barcelona? Bardem's a time traveller.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:06 PM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, the definition of spoilers is pretty broad - what constitutes spoilers for one person might not be the same for anyone else.

I'm watching I, Claudius right now, and I just spoiled part of it with a history book. Seriously, I'm mildly annoyed to have learned in advance that (SPOILER!!1!) Claudius became emperor after Caligula. Damn facts.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:09 PM on February 24, 2009


REAL spoiler: nyy gubfr fcbvyref ner gbgnyyl snxr, fhpxre.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:21 PM on February 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am fully in favor of AV spoiling Wendy and Lucy for anyone and everyone, but that is only because (director) Kelly Reichardt is an appallingly horrible human being.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:32 PM on February 24, 2009


I like the <abbr /> solution, but came in here to suggest what AV tromped out in just now; ROT13. Awesoma powa!
posted by carsonb at 5:33 PM on February 24, 2009


You know, the wizard? Midget with a loudhailer.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:35 PM on February 24, 2009


Wow, now I only have to find out the plots to those movies for the spoilers to make sense.
posted by dead cousin ted at 5:51 PM on February 24, 2009


Hm, having read the plot of Vicky Cristina Barcelona, it would have been better if Bardem really was a time traveler.
posted by dead cousin ted at 6:30 PM on February 24, 2009


I spoiled Slumdog Millionaire for UbuRoivas, and I only get to revel in my glee over over it because I am not guiltily feeling the sting of a negative community sanction.

Link, plz.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:50 PM on February 24, 2009


spoiler
posted by Rhomboid at 2:30 AM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking mostly of big, current spoils above the fold in AskMe or someone unthinkingly—or thinkingly—throwing a spoiler into a post on the blue

That's thinkiness there.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:40 AM on February 25, 2009


ROT13 is bad for a spoiler tag because it's hard(er than simply hovering) to unROT. If only rot13.com did links.

Abbr is a good idea
posted by DU at 5:55 AM on February 25, 2009


omg, I had a good idea!

Also, binary: 01110100011010000110010101110010011001010010000001101001011100110010000001100001001000000110001101100001011000100110000101101100
posted by desjardins at 7:19 AM on February 25, 2009


Ooh, how about rot13 combined with the abbr tag? It's undecipherablicious!
posted by quin at 7:57 AM on February 25, 2009


FWIW, jayisgames has a nice spoiler tag implementation -- some examples. I like this because it's obvious that there is a hidden spoiler; the "blank it out" and "abbr" suggestions above are a little like mystery meat navigation.

(And rot13? Oh hell no I'm not going back to 1992.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:02 AM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like the idea of spoiler tags, but all it will do in practice is result in more MeTas and off-topic comments.

WHY DIDN'T YOU USE THE SPOILER TAG?

I go into game/movie threads on Metafilter expecting to see spoilers. I encourage others to adopt a similar philosophy.
posted by graventy at 8:09 AM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you haven't watched all of "The Wire" yet, then this anecdote contains a spoiler.

I was living in Baltimore and behind on watching Season 5 and walked into a store where they sold shirts reading, "I killed Omar."
posted by Airhen at 8:18 AM on February 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like the idea of spoiler tags, but all it will do in practice is result in more MeTas and off-topic comments.

WHY DIDN'T YOU USE THE SPOILER TAG?

I go into game/movie threads on Metafilter expecting to see spoilers. I encourage others to adopt a similar philosophy.


Well yes, there are two sides to every coin. Having a spoiler tag available is more of a tool for people to use who want to discuss endings/game strategies with those who've gotten there, while at the same time keeping them hidden from those who haven't. But if someone didn't use it, I still think it would be stupid to yell at them for not using it. Courtesy is a two-way street, after all. Be cool enough to use it, and be cool enough not to pitch a fit if you find out Bruce Willis was a ghost the whole time.

Spoilers in game threads I'll never understand, though. I mean why tell others how to beat the game? So you can ruin the fun of discovery for everyone else by showing off how fast your razor-sharp logic was able to beat it? On the other hand, there are numerous game cheats sites out there, so maybe some people just like being told how to clear a game, and then doing it that way.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:51 AM on February 25, 2009


MStPT, your request will be taken with more weight if you take the pledge next time.[.pdf]
posted by not_on_display at 9:47 AM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's a pledge? What's next, the secret handshake?

Also, I'm satisfied with the <> tag being a nice solution.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:51 AM on February 25, 2009


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