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New subsite beta (alpha?): FanFare
April 16, 2014 10:26 AM   Subscribe

On the heels of the previous MeFiTV thread as well as internal discussions about how we could someday do a site around entertainment in general, we're ready to open up a small beta test of what discussions around episodic TV might look like at FanFare.

We are launching it while discussing just two TV shows, season 7 of Mad Men and season 4 of Game of Thrones. There are three posts up for the episodes that have been shown so far. This site is very much in beta and will be from now until the end of June, when the last Game of Thrones episode airs. After that time, we'll figure out what worked and what didn't work, make adjustments and likely roll it out to cover any episode of previous and future TV shows.

If this works well with TV, we’re also looking to expand the site to other major entertainment media like film, books, video games, and so on. That’s long-term stuff, though; for now we want to focus on this smaller scope while we work out the functionality of the site and let folks participate and provide feedback.

There are a few big topics we'd like to hammer out:

- Spoilers: we ask that no spoilers show up on the front page of the site, save it for the more inside area below the fold and inside threads made to talk about episodes. Within threads about an episode, feel free to discuss anything that took place in that episode or in previous episodes, and we only ask that you don't make references to spoilers from future episodes nor from books or comics the work was based on. It should be reasonably safe to read the front page of the site if you haven't caught up on a show because you will see mostly just show titles, and if you wade into a thread, caveat emptor, as people will certainly discuss what happened in that episode.

- Live blogging shows: The threads are for discussions about a show, post-episode airing. For this test, we'll just have 16 threads in total (6MM/10GoT) and the first one won't go up until after it is done airing in Pacific Time. There's no support for live blogging something on the site itself, but you can use Chat and we are considering dedicated rooms in Chat for specific shows and/or events.

- Why just the current GoT and Mad Men? Why not previous seasons of both? Why not everything?: These are two of the most popular shows that a great number of MeFi users watch and like to discuss. The way both shows are conducting their seasons currently, from early April through late June works well within the confines of a limited beta test we can use to feel out the idea and see what tweaks need to be made after. We hope by the end of the run, we'll be set up to allow for more seasons of these shows and more shows in general.

- Who can post? At the moment, only mods can get to the posting form, but by the end of this upcoming weekend, we'll allow for posting by members that will be approved by a mod, going live after the show has aired. After the beta, this will be open to any and all and go up instantly, so if you really want to talk about Golden Girls season 5, episode 6 "Rose Fights Back", you can.

- What about x, y, and z? We're starting small because it's easier to manage and easier to build upon. We hope this is a tiny slice of a larger site about more things related to entertainment, but to start it's for discussion of episodes of a couple recent, popular shows for the next couple months.

Thanks for trying it out and giving it a whirl, feel free to ask questions here and we'll do our best to answer them (and keep in mind a lot of answers might be "we don't know yet" since the test has just launched and we may need to see how people use it and what more they want out of it).
posted by mathowie to Feature Requests at 10:26 AM (1316 comments total) 93 users marked this as a favorite

Yaaaaaay!
posted by Rock Steady at 10:38 AM on April 16


Holy. Cow.

....I'm not currently watching either of the test series, but I don't care about spoilers and so will go poke around and see what's what.
posted by rtha at 10:39 AM on April 16 [4 favorites]


Wow cool.

Question: What will the organization look like? Will there be an index where we can click a show and see a list of the episode threads in order? Or will we have to get better at tagging?
posted by Think_Long at 10:41 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I just want to be clear about spoilers because it seemed confusing:

- No spoilers on the front page
- Spoilers allowed in [more inside]
- But no spoilers from other media (eg BookGOT/TVGot)?

You guys are going to have a hell of a time moderating this very cool idea, if the third thing is true.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:43 AM on April 16


What will the organization look like?

Take a look at the Archives page for a sense of how it's organized. It's organized by show, season, and episode. This alpha test has exactly two shows. If/when we expand to more shows we might need other ways of organizing things. Right now we're focused on this limited test.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:44 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!
posted by anastasiav at 10:45 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Will there be an index where we can click a show and see a list of the episode threads in order?

That's the plan, yeah. We're still doing plenty of implementation work behind the scenes on stuff that wasn't strictly necessary to get the first few threads up, but metadata to work with the existing predictable structure of shows/seasons/episodes is part of the idea so that it doesn't have to all be duct tape and hopeful wishes organizationally.

- But no spoilers from other media (eg BookGOT/TVGot)?

Basically. Or, rather, be thoughtful and be cool about such stuff. Folks do a pretty good job of this already in mega threads on the blue; we deal with the occasional furrowed brow over a "well but is that technically known to non-readers yet?" stuff but it's been a pretty sparing issue, and that's in threads where there's not really as much of a mission-specific thing going on even.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:45 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Fantastic. Thank you!
posted by something something at 10:46 AM on April 16


Yeaaahhhhhh

Especially excited because the only things being discussed are the two shows I'm currently following closely.
posted by Sara C. at 10:46 AM on April 16


You guys are going to have a hell of a time moderating this very cool idea, if the third thing is true.

We are expecting people to generally not act like jerks. It mostly works this way in existing threads (or people are pretty explicit if they have to mention a spoil-y thing and our basic feeling is we have a generlized "be cool" policy (and we've outlined what that might look like) but people who habitually feel the need to be uncool about this will be an occasion for a moderator to stop in. We are not trying to replicate TWoP, we just want to have a place where people can talk about shows they like with MeFites.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:48 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Yay, except I don't get HBO and fell behind Mad Men to the point that I'm not watching this season. But, still, yay.
posted by Etrigan at 10:48 AM on April 16


Re overall tone of discussion, are we thinking it should be largely similar to how these threads tend to go down on the blue? I see that "liveblogging is not supported", which implies the PEGGY NO! stuff will be maybe frowned upon? Anything new to make note of that is different from how media currently gets discussed at Metafilter?
posted by Sara C. at 10:48 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Thank you for this, mods! I was hoping you'd get to it during this season of Mad Men.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:49 AM on April 16


I think "Is This Something I Would Need A Television To Know?" or a pithy variation thereof would be a better tagline.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:50 AM on April 16 [8 favorites]


Liveblogging is just going to be not done because the threads won't be open before the show airs for most folks watching in the US/UK. We're aware that this may be a friction point and we're here to talk about it but really we sort of want to see how people DO discuss stuff before we start thinking to hard about how they shouldn't discuss things.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:50 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I see that "liveblogging is not supported", which implies the PEGGY NO! stuff will be maybe frowned upon?

The thing about PEGGY NO! is that unless it's a live breaking news event, everybody isn't going to be watching at the same time, and the real-time outbursts become more distraction than meaningful discussion for anybody not there right at the moment. So, thoughtful discussion after the fact is more the goal here, yeah. Liveblogging in Chat during major airing or for rewatch parties or something seems like a better way to handle that end of things.

Anything new to make note of that is different from how media currently gets discussed at Metafilter?

Most of the new thing here is just the accommodation of "let's just talk about this episode because HEY NEW EPISODE!" discussion without having to worry about whether it's really an appropriate post for the front page of Metafilter. (Usually it isn't.) Nature of the discussion itself doesn't necessarily need to be seen as otherwise really different from the discussions folks already have—people like chatting about TV already, here's a place where that's being facilitated more easily.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:52 AM on April 16 [6 favorites]


I enjoy/enjoyed (?) the liveblogging in Mad Men threads and liked the way discussion had been working around that show with the super long threads and all. Realize that might not be a popular view but I liked it and am unlikely to move to chat I think.

FANFARE NO is what I'm saying I guess.
posted by sweetkid at 10:52 AM on April 16 [4 favorites]


This is.. awesome!!!!!
posted by royalsong at 10:52 AM on April 16


Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
posted by corb at 10:53 AM on April 16 [13 favorites]


Sounds good! Thanks so much for making my dreams a reality.

That sounds snarkier than it was intended to be.
posted by Sara C. at 10:54 AM on April 16


This may be beyond the bounds of sanity or possibility, but TowerOfTheHand.net allows you to select how far into the books you are, and filters posts away from you that are beyond where you are.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:54 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit concerned about the likelihood that people will just use last week's thread for liveblogging (though I actually rather like the real-time reactions, even though I don't always participate because TV time is cuddles and talk time for my husband & I). I'm also really curious about what's going to happen to the current MM discussion. I think we're all concerned about fragmentation of the discussion, and my inclination is to stay wherever is most active.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:54 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


So what do we call this site? FaMe?

(I note the use of the professional white background but it makes my eyes hurt. Could we have a colour option?)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:56 AM on April 16 [11 favorites]


Oh great - corb exploded. "Nice work" mathowieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:56 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


This may be beyond the bounds of sanity or possibility, but TowerOfTheHand.net allows you to select how far into the books you are, and filters posts away from you that are beyond where you are.

Yeah, it's a neat approach but definitely beyond the scope of what we're going to try and functionally manage with this, especially since we're looking broadly at TV and media long-term and not just at a specific series.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:56 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


This is super exciting. I would miss the liveblogging if it went away (because NO ONE UNDERSTANDS MY HANNIBAL PAIN EXCEPT YOU ALL), but starting with a limited scope and then deciding how to expand makes sense to me. Thanks for giving us a space to try this out!
posted by Stacey at 10:57 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Point taken, cortex. In that case, another suggestion: spoiler accordions/hide tags/whatever they're called.

They could be an implementation solely for FaMe, and would quite neatly handle long-term media.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:01 AM on April 16


I really can't describe how excited I am. Even if both of the test shows are on cable and so things I watch after the season and so can't really play while it's in beta. Maybe it's time to find someone to share their HBO GO login with me. ...
posted by stoneweaver at 11:01 AM on April 16


couple of bugs:

new comment indicators are showing up as black gray text on a dark green background.

I edited my comment, but that comment wasn't updated. It is reflected in the text box if I go to edit it again.
posted by royalsong at 11:03 AM on April 16


(don't get me wrong I think this is a fabulous idea with sparkle-farting unicorns that sing showtunes)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:03 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


In that case, another suggestion: spoiler accordions/hide tags/whatever they're called.

Not planning to do that at this time, though obviously it's something we had to talk through the pros and cons of. We're really relying on folks (a) grokking the basic "no spoilers for episodes after this one" concept and (b) being thoughtful about cross-media spoiler issues; we'll wrestle with the edge-case stuff that comes up around that, but in general people being considerate is the answer we're aiming for here, not hiding/munging text in threads.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:04 AM on April 16 [4 favorites]


New time sink! Score!
posted by Kitteh at 11:04 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Also, if the beta works out, it will be just in time for Teen Wolf S4!

ALL THE DIBS ON LACROSSE WEREWOLVES
posted by Kitteh at 11:06 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Lacrosse you say.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:07 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Lacrosse your heart and hope to die, yes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:08 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


when will threads close? if ever?
posted by rebent at 11:08 AM on April 16


when will threads close? if ever?

That's something we'll need to determine. Right now the code is set to close the threads in a year. They'll definitely be open for the duration of this test.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:10 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


This is really neat, and I hope it works out well.

(I also think it would be nice to have a way to have the liveblogging part.)
posted by box at 11:14 AM on April 16


In that case, another suggestion: spoiler accordions/hide tags/whatever they're called.

Instead of a technical solution, we thought this could be done with social pressure. Here's the line of thinking on it:

- No spoilers above the fold. Anyone should be able to read the front page of the site without some key element giving a huge plot point away

- If you wade into an episode thread, we assume you've seen it. Caveat emptor, thar be spoilers within.

- Talk about anything that happened in the specific episode or preceding episodes, but not future ones or other media (books/comics) that give future stuff away

That's about it. Asking people to discuss a show without spoiling anything to anyone seemed like folly. Don't open threads for episodes you haven't seen yet.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:14 AM on April 16 [9 favorites]


mathowie: " On the heels of the previous MeFiTV thread as well as internal discussions about how we could someday do a site around entertainment in general, we're ready to open up a small beta test of what discussions around episodic TV might look like at FanFare. "

Mathowie, thanks so much for putting this together.

Can you please confirm that this new subsite won't affect whether content is considered appropriate for a post to the Blue by Team Mod? Will articles and other media about current and past television shows remain fair game for Metafilter posts or will they be assessed for deletion and reposting on the new subsite?
posted by zarq at 11:16 AM on April 16


Cool idea. I can see this being a success, as the level of discourse around here on Star Trek threads is amazing.

Also, I call dibs on The Magic Roundabout.
posted by marienbad at 11:16 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


I suggest the background color to be of a port turned on a dead channel
posted by The Whelk at 11:17 AM on April 16 [7 favorites]


if you really want to talk about Golden Girls season 5, episode 6 "Rose Fights Back"

I didn't know it before this moment, but I really really do.

This is pretty cool! All of a sudden I wish I hadn't given up watching both these shows...
posted by billiebee at 11:18 AM on April 16


Daaang this is rad!
posted by griphus at 11:19 AM on April 16


Will articles and other media about current and past television shows remain fair game for Metafilter posts

Yes. A good post is a good post. This isn't "you can't talk about TV-related stuff on mefi anymore", it's just "there's a place now especially for talking about TV- (and eventually other media-)related stuff without having to hope for a post to Just Happen To Exist".
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:20 AM on April 16


Yeah, I really like the simplicity of "no spoilers for episodes after this one"; I think it's pretty clear and basic and elegant and avoids weird technical stuff although it might be a bit tricky for, say, Golden Girls where they may get jumbled in your mind since they're from a while ago (although I don't think this will be SUCH a huge problem for the site as a whole).

This is also really neat! Thank you! Soon I can fulfill my months-long dream of talking about Murder, She Wrote on the internet with MCMikeNamara in an officially-sanctioned internet space!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:20 AM on April 16 [4 favorites]


I really don't think it should be a problem at all to generally avoid egregious cross-media or post-dated spoilers. We already do that in media threads on the blue and it works out well as far as I can see. I've never seen anybody be super shitty about it in either direction.

Hide tags are fine in places like TV Tropes, where you're likely to run into spoilers on accident. It's not that hard to just stay away from threads for things you haven't seen yet.

And frankly, it's going to be a lot easier to do that now that there are separate posts for each episodes -- my problem is not wanting to take an active post out of my Recent Activity, because when I am ready to talk about it, there's no way to get it back. On FaMe, I can just not look at this week's thread until I've seen the episode.
posted by Sara C. at 11:20 AM on April 16


Yay! Another vote for Hannibal Season 2 when you get to expanding it.

Also, and I know you have a lot to tweak, but the quicker there is a link on the top right the better -- seems like the only link is in the text of this post so far, yeah?
posted by likeatoaster at 11:21 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]


And from the Free Ice Cream but not in the Particular Flavor I was Hoping for desk: Orphan Black season 2 launches in the US this Sunday.
posted by shothotbot at 11:21 AM on April 16 [7 favorites]


I may watch GoT just to be able to take part in this experiment. Huzzah!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:23 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I suggest the background color to be of a port turned on a dead channel

That would be blue, these days.

Orphan Black season 2 launches in the US this Sunday

Huh, my ex's cousin stars in that. And is going to be in a huuuuuuuuge name movie next year (I can't reveal. Sorry.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:24 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


although it might be a bit tricky for, say, Golden Girls where they may get jumbled in your mind since they're from a while ago

One of the things that makes this potentially less of an issue is I think it's likelier people will talk about older works at the show or maybe season level, and with less presumption of tight per-episode spoiler barriers than with something currently or recently airing.

So e.g. a discussion of The X-Files is more likely to be thematic or structural than literally a per-episode "let's not acknowledge later major events" situation in practice. But certainly figuring out some of the boundaries for the grey areas on this will be a matter of ongoing discussion.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:24 AM on April 16


So what do we call this site? FaMe?

Oh please, please let's adopt FanMe instead.

Also thanks Matt and mods and pb! This is really awesome.
posted by lalex at 11:25 AM on April 16


I edited my comment, but that comment wasn't updated. It is reflected in the text box if I go to edit it again.

Same here.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:26 AM on April 16


cortex: "Yes. A good post is a good post. This isn't "you can't talk about TV-related stuff on mefi anymore", it's just "there's a place now especially for talking about TV- (and eventually other media-)related stuff without having to hope for a post to Just Happen To Exist"."

Yay! AWESOME! Thank you. :)
posted by zarq at 11:26 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


To update my own comment: I refreshed the page, and now the comment reads as I meant it to.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:28 AM on April 16


Oh please, please let's adopt FanMe instead.

FanMe conjures up images of half naked oiled muscular men waving palm fronds to cool me on my chaise while I drink champagne.

So uh yes I agree with you is what I'm saying.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:28 AM on April 16 [23 favorites]


FanMe conjures up images of half naked oiled muscular men waving palm fronds to cool me on my chaise while I drink champagne.

Hmmmmm I admit I hadn't considered that. FaMe makes me think of The Sound of Music.
posted by lalex at 11:30 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


lalex: " Hmmmmm I admit I hadn't considered that. FaMe makes me think of The Sound of Music."

As long as we don't go with FapMe....
posted by zarq at 11:31 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


> So e.g. a discussion of The X-Files is more likely to be thematic or structural than literally a per-episode "let's not acknowledge later major events" situation in practice.

IF ANYBODY STARTS TALKING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO LUCY IN THE CANDY FACTORY YOU GUYS WILL HAVE RUINED IT FOR ME.
posted by ardgedee at 11:31 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


The important thing is we get cocktails and bonbons
posted by The Whelk at 11:32 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


If we are voting, I really don't like the name. It's got to have Meta or Filter in it, if you ask me, and I realize you didn't.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:32 AM on April 16 [11 favorites]


when you know the notes to sing...
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:32 AM on April 16


TeleFilter
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:33 AM on April 16


FanFare is only two syllables and y'know, kind of says what it is perfectly. It doesn't really need a short name.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:33 AM on April 16 [6 favorites]


Will articles and other media about current and past television shows remain fair game for Metafilter posts

Yeah, the focus on episode threads here is really so there isn't much overlap with existing big news posts on MeFi proper. The same standards still apply for MeFi posts, be an interesting thing about a thing, with FanFare it's really just "a new episode is up, let's chat about it".
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:36 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I'm not up to date on either on these shows, but I'm very excited for this feature in general!
posted by warble at 11:36 AM on April 16


IF ANYBODY STARTS TALKING ABOUT WHETHER LUCY PULLS THE FOOTBALL AWAY THIS TIME YOU GUYS WILL HAVE RUINED IT FOR ME.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:36 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Hmm, the threads aren't showing up in recent activity. Is this intentional for the purposes of this beta/alpha?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:37 AM on April 16


RA is still in progress, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:38 AM on April 16


..once you know the subs to see you can post most anything.....
posted by The Whelk at 11:38 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Is this intentional for the purposes of this beta/alpha?

We'll get it added to Recent Activity soon.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:38 AM on April 16


how is everyone posting everywhere all at once? I'm looking at you PhoB, Whelk and Sara C. Sara C. at least I have on authority is only one person.
posted by sweetkid at 11:39 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Whelk keeps multiple computers on his desk for exactly this sort of situation.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:41 AM on April 16


I'm not naming names but one of the posts on our new pony confuses it's and its.

If you are hiring for Chief Grammar Nazi and Proofreader consider this an application.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:43 AM on April 16 [4 favorites]


mathowie: "with FanFare it's really just "a new episode is up, let's chat about it"."

If I create a megapost about say, Woops! can I then start a post about the first episode on FanFare as an accompanying discussion thread? :)
posted by zarq at 11:43 AM on April 16


The key is a dizzying and impractical number of tabs.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:43 AM on April 16 [6 favorites]


Will it get a little link across the top or is it just for those In The Know
posted by shothotbot at 11:46 AM on April 16


Does the "new post" form force you to select a season and episode? (It should, in my opinion.)
posted by desjardins at 11:48 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I'm not naming names but one of the posts on our new pony confuses it's and its.

Argh! Fixed. I blame autocorrect, I'd never make that kind of rookie mistake.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:49 AM on April 16 [4 favorites]


FaMe makes me think of The Sound of Music.

I think ♫ FaMe! I'm gonna live forever ...! ♫

It will be linked at the top when it's out of alpha/beta.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:49 AM on April 16 [9 favorites]


can I then start a post about the first episode on FanFare as an accompanying discussion thread?

We'd sort of love to not have to answer yes/no to a dozen hypotheticals before we've even worked out the basic mechanics, if you don't mind. The answer to that, like many other questions is "We don't know."
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:51 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Does the "new post" form force you to select a season and episode?

Yep, it looks like this. Should be visible to members in a day or two.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:51 AM on April 16


I was about to chime in to say I wasn't sure "fan" is such a great concept to center this around, but if I can get over my curmudgeonly distaste for culture's embrace of the fan and admit its further and further distancing from its origins as a shorthand for fanatic, I can recognize it granting an immediate side-effect of encouraging mostly positive discussion. And the pun is cute.
posted by nobody at 11:53 AM on April 16


I am not (yet) watching either of those shows, but I am so thrilled that mefi responded so emphatically to a user request! Amazing. Thank you so much!
posted by typewriter at 11:55 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


FaMe makes me think of The Sound of Music.

I think ♫ FaMe! I'm gonna live forever ...! ♫


I'm not going to say that I'll be horribly disappointed if one or more of our brilliant songsmiths don't do this as a parody themesong for the subsite very soon.

But I'm not NOT going to say that either.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:56 AM on April 16


jessamyn: " We'd sort of love to not have to answer yes/no to a dozen hypotheticals before we've even worked out the basic mechanics, if you don't mind. The answer to that, like many other questions is "We don't know.""

Okie doke. :)
posted by zarq at 11:57 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


FaMe sounds like a yogurt to me.
posted by sweetkid at 11:57 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


FaMe! I'm gonna post foooorever, users gonna favorite my name!
posted by The Whelk at 11:58 AM on April 16 [6 favorites]


Well sweet kid we are dealing with active culture
posted by The Whelk at 11:58 AM on April 16 [17 favorites]


THIS IS THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD

I DON'T EVEN LIKE BREAD
posted by Phire at 11:59 AM on April 16 [12 favorites]


I assume the abbreviated name will be FaFa
posted by mikepop at 11:59 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I was thinking MeFa or MeFan.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:59 AM on April 16


But is it pronounced Fay-me, or Fah-me?
posted by bondcliff at 11:59 AM on April 16


I DON'T EVEN LIKE BREAD

Teach me your ways.
posted by griphus at 12:00 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I really hope that everyone is saying all these options out loud in thier respective workplaces while coworkers grow increasingly concerned.
posted by The Whelk at 12:00 PM on April 16


I DON'T EVEN LIKE BREAD

Hooray! More for me!
posted by bibliogrrl at 12:00 PM on April 16


"faFa?Mefa?FaMe?.... Ponty pool."
posted by The Whelk at 12:01 PM on April 16 [11 favorites]


I DON'T EVEN LIKE BREAD

If I have been reading my Tumblr correctly, I think the proper phrasing is actually

BREAD

I DON'T EVEN
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:01 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Bread ...not even once.
posted by The Whelk at 12:02 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


It's FMe. Pronounced "eff me!"
posted by Chrysostom at 12:06 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Exactly.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:06 PM on April 16 [6 favorites]


Thank you!!!!!
posted by SarahElizaP at 12:07 PM on April 16


Are there going to be tities?
posted by dios at 12:07 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


BREAD

I DON'T EVEN


I think that is more applicable when your feels about something, both negative and positive, cannot be summed up with the inadequacies of our written language. I'm mostly just shruggo on bread, though.

FANFARE. I CAN'T EVEN.

would be much more accurate.
posted by Phire at 12:09 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


I think I found my new time sink on metafilter..
posted by royalsong at 12:10 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


It would be really, really great if we could have two threads for each Game of Thrones episode: one that's book spoiler free, and one for people who have read the books.

There's just SO MUCH that we can't talk about if we're holding ourselves to a no book-spoiler policy, and mefites are exactly the people I want to talk to about where the books and show converge and diverge, and what affect the shows are going to have on the books, etc. We can't really talk about that stuff very much in threads about GOT on the blue (because we're nice and we want our fellow mefites to be unspoiled!) but I was really really hoping we'd have the chance to do so here.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:11 PM on April 16 [12 favorites]


Oh, nevermind. Forgot I had them turned off, but see that they are there when I click through. I like that they are purely descriptive and not cutesy, and I hope that method sticks.
posted by dios at 12:12 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


There's just SO MUCH that we can't talk about if we're holding ourselves to a no book-spoiler policy

At the moment that's a problem. In the long run it should not so much be; both the reasonable short-term possibility of e.g. The Thread About The Books and the longer-term possibility of just plain having threads about the various books / the book series in the "books" category of the expanded subsite.

For the moment, we'll have to suffer through as TV-centric discussifiers. I feel your pain, as a reader of the books.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:13 PM on April 16


AV Club has experts threads/recaps for people who've read the books and newbies threads/recaps for people who haven't, so there's precedent for it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:16 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Okay, I will be patient. But I am VERY MUCH looking forward to the day when we can have those discussions!
posted by ocherdraco at 12:16 PM on April 16


Minor quibble: The username and timestamp in the live preview box are yellow on white, and it's bugging the hell out of me. I'm guessing that's just been overlooked?

Major quibble: I choose not to use the professional white background on the rest of MetaFilter because using the professional white background causes me actual physical pain. If you could please give the new subsite a colour, or at least tone down the brightness--this slightly grey text box I'm typing in right now is fine--it would be very much appreciated.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:17 PM on April 16 [11 favorites]


For the moment, we'll have to suffer through as TV-centric discussifiers. I feel your pain, as a reader of the books.

I like how this implies that there's some special class of people, the Readers of the Books, who are physically empathetic and literally feel the pain of others, especially when they want to talk about books instead of TV shows.

Hard is the life of a Reader of the Books and noble is their calling.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:17 PM on April 16 [12 favorites]


The original site has now been suspended but this article was hilarious...

Man ruins Game of Thrones with series of novels full of spoilers
posted by zarq at 12:18 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


I know everyone has moved on from this being relevant but I forgot to hit post comment.

So one time Irene Cara was performing at a street festival in Chicago and we realized that our camera's batteries were running low, so, thinking that I had time before she performed anything I was interested in, I went to Walgreen's to get batteries and it turned out she did "Fame" as her second song and I missed the first half of it.

It was the worst Irene Cara-related thing that had happened to me since I wiped out roller skating to "Flashdance... What a Feeling."

(She performed it again at the end, so it all turned out okay.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:19 PM on April 16 [15 favorites]


I like this idea overall, but looking at the patterns of past threads I'd propose posting the thread for an episode 24 hours before the episode airs. Then you have the pre-game show where everyone warms up and speculates, the live-blogging chat, then the post-analysis.

If I was on the west coast, I'd just avoid the thread the same way I would have to avoid Twitter, etc. If you only care about post-show discussion it's easy enough to scroll down to where it begins.
posted by mikepop at 12:20 PM on April 16 [18 favorites]


I like mikepop's idea.
posted by The Whelk at 12:21 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


It bothers me a little that FanFare has a white background, same as Jobs, because they seem like they serve diametrically opposite purposes. Though to be fair, I have the Professional White Background on my account so the background colours only come into play when I'm reading Metafilter while working and am thus not logged in, so... something something irony?
posted by Phire at 12:22 PM on April 16


I think it's likelier people will talk about older works at the show or maybe season level, and with less presumption of tight per-episode spoiler barriers than with something currently or recently airing.

So from what I can tell first it is this totally limited version with two shows, then it'll open up for more (currently-running) shows, and the last step is an open forum like MeFi?

Basically, is there a point in asking detailed questions now about the "old shows" part of FanFare? Or is that putting the cart before the horse? Mainly I'm interested in how conscientious about starting threads? Like for Buffy, it would make very much sense to do it per season or even per episode. On the other hand, Better Off Ted had two seasons; would starting a single thread on both remove the possibility of a per-season set of threads later on?
posted by griphus at 12:22 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Getting away from the white background would be extremely keen. They're hard on the eyes after a short while.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:23 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


Also I am very much excited about group re-watches. Like for instance an Official Buffy Re-Watch could just follow a schedule set up on FanFare and everyone just watches it on DVD or Netflix or whatever.
posted by griphus at 12:24 PM on April 16 [9 favorites]


Getting away from the white background would be extremely keen. They're hard on the eyes after a short while.

How do you read the rest of the internet, which is like 99% white pages?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:24 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


How do you read the rest of the internet, which is like 99% white pages?

THERE'S A REST OF THE INTERNET?
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:25 PM on April 16 [49 favorites]


I'd propose posting the thread for an episode 24 hours before the episode airs. Then you have the pre-game show where everyone warms up and speculates, the live-blogging chat, then the post-analysis.

There's two reasons I didn't want to see live-blogging in the new site. One, it's a thing where comments only make sense in the moment and you have to watch live, which I don't always do. Second, it means in the middle of a pre/live/post-recap thread there'd be 200 comments to scroll past to get to the "good stuff".

Going with post-airing is pretty easy and lets people talk about what they've seen with people that have seen it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:27 PM on April 16 [8 favorites]


How do you read the rest of the internet, which is like 99% white pages?

I squint angrily at my screen a lot.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:27 PM on April 16 [18 favorites]


How do you read the rest of the internet, which is like 99% white pages?

Even a bit of shading helps, and most pages aren't huge white expanses with nothing but black text on them.


I squint angrily at my screen a lot.

Also this.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:27 PM on April 16 [13 favorites]


I'm very excited about this even though I don't watch Mad Men or GoT. Thanks!
posted by Room 641-A at 12:29 PM on April 16


I know everyone's excited about the new subsite, but if people would still try to refrain from taking all the air out of the room by rushing over to the threads and making 15 comments in each of the new threads, that might make it easier for other members to participate.
posted by garlic at 12:31 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


I think what we're seeing is the release of pent-up desire, garlic- it'll calm down in a day or two, I'm sure.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:32 PM on April 16


Second, it means in the middle of a pre/live/post-recap thread there'd be 200 comments to scroll past to get to the "good stuff".

So? Are you pressing the down-arrow key over and over again or something? It only takes a couple of seconds to scroll past the comments. Or you could add a visual marker or anchor tag for "post-show starts here".

I usually don't do the live chat myself but I enjoy retroactively applying the comments sometimes. I do like the speculating part and it's fun to see who can predict where certain plot points are going.
posted by mikepop at 12:33 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


But that's sort of how TV threads already go?

And part of what I like about them.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:33 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


The background should be the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:34 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


So, black. (These days, anyway.)
posted by ocherdraco at 12:34 PM on April 16


So like ultramarine, then.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:35 PM on April 16


I know everyone's excited about the new subsite, but if people would still try to refrain from taking all the air out of the room by rushing over to the threads and making 15 comments in each of the new threads

This is kind of how media threads have always been -- especially Mad Men -- and if the new subsite is going to a more "one and done" model a la Ask, I think the whole thing is destined to fail. It's for discussing TV shows. Discussing isn't "taking the air out of the thread". If you want to say something, jump in and say something. If you want to make a one and done "This is such a great show!" comment, that is also fine.
posted by Sara C. at 12:38 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


The thing with the professional white, for me, is that bold yellow links for the username and post time are a big part of the visual language of Metafilter, breaking up the wall of text with familiar visual cues, so it's just hard to get used to the blue links that don't stand out as much. I'm sure I'd adapt to it, it's not like the yellow link indicator wasn't a thing acquired over time, but it does set professional white aside from the others in a very noticeable way.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:40 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


That said I just counted and I have six out of twenty comments in the Mad Men thread, so I think it's probably time to do some filing or send an email or something.

But know that this is nothing compared to any previous Mad Men thread, which is usually crowded with fifty PEGGY NO type comments in the first ten minutes. None of which are ever even from me.
posted by Sara C. at 12:40 PM on April 16


I'm a compulsive rewatched cause I have know EVERYTHING THAT IS HAPPENING and that usually takes two or three passes so having the live boggy part of the thread is great cause you can read along on another viewing and see people's instant reactions and how different they are, etc.
posted by The Whelk at 12:40 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Most of the new thing here is just the accommodation of "let's just talk about this episode because HEY NEW EPISODE!" discussion without having to worry about whether it's really an appropriate post for the front page of Metafilter.

If/when this becomes a FanFare for the common mefite, does this also mean that television based posts of the sort that leads to megathreads discussing the current season/show are no longer welcome on Metafilter itself?
posted by MartinWisse at 12:42 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


In addition to RA, favorites are also currently not adding to the favorite counts on any user's page. (You probably already know that.)
posted by ocherdraco at 12:42 PM on April 16


Very excited about this (especially the Murder, She Wrote potential)!.

Count me in as being in favor of the site not supporting liveblogging - shouting about what's happening on screen at the moment doesn't lend itself well to not watching the show at the same time as everyone else (different time zones, DVR, etc), and it's a lot to wade through - and a lot of repeated "Aaaah!" and "Yess!" type nonsense - when you want to discuss the episode, not just react to stuff. Chat, on the otherhand, is perfect for that.
posted by troika at 12:43 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


MartinWisse: "FanFare for the common mefite"

So satisfying.

posted by ocherdraco at 12:43 PM on April 16 [10 favorites]


In addition to RA, favorites are also currently not adding to the favorite counts on any users page. (You probably already know that.)

Yep, working on it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:43 PM on April 16


Are favorites a little messed up in the FaMe? I swear I favorited some comments and yet, now, not favorited.
posted by ursus_comiter at 12:43 PM on April 16


PEGGY NO

This is mostly me and Whelk, I think, and now has become Sara C.'s shorthand for "liveblogging comment that doesn't make sense really if you're not actively watching but is also a reaction people often have"
posted by sweetkid at 12:44 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Oh, also - will sporting events be supported by this model?
posted by troika at 12:44 PM on April 16


These are two of the most popular shows that a great number of MeFi users watch and like to discuss.

I'd like to throw out that Cheaters would be an awesome show for discussion here.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:45 PM on April 16


Oh, also - will sporting events be supported by this model?

My first thought is that there are a lot of games being played, but maybe if it was just a weekly thread for the sport it wouldn't seem like it was taking over.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:46 PM on April 16


I never really thought about Sports under the Entertainment umbrella, no.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:47 PM on April 16


SportsFilter is a thing that exists so we're not really thinking of this as a sports thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:47 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Count me in as being in favor of the site not supporting liveblogging - shouting about what's happening on screen at the moment doesn't lend itself well to not watching the show at the same time as everyone else (different time zones, DVR, etc), and it's a lot to wade through - and a lot of repeated "Aaaah!" and "Yess!" type nonsense - when you want to discuss the episode, not just react to stuff. Chat, on the otherhand, is perfect for that.

Yes, I agree with this; I think we have some excellent and very valuable users who contribute a lot and sometimes that means it's easy to assume they are the majority of users and thus that it makes sense to tailor things to their preferences. I'd like to suggest, as respectfully as possible, that this maybe isn't always the case and that it'd be super awesome if we could have as many voices as possible and make this a great and fun and useful community resource for things beyond moment-by-moment opinions that could maybe be expressed elsewhere and to make sure that people who comment less frequently feel welcome and heard.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:48 PM on April 16 [17 favorites]


a weekly thread for the sport it wouldn't seem like it was taking over.

I like that! It's a lot better than what I was envisioning.
posted by troika at 12:48 PM on April 16


Aaaaand shot down immediately. Oh well.
posted by troika at 12:51 PM on April 16


I actually like the livebloggy comments, as someone who watches out of sync with everyone else. Sometimes I actually watch the show in one window and pause intermittently to see what folks are saying stream-of-consciousness style in this window. You guys get so excited!

But I don't think threads should be established in anticipation of airing to facilitate live blogging, no.
posted by Sara C. at 12:51 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Hey Sara C, we're totally picking up what you're putting down. Could you give some other people a turn to talk?

thanks.
posted by garlic at 12:51 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


I'm with Mrs. Pterodactyl on the "many voices as possible" but still disagree on the live-commenting portion of the thread being "a lot to wade through". It's one big chunk of comments dispatched in a second or two via the scrollbar. I didn't get to this week's Mad Men thread until it was 384 comments deep and it was almost no effort to get to the post-airing comments. With an anchor link or other visual marker it would be even easier.
posted by mikepop at 12:51 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


I never really thought about Sports under the Entertainment umbrella, no.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:47 on April 17 [+] [!]


SportsFilter is a thing that exists so we're not really thinking of this as a sports thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:47 on April 17 [+] [!]


Aaaaand shot down immediately. Oh well.
posted by troika at 9:51 on April 17 [+] [!]


I think mefites are as big on sports as they are on rap/hip-hop.

Also, what the hell are you thinking? Its called 'fanfare'. Who has ever heard that term being applied to sports. How silly.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:54 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


FanFare?

It sounds like very carefully test marketed name...yeach!
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:55 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Hey Sara C, we're totally picking up what you're putting down. Could you give some other people a turn to talk?

thanks.
posted by garlic at 9:51 on April 17 [+] [!]


Dick move, dude.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:56 PM on April 16 [24 favorites]


Hey Sara C, we're totally picking up what you're putting down. Could you give some other people a turn to talk?

thanks.


I don't like this.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:56 PM on April 16 [13 favorites]


Yeah I think if you absolutely feel you have to say that, memail's right there. It feels like I've been seeing some effects from that callout thread leaking into the rest of the site since then and it's been kinda shitty to read.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:04 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


I agree, since that callout it's like open season whenever Sara C. comments. Gross.
posted by sweetkid at 1:07 PM on April 16


FWIW garlic MeMailed me a variation on that yesterday. But I'm staying out of it.
posted by Sara C. at 1:08 PM on April 16


oh wow I didn't even notice garlic linked to the callout in question in that comment. That's really classy!
posted by sweetkid at 1:11 PM on April 16


Maybe not in here, folks.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:12 PM on April 16


And, like, lots of enthusiastic commentary has been the general culture here on TV threads for as long as I've been participating on the blue, at least. Which is longer than Sara C.'s tenure on the site. Mostly, it seems weird to me to post two comments here trying to police other people's participation rather than going ahead and just participating on the actual threads you're interested in participating in.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:12 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Sorry, cortex, we cross posted.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:13 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


This is so, so great! My birthday is tomorrow and I swear this is like some sort of cosmic present from the internet.

I also think the background of FF should be user-adjustable, with three RGB sliders 70s style and we can just fiddle with them until our mouse buttons break.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:15 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


The only thing I don't like about this is that there aren't already ten years' worth of archives for me to read back over.
posted by rollick at 1:17 PM on April 16 [11 favorites]


I also think the background of FF should be user-adjustable, with three RGB sliders 70s style and we can just fiddle with them until our mouse buttons break.

No, no, way better idea: TINT KNOB
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:18 PM on April 16 [12 favorites]


I also think the background of FF should be user-adjustable, with three RGB sliders 70s style and we can just fiddle with them until our mouse buttons break.

Jimmy, don't turn the channel knob so fast, you'll break it!
posted by bondcliff at 1:19 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Since this is the beta stage of FaFa, maybe you can experiment posting threads before/after airing and see how it goes.
posted by mikepop at 1:19 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Looks very cool! The future spouse and I enjoy the liveblogging/peggy-no! stuff but I can see mathowie's point about long stretches of contextless comments in threads being a problem.
posted by gubo at 1:22 PM on April 16


I know supporting userscripts isn't necessarily a priority, but when I tried to use MeFiQuote in a FanFare thread it replaced the name of the commenter I was quoting with a "%n", FWIW.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:27 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Can we get some more tags? Since there's currently no link that takes us to all episodes of a show, it would be great if the tags for each ep included the show name.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:28 PM on April 16


FaFa

Wait I like this
posted by sweetkid at 1:35 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


ocherdraco - click on archives, I asked that question earlier in the thread.
posted by Think_Long at 1:35 PM on April 16


Cool. Better tags would still be helpful.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:37 PM on April 16


I agree, the archives are going to get unwieldy as time goes on.
posted by desjardins at 1:39 PM on April 16


Yes. The beta subsite has been live for three hours and there's still stuff we are putting together. We want the archives to scale also but they don't need to scale this week. It's always a challenge deciding whether to build a thing and not make it live until it's all polished or make it available so that people can actually use it as we're working on it. We chose the latter. Please presume we are listening to all of your suggestions.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:40 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


If you were listening to my suggestions you would be letting me recap American Ninja Warrior season 3 right now! I will not be silenced!
posted by Think_Long at 1:43 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


> The only thing I don't like about this is that there aren't already ten years' worth of archives for me to read back over

Yeah, I just started "The Good Wife" last week and I'm totally into it, but am afraid to read anything about it because of spoilers. (I already know about THE BIG THING because I didn't avert my eyes fast enough from an article in some glossy magazine.) So... if there could eventually be some way to discuss shows for people who are just starting to bingewatch them, that would be cool.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:45 PM on April 16


How do you read the rest of the internet, which is like 99% white pages?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:24 PM on April 16


Wow. Is Wikipedia really that big?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:46 PM on April 16


Wow. Is Wikipedia really that big?

No, but my blog is.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:48 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


How do you read the rest of the internet, which is like 99% white pages?

To be fair, while the vast majority of websites have white backgrounds, very few of them have as much actual white space as Fan Fare does.

I'm really looking forward to this. I'm going to add to the chorus of the bright white hurting my eyes, though. (To the point where it gives me a visual after-effect after navigating away from the page.) Even something just a little muted -- off-whitish -- would help.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:48 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


This is really cool! I'm going to have to play catchup with both shows now.
posted by naju at 1:49 PM on April 16


SportsFilter is a thing that exists so we're not really thinking of this as a sports thing.

Yeah, but also:

If this works well with TV, we’re also looking to expand the site to other major entertainment media like film, books, video games, and so on.

And MeFightClub is also a thing that exists, so would that mean games would also be excluded?
posted by MartinWisse at 1:49 PM on April 16


To be fair, while the vast majority of websites have white backgrounds, very few of them have as much actual white space as Fan Fare does.

Wouldnt't that problem be automagically solved though once the site gets more posts up, or do you have the same complaints with the professional business background to MeFi itself?
posted by MartinWisse at 1:51 PM on April 16


We don't have any plans for sports stuff right now; it doesn't really fit naturally with the narrative-TV thing we're doing right now, is basically all. At some point? Maybe, we'll have to see what people are thinking of when we even get as far as discussing that. I wouldn't read a ton more into that at this point.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:52 PM on April 16


FanFare for the common mefite

bum bum bummmm bum bum bummm bum bum bum bum bummm buuummmmmm
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:55 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


Just wanted to take a minute to say thanks again -- there are a lot of suggestions coming in, many of them good, and I'm afraid that means we're doing the thing where we assume that our criticism is evidence that we like the underlying idea of something and that means we come off as very dismissive or unsatisfied when actually what we mean is "this thing is SO GREAT! The only way it could be better is..." but we kind of forget to say the first part.

Although I might be projecting, I do think the suggestions here are intended in a positive spirit but either way I did want to make sure that I once again expressed actual gratitude which is surprisingly easy to forget so:

THANK YOU!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:55 PM on April 16 [19 favorites]


Wouldnt't that problem be automagically solved though once the site gets more posts up, or do you have the same complaints with the professional business background to MeFi itself?

See, I don't think so. With a white background like that, it's always going to be an issue of how the eye feels when viewing the contrast of a bunch of small, dark characters against a bright background. I can't really explain it in other terms -- hopefully someone can. I'm not saying that poor design choices were made, or that it's ugly, or that it should look like _____, I'm just saying that the bright white background hurts my eyes.

My eyes are really photosensitive, though, because of medication I take. (Not an uncommon side effect of blood pressure meds.) So maybe it's not something that everyone experiences -- and I'm not claiming that it is -- but I would say that it's possibly akin to how flashy/strobey/swirly things are physically challenging to epileptics.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:56 PM on April 16


We don't have any plans for sports stuff right now; it doesn't really fit naturally with the narrative-TV thing we're doing right now, is basically all.

Might I suggest that maybe pro wrestling could be the exception, given that it's much more narrative-driven and episodic and suchlike? My WrestleMania FPP drew some really good discussion.
posted by Etrigan at 1:57 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Ok, so when is the cosplay sub-site combining GoT and MM going to launch?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:08 PM on April 16


Without a Hannibal cosplay section what's the point (taps cane with fingers, ajusts brown wool blazer)
posted by The Whelk at 2:10 PM on April 16 [6 favorites]


Someone deserves a raise!
posted by janey47 at 2:14 PM on April 16


The favicon is the wrong color.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:19 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


So live-blogging.

Live blogging can be a fun thing as a shared experience with lots of people (I've had a blast personally on Twitter during the Super Bowl and the Oscars) but I've always found it unwieldy on websites, where you have to scan, read, reload hundreds of comments in a way it's easier on Twitter or in a chat client that auto does that sort of stuff. There's obvious stuff like timezones and DVRs that make real live event stuff not easy to pull off online.

I understand live-blogging lowers the bar for site participation significantly. Even if you don't know much about a series or are coming to it fresh, you can just post "whoa, who is that? why are they acting like that?" and get people to answer. A post-game show only format means you have to watch something, take it all in, and reflect on stuff you saw instead. I can see how that sets a kind of higher bar than live observations do, but I wanted the goal with this to be a bunch of smart people talking about TV shows that is interesting and more for the ages than just live blogging what they saw.

It's good we're doing this with current popular shows, because if we did let's say Star Trek original series from episode one, I imagine it'd be kind of hard to find things from a single episode because ST:TOS become such a huge thing and those characters have decades of history with people. Posting an episode 1 or 5 recap of Star Trek from the 1960s on the site would mean maybe a handful of comments, where a liveblog of it could be hilarious. It's much easier to talk about these shows as they happen instead of going back in time or waiting for the coincidence that another member of the site is watching the same thing as you now.

Overall, I think there's lots of places for live blogs of TV. There are sites that do it, there's twitter, there's also Chat here and the occasional topic thread on MeFi proper. I want to see more meaty discussions though and I'm ok with decreased participation and threads with mostly just post-show discussion of plot elements than a few hundred comments about things that happened live as they happened.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:20 PM on April 16 [21 favorites]


The favicon is the wrong color.

The other white sites have the default blue icon.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:21 PM on April 16


I hadn't noticed that. I guess I don't leave those tabs open. Never mind, carry on.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:22 PM on April 16


Why is it white? WHYYYYYYYYYYY.

Please hope me.
posted by Justinian at 2:24 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


I, for one, support the non live-blogging aspect of all this.
posted by Think_Long at 2:24 PM on April 16


Curated liveblogs can be great to read later, but with a free-for-all format it's pretty much only good as a chat rather than something you can come back to - which I think is the goal for this new project.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:26 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Hooray! I don't follow either of these shows so I won't participate in the discussion, but I'll probably be reading many of the threads all the same.

In fact, I can see myself reading threads for shows I don't watch quite a bit, because I like to keep up with cultural touchstones, and usually don't mind being spoiled, especially if it's a show I'm unlikely to ever watch. (But I'm staying mostly spoiler-free for Breaking Bad which I plan to watch some day...maybe if there were an organized, scheduled re-watch for some shows, as has been suggested, that would also be good for those of us watching for the first time. Not that that model should be used for every, or even many, concluded shows, but I could see it being done with a handful of popular shows.)

On that ground, I'm in favor of the no-liveblogging policy, as that wouldn't interest me for the shows I read about but don't watch. (I was also going to suggest that you'd get a mix-up of liveblogging and post-show discussion when an episode was broadcast at different times in different locations, but I looked at the Mad Men thread on the Blue, and it appears all the liveblogging was during the East Coast airing, with none of the mix-up I feared during the West Coast airing, so I'll withdraw that objection.)

I know some of the presidential debate threads in the past have essentially turned in to liveblogging threads during the debate — I've even participated in some of them — and while it was fun while it was happening, I don't think it's particularly interesting to read afterwards and doesn't reflect the typical level of MetaFilter discussion that many of us value.

I'm also pleased to see there's some consideration of expanding to other media down the road, because I need a place to discuss Welcome to Night Vale.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:29 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Yeah, and I forgot to say, we could set up "rooms" in chat (there's just one general default room to Chat currently) for each show, if people want to have fun live blogging that way. We could even figure out how to link to transcripts or something after the fact if you DVR'd it. Not sure yet, let's see how things work next week and beyond during the test phase.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:29 PM on April 16 [13 favorites]


Yeah, and I forgot to say, we could set up "rooms" in chat (there's just one general default room to Chat currently) for each show

That would be great, especially for when you're following multiple shows that air at the same time—you can chat about the one you're watching "live" without worrying about being spoiled for the one you're timeshifting.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:32 PM on April 16


Another vote here for not white because-it-hurts-my-eyes. I have a script running that turns wikipedia and youtube black.
posted by royalsong at 2:33 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Since Mefi Chat has a web interface, and the new post page for FaFa has a show selector, would it be possible to automagically attach a link to the relevant chat room to posts about those shows? It could be a nice way to get more people aware of the chat and reinforce that that's the place to go to for liveblogging shenanigans.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:35 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Also not a fan of the live blogging thing (on metafilter, I'm fine with it elsewhere). You have to wade through like 50-100 comments of pretty much "OH MY GOD" and "OH SNAP" and that sort of thing before you can find anyone saying anything about the actually episode other than just reacting to it. That's fun for live-tweeting but not so much here.
posted by supercrayon at 2:46 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I'm delighted to see this and I know we can't expand it yet but dayum I do wish we could get some Orphan Black action going. (I know, I know, do a FPP.)
posted by immlass at 2:50 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


(I started watching Orphan Black last night, episodes 1 and 2, and am totally hooked!)
posted by mudpuppie at 2:52 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Do any GoT viewers besides me not want to see any hints at what's coming from the books? Not even "there was a clue in this episode that you missed! amirite book readers?" or "if you thought this was bad, just wait"? I was not always a fan of TWoP's heavy moderation, but I really loved how diligent they were about spoilers, to the point of asking book-readers to pretend the books didn't exist.
posted by payoto at 2:52 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I really loved how diligent they were about spoilers, to the point of asking book-readers to pretend the books didn't exist.

With the model we have in mind, that's going to be difficult to police. If you want people to not-even-hint at stuff, you probably need to mention it in the thread and not presume that people will hew to that level of no-spoilers.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:54 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Mrs. Pterodactyl: "actually what we mean is "this thing is SO GREAT! The only way it could be better is..." but we kind of forget to say the first part."

Yes! My suggestions were definitely meant in this spirit! I really, really appreciate that y'all are going to the effort of adding this subsite. I think it's going to be a great addition to the community, and I am enjoying its initial threads!

So: thank you mods who are modding these new conversations, and thank you mods who are building the infrastructure on which it will stand. Yay!
posted by ocherdraco at 2:54 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Do any GoT viewers besides me not want to see any hints at what's coming from the books? Not even "there was a clue in this episode that you missed! amirite book readers?" or "if you thought this was bad, just wait"? I was not always a fan of TWoP's heavy moderation, but I really loved how diligent they were about spoilers, to the point of asking book-readers to pretend the books didn't exist.

Yeah, it's tricky to do but that thread on fanfare is already sending up some flags --- I could be wrong, but I feel like I now have a guess as to the murderer just by putting things together that people have said, a guess I'm trying to resist the temptation to confirm by rewatching the episode. I feel like a lot of things are going to be like that.
posted by Diablevert at 2:56 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


There are gigantically huge hints as to who the murderer is in the episode itself, though.

Note: I have no particular dog in the GoT book spoiler fight, as someone who casually read some of them years ago, long before becoming a fan of the TV show, which I watch completely divorced from any memory of the books.
posted by Sara C. at 3:07 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


feckless fecal fear mongering: " (I note the use of the professional white background but it makes my eyes hurt. Could we have a colour option?)"

What about this, instead?
posted by zarq at 3:09 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Ha! That was my suggestion. I suspect we'll go with some sort of mild color but we're going to sit on that for a bit while we make sure everything else is working smoothly.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:10 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


immlass: "Orphan Black action"

I have hooked half the people I know on that show. I'd TOTALLY be down for an Orphan Black fpp. :D
posted by zarq at 3:10 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


I suspect we'll go with some sort of mild color

Those of us with aging and cantankerous eyes appreciate it!

posted by mudpuppie at 3:21 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


confirm by rewatching the episode
The line between pointing out foreshadowing and spoilerish hinting is hard to draw, and I would guess it looks different from one side than the other.
posted by soelo at 3:30 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Might I suggest sidebarring either this thread or Fanfare itself? That opens it up to more folks who can test it out, since I know a lot of users don't read MeTa.

Also: I hate to be a MetaFilter cliche, but I don't even own a TV* and I think is awesome and I'm super excited y'all decided to move forward with it.

*nor Netflix/Hulu etc. I'm not a hipster so much as broke.
posted by librarylis at 3:37 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


With the model we have in mind, that's going to be difficult to police. If you want people to not-even-hint at stuff, you probably need to mention it in the thread and not presume that people will hew to that level of no-spoilers.

Yeah, understandable and it wasn't so much a request as just trying to get a feel for others' spoiler tolerances. I know my preference may be at the extreme end but I guess I'd just be curious to know what the median is.
posted by payoto at 3:43 PM on April 16


I know you said you don't have a lot of answers yet since this is in early stages of development, but do you think you could give me a ballpark of when Gunsmoke might get posted?
posted by perhapses at 3:44 PM on April 16


Put me in as Fully Supporting this new subsite - there's no chance it gets out of Beta before the final episode of "Warehouse 13" May 19th, is there? Still, adding Orphan Black to the limited beta sounds like a good idea (I'll be there for the FPP), not to mention Adventure Time, which starts a new season next Monday and which just got 'discovered' by the New Yorker (which I'm tempted to FPP). At least remember Doctor Who returns in September/October...

As for the subsite's background, a non-animated low-contrast version of the 'video static' might be good. Example. Or, you could just choose any of these colors.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:44 PM on April 16


Neato!

Still not gonna watch Mad Men though.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:45 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


I know it's uncool CBS TV, but I am hoping there an audience here for Good Wife threads!
posted by lalex at 3:46 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


If this works well with TV, we’re also looking to expand the site to other major entertainment media like film, books, video games, and so on.

I read this and I had one of those falling-backwards-inside feelings. This breaks my heart. I'm totally serious. It's the worst possible news for me. I have a very strong feeling it's just going to suck the air out of something I've put heart and soul into for the past 7 years.

I don't know whether to cry or go punch things or just give up.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:56 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


Good idea, librarylis, I added it to the sidebar and Best Of blog.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:56 PM on April 16


For what it's worth, I've been alternating between half-heartedly trying to put together a Good Wife FPP and hoping that someone else makes one first because I don't want to eff it up. But when the day comes for FaMe to expand thusly, I will be all up on every single one of them.

ps, wasn't the most recent one so awesome? i stood up and yelled like i was watching a football game. i've been waiting for that monologue ALL SEASON. also all of last season.
posted by divined by radio at 3:57 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


ps, wasn't the most recent one so awesome? i stood up and yelled like i was watching a football game. i've been waiting for that monologue ALL SEASON. also all of last season.

Watching the show blow itself up this season has been incredible, and anyone interested in strong, multi-dimensional female characters should be watching this show. Maybe I will put together an FPP for next Sunday's episode.

posted by lalex at 4:00 PM on April 16


Stav, I want to be clear, gaming would be way down the line (months if not years), and would likely not be much beyond news or reviews. I don't have a MeFightClub login but I was under the impression you do tons more than that, and host game servers, etc. so our hope was overlap was minimal and wouldn't cannabalize from your site. I meant to contact you months ago about this idea, super sorry you heard about it now and feel gut-punched, that was the last thing we wanted.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:05 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


CRIES. Now I have to wait for my internet to get connected again so I can catch up on ma stories and read these threads (which I know are full of sparkling wit and insight!)
posted by liquorice at 4:11 PM on April 16


Also, I can't believe I'm going to be on vacation for the next two weeks away from TV and the Internet starting on Sunday. Poor timing for me.

stavrosthewonderchicken: "It's the worst possible news for me. I have a very strong feeling it's just going to suck the air out of something I've put heart and soul into for the past 7 years."

I think you can trust mathowie to be rotato, stav. If FanFare does expand beyond TV, I think it would be very reasonable to draw some bright lines around videogames (MeFightClub) and sports (SportsFilter) as No Fly Zones, due to the effort their creators have put in to start those communities and keep them running. I don't think there are any other culture-based MeFi spinoffs that are still going affairs, are there?
posted by Rock Steady at 4:15 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


The line between pointing out foreshadowing and spoilerish hinting is hard to draw, and I would guess it looks different from one side than the other.

Well, that's part of what's tricky, I think. If everyone who was chatting were just TV watchers, then you could say anything you want, speculate away, point out foreshadowing, make your case. You may well come up with a theory that's very close to where the show's ends up and get everyone to agree on it. But you still wouldn't know, and so the tension would still be there when you watch. But once you have half the conversation be with people who do know, for sure, what happens, then even if they take care to be circumspect you don't need too many bread crumbs before it's clear what theory is being endorsed by the knowing ones. Just the fact that people say "book lovers will have spotted some clues in such and such scene" makes you rethink things.

It's a weird thing. I haven't read the books, and with the Red Wedding last year I wasn't exactly spoiled; all I really knew is that there was an event called the Red Wedding at some point in the books during which several important characters were murdered. But even with that little, as the season drew to a close the obvious solution became more and more obvious. Going into the episode I wasn't 100% certain....but at the same time I was not at all surprised, by what did occur. And that was a bit of a disappointment; it still made for some epic viewing, it just had a lot of the surprise leached out of it.
posted by Diablevert at 4:15 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Stav, I want to be clear, gaming would be way down the line (months if not years), and would likely not be much beyond news or reviews. I don't have a MeFightClub login but I was under the impression you do tons more than that, and host game servers, etc. so our hope was overlap was minimal and wouldn't cannabalize from your site. I meant to contact you months ago about this idea, super sorry you heard about it now and feel gut-punched, that was the last thing we wanted.

Thanks, Matt. I'm kinding of freaking out here, I must admit, but it's morning, and that's my Reserved Freakout Time when things catch me by surprise.

I guess rather than moaning, I should take it as a challenge, and try to add more value for MFC members in any way I can. The great irony is that I've just been working this past week on a relaunch of a revamped Gamefilter. Sigh.

Anyway, thanks. I hope too that when the gaming stuff comes to MeFi that it works more as a complementary thing than a competitive one. MFC really truly has been one of the best things in my life this past 7 years, and it would just kill me if it withered on the vine.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:16 PM on April 16 [9 favorites]


Also, you should totally come hang out with us at MFC once in a while if you are into gaming even a little!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:17 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


I appreciate you doing this, but add me to the list of those who hate the white background. Especially when it could be so much better.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:23 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


If there's no liveblogging, that's a dealbreaker for me. PEGGY NO! is always the most fun (if not exactly the most enlightening) part of TV threads IMO, and it's the only reason I like the monster Mad Men threads here more than the comment section under A.V. Club reviews.

I can understand wanting to get away from that kind of thing on the Blue, where the connection to the (flimsy excuse for an) FPP is tenuous at best, but in a thread devoted to a specific episode of television there's no way PEGGY NO! won't make sense. People will understand the context whether they go to the thread during or after watching the show, and who else is there?
posted by Sys Rq at 4:37 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


As one of the people who was vaguely (and as non-spoilery as possible) talking about book/show differences in the GoT thread: in any adaptation, how it works as an adaptation is very relevant to the discussion, but it requires referencing the source in some way. The "there was a clue in this episode that you missed! amirite book readers?" type comment I made, for instance, was made because while watching, it struck me as a fascinating and fantastic example of the choices the showrunners are making in the show to try and please two very different audiences. But just saying "oh hey Benioff and Weiss sure are awesome at walking this tightrope" without commenting on the specific example in the episode at hand adds nothing to the discussion, and imo cutting out all book talk completely takes a good deal of stuff about TV writing and how the sausage is made away from the discussion. I think something vague and considerate towards the unspoiled is a good middle ground and to be expected with the rules and structure we have at this moment.

It's not going to be GoT alone with this problem, any adaptation, even vague adaptations like the Marvel movies will have it. Implementing spoilers/no spoilers threads or some mechanism to hide spoilers for TV/movie adaptations is probably going to be a common request as we go, because you really do cut out a lot of potentially interesting insight from people (not to say that that's what my comments were) with a hard no-spoilers rule.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:38 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


I like the idea, but wonder if you'd consider adding something to the beta period that isn't a premium cable show? Anything network or even basic cable is likely to be more accessible to more people.

Or perhaps something older that's on Netflix (or Prime or Hulu, but being in Canada, the last two don't really help) and generally available. It could provide a testing ground for how to do this with older shows and also a way to participate for those of us without expensive cable packages. Maybe something like Firefly that's obsessive and culty but also relatively small vs. something like Star Trek that's kind of huge and hard to get a handle on.

This isn't a demand or anything. Just a suggestion from someone who is interested in the feature, but can't participate in either of the allowable discussions.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:40 PM on April 16 [8 favorites]


I can't wait to make threads for all my animes
posted by The Devil Tesla at 4:41 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


This is a great idea. I'm ambivalent about live-blogging because I rarely get to watch as a program airs. When I do, I'd rather do it in chat anyway. (Although the idea of chat rooms specifically for watching TV is a good one.)
posted by ob1quixote at 4:41 PM on April 16


Here's my other pony: Maybe you could set it up to automatically place an anchor tag in the comments after the show ends with a link at the top to "skip pre-show/liveblogging".
posted by double block and bleed at 4:42 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Or perhaps something older that's on Netflix (or Prime or Hulu, but being in Canada, the last two don't really help) and generally available.

BREAKING BAD

(it took me a while to watch it all...)
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:43 PM on April 16


Despite not watching either of these shows (or at least being way, way behind) this news made my goddamn day.
posted by brundlefly at 4:45 PM on April 16


Oh yeah, one thing I was thinking of on the drive home: shows that air new episodes daily. When Colbert takes over for Letterman there's surely going to be a desire to talk about that, but that's a lot of Late Show posts. Maybe a weekly thread for each late night show/other show that airs multiple new episodes per week if that happens?
posted by jason_steakums at 4:47 PM on April 16


I wanted to rep for MeFightClub, too. I have found MeFightClub to be an incredible community, a great place to find people to talk about games and find people to play with who are awesome and not awful.

MFC is particularly valuable to me, because being publicly female online and in gaming can be... difficult, to say the least. But everyone at MeFightClub has been wonderful and welcoming and helpful and amazing all around.

I would be very sad if Metafilter did a thing that bled off traffic and interest from MeFightClub. I hope that doesn't happen.
posted by ErikaB at 4:52 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


shows that air new episodes daily

I feel like those probably won't get posted because there'd likely not be much to talk about and someone doing a daily post would probably give up after a bit. I suspect Colbert's first episode would be a post, but that's about it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:56 PM on April 16


MFC is an amazing community even for the casual gamer. When I was super into Minecraft, being on there made it so much funnier by taking part in big projects and things - I made a department store! I wouldn't have made one if I was by myself.
posted by The Whelk at 5:03 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


When Colbert takes over for Letterman there's surely going to be a desire to talk about that

I feel like this is more what posts on the blue will be good for.

I hang out with comedians who spend a lot of time keeping up with every late night show and dwelling on the inside baseball of it all, and even none of them actually want to spend days dissecting every episode of shows lie that.

In a "big shakeup on a little-monitored show" kind of situation, that's an actual newsworthy thing that people can probably cobble together an FPP about.
posted by Sara C. at 5:04 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Hey! Great idea!

But this is actually another vote against the white background.

If the "hurts my eyes" argument is unconvincing, how about "the really bright brightness on my tablet ruins it when I'm trying to watch TV in a darkened room."

Even though we're not liveblogging I might be reading about TV while watching TV. Or reading about TV in bed, just before sleeping, after having watched TV.
posted by notyou at 5:07 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


I feel like I should add that the opportunity to read what MeFites have to say about my favorite TV shows, and talk with them about them, is super-exciting to me! Many's the time I wanted to say something in AVClub threads, for example, but I'm just not engaged with the community there, so this, this will be great.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:07 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Anyway, thanks. I hope too that when the gaming stuff comes to MeFi that it works more as a complementary thing than a competitive one. MFC really truly has been one of the best things in my life this past 7 years, and it would just kill me if it withered on the vine.

That's absolutely my hope, too, that it'd be if anything a nice complementary thing, and I say that as an enthusiastic mefighter as much as anything. MFC and mefi both do gaming talk already and there's a nice back-and-forth there that I like—that a mefi thread about a game or gaming will often end up pointing folks to MFC, and that an MFC discussion about a game can get enriched by folks pointing to something from over on the blue, etc—and I see that as something that would basically continue or grow a little with a little more freedom for gaming discussion on mefi itself.

MFC does a bunch of stuff well in terms of being it's own self-directed, purpose-built community that we aren't even really thinking about at this point for the notion of adding some new discussion space on the topic of games—all the game organization stuff, the off-topic kibitzing, the server wrangling and play session stuff, even just the fact that at this point MFC has a pretty significant population of folks who are less mefite than mefighter, who participate more in MFC stuff than they do or in a lot of cases ever have on Metafilter.

It's a strong little community, and strong in part on the basis of how it's different from here above and beyond the matter of what the general topic of conversation is. Most spinoff sites have trouble lasting past their first few months or year and never really get their legs under them; MFC has thrived and I would hope more than anything that it would continue to do so even when and maybe even because there's more gaming talk on Mefi as well.

All that said, like Matt I feel bad not having sort of gotten you in the loop about the eventual possibility here before it came along in a Metatalk post, even as a down-the-road sort of speculative thing. I heart MFC, and am really glad for the work you've put into it, and I want you to know that it means a lot to me as a unique mefi-esque part of the web.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:12 PM on April 16 [10 favorites]


Thanks, Josh. Hug?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:15 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Giant hug, man. I really do feel like kind of a dick here for not having thought to explicitly give you a heads up, sorry for the heart attack.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:18 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


imo cutting out all book talk completely takes a good deal of stuff about TV writing and how the sausage is made away from the discussion.

To be sure, I felt TWoP took too hard a line at times. I think book talk can be interesting, if book readers can wait until those events have occurred in the show. I don't really see book info as different from any other type of spoiler, really, if the discussion is supposedly about the TV show and not the canon as a whole.
posted by payoto at 5:24 PM on April 16


Can we add a link to chat prominently under the posts or comment box that says something like: live blogging? Click here to chat, threads are for discussion after, thanks.

Most people in MF want to follow community standards and if you put a reminder and make it one click easy to get to chat, I think that'll cut out the chatter of live blogging. And at least then you know the people who insist on live blogging are knowingly being dicks.
posted by viggorlijah at 5:33 PM on April 16 [6 favorites]


Hannibal Hannibal please please HANNIBAL HANNIBAL.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:38 PM on April 16 [6 favorites]


I'm all for no-liveblog in threads, but think that edited/curated highlights collected and posted after the fact could be interesting to people revisiting the thread months later.

I know I was one of the few people banging the recap drum in the last thread, so if this is a good way to trick y'all into doing it, well...
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:38 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Recap drum is a flat circle.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:40 PM on April 16


I feel like there's zero problem with someone saying "oh hey, here's a recap I liked/wrote" as a comment in a thread, which is basically status quo with current mefi discussion stuff; whether it ends up making sense to rehome that stuff into something more like an actual widget on threads is something we can look at over time based on how stuff actually plays out in practice on that front.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:44 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


I would love to see these threads as also a bit of a roundup for the various recaps, in addition to sundry discussion. And I'm not just saying that because I recap Game of Thrones and I want to show off about it. I love that people link the usual suspect recaps in the Mad Men threads that have happened in the past.
posted by Sara C. at 5:47 PM on April 16


N-thing the "white background is hard on the eyes" -- particularly for sustained reading.

Toning it down to a light grey -- maybe something between the current bright background and the grey of the header, footer, and tags box -- would make a big difference.

Game of Thrones spoilers are terribly tricky as book readers often simply can't resist oh-so-clever skirting-a-spoiler comments. I skipped the Jack Gleeson post at the time, and catching up on it now I'm glad I did: for example.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:24 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


It's helpful too if folks who are flagging that sort of thing drop us a note to let us know why. We would have nixed that as a GoT spoiler (probably) if we'd known what was up. And yeah I've been keeping an eye on the one GoT thread I'm watching with an eye to that sort of thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:27 PM on April 16


Sorry if this has been mentioned as an idea already, but I wonder if Fanfare-specific flagging options (like 'spoiler') might be a good idea.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:29 PM on April 16 [9 favorites]


Could we flag the series as "jumped the shark", "overrated", or "past its prime"? That would cut out a lot of noise right there.
posted by Think_Long at 6:43 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Thank you!! I don't know that I'll participate much but I'm excited about reading Game of Thrones analysis from the folks here.
posted by skycrashesdown at 6:53 PM on April 16


If the "hurts my eyes" argument is unconvincing

I WILL FIND A WAY TO MAKE YOU FEEL MY PAIN
posted by mudpuppie at 6:53 PM on April 16


Discuss what aired.

The worst thing about flagging spoilers and speculation is that you've already been spoiled by the time you see it to flag it.

I think the policy should be simple. Discuss what aired. No speculation, no spoilers. Just "discuss what aired" right under the comment box.
posted by cashman at 6:53 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


OH CRAP, I TOTALLY MISSED THE 'IF' THERE. SO SORRY! I RETRACT THE THREAT OF PAIN!
posted by mudpuppie at 6:54 PM on April 16


Also, yay! Thank you for doing this.
posted by cashman at 6:55 PM on April 16


I HAVE ALL THE HAPPY FEELS!!
posted by jeoc at 7:22 PM on April 16


Long thread so I suspect it's been touched on already, but being a Netflix type, I'm pretty much a year (or six months or whatever) out of whack with whatever would be current. Any way we could implement some kind of time machine?
posted by philip-random at 7:24 PM on April 16

Overall, I think there's lots of places for live blogs of TV. There are sites that do it, there's twitter, there's also Chat here and the occasional topic thread on MeFi proper. I want to see more meaty discussions though and I'm ok with decreased participation and threads with mostly just post-show discussion of plot elements than a few hundred comments about things that happened live as they happened.
Sure, and there are lots of places to discuss TV shows too, but obviously you think this user community can give a valuable slant to the discussion. And I agree - that's why I enjoy the liveblog portions of the threads even when I don't participate in them. And I still don't see any big deal about the "meaty discussion" being farther down in the thread, a few seconds of scrolling away.

A dedicated show chat room with archives that could then be linked to from the show thread would work fine too. Basically, as long as there is some sort of outlet for speculation and live blogging everyone is happy (for some values of everyone). If not, I suspect what someone mentioned above will happen - the previous week's thread will become the outlet for the next week's episode until that thread is created. Then you have your S1E2 thread cluttered up at the end with S1E3 pre- and live-blogging instead of all the S1E3 stuff being contained in one thread.

With everyone time-shifting shows (and entire seasons or series), I find any system that brings a community together for live viewing valuable, interesting and a lot of fun to boot. I think that may be looked back upon as favorably as all the bean-plating discussions.

I don't want it to seem like I'm feeling negative overall because I'm harping on this one thing, so let me say explicitly that the whole FaFa setup is a obviously a lot of work and well appreciated, and I'm excited to see it coming together!
posted by mikepop at 7:31 PM on April 16


Finally, a place to discuss Master Chef Junior, the Muppet Babies of Master Chef.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:53 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


1. Love the name. The lily requires no abbreviation-gilding.
2. Having no description on the front page beyond "Mork & Mindy S01 EP07", an air date, and maybe an episode title would eliminate virtually any spoiler worries.
3. If one feels the air is being sucked out of a room, it doesn't make sense to try filling it back up with farts.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:05 PM on April 16


Oh and 4. What about posting an episode thread but with comments closed and a link to the appropriate chatroom for liveblogging? Then the room can open back up after.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:06 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Dear Mods:

I love you all so hard for doing this.
posted by pjern at 8:12 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


I love this as a resource, even though I don't watch Mad Men and GoT is via DVD. I like FMe as the short hand for the site. Thanks for setting this up.
posted by arcticseal at 8:23 PM on April 16


Mefi TV
Qu'est-ce que c'est
FaFa FaFa FaFa FaFa FaFa
posted by jason_steakums at 8:27 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


YAY, FanFare threads are now in Recent Activity! Thank you pb, magical technical fairy person.
posted by Phire at 8:49 PM on April 16


Looking forward to fewer TV show posts on the blue! Thanks, mods.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:54 PM on April 16


I have a major issue to report.

"Rose Fights Back" isn't episode 6 of season 5 of "Golden Girls." It's episode 4. I guess it's easy to get confused, though, since it happens to be episode 106 of the series overall.
posted by koeselitz at 8:55 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


How about a special flag for "Spoiler" just on the FanFare subsite?

I personally find the "hinting" to be annoying. "Wait until you see what so-and-so gets up to in Book 5!" Okay, great. Now you've just told me some key character doesn't bite it this season. Given that Martin's made clear that any character can die at any time, that's a pretty substantial spoiler, in my view.

I like the idea that folks who've read the books should just pretend they don't exist.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:58 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


No speculation, no spoilers.

I think "no speculation" is going too far. Back when we had the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince thread, it was pointed out that there were elements which hinted that Snape and Dumbledore had prearranged Snape's killing of Dumbledore, which was confirmed when Deathly Hallows was published. I don't think that kind of discussion is unreasonable.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:59 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


I like the idea that folks who've read the books should just pretend they don't exist.

I already handle a lot of my personal existential issues by reading books.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:00 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


I like the idea that folks who've read the books should just pretend they don't exist.

I've noticed reading the thread that it's really difficult to try and forget the books in some ways, because there's a bit of "wait a minute... did the show show this bit yet/do things this way?". I'm having trouble with that in places, since the show's skipped around a bit, changed a few things, made some characters take actions that were taken by other characters in the books, changed characterizations, stuff like that. It's super easy for the two to blur in your mind, and I'm sure that's going to lead to accidental spoilers down the line.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:04 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


That white background. Guys, how hard is it to change a few digits :( I'd rather read white on fushsia.
posted by whorl at 9:13 PM on April 16


Outside-the-show spoilers aren't just an issue for "Game of Thrones".

Should "Hannibal" discussions ignore all the Hannibal Lecter books/movies it's a prequel for?

And what about "The Walking Dead"... there are over 100 issues of comics it's based on (or are the producers just ignoring the source material now?)

Which takes us back to the Father of All Book Spoilers... should we bring up the Conan Doyle novels in discussions of "Sherlock"? Or "Elementary"? Can we bring up the Robert Downey Jr. movie?

And what about when Cartoon Network brings out ANOTHER reboot of Scooby Doo? (Yes, that is a real thing.)
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:27 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


jason_steakums: "It's super easy for the two to blur in your mind, and I'm sure that's going to lead to accidental spoilers down the line."

I'm as fanatically anti-spoiler as they come, but even this, I can understand. A good-faith whoops can happen. That's why there should be a "spoiler" tag so that things can get squished if they come out by mistake.

But already there's a lot of stuff in that thread from book readers insisting what they're sharing isn't a spoiler, except it is, because if you say something that's left unknown or vague in the show is actually "X" from the book, then you've ruled out possibilities left open by the show's vagueness. And I find the show to be much subtler than the books, in a positive way. Having gone back and read the first two books (but no further), I find Martin can be too literal and explicit at times.

In any event, I suspect this won't be a winning argument, but I thought I'd try to push for this guideline anyway.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:35 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


As a book reader, I'm hoping for a spoiler tag because at this point I'm trying to be so cognizant of the kinds of things that people have said constitute spoilers or fun-killing speculation that it's really hard to talk about a lot of the things that make a GoT thread fun for me. Mefite speculation is always interesting on any show, lots of sharp people around here and that's a really fun thing to see the minds of Mefi applied to.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:43 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


If you do go with a spoiler tag, please also have a "show spoilers" option in the user preferences, so those of us who don't mind spoilers don't have to click-and-drag (or whatever mechanism is used to display spoilers) over the entire page.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:48 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


... and we only ask that you don't make references to spoilers from future episodes nor from books or comics the work was based on...

Say what you watch, but watch what you say.
posted by jamjam at 9:50 PM on April 16


We are not planning on a spoiler tag at this time. GoT is going to continue to be a sort of sticky issue, but folks have been good about navigating it so far in the various MeFi threads and I expect it'll continue to work ok in the early days of FanFare.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:51 PM on April 16


Sorry, I didn't mean spoiler tag. I meant spoiler flag, which is what I suggested in my first comment. I guess people can just use "it breaks the guidelines" for now, but I think a special spoiler flag would help enforce an anti-spoiler culture.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:53 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I mostly hang out on the Hannibal threads, and I do enjoy the hell out of the liveblogging aspect, I must say. But I'm more than happy about this, and I can always flail on twitter if mass flailing is required. (And with My Show, it usually is.) I mean, whatever best serves the needs of the community, is what I'm saying.
posted by dogheart at 9:55 PM on April 16


With dozen of people speculating, throwing out multiple theories, it essentially becomes a spoiler. Just Discuss what has aired, simple. "I bet Darth is his father" - that would ruin a lot of the impact of the story. "Ooh I bet the twist is that they are actually one person".

Why? All it does is ruin the story when the surprise is revealed. "I bet that book is a cookbook", "calling it now, they're actually on Earth in the future." Maybe take it to mefimail with a friend if you need dated proof for bragging or whatever.

We dont need speculation about unaired episodes in threads though. Its like standing up during a speech and trying to finish each one of the speaker's sentences before they can.
posted by cashman at 10:06 PM on April 16


With dozen of people speculating, throwing out multiple theories, it essentially becomes a spoiler.

I feel exactly the opposite. Let's say a dozen people are speculating about whodunit in the current spoilerrific GoT thing. Maybe a few of them read the books? Or some of the books? Or know someone who read the books? Or googled something and got spoiled once, so know things they shouldn't? But most people in the conversation just watch the show and are speculating only based on what they saw in the episode.

How do you even sort out who is "correct", there? Is someone "spoiling" because they happened to guess right? Is someone who read the books "not spoiling" because the show decided to go in a different direction or not even talk about that plot point at all?

I feel like if you are so sensitive to spoilers that you don't want to know what some random strangers on the internet think is going to happen down the line, maybe don't read long comment threads of people dissecting a particularly spoiler-prone TV show?

That said right now I am not really enjoying long elaborate explanation of backstory from the books on the subject of certain things that have not yet been revealed on the show. For one thing, those are details that may change on the show, for another thing, you may be inadvertently spoiling something, and for a third thing, is this even on topic at all?

So I guess we all have our opinions?
posted by Sara C. at 10:26 PM on April 16 [9 favorites]


Sara C.: "That said right now I am not really enjoying long elaborate explanation of backstory from the books on the subject of certain things that have not yet been revealed on the show. "

And you're opposed to "discuss what aired"? Yeah, the book readers are already doing a pretty good job providing spoilers for things they're sure aren't spoilers.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:37 PM on April 16


I think pulling from the books to explain "what aired" is not great. Maybe I enjoy using my imagination to fill in the blanks rather than using the books as a sort of ur-text reference book. Especially since the pacing of the series doesn't go perfectly hand in hand with any particular chapter of any particular book -- we don't know what's going to be revealed next week, so better to just leave aside backstory from the books.

I think people talking only about the show saying, "hm but what if Brienne did it, wouldn't that be crazy?" is fine, because maybe that'll turn out to be true, maybe it won't, and entertaining the thought isn't a "spoiler" per se.
posted by Sara C. at 10:42 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


"I bet Darth is his father" - that would ruin a lot of the impact of the story.

Not when it's:
"I bet Luke and Leia get married"
"I bet Uncle Owen faked his death"
"I bet Greedo's brother comes looking for Han"
"I bet Vader is Luke's father"
"I bet Chewie is a spy for the Empire"
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:54 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Or, another example. Prior to the release of Star Trek Into Darkness, there was a lot of speculation that Benedict Cumberbatch's character was Khan. There was also speculation that he was Gary Mitchell, or some other TOS Trek villain, or an original character. None of this bothered me.

However, I made the mistake of looking at Memory Alpha a few days before the US release, thinking I was safe because MA had had a very strict policy around the release of Star Trek (2009) that nothing from the movie could be added prior to its release, and IIRC it even had a whole-wiki lockdown for a few days before the release of that movie. My mistake was that STID was released in a number of countries a week before the US release, and for STID MA's lock only applied to that earlier release date, and I saw the definitive statement that Cumberbatch was playing Khan.

The speculation that Cumberbatch was Khan, among many other suggested characters, would not have substantially altered my experience of the movie; the definitive knowledge that he was, did.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:09 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


there's some (interesting / irritating) spoiler lawyering going on in the GoT thread right now. Seems to call for spoilertext options or something, as the catalytic post is set off with a boldtype do-not-read flag.
posted by mwhybark at 11:24 PM on April 16


"I bet Chewie is a spy for the Empire"
posted by DevilsAdvocate


I hope you're just being eponysterical here because this would crush 8 year old me.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:32 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Fantastic site, thank you mods.

Are the flags totally disabled? I've also just come from the latest GoT thread, and wasn't massively pleased to be hit with the one-two of "here's a theory! Oh btw I've read the books and it's definitely true.", esp from a user who I've definitely noticed in more of their share of fighty episodes on other parts of the site.

Would there be any appetite to have book and non-book posts for this particular show? A much smaller forum I frequent is doing this and it's working well, though we only have two threads for s4 overall, so it's a bit less fiddly. This does seem to be the approach taken in many places online though.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:32 PM on April 16


Are the flags totally disabled!

I... don't think so? I see one flag on an earlier comment, but nothing on the later dustup. Could someone please flag my comment here, as anything other than "fantastic," so I can affirm that flags are working?
posted by taz (staff) at 11:43 PM on April 16


Okay, thanks, yep, flags are go. So let's please flag over there, or contact us, rather than derailing in the FanFare thread about how to interpret the guidelines.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:51 PM on April 16


Flagged as "other."
posted by brookedel at 11:51 PM on April 16


Mods, thank you for this. I read Mefi all the time, post/comment in Ask once in a while, and browse MeTa. But this might be the sub that I will engage with (because I am a big TV nerd). So thanks for always thinking of the members and not sitting still.

As far as spoilers go, I don't know. It's so easy for someone to notice something and the onus is often on the reader to avoid stuff. My example: I followed the True Detective subreddit because I enjoyed the speculation. But then in a passing comment someone noted that on imdb, a certain actor would be appearing in the last two episodes, and then I knew. It didn't ruin the show but it did take away a small part of the surprise (which wasn't the important part of the show, but was the closing of the circle, so to speak).

And you don't want to put pressure on enthusiastic readers to stay away for the time between the airing and their chance to watch. So...yeah? How do you avoid that? With original content it's somewhat easier but GoT is intrinsically difficult because it's a fairly close version of the books (unlike Walking Dead which has deviated significantly, I think -- I didn't read that far).

You've picked a very interesting test show. Probably the best thing you could do to really get some of the spoiler stuff cemented.
posted by tracicle at 11:54 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


The onus is on the viewer to avoid spoilers, but if a poster goes so far as to say "Stop reading now if you'd rather keep speculating until you figure it out on your own." in an unthreaded forum, I think that pretty much speaks for itself. (I am not suggesting we thread anything. God forbid.) My intention in speculating isn't to figure it out and have it confirmed, it's to savor the plot and the characters and the mystery! If I wanted to work out a problem and be told if I got it right, I'd go back to school.

I also think there's some unpleasantness going on about who's a bigger fan. I concede completely: of course someone who's read thousands of pages of GRRM's prose is a bigger fan and knows more about the GoT universe than I do. Now can we just talk about the show?
posted by gingerest at 12:15 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Prior to the release of Star Trek Into Darkness, there was a lot of speculation that Benedict Cumberbatch's character was Khan.

Probably the most pointless "reveal" I've ever seen in a movie.
posted by brundlefly at 12:26 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


The onus is on the viewer to avoid spoilers, but if a poster goes so far as to say "Stop reading now if you'd rather keep speculating until you figure it out on your own." in an unthreaded forum, I think that pretty much speaks for itself. (I am not suggesting we thread anything. God forbid.) My intention in speculating isn't to figure it out and have it confirmed, it's to savor the plot and the characters and the mystery! If I wanted to work out a problem and be told if I got it right, I'd go back to school.

Just adding my vote that Jacquilyne's whole comment in there right now, despite her disclaimer that everything she's about to say is apparent in the episode, is a massive, massive spoiler. I skipped over her comment per her warning, but the argument that's broken out between her and Sarah makes it possible to infer its nature. At this point I feel I can no longer read the thread on Fanfare.

I said earlier that this kind of thing can be tricky, simply because the exact same comment that counts as entertaining speculation from a non-spoiled viewer becomes a huge spoiler when the commentator knows for a fact they're right. Jac's comment in the current thread seems to me to be well on the problematic side of the line. If that sort of thing's going to be allowed I would not want to participate as much in Fanfare as a whole, at least when it comes to GoT.
posted by Diablevert at 12:52 AM on April 17 [7 favorites]


Posting this here instead of in the Game of Thrones episode discussion thread as per taz's request.

I do not appreciate how some people are insinuating that just because I have read the books, when I call attention to a series of events that happened on the show (which anyone watching the show could have noticed if they were paying attention) that it is therefore automatically a spoiler even when I have carefully stayed strictly within the scope of what was shown on the screen.

As I said in the that thread, "The main advantage I have as a reader is that I can spot all the critical pieces of evidence the first time I watch the episode because I know what to look for, whereas most non-readers would need to carefully rewatch the episode (and have a good memory of prior episodes) to put it all together.

"But if we restrict ourselves to only discussing things the average non-reader picks up on a single viewing then we'd have to ban the use of 75+% of the characters' names in our discussions because apparently most people struggle with remembering even that."

Continuing that line of thought, wasn't the goal to create a place for serious TV fans to have discussions with other serious TV fans? Because those sorts of discussions include piecing together details that casual fans don't notice, and that sort of attentiveness leads to people deducing things before they're actually revealed on the show (good shows use foreshadowing and drop clues to make this possible). If laying out the steps to solving a mystery is considered to be "spoiling" the episode that eventually reveals the solution and thus such comments are banned, then this is going to be just another place for casual fans to have shallow discussions.

As for this particular plot twist, despite having read the books I still did not know for certain what happened and who did it until I saw the episode. That's why I thought it was so neat that you could deduce it just from events shown on screen, because it allowed us readers to finally confirm something that we'd been in doubt about. There had already been some discussion earlier in the thread about how book readers did not actually know what was "true" until we saw the episode:

jason_steakums: "I thought it was a great touch that the answer to whodunnit is actually shown, in a way that I think the vast majority of non-book readers wouldn't catch, but book readers would."

The corpse in the library: "...can you tell me where in the books it's revealed? Someone I was talking to said we never find out."

jason_steakums: "...the killer is named as part of someone's big villainous gloating exposition and the veracity of the statement does depend on how much you trust that person, but that combined with what was shown in the show at least marks someone as by far the most likely suspect."

The corpse in the library: "Ah, so it isn't that it's been made perfectly clear ... in one of the books. Yet."

lonefrontranger: "...it's never ultimately proven beyond the shadow of a doubt by a fully reliable narrator to the best of my knowledge."

So how can I spoiler the answer to the "mystery" based on book knowledge when it's already been established that book knowledge alone was insufficient to solve it?

Meanwhile, I still have no idea what "backstory" Sara claims I have spoiled? The name of and origins the poison? That's no more spoilery than the discussions about the history of the Boltons and Starks that happened earlier in the thread without any objection.

GOT show watchers have an advantage over ASOIAF book readers in that whenever a character asserts something about events that were shown on screen, you can just go back and rewatch that episode to see whether that character is telling the truth or not. Whereas book readers can never be certain because there is no omniscient narrator in the books -- the chapters are written from different characters' points of view and only reveal what the POV character sees / hears / remembers / believes from his or her own incomplete and erroneous perception of events.

Meanwhile, there are several scenes in the show that cover events that were only ever heard about second- or third-hand (and often presented as just rumors) in the books. For example, show watchers know that Renly and Loras are gay because we saw them have gay sex on screen. Book readers could only ever suspect it because neither of them were POV characters.

Basically, reading the books is a process of piecing together bits of incomplete and unreliable information from many different sources to try to figure out what's actually going on. And rereading the books is a process of scrapping many of your original theories as you pick up on details that take on a whole different significance in context of later events. Then as you discuss the books with other fans, it becomes a process of going slightly insane from gradually coming to believe in several mutually exclusive conflicting theories all at once.

So as the show progresses, there are going to continue to be instances of the show clearing up something that the books left in doubt. Discussing these things as they occur should not be considered "spoiling" the show (if it's spoiling anything, it's spoiling the books) nor should such discussions be considered off-topic because they are still fundamentally about what happened on the show.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:57 AM on April 17 [12 favorites]


OH GOD FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS REWATCH WITH ALL OF YOU LOVELY LOVELY PEOPLE

I am not sure I am ready for this many tears
posted by ominous_paws at 1:04 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


To clarify, my warning of "Stop reading now if you'd rather keep speculating until you figure it out on your own" was not because the rest of my post contained spoilers but because I know that some people like to rewatch things and see if they can solve the mystery on their own once they've been assured that all the necessary clues are there.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:05 AM on April 17


If you go into a Game of Thrones thread and don't expect to hear spoilers from the books you're gonna have a bad time.
posted by Justinian at 1:06 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


AV Club has experts threads/recaps for people who've read the books and newbies threads/recaps for people who haven't, so there's precedent for it.

Yeah, that seems like an eminently sensible solution to the problem when it's a show like Game of Thrones, and I can feel relatively comfortable in reading comments threads 'for newbies' there not having read the books. Just based on the back and forth here, I don't feel like I should read the Fanfare GoT threads because (even though I'm not all that worried about spoilers as a concept in general) I feel like I might end up seeing stuff I'd rather learn through watching the shows themselves.

That's the sort of thing I was thinking about in the original thread about this when I suggested that the MeFi thread structure as it exists might not be adequate for the task at hand. I'm sure something can be figured out, though, and that's what this beta period is all about.

If you do go with a spoiler tag, please also have a "show spoilers" option in the user preferences, so those of us who don't mind spoilers don't have to click-and-drag (or whatever mechanism is used to display spoilers) over the entire page.

The way I've implemented spoiler tags at MFC is pretty simple, and pretty standard in a lot of places. You just hover over the spoiler block to reveal what's underneath (doesn't work on touch devices, though, of course). It'd be trivially easy to put a button on each page to just reveal them all on the whole page, too. But, as has been said a few times, it sounds like spoiler tags aren't something that are going to be on the menu, so...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:15 AM on April 17


I still can't look at the thread because it's still a giant blinding expanse of sheer whiteness. This must be like what other people see when I go to the beach.
posted by Justinian at 1:28 AM on April 17 [9 favorites]


If you go into a Game of Thrones thread and don't expect to hear spoilers from the books you're gonna have a bad time.

Au contraire, I've seen this issue managed perfectly well on sites much less civilized than metafilter.
posted by ominous_paws at 1:29 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


The guideline we have at the moment is "we only ask that you don't make references to spoilers from future episodes nor from books or comics the work was based on." Obviously, this will need a bit of refinement as we go along, but until we absolutely nail it down, my feeling is that those who have read the book should be careful not to join speculative conversation to hint, guide, or reveal information that you know from the book, even if you feel like all that information is contained in the episode -- if people just put the pieces together. Let people put the pieces together on their own, without leading them there, or commenting to tell them they are right/wrong.

Let's hash things out here (not in threads) to figure out the limits of the restriction -- which is the point of doing a beta thing here, and folks can always contact us to ask about something they might want to point out in comments if there's any doubt. Meanwhile, let's try to keep cool and understand that this is the testing phase where we work out these problems, and don't get too frustrated that everything isn't completely settled yet.

Also, please flag if there are problems. We aren't looking at all comments everywhere at once, even on the new subsite (though we are trying to keep a closer eye on it), so don't assume we're seeing things that nobody's flagging. If nothing else, every time there's a shift change, the new person is catching up on hundreds of new comments and dozens of posts across the whole site (as well as a pile of email and ongoing moderator discussions), so we often need the nudge to have a look if something is going off track.
posted by taz (staff) at 1:30 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I still can't look at the thread because it's still a giant blinding expanse of sheer whiteness. This must be like what other people see when I go to the beach.

Yea, i loaded it up for like ten seconds and did a gigantic O MY GOD MY EYEBALLS ARE FUCKED and was frantically swiping back.
posted by emptythought at 1:32 AM on April 17


I still can't look at the thread because it's still a giant blinding expanse of sheer whiteness

I feel like I'm starting to comment too frequently, so if someone else could tap in the gag about any thread based on an HBO drama inevitably being a blinding expanse of sheer whiteness, that'd be grand, thanks.
posted by ominous_paws at 1:33 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


"If you go into a Game of Thrones thread and don't expect to hear spoilers from the books you're gonna have a bad time."

I think that the first thing we all need to do is to remember that GoT is pretty much a worst-case scenario for this particular kind of problem. And that matters when arguing about it because, frankly, there's no way to avoid having some problems and conflicts about this stuff with GoT.

Jacqueline's comment, in my opinion, was probably on the wrong side of the line dividing Good Idea from Bad Idea. But she thought it would be okay and wasn't intended to spoil anyone. Give her a bit of slack and we can just view this as part of the learning process for how to deal with these book versus show spoiler issues that are so intensely part of GoT discussions.

And that other shows are just not going to have this problem to anywhere near this degree and persistence. So GoT is one of those "hard cases make bad law" things — we shouldn't try to hash out explicit spoiler rules on the basis of the GoT threads.

That said, I think that among MetaFilter's biggest virtues have been the bias toward the mods making judgment calls and the community encouraging good behavior and a general rule against being a dick, and not in the direction of making lots of explicit rules intended to cover various situations and with the idea that these rules and their enforcement will somehow magically make everything wonderful. Because it usually doesn't work that way.

My reasoning for why Jacqueline's comment was something that she shouldn't have posted is that although it's true that the specific things she describes are available to be seen right there on the screen, it's also true that those things wouldn't necessarily have the known and understood meanings they have in the absence of knowing about them from the book. And that type of thing comes up a lot with GoT discussions, because there's a lot of things that are right there in the show, but no one would have any reason to attach any special meaning to those things in the absence of knowing what happens in the books. And so it's problematic to very specifically point out things that happened in an episode speaking/writing as someone who's read the books. My rule-of-thumb is to try to avoid connecting-the-dots on things that I know about from the books, even though those dots, of course, are right there on the screen. Because a) I have an advantage in that I know the dots connect, and b) anyone I'l talking to who knows I've read the books will (rightly) suspect that my connecting those dots means that I'm doing so because I've read the books.

So that's why that particular comment was a bad idea. And Jacqueline and the rest of us can learn from its example. No one needs to be taken out back and beaten, no one should be attacking Jacqueline, and she shouldn't feel attacked. And we don't need to demand that there be some absolutist moderation of these threads because, frankly, that sucks. It sucks for the people participating and it sucks for the mods.

On Preview: also what taz said. :)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:42 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


The consequence of all of this is that I am now really, really glad I didn't get into watching GoT. But I'm very much looking forward to this for shows I do watch while they're airing, as rare as they are. I wish I could have that kind of company for my backlog--it's hard to be the person squeeing over shows that initially aired a decade ago.
posted by Sequence at 2:06 AM on April 17


"...those who have read the book should be careful not to join speculative conversation..."

Well then we readers might as well not participate at all. Because given that the book series isn't finished, we have a lot of things left to speculate about too!

You seem to be under the impression that it's a one-way transfer of book knowledge informing our understanding of the show. But it very much goes both ways. The show covers significantly less material than the books, so given that GRRM has told the show producers what the end game is, just looking at what they choose to keep and what they choose to cut makes certain theories more or less likely.

For example, long before I read the books, upon rewatching the first season I already began to independently have an inkling of the R+L=J theory based on some dialogue from the first and second episodes. That the show chose to include those particular conversations is a huge hint above and beyond the book-based evidence that R+L=J is true.

Meanwhile, there have been many other book-based theories about previously unclear events that have since been definitively confirmed or refuted by the show because things happened slightly differently or we got to actually SEE what happened instead of relying on second- and third-hand accounts and rumors. Just off the top of my head, some things explicitly revealed in the show but not in the books include characters' sexual orientations, the nonexistence of a secret heir, someone not being a merling, and the identity of a murderer.

I think the only way Game of Thrones discussions are going to work in a way that is fun for everyone is to have two separate posts for each episode: one people people who have read the books and one for people who have not. Otherwise nonreaders will continue to misunderstand the conversations of readers as revealing "spoilers" because we "know" what's going to happen when we might actually be discussing how thanks to the show we now know something that has thus far been left unclear by the books.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:14 AM on April 17 [9 favorites]


Don't care what color the subsite eventually becomes, as long as I can keep my professional white background option, please.
posted by zarq at 3:25 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


If you hate the white background, and you have the Stylish extension for FF or Chrome, just paste this into a new style. Very fast and dirty and very goldygreen and not at all color-schemed in any actual way, but just something I threw together in a 5 minutes that might be a wee bit easier on the eyes, or possibly might make them melt right out of your head. You buys your ticket you takes your chances.

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

@-moz-document domain("fanfare.metafilter.com") {

body { background: #515600 !important; color: #FFFFFF;}
#navglobal a, #navseldom a, #navoften a, a:link, .smallcopy > a { color: #CDC847;}
#bottomline, #topline, .sidebar,#footer,.tags {
background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #3D4103;}
#footer {border-top: 1px solid #C9CC94;}
#yellowbar {
background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #818000;
border-bottom: 1px solid #C9CC94;
border-top: 1px solid #C9CC94;
color: #FFFFFF;}
.mefimessages,.smallcopy {
color: #ffffff;}
.new {
color: #FFFFFF !important;
}
.mefimessages > a {color: #999533;}
.posttitle {
color: #FFFFFF;
}
.whitesmallcopy {
color: #FFFFFF;
}
}

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:27 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


The flag menu there should have a "Spoiler" option.

"It breaks the guidelines" describes the problem, but won't be adequate if the mod on duty doesn't recognize a particular comment as being spoiler-y.
posted by ardgedee at 5:10 AM on April 17


Fanfare should copy The AV Club's separate GoT fora - one for newbies, one for readers. Otherwise, you're always crashing somebody's party.

Until the forum is split, it should be treated as a newbie forum.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:26 AM on April 17 [7 favorites]


I haven't read or watched GoT, so I'm probably missing some of the nuance of this special edge-case, but it seems clear that cashman and others' vision of "no speculation whatsoever" is not really workable, since the audience-engagement engine most of these hourlong dramas operate on *is* the production of speculation.

I'm not actually suggesting trying, but I'd hazard to guess that if you experimented by creating two threads for a show -- at least for a show that's not GoT -- the one marked "no speculation" would wither on the vine.

(Reading through the comments from this week in the Hannibal thread, it seems like almost 75% of them would be verboten?)
posted by nobody at 5:26 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]


Also, Fanfare looks AWESOME.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:26 AM on April 17


Gosh, people really care about spoilers a lot more than I thought they did.
posted by Think_Long at 5:30 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I agree with everyone wishing for a 'Spoiler' flag option.

And I agree with people wishing for a separate GOT-book-reader & GOT-tv-viewer-only thread. Without that separation, every GOT thread will inevitably have book-only info throughout. I read the first couple of books, but I don't see myself slogging through the rest of them anytime soon, so judging by this Metatalk thread it seems like there will be too many spoilers in the Fanfare threads for me.

I don't think this is going to be an issue for every show adapted from other material though, if there's a mod concern of precedent-setting. Most tv-series based on books part ways with the original material after a season (True Blood, for example), and for others the book-reader info is not going to negatively impact the viewing experience.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:31 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Until the forum is split, it should be treated as a newbie forum.

That slows the conversation down to the lowest common denominator. Considering that it's probably revealed who killed Joffrey in the very next episode, meaning its not that important, to have this as some sort of bright line isn't very constructive or useful.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:33 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


If you want to talk about the book, surely you can find a forum somewhere that is discussing the book.

We are discussing the TV show over here.
posted by lrobertjones at 5:38 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


I personally agree with you, Brandon - I generally don't care about spoilers at all - but it's clear that others care quite a bit about spoilers. Until the forum is split, it's just going to look like a highly redacted FOIA request, I guess?
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:39 AM on April 17


If you want to talk about the book, surely you can find a forum somewhere that is discussing the book.

If people want to control want others are talking about, maybe they should go somewhere else.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:52 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


"It breaks the guidelines" describes the problem, but won't be adequate if the mod on duty doesn't recognize a particular comment as being spoiler-y.

We will probably twig to it. We're not discussing having an actual spoiler flag at this time.

Jacqueline's comment, in my opinion, was probably on the wrong side of the line dividing Good Idea from Bad Idea. But she thought it would be okay and wasn't intended to spoil anyone.

This was my feeling. It didn't catch flags at the time but if people had flagged it we probably would have removed it and suggested she repost more obliquely just to avoid the "Is this a spoiler or not?" side discussion which is off-topic and gets even more into "But let's talk more about spoilers in a thread that isn't supposed to contain them" territory. I don't think there was any intentional "Hey let me wreck this for people" plan, just that for some people that is what the comment wound up being, we're mindful of that, and generally speaking we'd like people to post stuff in the thread that can be read by people who are enjoying watching the show and don't want to be nudged towards something that someone else already knows. I don't think this leads to shallow conversation. I think people need to just learn to work with the "Other people's ideas of spoilers are different from my own. The site's version of what is a spoiler is ____________"

The original beta plan was going to be Mad Men only and we decided to add GoT specifically so we could have this conversation now and not a month or two from now. Not everyone is going to agree on where the line is but we're going to have to draw a line. At that point people are going to not always be happy with where the line is drawn and that's just a downside of running a community website. We appreciate people's patience.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:02 AM on April 17 [6 favorites]


Seems to me it should simply be a given that a forum dedicated to discussing currently-airing tv shows is going to contain spoilers. So enter here forewarned.

If you're going to DVR a show and not get around to watching things for a week, in my opinion, avoiding spoilers is up to you, not to people wishing to discuss episodes that have aired.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:13 AM on April 17


If we're voting on liveblogging, I vote no. To me, it's just noise.
posted by empath at 6:18 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Also, Jesus Christ people with the spoilers in this thread.
posted by empath at 6:19 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


I'm calling it now - he comes out of the cave after 3 days.
posted by cashman at 6:22 AM on April 17 [8 favorites]


"Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its discussion deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful speculation may never come again. But why, some say, Fanfare? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why create Ask Metafilter? Why, eight years ago, begin Metafilter Music? Why does cortex play roguelikes? We choose to go create Fanfare. We choose to make Fanfare in this decade and do the other things like cover Game of Thrones, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win."
posted by adrianhon at 6:24 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


oh yeah!: " I don't think this is going to be an issue for every show adapted from other material though, if there's a mod concern of precedent-setting. Most tv-series based on books part ways with the original material after a season (True Blood, for example), and for others the book-reader info is not going to negatively impact the viewing experience."

Interestingly enough, it could be a problem (at least initially) for some British television shows adapted for American audiences. Take Being Human, for example. First season of the UK version had only 6 episodes. US version, 13 episodes. Which meant that the American producers had to create entirely new storylines and quickly diverged from the British version.

Any discussion of seasons one and two of the American show would invite comparisons. They'd probably be inescapable. There would spoilers, some of which would be wrong, because the American version was not a faithful recreation of its predecessor.
posted by zarq at 6:25 AM on April 17


Seems to me it should simply be a given that a forum dedicated to discussing currently-airing tv shows is going to contain spoilers. So enter here forewarned.

Game of Thrones is a special case, though (not unique -- I've been holding my tongue (badly) on a lot of Walking Dead stuff too) -- there are "spoilers" that haven't aired yet and won't for years, if they ever do. You can be 100 percent caught up on the GoT TV show and still get spoiled for huge plot points by people who are just idly wondering, "Hey, why aren't they doing Subplot X -- isn't it really huge when we get to Main Plot Y next season?"
posted by Etrigan at 6:28 AM on April 17


You can be 100 percent caught up on the GoT TV show and still get spoiled for huge plot points by people who are just idly wondering, "Hey, why aren't they doing Subplot X -- isn't it really huge when we get to Main Plot Y next season?"

Oh, absolutely. But reducing GoT to plot points does a disservice. The show has a great cast, with plenty of acting chops and fine direction and settings. Knowing that X happens shouldn't detract from still enjoying the show, especially when one chooses to engage in internet forums.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:33 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


mathowie: "- Spoilers: we ask that no spoilers show up on the front page of the site, save it for the more inside area below the fold and inside threads made to talk about episodes. Within threads about an episode, feel free to discuss anything that took place in that episode or in previous episodes, and we only ask that you don't make references to spoilers from future episodes nor from books or comics the work was based on."

This seems pretty reasonable to me. I'm in favor of it.
posted by zarq at 6:42 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Knowing that X happens shouldn't detract from still enjoying the show

With respect, telling other people how they should feel about a thing is sort of a non-starter here.

We are trying to work out what a reasonable spoiler policy will be with the understanding that there are many people who want to be able to both discuss a current TV show and also not be spoiled for future events in that TV show. We have stated we think that is a reasonable thing to want and are endeavoring to provide that within reasonable limits.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:43 AM on April 17 [9 favorites]


Brandon, I entirely agree with you (as someone who read entire series' recaps on TWoP before watching the shows), but I don't think it helps the argument to seem dismissive of people who say that being surprised by plot points is significant to their enjoyment of the show.
posted by EvaDestruction at 6:44 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Knowing that X happens shouldn't detract from still enjoying the show, especially when one chooses to engage in internet forums

shouldn't detract? Oddly moral word choice. Plus, how could it not? There are many pleasures to be gleaned from great narratives, but one of the biggies is finding out what happens next. That's what suspense is, the state of being uncertain what's going to happen next. You can drain a story of suspense and still get enjoyment out of it, sure. Some leftovers taste fine microwaved the next day.
posted by Diablevert at 6:45 AM on April 17 [7 favorites]


But reducing GoT to plot points does a disservice.

I think there's a wide gap between "reducing to plot points" and giving away the Red Wedding.
posted by Etrigan at 6:45 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


but I don't think it helps the argument to seem dismissive of people who say that being surprised by plot points is significant to their enjoyment of the show.

That's a excellent point and duly noted.

Being able to see a story unfold is a unique pleasure and the optimal choice. But on the internet stage it's a difficult task to do, so it's probably good not to get too bogged down in learning spoilers, as it leaves one with negative feelings. Roll with it and enjoy what you can would be a good motto.

But that's up to the individual, so there's that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:52 AM on April 17


GoT offers an interesting problem re: spoilers beyond the existence of the books. The nature of the story itself has shown that main characters who would be otherwise untouchable in other stories could bite it at any time. That the callow youth may not grow up to save the kingdom and may get sick and die from eating a bad hotpie lends an air of unpredictability to the story.

Add to that the number of characters and that someone can really only care about so many of them at once, if one finds out that Johnny Callow is going to poop himself to death in 7 episodes it does detract from the drama of his storyline.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:58 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


To use the Television Without Pity lingo, there are two populations of GoT viewers: the "Unsullied" and the "Bookwalkers". While there's a lot to talk about for a Bookwalker in an Unsullied-only thread, the truth is that a huge part of the pleasure of the discussion, for a Bookwalker, is actually in the book/show relationship, such as plot differences, easter eggs/hints intended for book readers etc. At this point GoT (the show) is written for both populations.
posted by elgilito at 7:02 AM on April 17 [9 favorites]


jessamyn: I think ♫ FaMe! I'm gonna live forever ...! ♫

Whenever Camp MeFi happens, the mods have to do a song-and-dance number together, because cortex shouldn't get all the musical roles around here.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:05 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


a giant blinding expanse of sheer whiteness

Let me suggest that adding Fargo would be thematically appropriate.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:07 AM on April 17 [6 favorites]


"...feel free to discuss anything that took place in that episode or in previous episodes..."

I thought this was a reasonable rule too, but even when I stuck with discussing only events that took place in that episode or in previous episodes and I still got jumped all over for posting "spoilers." Even if readers follow this rule as written, our mere interest in particular aspects of particular events is itself perceived as a spoiler!

It really feels like nonreaders don't want readers to be able to participate equally in the conversation. We've got mods saying we shouldn't participate in speculative discussions at all even though there is plenty of stuff that readers really don't know and are still wondering about, both because the book series isn't finished and because there isn't an omnipotent narrator.

For example, what if I want to speculate about and discuss what (if anything) might be hidden in [specific place] that could shed new light on [specific past events] relating to [particular theory]? Although readers have been wondering about this for some time due to clues dropped in the books, it's the *show's* recurring use of visions set in [specific place] that makes me suspect that it is actually a bigger key to the end game that readers have previously considered based on our book knowledge alone.

So, if I want to discuss that, am I now discussing the book or show? Is my mere showing of interest in particular shots that may have gone unnoticed by nonreaders (or that they might not have realized were significant) itself a spoiler because nonreaders will automatically assume that if I take a special interest in something they didn't notice it must be because I have spoilery book knowledge?

If I can't even discuss things I don't know the answer to using only information available in the show just because I've read the books and people might *think* I'm posting spoilers then that's basically a "readers not welcome" policy.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:09 AM on April 17 [9 favorites]


People already got my long comment about the last episode completely backwards -- it wasn't "I know that this theory about the show events is true because I've read the books," it was actually "I know that this theory about the book events is true because I've seen the show."

I went into the episode wondering "Are they actually going to show us what really happened or leave it vague enough that we still won't know if [character] is telling the truth?" and I was pleased to see that they did indeed show us what really happened.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:18 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


At the point at which you are posting: Stop reading now if you'd rather keep speculating until you figure it out on your own. you are putting people in an awkward place where they don't really even know if it's a spoiler warning or not and don't know if they should be reading your comment. I wasn't sure. I skipped the comment.

I think you can be clear in your comments that you're not bringing future book knowledge in to your comment and have a conversation with the people in the thread. However at that point people who want to avoid spoilers have no idea what you're going to be talking about and we'd like people to err on the side of not commenting about stuff that needs big DON'T READ IF... disclaimers.

People jumping on people is a different issue generally and some people are going to think that things are spoilers that don't fit what we wind up deciding are the spoiler guidelines. For now what we want people to do is be mindful that the thread is for talking about the TV show and using the TV show elements to unlock secrets you think are buried in the book are going to seem to some people like spoilers.

So there's a trust aspect. People need to trust that people aren't going to be doing wink-wink sideways spoiler insertion accidentally and people need to trust the community (and/or the mods) to self regulate and try to pick a middle road that means that most people can participate in the way they want to. More importantly, discussion about spoilers needs to basically come here and one of the problems was it turned into a side conversation in the thread which wasn't cool.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:21 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]


gubo: I can see mathowie's point about long stretches of contextless comments in threads being a problem.

If anyone would like to see how intense liveblogging looks on MetaFilter, look at a presidential debate thread (warning: 3,601 comments, may take a while to load and/or try to kill your smart device's browser). Of course, such debates are 1) simulcast across the US at the same time, and 2) tend to rile up MeFites more than TV shows (though I could be wrong about this), but they're still a prime example of lots of comments that are nonsensical when lacking context. Even more-so as people try to throw out quick comments right as something happens, as a longer comment will be "late" in the liveblogging discussion.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:22 AM on April 17


I think Jacqueline's "Stop reading now if you'd rather keep speculating until you figure it out on your own" comment should have been deleted, and probably some of the back-and-forth derail about whether it was a spoiler or not. Saying the comment would have been OK on /r/gameofthrones doesn't mean it falls within the guidelines established here. (Basically, some details in the scene confirm a claim made by a character about the assassination that HBO watchers haven't gotten to yet, so, yeah, it counts as a spoiler.)

I agree that it would make sense to have separate book and show based discussions of The Game of Thrones and other book-based TV shows and movie series. People who are watching but haven't read the books (and are actively avoiding them) would know to avoid the book-based threads, and people who have read the books could discuss ways the shows and novels diverge and speculate about what what's going to happen in upcoming novels to their heart's content. (I'm not sure exactly how this would work. Book-based discussions don't need to proceed episode-by-episode like show-based threads.)

I don't agree that speculation should be banned, but speculation based on the books and the show will be different and should probably be separated.
posted by nangar at 7:23 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]


To use the Television Without Pity lingo, there are two populations of GoT viewers: the "Unsullied" and the "Bookwalkers". While there's a lot to talk about for a Bookwalker in an Unsullied-only thread, the truth is that a huge part of the pleasure of the discussion, for a Bookwalker, is actually in the book/show relationship, such as plot differences, easter eggs/hints intended for book readers etc. At this point GoT (the show) is written for both populations.

Yeah, this. As a Bookwalker, the interplay between the show and the book is really important and enjoyable for me. I would be totally good with, and completely respect, not spoiling the show with things that happened in the books but haven't been shown yet, but talking about the difference between an episode of the show and how it's portrayed in books is absolutely key, for me, in wiggling those tiny pieces of information out so that I can speculate. And as Jacqueline says, for many of us the show is crucial in figuring out GRRM's intent. If a character was replaced, does that mean they were insignificant to the plot? If a character is dead when they are alive in the books, does that mean nothing they do matters in the books?
posted by corb at 7:25 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


I posted "Stop reading now if you'd rather keep speculating until you figure it out on your own" because I figured that some people, having heard that all the clues were there in the episode for them to find, might prefer to go back and rewatch the episode and try to figure it out for themselves instead of reading a blow-by-blow recap of events and how they string together.

Since I explicitly stated prior to that sentence that all the information was there in the show I thought it was clear that my comment therefore was within the scope of what was shown on screen. But people jumped to the conclusion that because I'd read the books that therefore anything I discussed that they hadn't noticed on their own on their first viewing must by definition be a spoiler, and that's not very nice or fair to me.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:27 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


It didn't catch flags at the time but if people had flagged it we probably would have removed it

It's not too late to remove the comment, especially for those of us who just woke up for the day. (Lucky for me I came to MeTa first.)
posted by likeatoaster at 7:29 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


"- Spoilers: we ask that no spoilers show up on the front page of the site, save it for the more inside area below the fold and inside threads made to talk about episodes. Within threads about an episode, feel free to discuss anything that took place in that episode or in previous episodes, and we only ask that you don't make references to spoilers from future episodes nor from books or comics the work was based on."

This one blanket policy is not workable for Game of Thrones. It's an ongoing show based on an ongoing book series, where the books' author is also an active writer for the show itself. The Unsullied/Bookwalkers divide is a special case. They are both perfectly valid ways to enjoy the show, but to choose only one policy will exclude one group or another. It would be unfair to the Unsullied to be on the lookout for major spoilers, and it would be unfair to the Bookwalkers to make them sit on their hands, especially when there are discussions about "mysteries" that are not, to the Bookwalkers, mysteries at all.

Pretending that one blanket policy will work for the show will only increase bad feelings, spoiled plot points, flame wars, acne, tornados, loud whistles, and nightmares.

Having two fora will create two relatively happy camps of relatively happy campers.

Please fall in with other reasonable corners of the internet, and allow the Unsullied to have their space and the Bookwalkers to have their space as well. It'll save so much effort in the long run.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:04 AM on April 17 [9 favorites]


If anyone would like to see how intense liveblogging looks on MetaFilter, look at a presidential debate thread (warning: 3,601 comments,

With all due respect, the "liveblogging" that has happened in the Mad Men threads looks nothing like the debate threads. I know, because I read them (time shifted three hours because I'm on the West Coast plus some random amount because I have a toddler). I like the moderate, not-too-obscure amount of mid-episode speculation and reaction, and am very sorry to see it go.

Because I'm time-shifted irregularly, chat is not at all a good replacement. (Also because I'm a mobile user and chat is still too unwieldy for me on my phone.)

Glad to have a real spot for Mad Men discussion, though.
posted by purpleclover at 8:04 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


I like spoilers, which my history of participation here reflects. I often seek them out actively--not just googling stuff from wikis on source material (like GoT) but also casting rumors and leaked set photoshoots. I used to not really empathize with those who don't, until I realized how deeply my husband hates them. He watches all shows, always, in order, does not want to know how the Dark Tower series ends, thankyouverymuch, just in case he ever gets around to reading it. So I've come to be more careful than I once would have, and more respectful of community standards about it. I'm not always perfect (see: accidentally ruining the end of Her on here when I was just reallyreally excited about talking about it) but I understand that other people have different engagement with media and different standards for enjoyment.

I thought the GoT discussion was getting dicey, with not-very-veiled references to where-certain-things-were-revealed in the books, before Jacqueline's comments, but I thought hers were pretty transparently against the guidelines the mods had already set out here. Yeah, she wasn't trying to poop on anybody's dining room table or anything like that. It wasn't malicious. But if it was letter of the law (which I don't think it was), it wasn't spirit of the law, which was uncool.

And that's speaking as someone who googled "who killed joffrey?" as soon as it happened.

That slows the conversation down to the lowest common denominator. Considering that it's probably revealed who killed Joffrey in the very next episode, meaning its not that important, to have this as some sort of bright line isn't very constructive or useful.

Something being revealed quickly doesn't mean that it's not important to some viewers not to have it spoiled. And I don't see how acceding to viewers of the actual show, which is the topic of discussion, is lowest common denominator. With other series, the fanfare policy is easy: only discuss what's aired so far. Everything that's aired is fair game. It seems to me that "I saw set photos of Don Draper's funeral and so my theory that Don will die is right, and here's the textual affirmation we got in the show" would not be fair game, for good reason.

Sepinwall has a policy on his GoT recaps and the ensuing conversation of treating the books like they don't exist. If the community here is one where the focus is on the show, not the books or media in general, that seems like the clearest and fairest policy. I wouldn't want the conversation fragmented into those who have read the books and those who haven't.

And again, that's speaking as someone who is pro-spoiler.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:05 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Please fall in with other reasonable corners of the internet, and allow the Unsullied to have their space and the Bookwalkers to have their space as well. It'll save so much effort in the long run.

This may be a thing that we do further down the line but are not doing now. Bookwalkers are going to have to tread carefully and understand the way we are trying to set up a (brand new! beta!) space for people to discuss TV shows.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:09 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I'm not a GoT person (and will not be one) but the spoiler discussion reminds me I should weigh in here. Keeping the front page spoiler-free is a reasonable courtesy. Keeping the discussion about a specific episode free of spoilers is not. I'm also against a no-speculation rule as too limiting to discussion. I respect that some people are very sensitive to spoilers and anything that might conceivably be considered a spoiler, but I personally am not interested in participating in a site that limits discussion to the point of prohibiting speculation. Ban spoilers from set photos, sure, but, for instance, with Orphan Black, peeling back the central mystery is a lot of fun and speculation about whether Character X is "good" or "bad" or going to help or betray Character Y is part of that fun.

(I'm also going to be sad if linking to official next-episode teasers is banned, even if we can't discuss them.)
posted by immlass at 8:11 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Spoilers are one thing, and pretty easy to avoid. I'd love a separate thread for book people for GoT, but if that's not in the cards, sure, I can avoid making spoilers.

Speculation, though, is such a huge part of active and engaged TV fandom post-Lost, BSG, etc. It's going to be an issue on almost everything, not just GoT. I was catching up on New Girl and reading AV Club reviews along with it recently and noticed that, these days, you'll even hit speculation in the text of a review of a single-cam sitcom with no explicit mystery plot that doesn't actively cultivate deep speculation in its fandom. So it's going to be hard to avoid in any show, but in the shows that set out to create that kind of fan talk explicitly - basically any genre TV at all these days, which are some of the most popular shows around - it's going to be a consistent point of friction among the users without some kind of concessions to both the people who want to engage in speculation and those who don't. Catering to only one of those groups is going to make the other feel like there's no place for them on FanFare.

I think Sokka shot first's comment in the original MefiTV thread is on the right track, especially about the problem of "You Are Watching It Wrong", because the speculation question is already starting to take on tones of "You Are Watching It Wrong" and becoming a wedge issue in here.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:11 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Regarding "spoilers" from other media and speculation, it seems that there are a few different types of viewers, and their viewing preferences color their feelings on spoilers.

I am generally a "naive" viewer, in that I'm not great at seeing the hints ahead of time. It sounds like some "naive" viewers get annoyed when others speculate, even when the people behind the show have placed a trail of crumbs for astute viewers to follow. I try to be more astute to such details, and watching with my wife helps that, because she's quick to pick up such hints (or formulaic writing, as is often found in murder mysteries and procedural dramas -- I'm looking at you, mysterious person who shows up in the first 5 minutes and has a significant number of speaking lines, but claims to know nothing of the incident).

Also, I would love to discuss how a show differs or re-creates elements from a book or comic. After reading a few Sherlock Holmes stories, I had a lot more fun watching various "takes" on those stories. I knew what would probably happen, but how it happened, or how it was portrayed, was different. And then there are alternate worlds, like Walking Dead comics vs TV, that cross paths for a while, then diverge, only to meet up again at some future point.

My suggestions: let people speculate, because speculation comes from active watching, and personally, it makes me pay more attention to shows. If someone brings up an odd line or plot device as potential for future actions, I might then think about other aspects of the show, or try to figure out alternative meanings.

As for people who have read the source material: leave out the "just wait to see what happens in the next chapter" but include discussions of parallels and divergences from current and prior chapters/episodes. In that way, bookwalkers can talk to the unspoiled, and not spoil anything, yet still discuss the parallel media.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:15 AM on April 17 [7 favorites]


I think Sokka shot first's comment in the original MefiTV thread is on the right track, especially about the problem of "You Are Watching It Wrong", because the speculation question is already starting to take on tones of "You Are Watching It Wrong" and becoming a wedge issue in here.

Yeah, this is why I've never liked the whole FanFare idea. I totally understand that's a minority opinion, and a lot of people are super enthused about it! But it just seems like a highly efficient way to generate exciting new areas of site drama for people to post pissy MeTas about.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:18 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I don't want to spoil the plot of "the quidnunc kid", but as a mortal human being, I will die in the end.

Ha ha ha! No, only kidding - actually I survive.

Some say that the ending doesn't quite add up, of course - but those "continuity and consistency nerds" give me the shits, so what do I care.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:18 AM on April 17 [11 favorites]


A tragic tale - endless survival combined with endless shitting.

That's some Rod Serling stuff right there.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:26 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Oh, and I should say that I'm pro speculation and pro crazy theories. But it's using extra-textual materials like the books (in the case of GoT) to prove your theories which is uncool. It actually stifles speculation and interesting conversation.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:26 AM on April 17 [8 favorites]


It really feels like nonreaders don't want readers to be able to participate equally in the conversation. We've got mods saying we shouldn't participate in speculative discussions at all even though there is plenty of stuff that readers really don't know and are still wondering about, both because the book series isn't finished and because there isn't an omnipotent narrator.

Since this is MetaTalk, I am calling bullshit on this, Jacqueline.

I've read all the books, and I enjoy listening to people speculate because so many of the different speculations are well thought out and show people taking a lively interest in the characters and their motivations. I have no problem, and have noticed other book readers have no problem, providing non-spoilery observations and background information, like why are Jon and Ramsay both Snows, etc.

Other people in the thread before you came along had provided information on links that existed so that people who WANTED to know what happened with the poisoning could go find out for themselves outside the confines of the thread. So if you had read the thread at all, you could clearly see that including the extremely specific and spoilery part of your comment was not only completely unnecessary but in fact really obnoxious.

The thing is, the show did an excellent job of having lots of characters acting suspiciously and strangely, being openly hostile or superficially gracious while clearly seething beneath the surface, which was a wonderful narrative choice that I wholly endorse, so as to allow for plenty of supposition. Even as someone having read the books, I appreciated how subtly the actual mechanics of Joffrey's demise were woven into the episode.

Which is why your extremely detailed comment, despite your hand wavy rules-lawyering warning in the beginning, came across as being deliberately and obnoxiously spoilery, "Hey, look what I know! see how observant I am!" With an added serving of, "Anyone watching should clearly have seen this, stupids," gloating attitude layered on top.
posted by misha at 8:30 AM on April 17 [17 favorites]


Keeping the front page spoiler-free is a reasonable courtesy. Keeping the discussion about a specific episode free of spoilers is not.

Agreed. It's incredibly restrictive and goes against the "lightly moderated" ethos of most of the site.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:30 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


marienbad: I call dibs on The Magic Roundabout.

perhapses: do you think you could give me a ballpark of when Gunsmoke might get posted?

I'm not sure if people really want to use FanMe for these shows, but my take on old media is that this is better grounds for a MetaFilter FPP, because 1) the story is done, and 2) the number of MeFites who have seen either show and recall enough to discuss individual episodes will likely be quite low, so a discussion per episode will be quiet at best, possibly even resulting in empty threads. I can see a couple ways to resolve that:

A) Let people propose re-watching old series (in FanFare, MetaTalk, or maybe even IRL?), then someone(s) start posting new episode threads each week;
B) Allow MeFi FPPs to "bring about" (a full season/show's worth of) episode posts on FanFare; and/or
C) Keep FanFare posts open for a year.

The problem with B alone is that discussions will be more like those on random blogs, where a single post may get a stray comment every few months, so there is nothing active in the communication but it's more like pen-pals talking about a show.

A fourth option/feature could be in the sorting of shows: allow users to filter and/or browse by Currently Airing versus Completed Shows/Seasons. Adding a Completed Seasons option would allow those who past seasons of current shows to discuss the show as they are watching it online (NetFlix, etc) or DVD/BluRay.

Spinning off of this: the FanFare archives could include later discussions. For example:
Mad Men
   * Season 7
      * Episode 1 - Time Zones (April 14, 2014 | June 6, 2015 re-watch)

Just a few wild ideas.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:32 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


A tragic tale - endless survival combined with endless shitting

Yeah, immortal diarrhoea. Like the immortal Dire Straits - save that they broke up and aren't shit. So, not really like Dire Straits at all.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:36 AM on April 17


It's incredibly restrictive and goes against the "lightly moderated" ethos of most of the site.

This is actually one of the reasons that it's taken us so long to launch something like this, a thing that was clearly wanted/desired by a large portion of the userbase. We have to tell people that there is a part of the site that has new guidelines and we have to make some decisions-by-fiat about how that part of the site is going to work and then talk it out with the community to see if that mostly-makes-sense or if it needs to be different.

Our hope is that the community will mostly self-moderate so we don't have to. AskMe has incredibly restrictive guidelines as well but we don't have to step in very often (deletions as an actual percentage of comments are actually decreasing).

We know that this is something that people feel strongly about and I hope that people appreciate that there is literally no way that everyone in the community will be happy with the decisions we had to make. We tried to make some bright line guidelines that are easy to explain and understand and moderate. However we can't moderate what we don't see.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:37 AM on April 17


Probably the place to discuss the interplay between the books and the show is in the (hypothetical, at this point) threads for the books. If you can't easily separate the books from the show in your mind, the discussion of the TV show currently going on in FanFare might not be satisfying for you.

Also, this discussion is going to get really interesting if/when the TV show catches up to and passes the books in the narrative.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:38 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


This may be a thing that we do further down the line but are not doing now.

I am aware that that is not being done now, which is why I have provided such feedback! Beta releases exist in order to receive feedback. :) Of course, as I had said earlier, the forum should be treated as an Unsullied forum until such a time as there are two fora.

From my perspective on my side of the keyboard, looking at the long-term and understanding perfectly will that changes do not occur instantaneously, I don't see how permanently restricting the the GoT forum to only one forum makes any sense. I mean, it has been less than a day since opening, and we are already in the midst of an argument about problems which have flowed directly from the single forum design choice.

Normative comments about how everybody ought to discuss the show or how people ought to feel about spoilers are many, many, many times less convincing than simply cordoning off spaces so that people don't get into conflict in the first place. Spoiler-free space: here. Spoiler-okay space: there. Don't want spoilers? Don't go "there".

Again, GoT is a very special case when it comes to spoilers. It's much less like "I saw a set photo of so-and-so with a beak, therefore I think they will grow a beak" and much more like "I'm pretty sure that there is a conspiracy to kill Julius Caesar". Just as with historical dramas, there will always be deviations from the source, but that's not the point, especially if it would also be off-limits for anyone to point out that things may be so deviating.

NB: I have not read the books, but I don't mind spoilers at all. In my head, I treat GoT like a historical drama, where it doesn't ruin the story to know that so-and-so does such-and-such. I certainly would not want to force other people to experience the show as I do, just as I wouldn't see the point in anybody forcing me to experience the show in another way.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:40 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


mathowie: Yeah, and I forgot to say, we could set up "rooms" in chat (there's just one general default room to Chat currently) for each show, if people want to have fun live blogging that way. We could even figure out how to link to transcripts or something after the fact if you DVR'd it. Not sure yet, let's see how things work next week and beyond during the test phase.

Just to be clear, you're talking about Chat transcripts, not episode transcripts so chat logs make sense, right?

Because that would also be kind of awesome, seeing the show transcript in one panel, and the chat log in another (maybe even the option to view different logs based on different time zones).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:40 AM on April 17


If so, that's an interesting development, since Chat has always explicitly not had (user-accessible) transcripts.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:44 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


perhapses: "I know you said you don't have a lot of answers yet since this is in early stages of development, but do you think you could give me a ballpark of when Gunsmoke might get posted?"

I have actually started compiling a megapost on that show and am hoping to be finished by oh, 2019. 400+ radio episodes in the Internet Archive. 635 television episodes. Pure insanity.
posted by zarq at 8:44 AM on April 17


I think a bifurcated book/no-book approach is the right way to go for Game of Thrones and similar shows, but I also think separate, dedicated full-season/series threads might be worth considering as well a haven for big-picture speculation.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:45 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


f so, that's an interesting development, since Chat has always explicitly not had (user-accessible) transcripts.

It's just an idea we've been kicking around and this would be VERY clearly indicated (that there would be transcripts) so that no one would be surprised.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:45 AM on April 17


I agree with Stitcherbeest. I think there is room for Unsullied and Book Reader threads.

Also, are the mods still considering deleting Jacqueline's comment? I have flagged it as "breaks the guidelines"; even if it didn't get a lot of flags initially, I think that's because Mefites are still just discoverimg this Meta and the Fanfare thread.
posted by misha at 8:47 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


We talked about it and no, we're going to leave it (and the following comments) so that people in this conversation and that one will know what people are discussing. Suboptimal, I know, but deleting them has other undesired downsides.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:49 AM on April 17


Wait, would general Chat have transcripts, or just show Chat? Because general Chat transcripts publicly available would pretty much kill my enjoyment of it.
posted by corb at 8:49 AM on April 17


We are not at all planning on making general Chat transcripts available. Not being considered at all.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:49 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Spoiler: People ruin everything.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:52 AM on April 17 [13 favorites]


I have a spoiler question related to Game of Thrones, but it has other implications:

Is it a spoiler to talk about apparent divergences between the books and the television show? Sometimes the writers are intending to introduce events or characters out of order from the way they appear in the books. Sometimes they'll never get around to it or not intend to do so: readers and watchers might want to comment on the differences and their non-spoiler consequences.

So it seems (in GoT's case, and in a few others) perfectly possible that a conversation about differences could become spoilerific, but NO ONE would know it at the time except maybe the writers of the show itself.

Some examples from GoT include specific conversations that are left out of the show regarding Jon Snow's parentage, including some things that turn into false leads. They also include important differences about the way that Drogo first romances Daenerys, which seemed like an interesting departure. But in Sherlock, for instance, we see parts of stories recycled into other stories sometimes with interesting results.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:53 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


One additional thought on liveblogging: if FanFare posts went live before episodes, or even as episodes aired, there could be some demarcation in the comments with +/- 5 minutes of the airtime of the episode, allowing people to jump past it, if not hide that section. There could be such sections for air times in each time zone, too.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:53 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


But people jumped to the conclusion that because I'd read the books that therefore anything I discussed that they hadn't noticed on their own on their first viewing must by definition be a spoiler, and that's not very nice or fair to me.

The things you pointed out were *incredibly* fleeting moments in the show.

Part of your knowledge as a book reader is *which* such fleeting moments are significant to later plot and which are not. This is not knowledge which show watchers have, and pointing it out to them *is* spoilery, IMHO.

(And it wasn't at all clear in your original comment that there were multiple book theories and you were excited to see the show confirm one of them. Quite the opposite: your last sentence "I know who [...] from reading the books" implied that the books were very clear on this.)

I flagged it as "other" FWIW.

The comment upthread here about Hannibal is interesting. Game of Thrones threads are all "nooo don't tell me about the books" while the Hannibal threads mostly assume that everyone's seen the movies, many have read the books, so we all know how it's going to end right? It's an interesting difference and I'm not entirely sure how to account for it...
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:54 AM on April 17 [8 favorites]


Alvy Ampersand: "Spoiler: People ruin everything."

"To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem."
posted by Chrysostom at 9:03 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


It's an interesting difference and I'm not entirely sure how to account for it...

Summarize the novels with Hannibal in them, and then summarize the Hannibal TV show.

Now place that pair of summaries next to summaries of the GoT novels and the GoT TV show.

Hannibal (the TV show) is much more similar to how BBC's Sherlock relates to the original Sherlock Holmes stories. Basic character types and relationships are the same, a few big ticket plot points are foregone conclusions, but the time period's been moved up, some characters have been changed significantly, and of course there are new episodic mysteries. On the other hand, GoT is much more similar to how Quo Vadis relates to Roman history. Events and characters may be compressed, added, or altered, but it is obvious that one is drawing directly from the other.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:05 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Chrysostom: " "To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.""

FanFare would be a wonderful place if it weren't for all the Fans.
posted by zarq at 9:10 AM on April 17


I can't even comment on the nuances of Jacqueline's defense because I had to skip over her comment (and skim the rest of the thread to try my best to avoid any subsequent spoilers). I am quite spoiler-averse so if enough people are saying it was spoilery, I have to trust that.

Most other forums I've participated in have some mechanism for dealing with prohibited spoilers. TWoP did it with strict moderation. Reddit automatically hides comments that get a lot of downvotes. For FanFare, I would love to see automatic deletion (subject to possible reinstatement after mod review) of comments that enough people flag as spoilers. But I realize that that will probably never happen and I probably just need to avoid FanFare.
posted by payoto at 9:11 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Considering that it's probably revealed who killed Joffrey in the very next episode, meaning its not that important, to have this as some sort of bright line isn't very constructive or useful.

To me, this is exactly what makes it egregious. If book readers know that (total stab in the dark) Arya later embraces the Fire God and leads a peasant uprising and becomes a popular figurehead sort of akin to Joan Of Arc, like three seasons from now? And inklings of that accidentally slip out? No harm no foul, because who can even think that far ahead? Will I even remember that someone alluded to it, in 2017?

It's frustrating when someone is so excited to reveal the Real True Solution To The Mystery that they spoil next week's episode.
posted by Sara C. at 9:12 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Something like this seems like it would solve the problem. Every episode of every show, not just GoT, gets the ability to have multiple threads. For a new post, have an "Add spoilers/speculation thread?" checkbox, because some shows wouldn't really need a spoilers/spec thread, but maybe allow the ability to add one to it later in case the conversation unexpectedly goes that way, whether commenters have the ability to do that themselves or they have to ask a mod or the original poster to do it if they want to start a spoileriffic line of discussion. The spoilers/spec thread is an enter at your own risk, free-for-all kind of thing, and there are spoiler flags to deal with errant spoiler comments in the No Spoilers thread.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:16 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Don't know if this matters to anyone at the moment, but in case you're collecting bug reports Plutor's MeFi Quote script isn't working properly on the new subsite.

Quotes render as: %n: "Blah Blah Blah."

Also, there are visible [br] codes when you edit a comment.
posted by zarq at 9:21 AM on April 17


It's incredibly restrictive and goes against the "lightly moderated" ethos of most of the site.

Just chiming in to agree with this. I'm not sure why such a bright-line, highly restrictive spoiler policy seemed like the best idea right out of the gate here. A policy more in line with issues like NSFW tagging on the Blue would seem to be "spoiler warnings are a courtesy and considerate people should try to provide them," not "no spoilers ever, enforced by deletion."

And yeah, prohibiting talk about adaptations seems like a really strange rule in its own right; like, is it really not okay to talk about Conan Doyle in a Sherlock thread?
posted by RogerB at 9:23 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Wow, big thanks to the Mods for making this happen so quickly on the heels of viggorlijah's MeTa thread . . . super impressive.

I completely understand the need and desire to limit the initial scope of FanFare, but I'd like to join others in making a case for also including Orphan Black for several reasons:

> It's an outstanding show that has multiple, interwoven story lines, virtuoso performances from Tatiana Maslany and big unfolding mysteries--in short it's perfect fodder for smart discussion

> Viewers are crazy about the show (I just watched the 1st season for a second time--I've never done that before--and I know I'm not alone)--real passion should foster great threads

> It's about to start it's 2nd season so it would be a largely "fresh" series for everyone

> Unlike GoT (which I love) there's no extant books so the spoiler issue will not exist and require management

> Season 1 was jampacked with details and nuances so a discussion that starts with S2E1 will bring lots of fans to the conversation who can explain the backstory for things that unfold in season 2

> As a present(?) day SF story it's in a different genre from GoT and Mad Men so it may broaden the appeal of FanFare and it also raises a bunch of very topical questions that are quite different from the ones that emerge from GoT and Mad Men

Thanks for your consideration.
posted by donovan at 9:23 AM on April 17 [10 favorites]


Sepinwall has a policy on his GoT recaps and the ensuing conversation of treating the books like they don't exist.

Sepinwall eventually had to close comments on anything posted about GoT because, well, we can't have nice things (or at least he couldn't). I'm not sure how tenable that is. I do think the way the AVClub bifurcates things is the best way to go in a special case like GoT.

I also agree with whoever it was that pointed out that Hannibal's a special/weird case much more like Sherlock than a strict adaptation. The show plays with references to the various movies/novels constantly, but many, many things have been changed. Like Sherlock, it's more of an extended riff on the source material than a straight adaptation. Big fancy fanwork, rather than a heavy emphasis on being as literal as the translation into a visual medium allows.

But mostly I'm just excited about this because it means there won't have to be the "figleaf of a main post when the previous thread expired" to allow people to talk about on-going TV here!
posted by sparkletone at 9:26 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]


RogerB: " I'm not sure why such a bright-line, highly restrictive spoiler policy seemed like the best idea right out of the gate here. "

First of all, it's not highly restrictive. Highly restrictive would have been enacting a time-frame buffer to prevent people from speaking about spoilers in current or recently aired episodes.

A lot of people loathe spoilers of future episodes. Truly stunning revelations could ruin our enjoyment of the show. And while we like chatting with other mefites about entertainment, it kinda sucks to have someone say, "SNAPE KILLED DUMBLEDORE" three weeks before a book is available for public consumption.
posted by zarq at 9:28 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


It's frustrating when someone is so excited to reveal the Real True Solution To The Mystery that they spoil next week's episode.

Yeah, but I don't think anyone's really talking about that kind of stuff. I mean, yes, Jacqueline's comment veered into that area, but I think more out of excitement at seeing a fan theory confirmed and to be able to finally talk about it than out of desire to be malicious. But the majority of stuff is going to be more like:

"OMG! That hooded figure in the corner is Sandra Whelkface!* The books said that the hooded character had blonde hair, and I was wondering which of the blonde haired characters it was going to be! I wonder what that means for the future!"

or

"OMG! Tania Fishtaffle* just got married to Fulk Towerhead!* This is really significant, because if you look at the lineage chart, Fulk Towerhead's brother's cousin is a Lannister!"

Ie, people want to speculate about the show, but bring book touches in that don't actually spoil things.

* not a real character
posted by corb at 9:31 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


mysterious person who shows up in the first 5 minutes and has a significant number of speaking lines, but claims to know nothing of the incident
Thanks for spoiling 90 percent of Law & Order episodes for me! hamburger
posted by soelo at 9:33 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


And yeah, prohibiting talk about adaptations seems like a really strange rule in its own right; like, is it really not okay to talk about Conan Doyle in a Sherlock thread?

I think it's more like, "we get it, you read the books. big deal." how about you just be proud of yourself by yourself and not ask us to be proud of you, too?

Folks who have read the book don't need to constantly remind us of it and spoil the TV series (which is the explicit subject of the Fanfare thread) for the rest. Some folks are okay with spoilers, and that's fine, but others like the story to unfold in the manner the showrunner has scripted.
posted by GrapeApiary at 9:39 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Sandra Whelkface
Tania Fishtaffle
Fulk Towerhead


I so want these to be real character names. House Fishtaffle - Sigil: a blue knotted fish and grey chevrons on a white field. Words: "Taffle That Trout!"
posted by jason_steakums at 9:40 AM on April 17 [6 favorites]


"OMG! Tania Fishtaffle* just got married to Fulk Towerhead!* This is really significant, because if you look at the lineage chart, Fulk Towerhead's brother's cousin is a Lannister!"

Perfect, except for GoT authenticiy only one of the names should be fantasy noveloid, the other should be strangely mundane, so "OMG! Stacy Munroe just got married to Fulk Towerhead!..."
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:41 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Oh, and I should say that I'm pro speculation and pro crazy theories. But it's using extra-textual materials like the books (in the case of GoT) to prove your theories which is uncool. It actually stifles speculation and interesting conversation.

I just want to second this.

Also, I'd be in favor of bifurcated threads for GoT, but I think for the most part other shows won't need something so heavy handed. I think GoT is a unique case because you've got two unresolved versions of the same story running in parallel, but at different speeds. Bookwalker's desire to compare and contrast book vs show in order to further their own theories is significantly amplified by the fact that, though they are further ahead in their timeline, they don't know how it ends either. In a case where the source text is complete, then people who are familiar with it don't have this need, and will likely find it easier to confine discussion of difference between the two to stuff that everybody's already seen. There's no compulsion to use TV Irene Adler's portrayal to predict how book Irene Adler's storyline will play out, because we already know how book Irene Adler's storyline plays out.

Plus when the Ur text has been complete for, oh, 100 years, as is the case with Sherlock, I think people are a lot more forgiving of references to the whole oeuvre being common knowledge and acceptable. There's a time limit to how long you can spoil The Usual Suspects, you know? So I don't think most people would mind full-on discussion of the movie Fargo in a thread about the new show Fargo.
posted by Diablevert at 9:41 AM on April 17 [12 favorites]


There's a time limit to how long you can spoil The Usual Suspects, you know?

You say that, but I recently got fussed at for spoiling (accidentally) something that happened in the first three Dune novels and is fairly explicitly spoiled on the cover of the fourth.
posted by immlass at 9:43 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I should add that with GoT you also get the weird dynamic that GRRM is writing on the books at the pace of a snail, but with the show, must work more quickly - and most of the GoT readers have spent at least a quarter of their life waiting for these books to move faster.
posted by corb at 9:52 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I think more out of excitement at seeing a fan theory confirmed and to be able to finally talk about it than out of desire to be malicious.

Oh, totally agreed. I don't think Jacqueline was trying to shit in the thread or anything, she just got overzealous and excited to talk about a cool thing.

It's hard, and the line is fine, especially as we talk about the show in real time. Because we don't know what is background context that the show doesn't have time to deal with, and what is a major plot point the show hasn't gotten to yet because of the way the writers are pacing out the story.

For example there are a couple of posts that are still standing in the thread that assume viewers know something that hasn't been revealed at all on the show aside from some cryptic hints in the Next Week On Game Of Thrones teaser. (Though it is something that should be patently obvious to anyone who pays attention to the show at all.) I know the person who wrote that comment didn't mean to spoil it, but simply not talking about Book Vs. Show would make it a lot easier for that not to happen.
posted by Sara C. at 9:54 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I really hope that this GoT infighting doesn't kill FanFare before people who are interested in shows other than GoT and MM get a shot at enjoying the site.

Toss me in as another vote for a pro wrestling weekly thread that would cover WWE and its programming, plus TNA for those of us who hate ourselves.
posted by kimberussell at 9:55 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]


Bookwalker's desire to compare and contrast book vs show in order to further their own theories is significantly amplified by the fact that, though they are further ahead in their timeline, they don't know how it ends either. In a case where the source text is complete, then people who are familiar with it don't have this need, and will likely find it easier to confine discussion of difference between the two to stuff that everybody's already seen.

This seems astute. And maybe a good reason why the edge-case presented by this single show shouldn't necessarily be used to model much future site-wide policy.
posted by nobody at 9:58 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]


Oh, man, I do not want the GoT Spoiler Conversation to kill FanFare at all! If that's even a thing on the horizon, I'm happy to just shut up about it and let everyone do whatever. I just like talking about TV shows I like and want to see more of it!
posted by Sara C. at 9:58 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, in the "just be cool" vein of things it seems like the general consensus among the regulars in the Hannibal threads (if I make speak for us) is that it's cool to talk about parallels between the show and past books/movies because the show is rife with references to both that don't spoil things. Lines nicked from various places, shots that explicitly reference things from other work, all that sort of thing.

Additionally, extra-textual stuff (casting news, things in the "next week on" from the latest episode, interviews with the showrunner, his tweets, et al) are fair game, but stuff that really egregiously spoils major, major developments should be kept out of the thread.

To give a specific example: NBC sends out press releases that contain REALLY spoilery summaries of upcoming episodes of Hannibal several weeks in advance of when they air. These aren't just the, like, one-line summary that'd show up on your DVR. More like a paragraph that lays out everything that happens in fairly specific detail. We all kind of collectively decided to keep that stuff out of the thread, if only to keep our own temptation at a minimum when it comes to finding out that sort of thing in advance. However, no one seems to mind responding to speculation about major twists with, "Well, Bryan Fuller is kind of cheekily hinting at possibility X in this one interview, but we'll see..."

All this to say, certainly there should be a general site-wide policy regarding this stuff, but I do hope there's some of that "just be cool" flexibility that's been mentioned. We're clearly not having trouble in this thread thinking of examples of shows that seem like special cases when it comes to bringing up outside-the-show stuff.
posted by sparkletone at 10:05 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


I am against the idea of bifurcated threads because of the same reason I am against threaded comments and doubles. The ethos of MeFi is that we are having one conversation about each thing, as a group, no matter how unwieldy or difficult that conversation is. If you want hardcore "no spoiler" talk or unfettered discussions of studio leaks and screeners there are places on the Internet for that. Like just about every other subsite, it doesn't sound like FanFare will ever be all things to all people, but aims somewhere in the happy middle.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:11 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


A friend of mine was just getting into The Beatles recently and I got in trouble for spoiling Abbey Road.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:24 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


It seems to me that the book-knowledge and spoilers naturally become OK in a thread dealing with an entire season (or an entire run) of a show. It would be interesting (in retrospect, per my particular preference) to collate the hints and references in the episodes leading up to a major event. And that might offer a path out of the GoT muddle -- for episode-specific threads, we have a strong expectation that the thread is about what aired, but there could perhaps be a parallel season-overview thread as a better home for the speculation and spoilers. People who prefer to avoid spoilers can wait to participate in the "season" thread.
posted by janell at 10:32 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


zarq: "Don't know if this matters to anyone at the moment, but in case you're collecting bug reports Plutor's MeFi Quote script isn't working properly on the new subsite. "

Interestingly, the source code for the script shows that it should work on all *.metafilter.com sites. I wonder what is up? Anyway, I dropped Plutor a MeMail about it.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:43 AM on April 17


Well this is just lovely! Thank you for putting this together. I think the favicon should be white - right now it is blue, just like the main Metafilter site, but that is confusing to me as someone who uses tabs in my browser pretty heavily.

I would also love to see a link to this on my profile page (although maybe you are waiting until this is out of the testing phase to do that?)

I'm not a big television person but I am a big Metafilter person so I am actually starting to watch GoT just so I can participate. :)

On spoilers, I spoiled Citizen Kane for my boyfriend on our first date and he still won't let me live it down. I like the tag at the bottom of the comment box: "Be nice. It's just TV."
posted by sockermom at 10:45 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


People who prefer to avoid spoilers can wait to participate in the "season" thread.

Seconding.
posted by GrapeApiary at 10:45 AM on April 17


The script wonkiness probably comes down to minor formatting differences in the rendering of bylines or some such on the new site vs. existing codebases.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:45 AM on April 17


"I am against the idea of bifurcated threads because of the same reason I am against threaded comments and doubles. The ethos of MeFi is that we are having one conversation about each thing, as a group, no matter how unwieldy or difficult that conversation is."

That's how I feel. I'm surprised at the number of requests for separate bookwalker/unsullied threads and I am forced to respect the fact that a large number of thoughtful people have a perspective I don't share. That's a big up-vote in my opinion for its validity. Even so, I'm not convinced. I just don't like the idea of fragmenting the conversation. I want the largest possible mefi participation for GoT episode threads (as well as those for other shows) and it makes me sad to ponder it being divided.

I guess I still favor a single thread because I really believe that we can work this out. As I wrote earlier, inarticulately, GoT is problematic about this and we're going to have to live with something much less than a perfect solution that avoids all conflict. I do believe that I, a bookwalker, can be largely successful at avoiding spoilery stuff in my comments; and I do believe that unsullied can learn to accept that GoT by its nature means that talking about it will involve some book discussion by those who've read the books. It's unnatural and stifling to disallow any and all mention of the books; the "as if the books don't exist" rule is extreme. But I strongly believe that bookwalkers can be careful and conscientious enough to ensure that what we say that is book-influenced be as benign as possible.

I think that Jacqueline failed at that, not because of ill-intent, but because, as someone up-thread pointed out, she arguably followed the letter of the law, but not the spirit. That's really a guiding principle for participation here on MetaFilter — we (and the mods) are concerned with the spirit of the law, not its letter. The error that Jacqueline made is that she had a number of clues available to her that, despite her enthusiasm and good intentions, her comment broke the spirit of the law and that it arguably didn't violate the letter of the law really isn't a defense.

In short, I think that we can mostly follow the spirit of the law with avoiding spoilers regarding book information but that this can't be perfect and we should learn to be okay with a compromise between the totally unrestricted discussion that bookwalkers naturally want and the totally unspoiled discussion that the unsullied want. I think it's possible for us to be mostly happy in a compromise somewhere in the middle.

Finally, it seems clear to me from the previous discussion and from the silence from the moderators about this, but speculation is, or should be, totally fine. Contrary to some things that Jacqueline argued, though, bookwalkers who speculate should be careful. Jacqueline thinks this is unfair to bookwalkers. Well, I'm not totally happy with it myself, the fact that someone else can speculate about the same exact thing that I cannot speculate about seems unfair ... but it's not, really. Just because it's the same exact speculation doesn't mean that it truly is the same, because they're informed by different amounts of knowledge. Bookwalkers have to be careful about speculating, full stop. I think that's entirely reasonable. The onus is on us. There shouldn't be a rule against speculating, and a rule against bookwalkers speculating would be impossible to enforce, so it will just require self-control. But, seriously, it really is the case that I, as a bookwalker, simply cannot speculate the same way that the unsullied can.

Also, this comment is already long, so I'll put it off until later, but I think we really need to discuss posts about old series — in the previous thread I thought and wrote a lot about this and I think that old series will be problematic in several respects.

Oh, one last thing: I'm surprised by the fact that of currently-airing shows, Orphan Black has been mentioned quite a few times in this thread. Seems like were the mods to add one more show during the beta, it maybe shouldn't be a cable-only genre show? But I share the interest in it.

Er, really and truly, just one more thing: I agree that a single, all-about-the-show thread is a good idea, too. I don't know where it would go or how it would be handled.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:50 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


If I hadn't just had a child I would already have 5000 posts on this site.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:54 AM on April 17 [7 favorites]


Toss me in as another vote for a pro wrestling weekly thread that would cover WWE and its programming, plus TNA for those of us who hate ourselves.

I basically never watch wrestling anymore, but I love reading about it on the Internet, so this has a vote from me as well.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:56 AM on April 17


Too bad it won't have a thread on the Community finale tonight. Whatever happened to MetaFilter: Community Weblog?

(just joking, I know we can always do a post on the blue)
posted by mbrubeck at 11:32 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Five seasons and an FPP?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:33 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Yeah, one of the reasons I dislike the idea of bifurcated threads is that I think it sets up an increased expectation that threads will be an Absolutely Spoiler-Free Zone, which just isn't going to happen even when everyone is acting in good faith.

I have no investment in GoT, but I am thinking this problem would also arise in a "rewatch from Season 1" scenario for shows like The Good Wife or Friday Night Lights, where half the participants might be new to the show and the other half are longtime fans who want to discuss the episodes with the community.
posted by lalex at 11:42 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING

yesterday was my birthday, and I am going to pretend that this is a birthday present JUST FOR ME.
posted by KathrynT at 11:50 AM on April 17 [6 favorites]


Also, if this does get off the ground with enough force to encompass super-obscure stuff I am resolving to test the waters for a discussion of Revolutionary Girl Utena because I could talk about that show for literally my entire natural lifespan.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:53 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


I am resolving to test the waters for a discussion of Revolutionary Girl Utena

Depending on my time commitments at the time this finally happens, I would totally be up for this. I am an anime dilettante and have heard enough things to think that even if I don't like it exactly, I should at least give it a shot. However, the downside of the dilettante-ism is that I sometimes need some help with context for stuff (or when to know that there is no context, It's Just Like That).

While I really enjoyed watching FLCL a couple years ago, I kept getting the feeling that my lack of knowledge was sometimes getting in the way of me completely understanding some of the wonky genre games and fourth wall breaking stuff that one does.

Once the specifics of the site are worked out and we can talk about more than GoT and Mad Men, I'm probably going to end up having to find one of those productivity apps that blocks certain sites for you on a timer to keep from talking on Fanfare whenever I'm not unconscious.
posted by sparkletone at 11:58 AM on April 17


Piping in as a GoT books reader who would love a 'spoilers all' books/show thread. I love picking apart what things done in the show mean for various theories about the books.

Also a vote in favor of a spoiler tag, so long as it's used sparingly. Anything's better than people getting all ROT-13 crazy.

As for speculation discussion, that's half the fun of talking about a show! Speculation based on what has aired isn't spoilers. It just isn't.
posted by lovecrafty at 12:01 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Anonymous questions had been against MeFi's "ethos", until the right context arose for them and the right judgment was applied to them. The ethos must work for the users, not the other way around.

The Green is not the Blue, and FanFare is neither of those, just as GoT is not Hannibal. FanFare will necessarily work differently than the rest of the site. After all, the whole point of an alpha/beta release is to see what works and what needs work.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:02 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


RogerB: And yeah, prohibiting talk about adaptations seems like a really strange rule in its own right; like, is it really not okay to talk about Conan Doyle in a Sherlock thread?

GrapeApiary: I think it's more like, "we get it, you read the books. big deal." how about you just be proud of yourself by yourself and not ask us to be proud of you, too?

Folks who have read the book don't need to constantly remind us of it and spoil the TV series (which is the explicit subject of the Fanfare thread) for the rest. Some folks are okay with spoilers, and that's fine, but others like the story to unfold in the manner the showrunner has scripted.


Interesting, I've never gotten a sense of bragging when discussing Sherlock Holmes books vs multimedia, but I've read the books, so I'm interested in discussing the various ways to treat the source material. Plus, there are a ton of adaptations, so there are numerous ways that people could have experienced the stories and their endings.

That said, there's a distinct difference between saying "I wonder how this thing will happen in Elementary, because it was weird in the book/ Sherlock/ the recent Sherlock Holmes movie," and saying "I prefer the way they did that thing in Elementary compared to the 1930s films because of this thing." Looking back at the episode that has happened and comparing other versions seems like a valid course of spoiler-free discussion, but speculating on how the next event will unfold based on other media can spoil the show for the unsullied.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:20 PM on April 17


zarq: I have actually started compiling a [Gunsmoke] megapost on that show and am hoping to be finished by oh, 2019. 400+ radio episodes in the Internet Archive. 635 television episodes. Pure insanity.

Yes, this way leads madness, or possibly GYOB territory (not voting aye or nay on GYOB, simply pointing to a prior mucho-mega post MeTa).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:29 PM on April 17


Like stavrosthewonderchicken above, I quickly threw together something for Stylish (or whatever userstyle extension you might have for your browser). It's dark and has background noise. I put it up on Userstyles, you can get it here. There's a screenshot there as well.
posted by bjrn at 12:30 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


filthy light thief: " Yes, this way leads madness, or possibly GYOB territory (not voting aye or nay on GYOB, simply pointing to a prior mucho-mega post MeTa)."

Will have to see. Luckily, the IA link is a singleton because all 450+ shows are in one place.

I've been picking through the playlists for the tv shows, trying to determine if they're good enough to post alone. 29 seasons worth of playlists is much better than 630 individual episode links. If I did that, I could even highlight one or two episodes per season as standouts without turning the post into a total mess.
posted by zarq at 12:36 PM on April 17


On spoilers, I think the GoT readers are getting frustrated, but I've been in a similar position myself before and I think it's a pretty easy line to draw. I read all the Hunger Games books (on a friend's recommendation) back to back before the first movie came out. If we had Movies at FanFare then, I think it'd be really fun to talk about the movie with others and I don't see problems saying "I like the film but oh man the book was better, they fleshed out foo and bar so much better and I didn't imagine blank would look that way" but talking about anything from book 2 or book 3 or saying "pay attention to how the president reacts to x, because it'll be important later" also seems over the line.

For what it's worth, I haven't read GoT books and I am following the TV series closely and actively avoiding people saying "Oh I know who killed him" online as much as possible. I know beyond GoT, there are a lot of films and shows related to comic books where major plot points were laid out years before that I also hope won't leak over into discussions.

The site is barely 24hrs old, but I don't see us making duplicate threads for the same episodes for two audiences in the near future, but we've written up and linked to a short spoiler policy and ask book readers of GoT to refrain from talking about stuff that happens in the future of that episode.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:56 PM on April 17 [6 favorites]


So future events bad, past events okay?
posted by corb at 1:00 PM on April 17


I quickly threw together something for Stylish

Oh my god, that feels soooo much better. Thank you!
posted by mudpuppie at 1:06 PM on April 17


So future events bad, past events okay?

Yeah, that's what it says in the policy I linked, but I hope that's not some weird rules-lawyering attempt at sharing some future book flashback that fills in the story and is technically "in the past" but spiritually is breaking our intended guideline.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:11 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Looks good. Thank you!
posted by cashman at 1:17 PM on April 17


when my reality tv series "quonsar today" comes out you're really going to be sorry.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:47 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Will you have a fish for a sidekick? I'd totally watch that.
posted by homunculus at 1:48 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Still, adding Orphan Black to the limited beta sounds like a good idea (I'll be there for the FPP), not to mention Adventure Time, which starts a new season next Monday and which just got 'discovered' by the New Yorker (which I'm tempted to FPP).

Regarding other possible shows to post about, it looks like things are about to really heat up on Person of Interest.
posted by homunculus at 2:02 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I'm not a reader, just a watcher... and i'm frankly annoyed that i got sent over here to this longboat thread to talk about what is and isn't a spoiler.

I posted in defense of the explanation of the poisoning, with a screenshot gallery just of stuff from the show and apparently that was too spoilery or whatever.

I think that Jacqueline failed at that, not because of ill-intent, but because, as someone up-thread pointed out, she arguably followed the letter of the law, but not the spirit. That's really a guiding principle for participation here on MetaFilter — we (and the mods) are concerned with the spirit of the law, not its letter. The error that Jacqueline made is that she had a number of clues available to her that, despite her enthusiasm and good intentions, her comment broke the spirit of the law and that it arguably didn't violate the letter of the law really isn't a defense.

And i don't think she did at all. What she said tied right back into that image gallery i linked(which was already in the thread!).

Everything has already been shown in the show, that was being discussed. Just because you have to jump back to season 2 to see the crystal thing introduced doesn't mean explaining the crystal thing is off limits.

I also don't think discussion about what is and isn't ok should go in some general purpose thread on MeTa. If we're going to hash out what the rules are for that section of the site, why can't there just be a thread in that section just about the rules, and not just general shitshooting?
posted by emptythought at 2:03 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Will you have a fish for a sidekick? I'd totally watch that.

Nah, it's just going to be another dull talkshow, with the big twist that everyone is dressed up like merfolk (called "fishpants" to sound less woo-woo-sea-magic and more blue collar), and the stage will be an alter to blade-free runcible spoons, for an extra bit of whimsy.
Will the Humanoid Woman tell us how she really feels about the pollution on Dessa? How will J.C. react when Paisley tells him he's a jerk? Tune in to quonsar today! Now with fishpants for all!
Big woop.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:05 PM on April 17


I also don't think discussion about what is and isn't ok should go in some general purpose thread on MeTa.

Metatalk is the part of the site for talking out how stuff works all over the site, basically. A tiny scrap of sidebar exchange here and there in a thread isn't a huge problem, but an ongoing discussion about whether and how to do stuff is something that belongs in Metatalk. It's what it's for.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:06 PM on April 17


Well, if we're voting, I'd hope that speculation based on the clues left in the TV show would be allowed.
posted by lalex at 2:18 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


The point where it becomes spoiler, to me, is the point where folks are comparing what happened in the show as aired with what they know to be true from events in the books which have not been discussed yet on the show.

We've seen, for example, Arya and The Hound eating chicken. That's all totally OK to talk about.

It's where you say, "Remember that chicken at that tavern when Arya got Needle back? According to the book, the key to time was in the chicken's leg bone, and The Hound can now use it to summon the white walkers," that it becomes a spoiler. Because no, none of us non-readers knew that. Because it wasn't on the show. Which you knew when you took it upon yourself to explain something that was in the book but not the show.

It's pretty easy to know whether you're giving information that has not yet aired in the show. There are some grey areas, sure, but the problems that have already come up are pretty flagrantly not grey areas.

(I hope it's obvious that my example of the chicken thing is fake.)
posted by Sara C. at 2:21 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


I would agree with Sara C. Did emptythought's comment involve things from the books?
posted by lalex at 2:24 PM on April 17


mathowie: "On spoilers, I think the GoT readers are getting frustrated, but I've been in a similar position myself before and I think it's a pretty easy line to draw. I read all the Hunger Games books (on a friend's recommendation) back to back before the first movie came out."

To echo others upthread, I don't think the situations are as analogous as they might first seem. You're talking about a situation in which the main thing a bookreader could contribute to the thread is just confirmation of whether or how a scene from the Hunger Games films differs from the books (let's call this Conversation A). But with Game of Thrones, the source material isn't finished yet, so there is this whole other Conversation B to be had about what the show hints at with regards to future events in the books. Additionally, people who have read the books aren't even fully able to participate in Conversation A, because they cannot publicly make speculations about the full arc of the series because doing so inherently reveals their extra knowledge, while show-only fans can speculate away.

This is why I think having two threads would be great; Conversation A and Conversation B are inherently different things. If we have two threads, we're not splitting one conversation and getting two lesser ones. Rather, we're adding a separate conversation on a fundamentally different set of premises.

Less is not more in this case.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:36 PM on April 17 [6 favorites]


We've seen, for example, Arya and The Hound eating chicken. That's all totally OK to talk about.

Then how was it seasoned?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:37 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Did emptythought's comment involve things from the books?

It was continuing the debate about what is or isn't a spoiler at a point where taz had already left a note in that thread to come here to talk about guidelines.

I also don't think discussion about what is and isn't ok should go in some general purpose thread on MeTa.

You're welcome to your opinion, but that's the way we're going to play this. Talk about metadiscussion about the brand new site here in this thread. It's 450 comments. The other is 315.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:37 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


if it's the visual breakdown I've seen elsewhere (this one), it is solely television material. If that & analysis of it was the sole content of the comment, I would strongly disagree with the deletion. I don't know what else was in emptythought's comment, though.

It does feel like in the specific case of Game of Thrones, book-readers will be if not excluded, then at least treated as suspect and probably have a much higher bar to interaction with those threads compared to people who just watch the shows.

Since the book series isn't actually finished yet, there is a *lot* of speculation and theorizing that goes on. I think there is probably a lot of value in having a separate thread of discussion for those who want to talk about the interactions between the books, the TV show and those theories. And barring a separate thread or some sort of low-friction-to-reading spoiler tag (I think ROT13 is basically the worst), I would be unlikely to participate in GoT discussions on FanFare.

Then again, I'm not exactly the most prolific poster anyways, so that probably doesn't mean much. It just seems like GoT is such a special case, and most other sites have implemented some sort of mechanism to allow those who have read the books to interact without spoiling those who just watch the show, that the mods should really consider something beyond "just don't spoil it"
posted by grandsham at 2:38 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Now that I've read Jacqueline's comment and looked at the Imgur gallery, I have to say that I feel the protests of "but it was all shown onscreen" are incredibly disingenuous. Yes, that was all onscreen, but the significance of it is informed by your knowledge of what happened in the books. I can think of several other occurrences in the last episode that could just as easily be key clues, if you were unsullied. If in fact the books had gone in a different direction we'd have a very different play-by-play and a different Imgur gallery based on the exact same TV episode.

I just find it really hard to believe that people genuinely believe that the Imgur screenshots don't give away information based on the books when there was a lot of other stuff in the show that turns out to be insignificant or a red herring, and the only reason you aren't talking about that is you read the books!
posted by payoto at 2:41 PM on April 17 [14 favorites]


So, what do you guys plan to do when live-blogging continues in the posts on the blue and the previous episodes posts?

Are you going to close the previous thread while the show is airing? On east coast time? On west coast time? Are you going to close companion threads on the Blue during this time?

Seems like a lot of work to maintain, especially once the scope expands beyond Mad Men and GoT. I would say impossible, in fact. Especially for something which is effectively an aesthetic choice instead of a moderation one.
posted by codacorolla at 2:58 PM on April 17


Yeah, I agree with payoto. It's set up like a whodunit, it's not surprising all of the clues have been shown but so have a lot of other things. We have multiple possible culprits and conspiracies, and non readers can guess at what is relevant and what is misdirection, while someone who knows the answer can just look for specific supporting evidence.
posted by JenMarie at 2:59 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


So, what do you guys plan to do when live-blogging continues in the posts on the blue and the previous episodes posts?

It's fine on MeFi when it happens. If you post in the previous week's threads on FanFare we'll delete it. We've already asked people not to do it, so I trust that they can skip doing that.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:00 PM on April 17


If people want to liveblog, and it's fine on the Blue, then you're just going to push the activity there, effectively defeating the purpose of having a sub-site in the first place and splitting attention between multiple threads.

Good luck with moderating that.
posted by codacorolla at 3:05 PM on April 17


I know you planned to start with just these two, but is there any chance you'd throw up a thread for tonight's Community finale, so that comedy people can kick the tires too?
posted by jbickers at 3:05 PM on April 17


Good luck with moderating that.

Thank you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:10 PM on April 17 [26 favorites]


I just want to say the new site looks great and I totally agree with the current spoiler policy. Seems eminently sensible and correct.

Just to confirm: users will eventually be able to create new threads, correct? So those threads will be able to be about anything show-related?
posted by shivohum at 3:24 PM on April 17


"I just find it really hard to believe that people genuinely believe that the Imgur screenshots don't give away information based on the books when there was a lot of other stuff in the show that turns out to be insignificant or a red herring, and the only reason you aren't talking about that is you read the books!"

Exactly.

There's two issues here. First, it's a letter versus spirit of the law thing. The comment conformed to the letter of the law, but the inclusion of the disclaimer at the beginning was an indication that its status vis a vis the spirit of the law was much more ambiguous. I don't fault Jacqueline for thinking that it fell on the side of being okay, and I think she was just caught up in the idea that the onscreen evidence is very compelling — but I think there's good reasons why it should be obvious to most people that spelling it all out would be spoilerish for many people and, importantly, involved book knowledge even though all the evidence was onscreen.

Second, I think Jacqueline and emptythought both feel that there's something weird and unfair about a connect-the-dots-look-at-these-screenshots comment from a book reader being not okay while the very same comment from a non-book reader would be fine. But that makes sense to me for exactly the reason that you say above. We book readers know which of the stuff on the screen is significant and which isn't, and so just choosing what we talk about when we a) explain who we think killed Joffery (for example), and, b) speculate about things that might happen later in the show is significant because it's filtered through that knowledge.

It seems unfair that we have a burden constraining our discussion that the unsullied don't have, but as my late father used to say, life isn't fair. It's an accommodation. It's being sensitive to other people's concerns. And it's not really that great of a burden to bear.

What is a too-large burden to bear is to be expected to discuss the show absolutely and universally as if the books don't exist and/or never, ever cause anyone to feel that they may have been spoiled a little bit. We all have to make an effort, here.

And I think we should all make an effort, and not have bifurcated threads, because the whole point is that we want to discuss these episodes/shows with other mefites and dividing and subdividing the conversation goes against that. I want to hear what the unsullied have to say; and, no, I'm not that enthusiastic about reading and participating in two separate threads to do so. I just feel like the bifurcation thing is a typical internet engineering nerd thing that is a technical solution to a social problem. We don't truly need two separate threads, we just need to make accommodations for each other.

Finally, I understand why emptythought is upset about his comment being deleted, given that he isn't a bookwalker. But that was a very particular circumstance. His comment existed in the context of, and as a response to, Jacqueline's comment, which was written by a bookwalker.

Personally, I feel that all things being equal, a series of screengrabs explicating the poisoning is quite ambiguous, spoiler-wise. It's certainly possible that a careful, eagle-eyed unsullied would have noticed those things and then posted a tumble screengrab and/or a unsullied would have linked to such a thing (and emptythought or someone else did, in fact, do so in that thread). And it would seem that would make it okay. On the other hand, again, all things aren't equal and this is all in concordance with book knowledge and so, well, it's problematic. This isn't satisfying, but I sort of think that a link to that tumblr, or someone spelling it out who wasn't a book reader might have been okay; but having it be associated with someone who has book knowledge made it not okay. That seems crazy, and I sympathise, but GoT presents some unique problems. I don't know how often we'll face this very particular kind of situation, even within GoT, and so I'm skeptical of the idea that we have to come up with some concrete policy now on its basis.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:39 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


but I don't see us making duplicate threads for the same episodes for two audiences in the near future

I don't think there needs to be two threads for each episode, but a single ongoing 'all spoilers' mega-thread alongside weekly 'no-book spoilers' episode threads would be cool.

Game of Thrones really is a unique situation here, since it's got two currently being created canons, and rabid fans with Big Theories on both sides. I doubt we'd need a book spoilers thread for Hannibal, for instance.

I find it way too frustrating to talk about the show while clamping down on all my book thoughts. There are lots of other places I can go to get 'spoilers all' discussion, so it's not a huge deal if the only GoT discussion here is limited to show only. It'd be a nice thing if we could have both though.
posted by lovecrafty at 3:49 PM on April 17 [8 favorites]


Another vote for the community finale thread. A lot of places online talk about GOT & MM. Very few analyze comedy well. Metafilter at its best does. I'd like to read it tomorrow because I won't be seeing it tonight.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:59 PM on April 17


the very same comment from a non-book reader would be fine

I don't think anybody is saying that, though.

I think it's pretty impossible to know who the readers and non-readers are. The best way for readers to not out themselves as readers is to not spend a whole lot of time bringing up things from the books that aren't in the show.
posted by Sara C. at 4:03 PM on April 17


Sara C: It's pretty easy to know whether you're giving information that has not yet aired in the show. There are some grey areas, sure, but the problems that have already come up are pretty flagrantly not grey areas.

I really really hate to be that guy, but i just can't resist it. In the main fanfare thread you just said you thought it was clubbing everyone over the head with what was going on. So which one is it? you posted these two comments pretty concurrently, and they seem to absolutely contradict eachother.

Ivan: Personally, I feel that all things being equal, a series of screengrabs explicating the poisoning is quite ambiguous, spoiler-wise. It's certainly possible that a careful, eagle-eyed unsullied would have noticed those things and then posted a tumble screengrab and/or a unsullied would have linked to such a thing (and emptythought or someone else did, in fact, do so in that thread). And it would seem that would make it okay. On the other hand, again, all things aren't equal and this is all in concordance with book knowledge and so, well, it's problematic. This isn't satisfying, but I sort of think that a link to that tumblr, or someone spelling it out who wasn't a book reader might have been okay; but having it be associated with someone who has book knowledge made it not okay. That seems crazy, and I sympathise, but GoT presents some unique problems. I don't know how often we'll face this very particular kind of situation, even within GoT, and so I'm skeptical of the idea that we have to come up with some concrete policy now on its basis.

Honestly, i think that in these sorts of situations we should err on the side of allowing this kind of stuff. If you can make a remotely credible argument that everything you're showing was in the show and you just need to connect the dots, then it should be kosher.

Otherwise, you're veering in to a sort of bizarre comic book nerd territory, with exactly the kind of engineer dealing with social problems kind of stuff mentioned above.

Basically, i don't want to perpetually put time in to writing thoughtful comments that just get deleted simply because the story threads from the show they tie together are a bit complex, and someone thinks "oh that's too complex it's a book spoiler i didn't want to know that!".

I feel like if this thing isn't moderated in a fairly lenient way, it's just going to be really frustrating to use.
posted by emptythought at 4:04 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


But in the status quo the accommodations don't go both ways. It's all book-reader accommodations for show-watcher. Because frankly the substance of Jacquiline's comment doesn't draw very much from the books at all, she mostly mentions reading the book in explicitly avoiding spoiling things. And from what I can gather the fact that the mods didn't see it early enough is the only reason that it hasn't been deleted.

And emptythought's comment was explicitly called out as "spoilery" by taz. Since everyone's (taz, jessamyn and emptythought) account of that comment appears very different, I'd honestly prefer it was reproduced in whole, rather than just paraphrased.

You say that book-readers shouldn't be "expected to discuss the show absolutely and universally as if the books don't exist and/or never, ever cause anyone to feel that they may have been spoiled a little bit." But the reality of how that thread is playing out suggests that even a whiff of book-readerism is enough get people to call for the comment to be deleted.

I can appreciate not wanting to have to read two different threads. But I think that would be a much more equitable accommodation that the current situation. Honestly I would prefer some sort of spoiler tag situation, but that seems pretty much anathema around here.

And again, this is something that I think is pretty much specific to Game of Thrones. I can't think of another piece of media that would really require this level of scrutiny.
posted by grandsham at 4:06 PM on April 17 [6 favorites]


Echhhh. I burned out on endless discussions of spoiler policy over ten years ago when I worked for TWoP. I'm going to pass on all this until the beta version is finished and spend my time until then on Previously.tv where all my TWoP buddies are already hanging out. I'll check back in June to see if there's a lively Teen Wofl scene happening here.
posted by Squeak Attack at 4:10 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Sure, here's my comment, some of it was reposted with the first bit edited out. possible spoiler warning obviously since that's what's up for discussion here:
But finding out from you that there's this specific kind of poison (in the book), and here's how it was smuggled into the wedding (in the book), and here's who put it in the cup (in the book), etc? That's pretty spoilery, considering the show has left all of that a mystery for the moment. For all we know you just spoiled the entire next episode for everyone.

The first one isn't really a spoiler, arguably. And the other two are pretty clearly shown in the show. They made a big deal out of the necklace, an aside where the necklace gets played with, then look lol there's a crystal missing!

I've seen several variations of that photo gallery showing that stuff, and i'm pretty sure at least one of them was made by someone who only watched the show. I don't think the crystal thing is really a spoiler.

I thought it was pretty trite reminding us how Really Bad the Bad Guys were at the beginning, with hunting the sad girl through the forest and then making dogs eat her face, and remarking on how her face is being eaten and basically going "lol!"

Yea, this irked me. At least they didn't show it, but it was still gratuitous and kind of played in to that argument i've seen made several times on the blue recently that american TV is turning into torture porn or whatever.

I've gotten a feeling so far from this season that none of the previous seasons have given me. Mainly, that some elements of the story are being told in an almost dora the explorer-ass hamfisted beat you over the head with it way. Oh look, they're SOOOO evil. Oh look, joffrey is a gigantic dick with extra hot sauce this time! And as much as people liked the whole "fuck the king!" sunglasses meme and whatnot, i thought that entire sequence was like... something out of an old western, in a bad way.

There's been some good subtle stuff too, but i don't really ever remembering going "oh god the cheese" or "what the fuck, that's completely gratuitous" more than once or twice previous at this show*, and definitely not two episodes in a row.

*with the exception of boobies, obviously. i actually had to pause the s04e01 to run in to the other room laughing uncontrollably and tell my partner "TWELVE MINUTES IN TO THE SEASON AND THEY'RE ALREADY BOOBING!"
posted by emptythought at 4:12 PM on April 17


In the main fanfare thread you just said you thought it was clubbing everyone over the head with what was going on. So which one is it? you posted these two comments pretty concurrently, and they seem to absolutely contradict eachother.

Part of why I was so irked at the notion of pulling out the books and informing everyone of answer to the mystery is that there's already plenty of clues right there in the show. Nobody seemed to be struggling for insight, and to the extent that people were talking about whodunnit, there's plenty of material right there in the show.

Game Of Thrones the TV show is not a math problem wherein you can "flip to the back" to get the Correct Answer. The books are not a viewers' guide to the series. I really wish the Bookwalkers would let us Unsullied just enjoy watching the TV show without feeling the need to step in and inform us of the True Facts.
posted by Sara C. at 4:23 PM on April 17


Let me just toss out a little user interface/user experience idea that might be a way forward with the whole spoiler problem.

We already have two interaction patterns in place that could be leveraged here, so it's not anything radical. When posting to Metatalk (for the last while) there's a tickbox beside the main textarea that asks the user if it's something that needs community feedback.

We also have comments in AskMe that are colored slightly differently if they're by the original poster.

So how about this? On the comment posting form in Fanfare, there's a tickbox that says something like 'this comment may contain mild spoiler material'. If a user ticks it, their comment is given a CSS class to apply a very mild color differential background (just an rgba(0,0,0,0.3) or something). Readers of threads could very easily let their eyes slide past those comments when reading a thread, and posters could worry less that they're violating the Spirit of The Law.

That would also significantly lighten moderator workload, I'd think, too, because if a comment were flagged as having spoilers, it could just have the spoiler-boolean applied, and job done.

The other benefit would be that if there was a class applied, poweruser types could just greasemonkey/stylish away, and create tools to toggle or hover-spoilerize or hide entirely comments that had spoiler classes, as they wished.

The downside would be that it would create a mindset where spoilers were allowed to one extent or another, but there's always a downside. If the over-riding rule of thumb is to be spoiler-free, this might still allow some useful latitude.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:30 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


As someone who generally doesn't care about spoilers, I'm wondering if a distinguishing mark that subtle would work for people. (This is not even potential mod endorsement of the idea, I just find it intriguing, personally.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 4:34 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


damn it, missed the edit window: rgba(0,0,0,0.03) or something. 0.3 would be way too dark.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:35 PM on April 17


As someone who generally doesn't care about spoilers, I'm wondering if a distinguishing mark that subtle would work for people.

Well, like anything, I think it would be a user self-education thing, but it would at most be a matter of seeing it for the first time and wondering 'what's this' and then all good afterwards. At least for me. But I do know different people have literally different 'ways of seeing' text content sometimes.

(I'm not married to the idea or anything, it was just a thought.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:37 PM on April 17


"I don't think anybody is saying that, though."

Well, I'm kinda saying that. If an unsullied was that eagle-eyed and went to that effort, why wouldn't that be okay? The problem I have with it is that such a thing is far more likely from a bookwalker, because we bookwalkers know to notice those things.

It creates an asymmetry with regard to the same set of facts and that strikes some people as unfair and absurd, but it seems to me like just one of those things we have to deal with. I just think that bookwalkers should refrain from writing those kinds of comments while unsullied, of course, can do so. That seems problematic because from a mod standpoint there's no way to differentiate bookwalkers from unsullied unless they've self-identified; but, really, I'm just going to almost always end up on the side of "encouraging people to behave themselves" than advocating for hard rules or technological solutions.

"So how about this? On the comment posting form in Fanfare, there's a tickbox that says something like 'this comment may contain mild spoiler material'. If a user ticks it, their comment is given a CSS class to apply a very mild color differential background (just an rgba(0,0,0,0.3) or something). Readers of threads could very easily let their eyes slide past those comments when reading a thread, and posters could worry less that they're violating the Spirit of The Law."

Well, if we were to ever have anything remotely like spoiler tags, this is the only thing I'd find acceptable. I think spoiler tags/hiding spoilers is a bad idea for many reasons. It muddies the waters as much as it helps.

This suggestion, though, limits itself enough to avoid most or all of those problems while (possibly?) allowing the unspoiled to more easily avert their eyes.

Well, hmm. On consideration, it doesn't solve one of the biggest problems, and that is that spoilerish comments self-propagate themselves through the discussion, in quotes and in people responding to them, and the like. It very likely would encourage a situation where there are a lot or spoilerish comments and the unspoiled would find the thread sort of a minefield.

I dunno. I'm inclined to think it wouldn't really be a net positive.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:42 PM on April 17


I think as long as people aren't prefacing their insights with "let me tell you what Really Happened using these here books", it's fine. The site policy as set out in the main post upthread makes this crystal clear.
posted by Sara C. at 4:50 PM on April 17


I think that should be fine too, but apparently that's not where we're at right now.
posted by emptythought at 4:53 PM on April 17


I don't have a dog in the spoiler fight, but I think "The Walking Dead" might be instructive here. In the forums I've seen discussing the show, it is stated outright that the show and the books are two distinct, different entities, and so if you're doing a discussion thread on the show you wouldn't bring up the corresponding book any more than you would any book in any series, because that's not what we're talking about.

Or, to put it another way, if you're having a discussion about the Lord of the Rings movies, Tom Bombadil is an utterly irrelevant derail that wouldn't be allowed. Because though he may be in the books he's not in the movies, and it is the movies (ostensibly) that we're talking about. Likewise, in these threads, we're talking about a TV show, so let's talk about the TV show.
posted by jbickers at 4:58 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


On the subject of old shows:

I've been opposed to any implementation of accommodating old shows other than official, scheduled re-watches, because I see several really big problems with them; but I've decided that one arrangement might work well enough and it doesn't offend my mefite sensibilities (though it's not just sensibilities, I think there are good reasons for mefi being like it is):

And that's an arrangement where there is a link to a separate section of FanFare that has links to show-specific pages, in which general or episode threads could be posted. So, yes, a more traditional discussion board organization. But ONLY THERE and only for OLD SHOWS.

For currently airing shows — and, I suggest, official (and scheduled) re-watches — the organization is what we see now in FanFare: the chronological posting that is a site-wide convention.

My argument against violating that convention and using a traditional discussion board organization for FanFare in general is that it would badly fragment the attention and discussion into only the specific things people are interested in. Even though AskMe has subject categories, it's still very much a thing where you go to the AskMe page and look at the questions that have been posted, and scroll down, like we do elsewhere. That encourages us all to be (literally) on the same page. Everything about MetaFilter is encouraging us to share a discursive space together and not fragment into divided and subdivided conversations.

But I don't see how the chronological paradigm could possibly work for old shows. (Excepting with official, scheduled re-watches.) I think the natural result would be a bunch of posts, all of which are lost in the clutter, and with very low participation. It would hurt the threads for current shows, too, by possibly crowding them out. Or at least obscuring them somewhat.

However, insofar as there's interest in discussing old shows (and there definitely is interest, though whether it could ever be great enough for more than a tiny number of beloved and noteworthy shows is an open question), I think that a separate section where it's organized like a traditional discussion board would accommodate that. I'd still strongly advocate for official, scheduled re-watches of a few shows (decided jointly by public interest and mod willingness), though.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:06 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Here's another vote for just having the episode name, number, and airdate. I haven't seen all of the shows up so far and the small descriptions that are there give some small stuff away (though I have no idea how big a deal, presumably not very?).
posted by ODiV at 5:11 PM on April 17


I never realised before netflix how spoilery some episode names are.

mathowie: "Does the "new post" form force you to select a season and episode? Yep, it looks like this. Should be visible to members in a day or two."

I realise the current view is restricted because of the beta however I notice the show selector is a selector rather than a free form field. Is the long term plan to only allow posts on listed and therefor preapproved media? IE: If I'd like to discuss the finer points of say New Amsterdam would I need to first get the show listed in the drop down?

mathowie: "How do you read the rest of the internet, which is like 99% white pages?"

Most sites/pages are a horror story of ad boxes, swooshy formatting, images, video sidebars, colour differentiated multi columns, etc. Very few sites expose the large swaths of background that metafilter does. (This is one of the reasons I've got titles scaled back to a single point font).
posted by Mitheral at 6:02 PM on April 17


I'm a Bookwalker, but I have kept many, many book secrets in our house and helpfully red-herringed the hell out of others, so do not trust me to be forthcoming with you, or even necessarily truthful. When spouse says, 'I think X is going to happen', we have a great discussion about why he thinks that, and I will helpfully point out additional supporting evidence even when I know he's got it wrong. I do the same when he is right. Speculation is fun. Why ruin it for him?

That being said, I had something ruined for me in the very first GofT thread I read here on Metafilter, and it still bothers me. The thread was about the TV series, and I was totally up to date on that, and what's more I had read a book beyond where the show was, so I figured I'd be safe, right?

Nope. One person mentioned something from the end of the third book. It was a big spoilery thing for two reasons: I now knew X thing, AND I knew Y was going to live at least to the end of the third book, because X thing happened to Y. And that's not insignificant, when we are talking GofT. GRRM is not bound by familiar tropes. Anyone is fair game. Except now I knew for sure Y wasn't.

So I understand what it feels like to have significant Events spoiled for you, and I make an effort not to do that. I think a lot of Bookwalkers conscientiously do the same, or moments like the Red and Purple Weddings would not have had the dramatic emotional impact they did when those episodes aired.

But it seems like, with GofT, there is always at least one person who spoils it for everyone. We could call it the Jurassic Park Moment, or the InGen Algorithm: Someone gets so excited about what they COULD say that they don't bother to reflect on whether they SHOULD say it.

That's why I am being so hard on Jacqueline here, and why I really wish her comment had been deleted. It's because of that comment--and the fact that it stayed up despite multiple complaints from Unsullied and Bookwalkers alike--that I think separate Unsullied and Bookwalkers threads are a good idea. I am not going to have anything spoiled for me any more, but I would like to help keep others from being spoiled, too.
posted by misha at 6:05 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


I mean, I've had two major works I've been meaning to catch up on - GoT and Harry Potter - spoiled for me right in this MeTa thread. At some point that's just life on the internet if you choose not to stay up on media.
posted by lalex at 6:19 PM on April 17 [12 favorites]


I never realised before netflix how spoilery some episode names are.

I remember getting the Buffy DVDs and discovering that the menu for one of the episodes (the one where Buffy's convinced her roommate is a monster) completely gives away the ending.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:24 PM on April 17


Aw shit. Sorry, lalex. :(
posted by zarq at 6:30 PM on April 17


Oh zarq, no worries, I am waaay past the leniency period for Harry Potter. And I don't even care about spoilers! Just making a point about expectations.
posted by lalex at 6:35 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


It's because of that comment--and the fact that it stayed up despite multiple complaints from Unsullied and Bookwalkers alike

It stayed up because it happened at a time when no one was up and no one originally flagged it. I get that people are not totally happy about that, but excising them six hours later didn't make sense and we decided not to do it. It's a super-beta site and while we'd really like people to use and enjoy it, there are going to be bumps. That was a bump. I'm sorry it tripped some people up and we're talking about it here but we really need to be able to try to talk about this in a general sense and try to avoid getting nerd-sticky on a particular thing that is irritating.

I think that should be fine too, but apparently that's not where we're at right now.

As far as I can tell, it is where we are right now. You seem to be interacting with a slightly alternate-universe MetaFilter as near as I can tell. If you have questions about policy stuff, feel free to just ask.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:44 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


jessamyn: "It stayed up because it happened at a time when no one was up and no one originally flagged it."

Sigh. I didn't flag it because I was desperately trying to make sure my eyes didn't catch any of it, since I could tell immediately that it was in dangerous turf. And even then I managed to catch something that was most certainly spoilerific (about the means used to kill Joffrey—sheesh, that most definitely was not revealed in the show).
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 7:21 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


seriously people, just flag things if you want to call mod attention to them.
posted by sweetkid at 7:53 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Regarding the spoiler policy that Matt posted above, it's this part that concerns me:
please be considerate and refrain from discussing future events from other book/film/tv/comic versions of the story
That sort of sidesteps what really seems to be a key problem here, which book readers using details from the book that are not about future events to potentially spoil future events. "Here are 16 clues from the books about who killed Joffrey and how." Those clues might all have shown up before the Purple Wedding in the books, but they may not have been shown at all on the show.

If we don't want bifurcated discussions, I still think a "pretend like the books don't exist" policy is much simpler.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 7:54 PM on April 17


Why, drama? Whyyyyy?
posted by batmonkey at 7:55 PM on April 17


I have no idea if that's an actual spoiler or not, lalex, but if people would please not do that here, it'd be nice.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:18 PM on April 17


I have no idea if that's an actual spoiler or not, lalex, but if people would please not do that here, it'd be nice.

This wasn't exactly a secret - it was a big story in television media when it happened weeks ago. I haven't read/watched GoT or Harry Potter, but I've been spoiled about major plot incidences in this thread, which nobody seemed to have a problem with. If MeTa is now a spoiler-free zone that's fine, just let us know.
posted by lalex at 8:30 PM on April 17


The guideline has always been that we'd prefer people be mindful of spoilers especially when people aren't going to be expecting them. Just dropping them in a thread is hard for people to choose to avoid.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:31 PM on April 17


WOW. More content for me to delve into in the future? AWESOME. Thank you so much, MeFi staff. Thank you.

Now, everyone's probably done with this thread but I just wanna say that I didn't know MeFight Club is an actual site. For some reason I thought it was an inside joke of some sort that I would always scroll past. Now I know where to go when I start playing Bioshock Infinite, where to vent or something when I'm left screaming over some boss that's beat me a hundred times. (That's just how all games have gone for me, not a comment about this game in particular which I haven't started.) yessssss!

Anyway, I don't watch either of these shows but yay! I'd love to read Utena posts, and please, please, posts about Avatar: The Last Airbender. (Someone do Cowboy Bebop!!) I'd love to also read up on people's thoughts regarding shows such as Nobuta Wo Produce or Reply 1997 but I realize the chance of that is very, very small. Hahahahaha. So I will be happy swimming in threads about True Detective/The Good Wife/Community/other shows I've been repeatedly told I need to watch :)

Good luck on the spoilers policy. I have nothing to add to the discussion, just wanna say good luck because it sounds complicated.
posted by one teak forest at 8:44 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


But this is also relevant to discussions about older shows. If I get involved in discussions about previous seasons...

If you're discussing a previous season in a thread dedicated to discussing those previous seasons, then spoiling future seasons seems kinda unnecessary. If you want to talk about the future seasons, there will presumably be threads about those where you could talk about them and the previous seasons all in one spot.

That may not apply when discussing the X-Files or something else that's long since ended, but if it is a recent, ongoing show, avoiding spoilers for stuff after whatever you're talking about is probably a good move.

Of course, injecting random, recent, crazy huge spoilers into threads that are completely unrelated to the show you're talking about is pretty much always a bad move. Ahem.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:51 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


On reflection, deleted the comment above. Please be careful about using examples here, folks - this is supposed to be a policy discussion, not a spoiler minefield.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:56 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


That styles sheet stavros posted decidedly makes my eyes not hurt. Thanks for posting that...

I know it's silly to go on about the white background, but I'm baffled as to what it is that makes it "professional" and why people feel that it fits the lengthy discussions that will happen in Fanfare. Are we trying to get mentioned in the press or something?
posted by whorl at 9:31 PM on April 17


"Professional White Background" means people who walk behind your desk at work can't tell what website you're on.

My guess is that it's the current default for FanFare because it's in beta and color schemes are still being worked on.

I'm going for taupe. If only so that I can say "Man, I've been spending way too much time on the Taupe lately..."
posted by Sara C. at 9:35 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Taupe sounds great. And yeah, I suppose white would be good camouflage while at work though it seems counter to every other page of metafilter. I hope they're working on color schemes, wish they'd do it live so they could get feedback.
posted by whorl at 9:43 PM on April 17


I think the old guideline is the best guideline: Caveat lector. If knowing what happens in cultural product before you view or read it will ruin your enjoyment of it, then go and view or read the thing before participating in an Internet discussion about it. Byzantine circumscription of discussions based on whether or not someone who only had access to a certain version of a story could know something seems like a terrible idea.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:49 PM on April 17 [11 favorites]


this is supposed to be a policy discussion, not a spoiler minefield.

In that case, can the other 25 spoilers in this thread be deleted? This comes off as a bit capricious in a thread already stuffed to the gills with spoilers.
posted by dialetheia at 9:58 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I know it's silly to go on about the white background, but I'm baffled as to what it is that makes it "professional" and why people feel that it fits the lengthy discussions that will happen in Fanfare. Are we trying to get mentioned in the press or something?

The Green Should Be White.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:04 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]

TINT KNOB
And V. HOLD!
posted by mbrubeck at 10:19 PM on April 17


I think the old guideline is the best guideline: Caveat lector. If knowing what happens in cultural product before you view or read it will ruin your enjoyment of it, then go and view or read the thing before participating in an Internet discussion about it. Byzantine circumscription of discussions based on whether or not someone who only had access to a certain version of a story could know something seems like a terrible idea.

This, a million times over. Obviously it's a dickish move to come into an X-Files discussion and drop Game of Thrones spoilers, but if you are going to be discussing a show (or movie, or book), then everything in it is fair game.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:32 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


If knowing what happens in cultural product before you view or read it will ruin your enjoyment of it, then go and view or read the thing before participating in an Internet discussion about it.

I wish I could favorite this a billion times.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:42 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


If knowing what happens in cultural product before you view or read it will ruin your enjoyment of it, then go and view or read the thing before participating in an Internet discussion about it.

What is this an argument against? The Fanfare threads are explicitly for discussion about tv episodes, and everything that happened on the show until that episode.
posted by JenMarie at 11:12 PM on April 17 [6 favorites]


I feel like I might have somewhat lost the thread of what's actually at stake as a "spoiler" here. I mean I agree with the para that jenfullmoon quoted above 100%, I think, as long as it applies to the specific medium only?
So when I first caught up on GoT I avoided everything I could online bar review blogs written at the time of the episodes (and I definitely didn't read the comments ). Now I'm watching week by week, in the UK, I'm happy to be very careful online on Monday and if I stumbled on something, sure that's pretty much my fault.
But when we get to stories with versions across different media, I don't know if I feel the same holds. I don't really want to be obliged to trog through what by all accounts is a pretty terrible series of books before I can ask for a space to discuss the show spoiler-free. And by and large, the Internet has been unexpectedly accommodating of this wish. Book readers have in general been very, very good about not spoiling things for TV fans, far more than I would have predicted. So it's not the most unreasonable thing to ask, I guess?

On preview, more or less what Jenmarie said.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:17 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


ob1quixote: "I think the old guideline is the best guideline: Caveat lector. If knowing what happens in cultural product before you view or read it will ruin your enjoyment of it, then go and view or read the thing before participating in an Internet discussion about it. Byzantine circumscription of discussions based on whether or not someone who only had access to a certain version of a story could know something seems like a terrible idea."

That is not the old guideline. The old guideline is: Don't be a dick.

The positive expression of this guideline is: Engage in conversation mindfully. That doesn't mean being a genius or being a prophet when it comes to knowing what does and does not bother or hurt people; but it does mean coming to the table with the attitude that you're going to engage your own awareness of general human likes and dislikes in order to try not to say anything that's going to cause pain or distress.

If this guideline - the general request that we avoid outright inhumanity, respect boundaries, and (heaven help us) try not to ruin the enjoyment other people take from their favorite television shows - feels like a "Byzantine circumscription" to you, then I am not sure where we can go with this.
posted by koeselitz at 11:17 PM on April 17 [11 favorites]


I don't really want to be obliged to trog through what by all accounts is a pretty terrible series of books

Oh now them's fightin' words there, Tex.
posted by lovecrafty at 11:26 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Ha! Let me very, very quickly redact that to 'long' series, then. No offence to any book fans whatsoever, but I was force-fed so many fantasy novels as a tween and early teen that the idea of reading one more book with a description of all seventy odd courses at a grand wedding brings me out in a cold sweat.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:33 PM on April 17


Haha. I was in your shoes fourteen years ago--not interested in anymore paperweight fantasy books, let alone an unfinished epic series. But I tried the first one and was hooked by the first chapter. As great and fun as the show is, it's a watery reflection of how good the books are, imo.
posted by lovecrafty at 11:41 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I mistook ASOIAF/GOT for Extruded Fantasy Product initially, myself.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:03 AM on April 18


I did, too, but seriously the choice to mostly watch the show and not read the books is still a valid one, and the current thread is about the TV show, not the books.
posted by Sara C. at 12:20 AM on April 18


OK, it's Friday night and Friday night is Beer Time, but here's possible refinement to my earlier idea suggestion thing.

So, instead of a tickbox that puts the onus on comment posters to identify their comments as spoilery, how about (I know this is an orthogonal-paradigm-thing to the traditional MeFi Moderation way, which is to have humans do it rather than depend on automation, but bear with me...) this:

So, say there's a spoiler option in the dropdown for flagging on comments in Fanfare. Each time a comment is flagged, it bumps up the count for that comment (as I assume it already does). What happens then is that the background color is given an alpha-channel background in .01 increments for each flag (or, you know, some other algorithm based on the count). So one flag as 'spoiler' means the comment is indistinguishable, but 20 flags means it has a background like the darkest one in the screenshot I'm gonna link below, for example, and from there on up.

(I'm using my stylish css in the screenshot, but it would work, because yay alpha channel stuff, whatever the color scheme ends up being.)

Again, the idea being a) reduce fighting about what spoilers are and let the crowd decide, b) reduce mod headaches in dealing with it and MeTa fights about it and c) I forget c because I've had a few beers.

Again, not married to the idea, just tossing out ideas. Like I said earlier, it goes against what I assume is a Solid And Agreed Fundamental Tenet of MeFi Design (no automated downvoting, human moderation), but I think as a solution, it might maybe help and somewhat-satisfy everyone involved and be relatively graceful.

Here's a screeny of random comments from one of the current threads with the darkening at various levels simulating how many people had flagged the comment as a spoiler. The darker the background, the more spoilery (as decided by flags) the comment might be, so it's eye-slidey time.

screenshot

Just a(nother) thought, which may not be a good one, but I enjoy having a bash at UI issues like this.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:00 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


My problem with this method is that it puts the onus on the flaggers too heavily. They have to be spoiled, then flag. That can be part of the solution maybe, but I feel like the majority of the onus should be on comment authors to not be dicks and this helps people when it's too late?
posted by sparkletone at 1:16 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


For what it's worth, I'd envision it as an addition to rather than a replacement for a general edict against spoilering.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:30 AM on April 18

koeselitz: “The old guideline is: Don't be a dick. ”
I wrote a paragraph saying much of what you said, koselitz. I edited it out because I felt like it shouldn't be necessary to say, "We're all adults here. Act like it and don't be a dick." That's just baseline MetaFilter expected behavior. I absolutely agree that intentionally ruining things for other people isn't really acceptable.

As far as what official policy is, I was going by what I remembered got said in the last big spoiler thread in MeTa. I've grown frustrated that we've spent several hundred comments outlining increasingly legalistic definitions of what a spoiler is and how it applies to different media. I just think that Caveat lector — with the possible addition of Frigidus scriptor — should be enough.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:51 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I did, too, but seriously the choice to mostly watch the show and not read the books is still a valid one, and the current thread is about the TV show, not the books.

And a totally valid part of discussing the show is talking about their relationship to the books.

I genuinely don't have a dog in this fight (I've only seen the first season, so won't be joining any discussions of recent episodes until I do another marathon catch-up viewing at some point), but the idea that I would be supposed to do some odd dance around someone else's choice to not read books that have been in print for about a decade is really strange. That's not "spoilers," that's willful ignorance and is an odd fit with MetaFilter.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:11 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


On general grounds of "don't be a dick" could the spoiler policy for Bookwalkers just be something simple like "don't speculate on shit you already know the answers to"? Because it seems like that is the most upsetting thing, the not discussing in good faith.
posted by corb at 5:28 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


the idea that I would be supposed to do some odd dance around someone else's choice to not read books that have been in print for about a decade is really strange. That's not "spoilers," that's willful ignorance and is an odd fit with MetaFilter.

I think there's a huuuge gulf between "willful ignorance" and not wanting to devote the effort to reading thousands of pages so one can be ahead of a TV show. If you don't think that's spoilers, what do you think is spoilers? You can reduce your "willful ignorance" of virtually every media property in existence within ten minutes of it being released, if not months earlier.
posted by Etrigan at 5:29 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Stav, I find that the darker background actually draws my attention more to those comments. Partly because it simply makes them stand out from the page; partly also because it's evocative of the Best Answer shading in AskMe which carries "this comment might be particularly worth reading" signifiers.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:51 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


stavrosthewonderchicken: "The darker the background, the more spoilery (as decided by flags) the comment might be, so it's eye-slidey time."

Everywhere else on MetaFilter, darker background behind text means "Look at me! I'm important!" so that might not fit as a solution for this particular site.

And regardless of how it changes the look of the text, it opens the door to abuse if the checkbox is public; people could use it as a sort of downvote-by-proxy to induce people to skip over comments they don't like.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:52 AM on April 18


I was in this earlier to express my happiness at this becoming a thing, but keeping with the thread, I think I can already see how short its shelf life is going to be. It's just in the super young Beta stage but there seems to be so much dissent and irritation and disagreement over one of the shows being featured and how it should be talked about, that I don't know how many new shows added will be able to foster thriving discussions without new MeTas happening frequently about how they should be talked about too.

I think Jessamyn or one of the mods was saying that they hope these forums will self-moderate because they can't do it and I want to think positively that yeah, this can totally work, but so far, I don't have high hopes.

(As an aside, I have only watched the first season of GoT and read the first book, and since I haven't decided whether I want to continue doing either, I have already had tons of stuff spoiled for me going forward. But that's okay for me as I sometimes I want to know in case I don't end up bothering!)
posted by Kitteh at 6:06 AM on April 18


I don't think the darkened text thing fits. I think the guidelines have been laid out, and we'll work our way through things.
posted by cashman at 6:31 AM on April 18


It's just in the super young Beta stage but there seems to be so much dissent and irritation and disagreement over one of the shows being featured and how it should be talked about, that I don't know how many new shows added will be able to foster thriving discussions without new MeTas happening frequently about how they should be talked about too.

GoT is an edge case (and kudos to the mods for having the foresight to get it out there) in that it draws heavily and directly from source material that has had "This is spoilers! No it isn't -- there are books!" arguments basically everywhere else that discusses TV, on or off the Internet. Aside from The Walking Dead (whose writing staff is much more willing to go "off-page" than GoT's thus far), I'm hard-pressed to think of a show that runs this risk on such a consistent basis (and no, Sherlock/Elementary don't count, come on people).

Ironing out the community standard on GoT is the longest pole in the tent that is FanFare's spoiler policy.
posted by Etrigan at 6:33 AM on April 18 [8 favorites]


So...we're ironing a tent pole?
posted by Chrysostom at 6:39 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


I would suggest making this a longer beta period, but choosing shows with shorter episode runs for testing & shakedown purposes. They don't even have to be all noteworthy quality shows either. GoT is a worthy show to discuss, but very much an edge case because of the nature of the source material.

As for having separate show pages, that seems to me to be doable through metadata tags, and appropriate word cloud mechanics

One thing I thought of this morning that I haven't seen yet is a live blog thread for a show that included the show context in the discussion. Having the context available to me makes such a live blog thread more readable in the future.

First way I thought of to do it was to have someone shout out key moments in the episode during the thread. Second way is to put in timestamped subtitle or closed captioning transcripts into the thread. Fortunately, there seems to be a thriving community of media fans that record subtitles/cc's into text files. ( The point of subtitle files is that some media players can play back video files and subtitle files simultaneously. Most video files don't come with subtitles baked in. ) And those subtitle files generally have time stamps on the content. A parsing script that formats said text would seem doable.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:39 AM on April 18


Regarding the whole book vs tv thing for Game of Thrones: whenever Fanfare expands to books, Game of Thrones should be first on the list, with the explicit acknowledgement that its ok to discuss how the series and book compare and contrast. In the meantime, it's just going to be bumpy from time to time in the tv threads as mods and members repeatedly remind others with the expectations are.

In that vein, it may be productive for members (less so for mods I assume) to launch a beta of the books section fairly soon, with just the GoT books.

So...we're ironing a tent pole?

That sounds like something Tyrion would say.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:41 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


The only reason this whole thread has turned legalistic and overly rules lawyering is because of ONE comment in the GofT thread that was explicitly, specifically spoilery for people who were completely up to date on the show.

We could have avoided that last several, maybe the last hundred or more comments of this thread by deleting that ONE comment.

At this point, the only ones who seem to feel Jacqueline's comment should stand are Jacqueline and the mods

I understand not wanting to hurt someone's feelings, but what good does keeping the comment up do for the community?

Honestly, throwing up your hands and saying, "Welp, we didn't delete it earlier so I guess we're stuck with it now" seems like abdicating responsibility for modding the thread altogether.
posted by misha at 6:51 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Bug Report:

On the Mobile Stylesheet's Recent Activity page, the title of a post is preceded by the name of the subsite:

Metafilter: Orphan Black Returns

But for posts to Fanfare, it currently shows:

: Orphan Black Returns
posted by zarq at 6:52 AM on April 18


I think the old guideline is the best guideline: Caveat lector. If knowing what happens in cultural product before you view or read it will ruin your enjoyment of it, then go and view or read the thing before participating in an Internet discussion about it. Byzantine circumscription of discussions based on whether or not someone who only had access to a certain version of a story could know something seems like a terrible idea.

For me personally, if that becomes the policy then I won't be participating in FanFare as far as GoT goes. I think the show's somewhere in the back half of book 3, at the minute? Suggesting that it's going to be somewhere between 2 - 4 years before the show catches up with the books, presuming Martin doesn't publish book 6 in that time?

That'll be a huge bummer for me personally, because as you can probably tell from my advanced logorrhoea in the current threads, I really get a kick out of talking about this stuff. But yeah, for me, finding out about huge plot developments well in advance materially lessens my enjoyment of the show.

The thing is, I don't think I'm alone in this. I think, actually, that probably the majority of people who watch a suspense-filled, plot-driven show with plenty of twists and cliffhangers and mysteries like being surprised by those twists. So I think that if this becomes the policy you will be driving away a large chunk of the people who watch the show. Maybe you don't care about that; it is possible that once you're in the know you mainly want to discuss stuff with other people in the know. So I guess...see you in 2019?
posted by Diablevert at 6:54 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


misha: " At this point, the only ones who seem to feel Jacqueline's comment should stand are Jacqueline and the mods"

I had no problem with it. But I'm not a huge fan of the show, so I figured it would be impolite to impose my opinion on people who were.

But I suppose it's worth noting now that not everyone who has an opinion is necessarily weighing in.
posted by zarq at 6:54 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


I got excited thinking someone made an Orphan Black FPP, or that Orphan Black was added to the 2 Fanfare shows. Darn you zarq.
posted by cashman at 6:54 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


The thing is, I don't think I'm alone in this. I think, actually, that probably the majority of people who watch a suspense-filled, plot-driven show with plenty of twists and cliffhangers and mysteries like being surprised by those twists.

You most certainly are not alone here.
posted by cashman at 6:57 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


cashman: "I got excited thinking someone made an Orphan Black FPP, or that Orphan Black was added to the 2 Fanfare shows. Darn you zarq."

Sorry.

I'm apparently pissing off people left and right in this thread. ;)
posted by zarq at 7:03 AM on April 18


In that case, can the other 25 spoilers in this thread be deleted?

I don't speak for any of the other 24 posters, but I was the one who posted the Harry Potter spoiler here, and I regret it. I could have made the point in a more general way without referring to that specific example. I used to be more careful about spoilers—going so far as to place details about The Merchant of Venice(!) below the fold in a question I posted to the Green. I've become careless, assuming that the HP plot is widespread knowledge at this point, when that assumption is by no means warranted. This will serve as a reminder to myself to be more careful about posting spoilers, no matter how old the work is...and HP 6 and 7 are less than a decade old.

lalex, and anyone spoiled, I apologize. Mods, I fully endorse deletion of that comment of mine (here).
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:07 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


ob1quixote: “ I absolutely agree that intentionally ruining things for other people isn't really acceptable... I've grown frustrated that we've spent several hundred comments outlining increasingly legalistic definitions of what a spoiler is and how it applies to different media.”

This is where we disagree, then. Because I don't see any increasing threshold of what spoilers are here. emptythought posted a screenshot gallery that had some spoilers, in the sense that they revealed stuff that's clearly not explicitly revealed in the show. That got deleted. That's not some crazy, impossible-to-imagine-before-today kind of thing. And it's really not a huge deal; it's just a deleted comment.
posted by koeselitz at 7:07 AM on April 18


whorl: I suppose white would be good camouflage while at work

You know about the site-wide Professional White option, right? It makes all the pages white with black text, with the same minimal graphics that you know and love from Full-Color MetaFilter.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:24 AM on April 18


whorl, to get there, click Preferences at the top of the page, then click the "Plain" theme. It's at the bottom of this image with the highlighted square around it, for reference.

It's called the "Professional White Background" because Anil Dash once said in a post to MetaTalk that the Blue and Green site themes for Metafilter and AskMetafilter weren't very professional.

He's still living that one down. ;)

I prefer the snazzy professional white background. It's actually quite helpful if you're colorblind.
posted by zarq at 7:31 AM on April 18


For me personally, if that becomes the policy then I won't be participating in FanFare as far as GoT goes.

It's not going to be the policy.

Honestly, throwing up your hands and saying, "Welp, we didn't delete it earlier so I guess we're stuck with it now" seems like abdicating responsibility for modding the thread altogether.

Sorry you feel that way. Having a bunch of people being all "What got said? What got deleted? How can I talk about it if I can't see it?" and then having to worry about putting the comment back in here was something we discussed and decided as a group to not do. It's a done decision and we've explained it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:34 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


but the idea that I would be supposed to do some odd dance around someone else's choice to not read books that have been in print for about a decade is really strange. That's not "spoilers," that's willful ignorance and is an odd fit with MetaFilter.

No, that's not a fair representation of the situation. Willful ignorance in a mefi context is e.g. refusing to google an acronym central to the text of a post and then complaining loudly in the early comments of the post about not having any way of knowing what that acronym means. It's declining to do the slightest skosh of work before burdening the discussion with the conspicuous weight of that declination.

Not plowing through thousands of pages of book is not equivalent in any way, and is not a standard by which we should as a community be posturing arguments about this stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:04 AM on April 18 [9 favorites]


Sorry you feel that way. Having a bunch of people being all "What got said? What got deleted? How can I talk about it if I can't see it?" and then having to worry about putting the comment back in here was something we discussed and decided as a group to not do. It's a done decision and we've explained it.

And since the whole point of this is to be a beta test, it makes a lot of sense to leave the bumps in so that people can talk about them with knowledge instead of just making uninformed opinions. Not that any mefite has ever beanplated about beans they haven't seen.
posted by stoneweaver at 8:54 AM on April 18


Out of curiosity, will there be any posting limit imposed on members in FanFare? How frequently will members be able to create new posts?
posted by zarq at 8:55 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


We don't have a specific posting limit in mind at this point; we'll talk about it more (and ultimately see if there's a need for one in practice) once we get more stuff in place and start opening up posting.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:56 AM on April 18


The spoiler policy is very simple as stated, and it will work fine 90% of the time:
"Inside threads, feel free to discuss any plot point in that episode or past episodes, but please refrain from discussing events that take place in future episodes."
Simple, clear, obvious.

Most of the remaining 10% will be in general show threads, when/if such posts are allowed. Let's cross that bridge when/if we get to it.

Only a tiny portion of the time will we have the problem we're grappling with in this thread, though in the specific case of Game of Thrones, it will be an ongoing concern. It would be a problem for The Walking Dead and any other television show that is based on some other source material and is more a televised realization rather than a reinterpretation of the concept.

TWD sort of straddles that line, as it follows the source material in many respects but deviates in others. The modern Sherlock Holmes adaptations are all relatively loose — although, to be fair, Sherlock has built each of its episodes around a well-known Doyle book and many of the mysteries are very similarly realized. It certainly is possible to spoil Sherlock with book information. However, as surprising as it may be, my suspicion is that of the people watching the respective shows, many more people have read Martin's books than have read Doyle's; so this is a particularly acute problem with GoT. This is true about TWD, also, I think.

Now, the standard spoiler policy covers most cases with these adapted works, with "future episodes" interpreted to refer to "events from the original material that is subsequent to the television episode".

But that's not the problem we're grappling with here, not the nature of Jacqueline's problematic comment. People have mistakenly characterized it as revealing something that wasn't in the episode. But she (and emptythought's linked tumblr screenshot gallery) only discusses events that actually appeared onscreen in that episode.

The very specific problem we're grappling with here is the relative importance of onscreen events as understood by those who are familiar with the source material.

As several people mentioned above, there are a lot of details visible in a TV episode. With something that's a mystery, there are almost always feints and irrelevancies. It's not so much that details A, B, and C were onscreen; it's that A, B, and C were important and D, E, and F weren't so important. Someone unfamiliar with the source material can't or probably won't be aware of this.

On the other hand, someone unfamiliar with the source material — a particuarly astute individual — might notice A, B, and C and see them as particularly important and speculate that those details fully explain who and how a young king was poisoned at his wedding. And I will repeat: that wouldn't be a spoiler. Presumably, it would appear alongside many other such speculations; or, alternatively, people around the net (and in a discussion such as we're having in that thread) would all agree that it's a fine, convincing theory that does indeed explain the mystery. Clever writers and directors to hide it in plain sight! A pleasure for certain diligent members of the audience to notice it!

If this were, say, True Detective, which is original and not based on source material, then almost no one would find such eagle-eyed diligence "spoilery". Maybe they might prefer to not be walked through it, to not know until and unless they discover it for themselves. But I don't think that it would be called a "spoiler".

The reason this is of contention in this case is because, again, where many people are familiar with the source material, for some who promulgate this information it is emphatically not the case that they are unfamiliar with the source material (and so they know it's correct and/or know that these particular details are especially important), or it's the case that the rest of us can't really know that they're genuinely unspoiled and their detective work ingenuous.

So this is something that is relatively rare. It requires the show be a (relatively) close adaptation, and it's not a spoiler in the normal sense (future information) but, rather, current information that is known to be important because of future information or from a source who has such future information. You can see that this would be rare — we're arguing about one comment (and its derivative) from one of the three extant threads.

But, you know, this has a fairly simple solution, too. Corb was very succinct:

"On general grounds of 'don't be a dick' could the spoiler policy for Bookwalkers just be something simple like 'don't speculate on shit you already know the answers to'? Because it seems like that is the most upsetting thing, the not discussing in good faith."

TL;DR: Don't post info from the future. Don't speculate on current stuff if you know the future of what you're speculating about. Don't point out the importance of current details, knowing they're important because you know the future.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:03 AM on April 18 [10 favorites]


cortex: "We don't have a specific posting limit in mind at this point; we'll talk about it more (and ultimately see if there's a need for one in practice) once we get more stuff in place and start opening up posting."

OK. Good! Thanks for the quick answer.
posted by zarq at 9:07 AM on April 18


Incidentally, my mom — a 67-year-old grandmother — considered Jacqueline's comment a spoiler. She was emphatic about it. I was playing devil's advocate, defending it, and she got quite agitated. Her argument was "how would anyone know to notice those things?" and, also, that the comment was kind of smug and unnecessary. I actually disagree and saw it as well-intended enthusiasm, but obviously YMMV.

"We don't have a specific posting limit in mind at this point; we'll talk about it more (and ultimately see if there's a need for one in practice) once we get more stuff in place and start opening up posting."

Please correct me if I misunderstand — but isn't a posting limit mostly unnecessary so long as FanFare is limited to posts about specific episodes of current shows as they air, and which is limited to one each, and is first come, first serve to whomever happens to submit the post first?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:12 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


i feel there's an analogy to people walking into a brand new restaurant (first day!) that's not even open fully to the public and deciding never to go back because there was a hitch in the food and service (with some super helpful and well-thought out comments to the manager on how they have to change everything or it'll never work, never).

this is what betas are for. it's a new subsite and trying to figure out the rules as we go is part of the package. i said this in the last tv thread, but we don't know how this is going to turn out. i mean yes, pay attention to the unfolding dynamic, but there's 3 threads from 2 shows on there and it's been open for 2 days. it would be crazy to judge metafilter or askme on the first 3 threads that got posted. rules will change and become more firm as we go.

people said slyt/newsfilter/mefi chat/favorites would ruin metafilter. people like to freak out here. how 'bout we get some data up in there first. and figuring out how to game things is part of beta testing, so instead of looking at dick comments and dick arguments as the beginning of the end of fanfare, i feel like they're just test cases for policy. hypotheticals can't substitute for us just taking it out for a spin and, yes, crashing a few times.

so, as much as i'd love to talk about my Person of Interest and Community and Elementary feels right now, it was a good idea to do a rollout because jesus christ GoT people, at least you *get* threads to fight in. i started watching Scandal for NO GOOD REASON and where am i supposed to... what do i even do with that?
posted by twist my arm at 9:13 AM on April 18 [7 favorites]


Thank you! Already a fun place to while away a few hours.
posted by double bubble at 9:15 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Please correct me if I misunderstand — but isn't a posting limit mostly unnecessary so long as FanFare is limited to posts about specific episodes of current shows as they air, and which is limited to one each, and is first come, first serve to whomever happens to submit the post first?

That's part of why it hasn't been a high-priority point of discussion, yeah. There's not much of an issue of agency/ownership in being the person to post the rote Next Episode Has Aired post for a given show since it's largely a mechanical thing. Someone's gotta do it but doesn't much matter who and for a given show it's gonna happen once a week.

We're talking about also allowing for some more free-form stuff besides the strict episodic, but that's not implemented yet; something like The Thread About The Books for GoT might be a show-specific but not season/episode-specific thread that'd be associated with the show (or "Let's talk Mad Men costume design and period fashion", or "Dorothy Zbornak's feminist credentials" or or or), and with that there's the possibility of posting habits that are divorced from a strict episodic pacing and it's not impossible we'd see some folks just going nuts with three or four excitable ideas all at once. That's the sort of thing that'd be most likely to prompt some sort of posting limit, but we'll worry about that when and if it comes up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:27 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


misha: "Honestly, throwing up your hands and saying, "Welp, we didn't delete it earlier so I guess we're stuck with it now" seems like abdicating responsibility for modding the thread altogether."

That's pretty much the site standard for comment deletion, though. If it's been up a while, and there's already been a lot of responses to it, I think the feeling is that the horse is already out of the barn.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:33 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


So many comments!

When it comes to GoT, it's clear that traditional spoiler policies don't function in quite the same way that they would for other media. This is why comparisons to Hannibal and Hunger Games don't work.

Listing the pros and cons of single-thread versus split thread approaches:

SINGLE-THREAD APPROACH:
+ Incumbent advantage - policy already exists.
+ Some participants want to require everyone on the site to discuss the show in this one particular way.
+ Only one thread for all - to some people, this is seen as a good in and of itself.
+ Intended to be easier for Unsullied to speculate freely without having to be "corrected" by fun-ruining spoilers.
+ Precedent: Sepinwall, where the books were taken off the table when discussing the TV show.
- Precedent: Sepinwall, where all the comments wound up having to be disabled.
- Does not provide a space for those Bookwalkers or Wikifriends who would like to discuss future events.
- Spoiler policy is not as clear in practice as it had been in theory, or as it would be for other media. See, the fact that this very MeTa thread has gone on for as long as it has. With all due respect, stating "it will be simple" does not make it simple, especially when many people perceive the policy as restricting them from discussing the show in a way that would make them happy.
- With no other place to reference potential future events, people attempting to cling to the edge of acceptability will wind up producing negative results anyhow, whether they use hints, circumlocution, rules-lawyering, etc.
- Single-thread remains to be a spoiler minefield for Unsullied, as the spoiler policy has been demonstrably unclear in practice, and there is no "release valve" of a spoiler thread for all future-facing discussion.
- Not all Bookwalkers can participate fully in speculation, as Unsullied speculation should not be interrupted willy-nilly by Bookwalkers, even when on-screen evidence confirms Bookwalkers' "theories".
- Bookwalkers cannot discuss even past or current events which would affect events in the future, e.g. "so-and-so has been drawn differently in the show, so it will be interesting to see if such-and-such winds up happening, or if it will happen differently".

SPLIT-THREAD APPROACH:
+ Bright-line rule, easily-followed.
+ No more edge cases, as all future-referencing discussion will have its own place.
+ Many people want it.
+ Maximum enjoyment for all. No reasonable form of GoT discussion is forbidden, it's just that it will always either be appropriate for one thread or the other.
+ Precedent: AV Club, where spoiler zones exist not only for GoT, but also for other media, and it works just fine.
- Requires policy change.
- One more thread per week for mods to monitor (but potentially minus a significant number of future "was that a spoiler?" arguments).
- Fragmented conversation. If so desired, this could be mitigated by nudging users to use the spoiler space exclusively for spoilers, so as to avoid a potential "secret clubhouse" impression. I don't think this is a necessary step, but it's certainly an option.
- Concern about future shows requiring more than one thread. For one thing, this seems like an argument from consequences, and even then, it's not clear that other shows would even require this at all. GoT is a special case, much more like a historical drama than it is like any other fictional show. The fans demonstrably relate to it in different ways than they do to other shows. Discussing the show in the context of the books is a very different sort of issue than "let's talk about the costumes on Mad Men", especially since discussing the costumes within the ordinary Mad Men thread would never spoil anything for anyone.

POTENTIAL "THIRD WAY" SOLUTIONS:
• Season-long, spoilers-permitted megathread which does not track each individual episode. This could work, but I am unclear as to how this is preferable to episode-by-episode spoiler zones. This would seem to fragment conversation further, with no apparent advantage. I'm not saying it's a bad idea at all, I'm not trying to be coyly negative, I'm just genuinely saying that I don't get why this would be seen as better.
• Spoiler tags. I think this is the way 4chan does it. This could work, but it still seems like it could be confusing in practice.
• Market socialism. This worked well in Yugoslavia until about the mid-70s, but the lack of effective central organization, either from central planning or from market forces, made it difficult for the nation to effectively react to global economic changes, which was especially difficult in a nation already fractured by internal cultural and economic differences.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:47 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


misha: " I understand not wanting to hurt someone's feelings, but what good does keeping the comment up do for the community?

Honestly, throwing up your hands and saying, "Welp, we didn't delete it earlier so I guess we're stuck with it now" seems like abdicating responsibility for modding the thread altogether.
"

I don't understand. Whose feelings do you think are being protected here? Jacqueline's? Or the people who think it's a spoiler. If the former, I kinda doubt the mods are leaving the comment in place to protect Jacqueline.

But about leaving comments up after some time has passed: Part of the problem is, when a comment has been responded to extensively, deleting it and everything that came after it in order to maintain a coherent, readable conversation that doesn't reference something that no longer exists becomes harder and harder. A while back, someone who had only recently been promoted to mod ran into a situation where she deleted one comment, and then by the time he or she was done deleting everything that referenced it, dozens of comments had been axed. All to maintain that thread's continuity and keep it on track. There was a huge uproar -- you know the outrage that can happen when one person gets something axed. Imagine how the metatalk thread looked now that dozens of people were directly affected.

And it was clear that the mod in question meant well but just got lost in the weeds, so to speak. No one really seemed to think otherwise -- that she did it maliciously. But man, oh man, a bunch of folks here were still all pissed off. Mods with a bit more hands-on experience dealing with that unique-to-mefi situation eventually worked on the thread, and undeleted quite a few comments.

This is a 'damned if you do and damned if you don't' situation. If the mods delete the comment, then they have to delete what came after in response or the thread becomes a mass of contextless comments. If they leave the comment... well, people don't like it and some will accuse them of bias or making bad calls.

Have spoken up loudly on at least a couple of occasions because I felt a comment should have been deleted but wasn't. It's VERY damned frustrating when it happens. But my impression has never been that they take the subject lightly.
posted by zarq at 9:49 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


With all due respect, stating "it will be simple" does not make it simple, especially when many people perceive the policy as restricting them from discussing the show in a way that would make them happy.

Your "especially when" doesn't follow for me; some folks not getting their preferred setup on day one does not make a simple policy un-simple, it just makes it not what they want.

I have sympathy; I am ahead in the books myself and have to think carefully about whether and how to engage a specific issue in the current GoT episode thread. But...that's okay. I can do that. I can make that effort, and hold off on book-ahead stuff until such time as there's a thread one way or the other that's specifically a good home for it. It's not perfect for me; perfect for me would be me being able to blab about all the details I know from the books to date except not details for the one that I haven't read. But we're a couple days into a very limited-scope rollout and perfect for me isn't in the offing at the moment.

Brainstorming is a-okay and I appreciate that everybody's got their own specific preferences for how this stuff should work and how what we have right at this moment isn't matching that, but folks need to give this thing some time and not catastrophize based on an intentionally very limited-scope rollout a couple days in.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:58 AM on April 18 [7 favorites]


Any chance of getting some show threads for The Americans? I love that show.
posted by killdevil at 9:59 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


From the original wording of this post:
This site is very much in beta and will be from now until the end of June, when the last Game of Thrones episode airs. After that time, we'll figure out what worked and what didn't work, make adjustments and likely roll it out to cover any episode of previous and future TV shows.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:01 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


This is really cool. I love that someone had this idea and then you folks (Mat/Mods) ran with it. Looking forward to watching it grow.
posted by latkes at 10:04 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Your "especially when" doesn't follow for me; some folks not getting their preferred setup on day one does not make a simple policy un-simple, it just makes it not what they want.

By "not simple", I am not referring to people being satisfied or dissatisfied, but rather to the people discussing in this thread about what is or is not fair game, about what is or is not rules-lawyering, about what or is not generally uncool, etc. These are people disagreeing on the letter and spirit of the policy itself, and not merely liking or disliking it. Saying that policy is simple does not make those disagreements go away - those disagreements are the proof that the policy is not actually simple in practice, with regard to GoT.

Either way, nobody is catastrophizing anything. People are providing feedback to an alpha/beta release. There is a discussion about whether single-thread is better than split-thread (or another solution). Some people want single-thread, but many others are dissatisfied with single-thread, and in addition to that discussion, there has also been confusion and disagreement as to what would or would not be proper within the context of the existing single-thread format.

I mean, I think FanFare is awesome and I love it. I hope that my focus on this one issue has not created the misimpression that I'm ungrateful or that I think it is anything less than cool.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:07 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


I feel about like cortex does. As a bookwalker, I don't feel unduly limited by a spoiler policy in episode threads. I did fee unduly limited by TWoP's extreme policy of never mentioning the books in any way whatsoever. I don't like the "pretend the books don't exist" rule because I think that's excessive. I think there's a very workable, reasonable way between that and a spoilery discussion. I think it's pretty much covered by "don't be a dick".

That's not to say that I wouldn't like a space where I could freely discuss the show within the context of having read the books. I don't particularly feel the need to do much "show versus books" discussion and so I never participated in that thread on TWoP, and have only occasionally checked in with the discussion. Maybe I'm not representative, maybe I am. I have some interest in that sort of discussion, but not a burning interest and I don't feel stifled and resentful that I don't have that opportunity here or elsewhere. But I'm amenable to some outlet for it (such as general, spoilers-okay thread). I can live without it just fine.

But, yeah, as you implied in your excellent point-by-point rundown, there's some of us, me prominently, who really want episode threads to include everyone interested in the show. I quite enjoy hearing what the unsullied think. Sure, I can read and participate in two different threads, but, I don't know, I'm not sure that I would. And it's simply necessarily true that each of the two threads would have less participation by virtue of the other's existence. I don't really like the idea. I recognize that it's pretty much specific to GoT and I emphatically am aware and recognize the feelings and validity of those who think two threads are a great solution. Nevertheless, I'm a bookwalker and I don't need bifurcated threads. I'm not unique.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:20 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Brainstorming is a-okay and I appreciate that everybody's got their own specific preferences for how this stuff should work and how what we have right at this moment isn't matching that, but folks need to give this thing some time and not catastrophize based on an intentionally very limited-scope rollout a couple days in.


Yeah, the Mad Men thread is going just fine.
posted by sweetkid at 10:20 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


It's not perfect for me; perfect for me would be me being able to blab about all the details I know from the books to date except not details for the one that I haven't read.

And perfect for me (late tv watcher, non-book reader in this case) would be to not have to moderate and deal with spoilers for a show I am enjoying and I don't get that either. We're really trying to make some guidelines that are easy-to-=understand even if they'r not the ones that people would prefer.

nobody is catastrophizing anything.

A few people in the thread have said that if FanFare is a certain way or has a certain guideline then they would never use it or that it will be impossible to moderate or that it will suck. We're trying to properly contextualize those responses (hey, people feel what they feel) within the larger set of responses but there are definitely some people who have decided that certain implementations of it would be unacceptable to them. That's okay and it's good feedback to have on our side, but people who have lines in the sand about dealbreaker things may find that they're on the other side of the line from where FanFare turns out to be. Sometimes happens.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:29 AM on April 18


sweetkid: "Yeah, the Mad Men thread is going just fine."

Only because no one is talking about the book.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:31 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Oh noes! I got that book for Quonsmas.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:42 AM on April 18


With the trailer for the next Orange is the New Black season out, I was wondering if you've thought about how Netflix shows will be managed. If you roll out the whole season on one day you end up with the front page of FF being a block of single-show text; plus everyone watches at a different pace.
posted by tracicle at 10:42 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I think the answer to a lot of the questions being asked is "It'll sort of work itself out." Just like everything else has here.

All I want to know is where are we talking about Fargo?
posted by bondcliff at 10:46 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's an interesting question, season dumps like OitNB or House of Cards. An artificial staggering of episode threads would be one approach—new thread every couple days after launch, less than the time frame of a traditional weekly screening but enough time to let folks find a non-binge balance of talking about the work as it progresses narratively episode-to-episode.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:46 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


A few people in the thread have said that if FanFare is a certain way or has a certain guideline then they would never use it or that it will be impossible to moderate or that it will suck. We're trying to properly contextualize those responses (hey, people feel what they feel) within the larger set of responses but there are definitely some people who have decided that certain implementations of it would be unacceptable to them. That's okay and it's good feedback to have on our side, but people who have lines in the sand about dealbreaker things may find that they're on the other side of the line from where FanFare turns out to be. Sometimes happens.

I hear you. But, that's not catastrophizing. Catastrophizing would be something like, "FANFARE IS TEARING METAFILTER APAAAAAART". If somebody doesn't want to deal with the GoT forum as it stands, then it's not "catastrophizing" for them to tell the truth about that. Whether it's because they really can't tolerate that format of discussion, or whether it's because they feel that a boycott is their only "vote", then either way, that's just...reality. And if some boycott-threateners wind up using the GoT thread anyhow, then that would be pretty much in line with many other kinds of things that happen in the world, whether it's about them actually changing their mind or about them settling for something that may not be 100% what they would have wanted.

Even aside from all of that, I'm not boycotting the forum, nor have I threatened to do so. Necessarily, some discussion will have to take place elsewhere, so attention will be divided in that way, but that was of course a foreseen result of the design choices.

...

The Americans would be a good show to put up down the line.

...

I'm not sure if NetFlix-style season dumps need all that much staggering. People will still be discussing things episode by episode, unless it's just a 2-4 part miniseries kind of thing. Not everybody will be on the same page, as far as ability and desire to sarge the series or to pause long enough to speculate, but you can't really force that all that much.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:53 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Even aside from all of that, I'm not boycotting the forum

Heya, I was really speaking more generally with the catastrophizing comment than to you, didn't mean to make you feel pinned down there. I appreciate that you're brainstorming out of a place of enthusiasm and don't have a problem with that even if I disagree with some of the details of your long bullet-pointed take above. I'm sorry that wasn't clearer.

I'm not sure if NetFlix-style season dumps need all that much staggering.

My thought with the staggering is mostly to help have the conversation have a little more balance to its life cycle, e.g. by introducing a liiiittle bit of artificial scarcity by only having a new thread every couple days we end up with some good conversation for each episode thread, whereas dropping ten episode threads all at once on day one there's the possibility that you end up with a rapid clumping of conversation toward the season finale thread.

Basically turning what could be sort of a haphazard ten simultaneous conversations into more of a couple weeks of progressive conversation from one thread to the next.

Whether that's actually the way to go or not is totally up in the air, but that's the conversation-pacing motivation behind the idea.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:08 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


A few people in the thread have said that if FanFare is a certain way or has a certain guideline then they would never use it or that it will be impossible to moderate or that it will suck. We're trying to properly contextualize those responses (hey, people feel what they feel) within the larger set of responses but there are definitely some people who have decided that certain implementations of it would be unacceptable to them. That's okay and it's good feedback to have on our side, but people who have lines in the sand about dealbreaker things may find that they're on the other side of the line from where FanFare turns out to be. Sometimes happens.

I don't have a line in the sand, but the (non-mod) vibe I'm getting from some of the spoiler-hostile and speculation-hostile folks is that FanFare won't be fun for me. I don't want to be a dick, but I get enjoyment out of speculation and putting things together and discussing how a show might go in the future. Not doing that represents a cost to me and lessens my enjoyment just as hearing spoilers lessens enjoyment for other people. I feel like that perspective is being lost in the overall discussion of FanFare in favor of some folks with loud and differing opinions.

If FanFare won't be fun for me, I won't participate. I'll consider that an unfortunate outcome, but life is too short to drink bad beer. If the grousing I've seen in this thread is typical of the sort of participant enforcement I can expect on FanFare, it's going to be bad beer for me.

(Not about the GoT thread at ALL, because again, I'm not a GoT person and have no significant opinions on the Bookwalkers vs Unsullied stuff except that the names are silly.)
posted by immlass at 11:18 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


As far as I can tell, it is where we are right now. You seem to be interacting with a slightly alternate-universe MetaFilter as near as I can tell. If you have questions about policy stuff, feel free to just ask.

I guess i just feel like my comment got deleted for being spoilery, when it seems like the consensus is that posting screenshots from the show is fine?(because anything else would be, well, insane). The MeMail i got when the comment was deleted specifically mentioned "could you repost it without that spoiler info?"

That's why i posted that post you quoted. Did y'all collectively change your mind after my comment got deleted?

I can take this to the contact form now if you'd like, too. but i was specifically directed to this thread. And i also feel that this should be a public discussion.
posted by emptythought at 11:24 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I really don't think anyone expects instant action or immediate changes as far as Game of Thrones stuff goes. but since User Numero Uno has said

"I don't see us making duplicate threads for the same episodes for two audiences in the near future"

It sure feels like decisions have already been made on the mod side, and I don't think you should be suprised that people are expressing strong opinions, since (at least for me) its an uphill sort of argument to overcome that. If someone would have difficulty interacting with a thread under the current rules, I would hope they could be truthful about that without being accused of "catastrophizing".

That said, I think there is also a paralell, similar-but-not-the-same argument going on about if the application of the spoiler policy is as simple as everyone claims it to be.

The overall response to users expressing an observed disparity between the statement of the spoiler policy and it's execution has seemed to be to be "nuh-uh!" without an engagment of the actual arguments. emptythought was accused by a mod of being in an alternate universe for saying that.

The way that I see it, the practical result of how this whole Jacquiline thing has played out is that super-close readings of specific scenes and detailed theories that have even a whiff of "I've read the books" about them will be pretty much verboten, because it is an implicit spoiler for people to be focusing on specific things when they might be a red herring or misdirection. I think this sort of speculation is the bread and butter of shows like GoT, True Detective, etc. and can be a lot of fun, but it sure seems like book readers will hide their "true nature" as it were if they want to participate in speculation, lest anything they say be suspect. Even if the brightline rule isn't "pretend the books don't exist", it feels like the unofficial line will be pretty much indistinguishable from that. Hence the pushback and all of these comments.

I've had a lot of thoughts bouncing around my head about this since last night, and I hope that what I've written makes some sense. I think FanFare is really a net positive, and that the policies laid down are pretty much perfect for 99+% of shows (how many people have commented about the Mad Men thread in this MeTa? I bet I could count them on both hands with fingers to spare). I hope the mods go another way with Game of Thrones, but I won't close my account or anything if they don't.

Fortunately, when the tables turn in a few years and the show-watchers are inevitably ahead of the book readers, there won't be nearly the same issues :-)
posted by grandsham at 11:26 AM on April 18


For the record, if I've understood what I think is actually the policy, rather than proposed policies, with the added note of "don't be a dick", I think it's actually fine. It's not like we Bookwalkers don't have enough minutae to scrutinize in each episode with stuff that happened previously in the books.

I think what's being said is that speculation is fine, as long as you're not putting together stuff you already know and pretending you're just discovering it along with everyone. If I already know two people get married in the future, then pointing out all the places they're being romantic and casually suggesting 'Gee I wonder if they will get married' is being a dick. If I already know that a character is going to assassinate another one, then pointing out all the times they are untrustworthy and 'speculating' that they will betray said character is being a dick.
posted by corb at 11:28 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


I guess i just feel like my comment got deleted for being spoilery, when it seems like the consensus is that posting screenshots from the show is fine?

Your comment got deleted largely as carrying on the already-contentious, already mod-note-asking-folks-to-take-it-to-Metatalk thing upthread, basically. We can try and talk out the details of whether and to what degree the specific tack Jacqueline took with her comment that you were elaborating is a problem and why, but it wasn't "screenshots of the show aren't allowed" and I feel like you're trying to read a larger policy position into what was mostly just trying to contain a specific line of conversation people were taking issue with.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:33 AM on April 18


corb: "If I already know two people get married in the future, then pointing out all the places they're being romantic and casually suggesting 'Gee I wonder if they will get married' is being a dick. If I already know that a character is going to assassinate another one, then pointing out all the times they are untrustworthy and 'speculating' that they will betray said character is being a dick."

Sure. And anyone who wants to do this should simply not announce that they've read the books and they'll be safe from retaliation and the fury of other mefites. After all, it's perfectly possible for anyone to draw conclusions given enough clues, and then speculate without any actual foreknowledge. TV threads about serialized shows are already chock-full of speculation. Almost every Doctor Who thread discusses not only what did happen in a particular episode or season, and what could have happened, but what might happen in the future. It would be virtually impossible to shut down idle discussion.
posted by zarq at 11:36 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Heya, I was really speaking more generally with the catastrophizing comment than to you, didn't mean to make you feel pinned down there.

Sure, but even if I had said I wouldn't use the forum, that still wouldn't be any form of catastrophization. Feedback in and of itself is not catastrophization. Others' stated refusal to use something is not catastrophization. Unless there are some really out-there comments upthread that I've missed, the term seems generally out of place in this thread, and its usage is causing some unnecessary confusion. Anyway, there's no point in dwelling on it.

Either way, I had set out bullet points because others had written long-ish posts describing why they feel the policy should be some other way. Except for situations in which somebody responds directly to points on that, or barring some weird future development, the point was to have my final statement on the matter be something organized and full. My apologies if I am talking too much.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:37 AM on April 18


It sure feels like decisions have already been made on the mod side

I hear where you're coming from, but for example the thing you're quoting Matt saying falls into "we have decided not to make immediate action along those lines", not "we've decided how everything will work, period". We're intentionally moving slow on this stuff, slower at least than immediately adding/changing a bunch of things on day two or in what was presented from the get go as a really minimal, slow-motion test.

Stuff needs a little room to settle, to breath, to digest; as exciting as it is (and, woo, it is) to have this new dedicated space to chatter about inter alia Game of Thrones, it's brand new, simple by intent, and is not going to immediately answer everybody's specific preferences. I've said, and mean, that brainstorming and feedback are good, it's a helpful part of this process and really one of the main points of doing things incrementally, but I also feel like it's easy for folks to sort of get into a place of arguing the current setup as if it's something that needs to have some lines drawn in the sand rather than literally the first couple days of a thing that's very much intended to be an evolving work in progress.

That's all, really; I feel like there's some "well, if this is how it's going to be, then..." stuff when (a) it's not totally clear what "this" even is yet and (b) how it's going to be is really explicitly a matter of ongoing discussion and thought.

That said, I also regret using the word catastrophizing because it is not communicating I don't think what I had meant it to. I realize that from the mod end of this we've got a little bit different of a perspective on the whole thing than any given user and that's maybe just a reflection of that as much as anything.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:45 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


I suggest the background color to be of a port turned on a dead channel

That would be blue, these days.


Who cares? I want analog snow background. Can it be an easter egg?
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:54 AM on April 18


I'm thinking that GoT was not the ideal series for this test run as its spoilerability is really high compared to other mostly original series. I feel like the broader discussion of how this new and exciting site should operate is being swallowed up by spoiler debate that isn't necessarily applicable to most other television shows.
posted by Think_Long at 11:57 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


"I don't want to be a dick, but I get enjoyment out of speculation and putting things together and discussing how a show might go in the future."

I don't know where you're getting this idea that there's a non-mod consensus against speculation. There certainly isn't. Seems like maybe one person argued against speculation in general, but otherwise the only anti-speculation discussion has been about people speculating-with-foreknowledge (because they've read the books/whatever). That's a different kettle of fish.

"I guess i just feel like my comment got deleted for being spoilery, when it seems like the consensus is that posting screenshots from the show is fine?"

I feel like you're being obtuse. Posting screenshots from the show is fine. And it very well may have been fine and no one would have objected if it hadn't been in the context of someone who just had said they read the books detailing those events in the screenshots.

"And anyone who wants to do this should simply not announce that they've read the books and they'll be safe from retaliation and the fury of other mefites."

I'm not sure if there's not a bit of facetiousness in your comment (your following sentence implies there's not), but while that almost certainly strikes people as an absurd outcome, I think it makes perfect sense. If you speculate about something and people know you've read the books, that gives your speculation a certain weight. And if you explain that you're a book reader and then detail certain things that happened in a scene that most people didn't notice and which explains who killed Joffrey, then that casts your comment in a very different light than had it been from someone who (as far as anyone knows) hadn't read the books.

"...but it sure seems like book readers will hide their 'true nature' as it were if they want to participate in speculation, lest anything they say be suspect."

Making it ambiguous whether you've read the books either generally or within the specific context of a speculation is not some weird and perverse dishonesty, it would just be considerate, for the reasons I discuss above.

I feel like a number of people — emptythought particularly but also others — are really bothered about this asymmetry between book readers and non book-readers, where book-readers have to be careful about the exact same speculation that non book-readers don't. And this is, frankly, sort of annoying me because it seems to me to be one of those things where people fetishize "fairness" for its own sake, or are caught up in being against something because it vaguely but strongly offends their sensibilities†. As opposed to being pragmatic and recognizing that human interaction means that absolute, arbitrary fairness can often be hurtful and absurd ("cut the baby in half")

Furthermore, this particular circumstance of speculation is, even within the context of discussions of Game of Thrones, exceptional and not usual. Mostly it's simply the "foreknowledge" thing. Calling people's attention to significant details because you know they're significant is something that we book readers are tempted to do from time to time, but it's also not that big of a burden to refrain from doing so. I mean, seriously.

"I'm thinking that GoT was not the ideal series for this test run as its spoilerability is really high compared to other mostly original series."

The mods have said up-thread that this is precisely the reason they decided to include it: to meet this exceptionally difficult problem head-on. I am impressed with their courage; it's not necessarily the choice I would have made. I mentioned up-thread the old legal maxim that "hard cases make bad law" and I fear that this decision might be in that vein. On the other hand, it certainly has elicited a vigorous discussion about the policies and community sensibilities concerning spoilers.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:01 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


Oh, I forgot to include the footnote indicated by the dagger after "...or are caught up in being against something because it vaguely but strongly offends their sensibilities".

I was just going to admit that this might apply to me with regard to disliking a bifurcated discussion. Or even my (intense!) dislike of a traditional discussion board organization of FanFare with topic and subforums and such.

It can be difficult to self-evaluate about that sort of thing. Is it rational and considered? Or deeply intuitive and knee-jerk? So I'm sympathetic to those complaints, but, well, it's just not that big of a burden for book readers to be careful with their speculations (or pointing out significant details).
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:06 PM on April 18


Any chance of getting some show threads for The Americans?

I don't expect this will happen but I am super excited that season 3 has been confirmed, something I wasn't convinced would happen when this MeTa started. Not that I wouldn't love to have it added sooner, but I'm looking forward to being able to talk about it eventually.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:08 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


To beanplate "hard cases make bad law" for a second: in common law systems, hard cases make bad law because binding precedent for a specific case will be applied (or at least very strongly considered to apply) to subsequent similar cases. It's a bug of the common law system, where using an appellate court to create a "just" result for one case may potentially create unjust results for future cases. To avoid creating bad law, you have to look not only at the justness of the immediate result, but also the effect of creating such legal precedent. It's not just that not all rulings should apply to all cases, but also the fact that lower courts often don't have a choice as to what law to apply.

With regard to GoT, we'd run into a "hard cases make bad law" situation if and only if we took a "ruling" which addressed GoT-specific problems and foisted that same ruling onto subsequent similar "cases", e.g. if we were to hypothetically create a split-thread system for GoT, it would be bad/silly/whatever to say that the mods would therefore be obligated to always split threads whenever it was asked of them.

Luckily, MeFi doesn't work that way! :)
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:58 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


I don't know where you're getting this idea that there's a non-mod consensus against speculation.

I don't think there is any consensus. I think there are some loud voices pushing for one, though. My concern is that the rule "nothing from future episodes" and loud complaining + flagging might kill off any theorizing even outside the GoT special case.

Honestly, it's the aggrieved tone that people get about possibly being spoiled or overspeculated in front of or in any way experiencing the show not as they imagine the showrunner planned it that makes it all sound so un-fun. I'm not being specific here because I don't want to be rude and call out any individual users for expressing their feelings in ways that harsh my mellow. (If you really need to know, MeMail.)
posted by immlass at 12:59 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


The 3-sentence spoiler policy is here, and looks good to me. The closing of television without pity is pretty much what prompted the opening of this site to discuss television. If it was a site about books, and say a television show was far ahead of books, I wouldn't go into a thread where people were talking about the first book, and try to initiate discussions about things I'd seen on the television show that would or might appear in as yet unreleased books.

And to clarify speculation, perhaps what is problematic to me is better termed prediction. If it's "I wonder if the two of them will ever get together", that's speculation, and yeah, who cares. But if it is some substantive construct that would be a major plot point or twist, I get the want to do that, but I hope it's obvious how the whole point of many pieces of media is such a reveal, plot twist, or secret. I don't think anybody cares if someone says "I wonder if he'll live". But saying "I bet he breaks those glasses and doesn't have a way to fix them" ahead of the moment is a jerk move of a prediction because it's clear that is intended as a plot twist and the thrust of the piece. I hope that explains things a little clearer.
posted by cashman at 1:10 PM on April 18


Your comment got deleted largely as carrying on the already-contentious, already mod-note-asking-folks-to-take-it-to-Metatalk thing upthread, basically. We can try and talk out the details of whether and to what degree the specific tack Jacqueline took with her comment that you were elaborating is a problem and why, but it wasn't "screenshots of the show aren't allowed" and I feel like you're trying to read a larger policy position into what was mostly just trying to contain a specific line of conversation people were taking issue with.

And i guess, to be fair the whole thing started because i didn't see that mod note. I just saw several posts discussing the whole thing and decided to jump in.

So yea, it was a bit of a misfire on my part... but i'm still a bit annoyed with the growing pains of this whole thing.
posted by emptythought at 1:34 PM on April 18


I don't know if this has been covered (it's hard to search through this thread), but might it be an option to do a whole season of a show as one thread instead of strictly one episode per thread?

I figure this might be interesting for older shows (like the Golden Girls) and/or more niche shows. I figure in these cases a broader topic might help to start/keep a conversation going.
posted by bjrn at 1:42 PM on April 18


Yeah, that's certainly a possibility, and I think we'll see how it pans out with older stuff once we get to the point of opening things up to "add any show you like" territory. I suspect that might very much be the way things go in terms of discussion starting as a single show-level thread and then folks getting into more detailed season/episodic discussions as interest coalesces.

(So, say, Star Trek: The Next Generation seems like something folks would have plenty to talk about, and so someone sets up or submits TNG as a new show to add to the site, and starts a fairly general thread, and folks jabber, and then it becomes clear there's a couple major themes people are interested in having focused discussions about, and new show-level threads come out of that, and also folks decide that doing some sort of rewatch book club deal sounds fun and that ends up leading to a new episode-specific thread each week, etc.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:49 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


"(So, say, Star Trek: The Next Generation seems like something folks would have plenty to talk about, and so someone sets up or submits TNG as a new show to add to the site, and starts a fairly general thread, and folks jabber, and then it becomes clear there's a couple major themes people are interested in having focused discussions about, and new show-level threads come out of that, and also folks decide that doing some sort of rewatch book club deal sounds fun and that ends up leading to a new episode-specific thread each week, etc.)"

Yeah, but as I keep harping on, that doesn't fit at all with the chronological blog posting format. I'm really curious how you guys are thinking about how it would be implemented.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:21 PM on April 18


Ivan, you don't think indexing will do the trick?
posted by nobody at 2:52 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


One more vote for something other than the white background.

(I am still pissed off that newer versions of MS Word axed the "blue background, white text" option. I avoid writing as much as possible at work now.)
posted by psoas at 3:04 PM on April 18


Orphan Black Season Two Is Even Better Than We Hoped
posted by homunculus at 4:21 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


> Star Trek: The Next Generation seems like something folks would have plenty to talk about

Lots of folks, any old folks, certainly not one folk in particular, and hey, maybe folks would like to work on a webcomic based on it, possibly, who's to say?
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:30 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I've been planning a large post about Osamu Tezuka for some time, and the anime versions of two of his works that are its focus, Black Jack (2004) and The Three-Eyed One, might work out well in this format. But Black Jack is available legally only on Crunchyroll, and The Three-Eyed One on a website called Viki. Would those work here once the subsite opens to more people posting?
posted by JHarris at 5:09 PM on April 18


I hope it's obvious how the whole point of many pieces of media is such a reveal, plot twist, or secret. I don't think anybody cares if someone says "I wonder if he'll live". But saying "I bet he breaks those glasses and doesn't have a way to fix them" ahead of the moment is a jerk move of a prediction because it's clear that is intended as a plot twist and the thrust of the piece.

This is a part I actually disagree with strongly. For instance, to draw from Orphan Black, one of the plotlines has to do with Cosima, who's one of the characters played by Tatiana Maslany, and her girlfriend Delphine. Questions of Delphine's actual loyalty vs perceived loyalty are exactly the point of this plot thread. There's not a bright line between saying "I think Delphine is loyal to Cosima because x, y, and z" or "I think Delphine is actually loyal to [the other party] because a, b, and c" and speculating directly on the next steps in that chain like "I think Delphine is going to tell Cosima [this secret]" or "I think that Delphine is going to tell [other party] about [this secret of Cosima's]".

Those discussions are not the same as ruining a plot twist like "who committed the big murder at the wedding?" to me. They're not a jerk move, but part of the fun! So if FanFare is going to ban them, it's probably not going to be a fun place for me to talk about shows I watch. I'll be disappointed, but accepting, if that kind of speculation is banned out of the gate, and go talk elsewhere with people whose tastes are more similar to mine.

What I want to emphasize as far as the MeTa goes is that I beanplate plot because it's fun, and also that just as beanplating speculation may dampen someone else's enthusiasm or make them quit FanFare, forbidding that form of beanplating also has a cost to Mefites who enjoy it. It's not a zero-cost decision.

(And I don't envy the mods who have to make that call, either.)
posted by immlass at 5:20 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


I agree with that. I'm not sure where you think we're disagreeing. I specifically said the jerk move is ruining a huge plot twist like "who committed the big murder at the wedding".
posted by cashman at 5:26 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


One comment deleted; I know we've had some vacillation on this issue in this thread, but let's not introduce more spoilers for other shows here just for illustrative purposes?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 5:34 PM on April 18


Oh - that was just a random comment - that happened? Sorry!
posted by cashman at 5:37 PM on April 18


(see how random speculation can become a spoiler?)
posted by cashman at 5:37 PM on April 18


Oh, I don't know if it happened! I never watched that show, and your comment got flagged, so I assumed it was true. Maybe it didn't happen and I am a rube. D'oh.

This is a problem that will probably happen again too, that mods may not have seen the show, so just have to rely on people to tell us what really is a spoiler.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 5:48 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


(Sorry cashman, I've sent you the comment if you want to repost it.)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 5:53 PM on April 18


No worries. I think it's a perfect illustration of what we were discussing. In my comments here and in the other thread I've posted tons of examples to the point where I ran out of them and tried to think of some other show. I really just wanted to explain things to the point where it was clear and so there weren't misunderstandings based on different readings of posts. I didn't want it to seem like I have been stressing anything out of the ordinary, because I do not believe that I have.

Anyway, I think the spoiler policy is fine, and that the site will find an equilibrium just as the rest of metafilter has. I think we'll all be as fine there as we are elsewhere on metafilter. I have a good amount of confidence in the atmosphere and moderation around here. I think we'll be fine.
posted by cashman at 5:58 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


It's gonna be funny if people start figuring out what is going to happen because only the true speculation gets deleted as a spoiler.
posted by Justinian at 6:09 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


But saying "I bet he breaks those glasses and doesn't have a way to fix them" ahead of the moment is a jerk move of a prediction because it's clear that is intended as a plot twist and the thrust of the piece.

I think even this is mostly OK.

But don't say that, preceded by "In the books..." or "I read the books, and what happens is..."

For me, the line between speculation and spoiler is when your comment is framed around informing. If you have information from the books that has not aired on the show (and, yes, "all the facts are there if you know where to look thanks to having read the books" counts), that's spoiling.

It seems pretty simple, to me, and it seems easy enough for Bookwalkers to speculate away. As long as they don't step over the line to informing.
posted by Sara C. at 6:10 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


MetaTalk: your comment got flagged, so I assumed it was true.
posted by homunculus at 6:17 PM on April 18 [7 favorites]


Well, thank you, one and all, for ruining yet another plot for me. I'll be off, now, but before I go there's something I'd like to share with you. In Citizen Kane, Rosebud is the name of his sled. In Murder on the Orient Express, everyone did it, and Luke Skywalker's father is Darth Vader. Ha!
posted by Chrysostom at 6:49 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


This very badly needs to not become one of those threads where we throw in every spoiler we can think of just to be funny.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:50 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


I agree with that. I'm not sure where you think we're disagreeing.

Maybe that's a specific GOT reference that I don't get because I don't know the show and that's where we're disagreeing?
posted by immlass at 7:02 PM on April 18


3rd base! I'm completely confused. I think we're agreeing. Lets just participate in Fanfare and go from there.
posted by cashman at 7:11 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Can't you see this barnyard guessing game/spoiler controversy is TEARING US APART??
posted by sweetkid at 7:18 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


I have always wanted a real life reason to say "can't you see this barnyard guessing game is tearing us apart?" I recently had a reason to say, "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown," totally in context and let me tell you it was great.
posted by sweetkid at 7:46 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Having had a chance to sit back and think about this one some more, I just want to do something I didn't when I first commented: thank the folks who run this site for taking the time and effort to create this new space. We wouldn't be having this very animated discussion about it if it wasn't something people really cared about—and if it didn't fill an unmet need, even if it's a need some or many of us didn't realize was unmet until FanFare came along.

Anyhow, you guys chose what has to be the most difficult show currently on TV to start with, just thanks to the books, so props to you for not taking the easy route and creating a thread on the Flintstones. And as some have said, we aren't likely to encounter this kind of situation again for a while, which is probably a good thing! I've had my small gripes, but I think this will be fun.

But on that note, are there any other major works out there of comparable scope that could be made into TV series where you might have a split between "bookwalkers" and the "unsullied"? I guess there's the Walking Dead, but I haven't watched it so I don't know if that presents the same issues. Anything else?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 7:54 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


>But saying "I bet he breaks those glasses and doesn't have a way to fix them" ahead of the moment is a jerk move of a prediction because it's clear that is intended as a plot twist and the thrust of the piece.

I think even this is mostly OK.

But don't say that, preceded by "In the books..." or "I read the books, and what happens is..."


IMO, if somebody has read the books, they shouldn't make that kind of comment at all. If you know what's going to happen, don't be all "oh hey, what if [x]?"

(My perspective is that of somebody who is neither watching the TV show nor reading the books, FWIW. You want unspoiled? I am aseptically packaged, yo.)
posted by Lexica at 7:58 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


are there any other major works out there of comparable scope that could be made into TV series where you might have a split between "bookwalkers" and the "unsullied"?

Stephen King's The Dark Tower books?

Although in that case the book series is at least complete; that is unless King decides to go back in and start revising them again. Game of Thrones is maybe unique in having book and TV series racing each other towards completion.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:01 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


are there any other major works out there of comparable scope that could be made into TV series where you might have a split between "bookwalkers" and the "unsullied"?

Not quite the same, but I remember when the LotR movies were coming out, there were... emotionally charged arguments in several online places I frequented back then. The book readers were not NEARLY as sensitive to spoiler issues as ASoIaF readers are (lots of fake "Legolas dies!" trolling and the like). Probably because the Lord of the Rings books had been out since the fifties.
posted by lovecrafty at 8:13 PM on April 18


The weirdness of the Unsullied/Bookwalker divide is exacerbated by the fact that there are so many more hours of runtime for a TV show than there are for a movie. Discussion of book divergence is different when you're getting 10+ hours a year from a still-unfinished saga, as opposed to just three movies. There are more plot threads to pick apart and more things for the reader/viewer to speculate on, especially when they relate to still-unfinished storylines.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:21 PM on April 18


Most series don't have nearly as many major character deaths as that one, which to be frank is I think a big factor.
posted by Sequence at 8:23 PM on April 18


There's also much more room for foreshadowing, red herrings, and other hints when it's a TV show, both for events that Bookwalkers are already aware of, and for mysteries that are still unresolved.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:27 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


There was also the whole trend last season where people secretly filmed their non-reader friends watching that episode. It's a series that has a lot of surprise moments like that.

As a reader, I mostly enjoy the show as a supplement to the books. If I know GRRM wrote a certain episode (as he did with the last one), it makes me pay extra attention to the things the camera lingers on and to the conversations that are shown (and also to the stuff in the books that he chose not to focus on).

Those are the things I want to talk about. But as I said before, there are lots of other places I can go for that. (But it would be really cool to have a place here for it, too!)
posted by lovecrafty at 8:32 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Oh, and it goes both ways (and probably will more often as the show catches up). If you're a non-reader who is all caught up with the show and decides to pick up the books, you are already heavily spoiled for something that is only revealed in the latest book.
posted by lovecrafty at 8:39 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


If you're a non-reader who is all caught up with the show and decides to pick up the books, you are already heavily spoiled for something that is only revealed in the latest book.

I like to imagine that the book-readers had only found out very recently that winter was coming.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:43 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


mathowie: - Who can post? At the moment, only mods can get to the posting form, but by the end of this upcoming weekend, we'll allow for posting by members that will be approved by a mod, going live after the show has aired. After the beta, this will be open to any and all and go up instantly, so if you really want to talk about Golden Girls season 5, episode 6 "Rose Fights Back" "Dancing in the Dark", you can.

Just to be clear, any episode that has already aired somewhere is fair game once the beta period is over? No focus on current programs, and no issues if there is a BBC show that is scheduled to be re-broadcast in the US in the coming months? For older shows, should discussions start with Episode 1, Season 1, or can someone post any episode they want to discuss? And FanFare is currently for posts on individual episodes, no season overviews, right? I ask only because certain restrictions could provide for smoother roll-out of discussions, especially if discussions start mid-way through a program, though it could make sense if no one wants to talk about Dark Shadows for the first year of episodes before Barnabas shows up. Still, the seemingly arbitrary start to a show discussion could start its own tiff based on personal preferences for the show in question (and now I get into bean-plating and foreseeing the worst in things, so I'll stop here).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:56 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


no issues if there is a BBC show that is scheduled to be re-broadcast in the US in the coming months?

I think this is easy enough to avoid spoilers by just staying out of that show's episode threads.
posted by Sara C. at 9:44 PM on April 18


Not plowing through thousands of pages of book is not equivalent in any way, and is not a standard by which we should as a community be posturing arguments about this stuff.

I get it that there have been heated statements made and some people seem to be feeling quite some emotion over this. But I'm not posturing anything, nor is your characterization of what I said either accurate or fair. My observation is just that people seem to want to have conceptually pure conversations, which is of course totally fine but involves some strange convolutions to maintain that purity.

(So, say, Star Trek: The Next Generation seems like something folks would have plenty to talk about, and so someone sets up or submits TNG as a new show to add to the site, and starts a fairly general thread, and folks jabber, and then it becomes clear there's a couple major themes people are interested in having focused discussions about, and new show-level threads come out of that, and also folks decide that doing some sort of rewatch book club deal sounds fun and that ends up leading to a new episode-specific thread each week, etc.)

I guess this is where I'll just need to sit back and watch how it evolves from the beta into a final form. Because at heart, I just don't get the fixation on episode-by-episode conversations for shows (from Star Trek to Orphan Black) that are available in their entirety (plus, in cases like Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, and Harry Potter, source books that have sold millions upon millions of copies). It feels like fetishizing the good old days of three TV networks where the only way to see a show was to watch it at 7 EDT or whatever.

That's not how media gets watched anymore, and it's certainly not how the discussions I find most interesting happen. But it was the format of the site that is shutting down used, and seems to be the format that is desired here, so it will be interesting to see how (or if) that changes to fit what are otherwise very well established norms elsewhere on MetaFilter.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:29 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


"That's not how media gets watched anymore, and it's certainly not how the discussions I find most interesting happen."

Well, even if I don't watch the media that way, it is how the discussion I find most interesting happens. When I binge watch older shows, I frequently go to TWoP and read the episode specific threads.

The episodic thread format isn't a quaint anachronism serving no purpose. Even when people binge watch, they still don't watch, say, all sixty episodes of The Wire at once. If they wanted to participate in a discussion about the show, but have only watched the first two and a half seasons, a general discussion is going to both spoil them for things they haven't seen, as well as be so sprawling that it's impossible for them to persuade other people to discuss the specifics of a particular episode.

Basically, I think you're about as wrong as you could possibly be wrong. The only way your argument makes sense, is that the only discussions you and others would ever have would be after they've watched the entirety of a series. And that's not true for everyone else. But more than that, even when I've watched an entire series, I might want to discuss a specific episode with other people and not be drowned out by all the other discussion about the show.

Ideally, there are two major kinds of discussions to be had about television shows: those about particular episodes, and those about the entirety of the show (up to the present, if currently in production) or the whole of a season. The discussion you seem to prefer is the larger discussion and I agree that's an interesting discussion. But I think the episode-centric discussions are also very interesting, independently of whether we're all watching the show on an ongoing weekly basis.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:56 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


I just don't get the fixation on episode-by-episode conversations

I think one reason to fall back to per-episode threads is just the timing issue. People's viewings are not going to be simultaneous, in most cases. So people will be at different places in their viewing of a series, but want to discuss. How can we coordinate it in a way that people can discuss everything they know, but not be exposed to stuff they don't know yet? And make it so people watching later (in a few weeks or whatever) will be easily able to find the right place to jump into reading/discussing? Splitting up the discussion by episode solves those problems.

If we had only discuss-the-series-as-a-whole threads, then spoiler-averse people would have to wait until they're fully caught up to read anything, and for some shows it takes a long time to get fully caught up.

Of course, the other reason to have per-episode threads is if each episode is super meaty and discussable in its own right, such that it's fun to have that narrow-but-deep kind of discussion that would be less likely in a whole-series thread.

(This isn't any kind of mod dictate or a knock against the idea of adding in full-season/full-series threads in the future. Just offering a couple of pro's of the per-episode method. Setting up tv/media discussion here has lots of interesting challenges, just fun to think through.)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:02 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


I promise, this will be my last comment on the matter.

Basically, I think you're about as wrong as you could possibly be wrong. The only way your argument makes sense, is that the only discussions you and others would ever have would be after they've watched the entirety of a series.

That's misses the mark totally. There have been gazillions of great discussions on the blue about a TV show or series of books at a midway point, for example. There are all kinds of ways to talk about media; what I found fascinating about Cortex's Star Trek example was the way it moved from a general interest to two different episode by episode discussions as the normative path.

I have no problem with people having all of the episode discussions they want -- the more the merrier, in this as in all things. I am just struck by the fervency of the push for that and the dissonance between that and a) the way media is now distributed and consumed (e.g. House of Cards) and b) the way media has been discussed on MetaFilter up until now.

At this point I'll bow out of the discussion, and will look forward to seeing how the experiment develops.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:29 AM on April 19


I am just struck by the fervency of the push for that and the dissonance between that and a) the way media is now distributed and consumed (e.g. House of Cards) and b) the way media has been discussed on MetaFilter up until now.

There has been a shift, but I don't think it is as seismic as you imply. From what I understand, most shows still air episode by episode, not in a bunch like Orange is the new Black. Next, even then I don't think everyone chooses to or has the opportunity to watch all the episodes in a day or two. People have jobs and lives and kids and families and health problems. I had never seen Buffy and all the episodes were available to me, but I didn't have a week off work to just chain watch them, even though I've totally been in that "ohhhkay, just one more episode then it is time for bed" thing, and it was addicting.

Additionally, television, even those series where all that season's media is available at once, is arranged in episodes. Each one has a title. And each one typically has a point and a series of events that are put into that specific episode. There are larger themes, but that is still how television shows by and large, are organized. So it goes right along with that to talk about them that way.
posted by cashman at 6:54 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Basically, I think you're about as wrong as you could possibly be wrong. The only way your argument makes sense, is that the only discussions you and others would ever have would be after they've watched the entirety of a series.

Urf. This is veering pretty close to the "You Are Watching It Wrong" stuff we've been hoping to avoid since the previous thread.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:51 AM on April 19


Finally, a play-pen for the drooling peasants that suck on the pus-oozing boil called television.

Don't forget your comics and team-sport!
posted by Zenabi at 8:06 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Just to ease your mind, Zenabi, the new subsite will be optional, so you can skip it if you're not interested.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:11 AM on April 19 [13 favorites]


It seems someone is reading the classics.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:12 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


There are all kinds of ways to talk about media; what I found fascinating about Cortex's Star Trek example was the way it moved from a general interest to two different episode by episode discussions as the normative path.

My TNG example wasn't intended as a normative path at all; it was just an example of how different kinds of threads could end up happening for a given show. I have no idea whether people would in fact end up starting episode-specific threads for TNG or not and am not suggesting that that's the correct or normal thing, I'm just recognizing that (a) it's possible that will be part of the mix but (b) in contrast to currently airing shows it's unlikely that conversation about an older show would start with "oh man, episode x, go!" vs. "let's talk about this show as a complete work".

It's not an argument that episodic discussion is king, it's a use case example for how general and episodic threads might coexist in a context where time-sensitive episodic threads aren't the driving force they're likely to be for currently airing shows.

Finally, a play-pen for the drooling peasants

Zenabi, you do a lot of this hanging-around-and-holding-people-in-active-contempt thing these days. I don't know what it is you get out of Metafilter at this point but it doesn't seem like you're trying very hard to let anybody else get anything out of you being here. Maybe just spend time somewhere you actually enjoy, or something?
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:27 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Finally, a play-pen for the drooling peasants that suck on the pus-oozing boil called television.

If you don't have anything nice to say come sit by me and drink from this wine cup.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:44 AM on April 19 [11 favorites]


"Urf. This is veering pretty close to the "You Are Watching It Wrong" stuff we've been hoping to avoid since the previous thread."

Seems to me that his comment was literally, nearly word-for-word "you're watching it wrong" and I was responding to that. I didn't say that his preference is wrong, but that his claim, or implied claim, that his preference was universal was wrong.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:44 AM on April 19


Finally, a play-pen for the drooling peasants that suck on the pus-oozing boil called television.

Don't forget your comics and team-sport!


So essentially you just hate everything?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:47 AM on April 19 [5 favorites]


I'd rather be a drooling peasant than be someone so full of contempt and insecurity.

(Just yesterday watched the pilot of Scandal and I am hooked so hard. Will hook gingerbeer later today!)
posted by rtha at 10:13 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Is this something I'd need a pus-oozing boil to understand?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:19 AM on April 19 [18 favorites]


I'll speak a little bit to Cortex's Star Trek Example, as someone who's been rewatching the whole franchise over the course of the last year or so

One reason I'd be excited to have an episode-by-episode FanFare take on something like Star Trek is that, even for shows that are out there in their entirety already, and even for shows that are released in season chunks via Netflix, the story unfolds episode by episode. The characters develop gradually over time.

Example from Star Trek. I grew up watching TNG mostly in syndication. I'd catch that week's new episode when it came out, but every other night of the week there were reruns. The reruns could be from any point in the show's run. So my understanding of a given character was mostly formed in aggregate. Riker is like this, Geordi is like that. As if they were unchangeable puzzle pieces who hadn't evolved over time.

Watching in order, though, there's just so much more nuance -- even for a show that was designed mostly as stand-alone episodes. You watch Data evolve from a sort of annoying Small Wonder robot type to a much more richly drawn character by the end of the series. There's a point somewhere in Season 3 where it's pretty clear that Riker and Troi are having an "on again" phase in their relationship. (Riker, especially, comes across as much more nuanced if you watch the series in episode order.) Even Wesley Crusher becomes a little less annoying when you watch his progression from pesky kid to flawed genius.

I would so love to have those discussions about Star Trek:TNG, parceled out by episode, than do the thing we always do when TNG comes up on the Blue, where some people want to have relatively nuanced discussions and other people just pop in to say "OMG TROI WAS THE WORRRSSST" or "Riker is a creeper, ewwwwww, why does he sexually harass women all the time" or some other extra-textual interpretation based on their idea of the show after having seen a smattering of episodes out of order. There's just so much more there when you look at the show as it actually is, and not as an abridged Mad Magazine view.
posted by Sara C. at 10:20 AM on April 19 [7 favorites]


TL; DR: mmmm, pus-oozing boils!
posted by Sara C. at 10:20 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I wonder what it would be like to have a brain so small that I would actually enjoy anything ever for any reason. It would no doubt be wonderful. Ah well, my simple pets. I must return to discovering cures for cancer in the works of Proust. Such is my lot in life. You're welcome, world.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:29 AM on April 19 [12 favorites]


Finally, a play-pen for the drooling peasants

Is this a Joffrey roleplay
posted by naju at 10:29 AM on April 19 [15 favorites]


Y'all are going to feel bad when Zenabi comes back and declares the only truly worthwhile avocation is collecting vintage garden gnomes.

Or possibly 1:12 scale reproduction of all of Liberace's stage sets.•

The spleen comes from a place of grief that people don't respect the garden gnome fanciers as they should! Empathy is what we need.

•Maybe it's Welsh love spoons.
posted by winna at 11:20 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Searches "collectible scale reproduction of Librace's stage sets"

Doesn't find immediate results.

Is more disappointed than ever thought possible.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:07 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Apologies to all.

Cortex, you have exhibited more patience than I deserve.

If you don't have anything nice to say come sit by me and drink from this wine cup.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 17:44 on April 19


“Hide not thy poison with such sugar'd words.” - Henry VI, Part II, Act III, Scene 2.

Clumsy, thinly-veiled death-threats aside, I shall try to be less forthcoming with my unseemly displays of despair.
posted by Zenabi at 12:13 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Clumsy, thinly-veiled death-threats aside, I shall try to be less forthcoming with my unseemly displays of despair.

Oh, honey...
posted by bjrn at 12:50 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


“Hide not thy poison with such sugar'd words.” - Henry VI, Part II, Act III, Scene 2.

Clumsy, thinly-veiled death-threats aside, I shall try to be less forthcoming with my unseemly displays of despair.


How many irony levels down are we

I can't even tell anymore
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:01 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


It's obscure Shakespeare references all the way down.
posted by Sara C. at 1:02 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Who in the hell is Shakespeare? Is he a showrunner?
posted by codacorolla at 1:15 PM on April 19 [13 favorites]


He was the villain in Anonymous.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:41 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


I think he helped break Season 1 of House of Cards.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:45 PM on April 19


"Who in the hell is Shakespeare? Is he a the showrunner?"

Yes.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:57 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


TV made me so dumb I can't even read anymore. I had to get my cat to type this.
posted by rtha at 2:03 PM on April 19 [10 favorites]


“Hide not thy poison with such sugar'd words.” - Henry VI, Part II, Act III, Scene 2.


"I was told you were drunk, impertinent and thoroughly debauched. You can imagine my disappointment at finding nothing but a browbeaten bookkeeper."
―Olenna Tyrell to Tyrion Lannister
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:26 PM on April 19 [8 favorites]


"I am the Walrus."
     --John Lennon
posted by Justinian at 3:41 PM on April 19


"Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours." -Albert Einsten
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:53 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Clumsy, thinly-veiled death-threats aside, I shall try to be less forthcoming with my unseemly displays of despair.

Or try watching The Wire - it's really good and better than many books I've read.
posted by ersatz at 3:55 PM on April 19


You're out of your element, Justinian! V.I. Lenin. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov!
posted by sockermom at 3:58 PM on April 19


So. Zenabi is into the work of a man whose plays are so filled with puns and dirty jokes that for years they had to censor them to make them safe for women and children.

Example!
Henry V, Act 3 Scene 4
De foot et de coun! O Seigneur Dieu! ce sont mots
de son mauvais, corruptible, gros, et impudique, et
non pour les dames d'honneur d'user: je ne voudrais
prononcer ces mots devant les seigneurs de France
pour tout le monde. Foh! le foot et le coun!


Which is basically a dirty joke about 'foot' sounding like the French verb for fuck and 'gown' sounding like a rude word for the vagina. Super classy!
posted by winna at 4:12 PM on April 19


Late to the party, but I too will be interested to see how the discussion goes w/r/t no spoilers (intentional or otherwise) from people who’ve read the books. I am one of those people, and, as I’ve commented previously, I read the five-book bundle on my Kindle - which led to me experiencing the story as one massive and sweeping story rather than a sequential narrative.

Since I really only have a general idea re: sequence of events — further amplified by the fact that the events in A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons run simultaneously — I’ll be staying out of the discussions re: the TV show since I’m afraid I’d inadvertently reveal something that hadn’t yet happened in the show. That’s kind of a bummer since I too would love to discuss how the TV show deviates from events in the books, and vice versa. It’s a rich world with plenty to talk about re: world building, character motivations, feminism, etc. — at some point I’d definitely be in favor of two concurrently running threads. I get why now is not the time for that, and it may never be — just adding my voice to those expressing a desire for it.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 4:36 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Ivan Fyodorovich: " — but isn't a posting limit mostly unnecessary so long as FanFare is limited to posts about specific episodes of current shows as they air, and which is limited to one each, and is first come, first serve to whomever happens to submit the post first?"

Two problems: FanFare is going to support archival posting IE: 60s Trek. And there are lots of new episodes premiring even on main stream channels.

One post per day per user seems like a reasonable soft limit/guideline. Someone who ends up posting several times a day everyday seems like it would be counter to the feel of Metafilter which discourages small groups of users from monoplizing the assorted front pages.

Also we should probably give some thought to how we handle the Micheal Jackson obit problem. Popular shows are probably going to have a race to post that will result in regular multiple doubles. This could be an advantage of the drop down selection posting form as rules could automatically prevent minimize doubles.
posted by Mitheral at 5:29 PM on April 19


HAMLET
Lady, shall I lie in your lap?

OPHELIA
No, my lord.

HAMLET
I mean, my head upon your lap?

OPHELIA
Ay, my lord.

HAMLET
Do you think I meant country matters?

OPHELIA
I think nothing, my lord.

HAMLET
That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.

OPHELIA
What is, my lord?

HAMLET
Nothing.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:39 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


"It's all about me-ow" - Garfield
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:41 PM on April 19


"I am the Walrus."

--John Lennon


"The Walrus was Paul."

--John Lennon
posted by philip-random at 7:43 PM on April 19


I'm coming into this thread late, but I just wanted to leave another pro-live-blogging vote in here. Sys Rq's comment upthread sums up how I feel about it:

I can understand wanting to get away from that kind of thing on the Blue, where the connection to the (flimsy excuse for an) FPP is tenuous at best, but in a thread devoted to a specific episode of television there's no way PEGGY NO! won't make sense. People will understand the context whether they go to the thread during or after watching the show, and who else is there?

I don't have cable, so sometimes I get to watch Mad Men live at a bar or something, and I really enjoy the immediate reactions from MeFites. When I don't get to watch it live, I usually find the live-blog comments amusing, or if I don't feel like reading them, scrolling past them is no big thing. Just like scrolling past the irrelevant (to me) GoT spoiler discussion in this thread was. It's easy to figure out where the real discussion picks up.

Chat is not a viable alternative to me, because again, if I'm watching a cable show live then I'm watching it in a bar and following the discussion on the mobile site, and chat is hard to manage on half of a four-inch screen. Plus I personally find it more difficult to jump into an ongoing conversation on Chat than I do on the Blue. I'm not sure why that is, really. Maybe Chat seems to move a bit faster and it's harder to keep up? Or people seem to get into one-on-one back-and-forth convos there, moreso than the blue. I don't go there often enough to know if that's the norm or if it's just my limited experience.

If the no-live-blogging becomes a set decision, then can we please at least open the threads when the shows finish airing on the east coast? I think that it will really kill the discussion to delay it to Pacific time, since by the time a show like Mad Men show airs on the west coast, the east coast (encompassing half of the US population) has gone to bed. The discussion is essentially delayed until the next day, and diffused over time, which seems like it will kill the excitement of "omg what did we just see". I get that's sort of the goal here, and we'll see how it actually goes, but if it does dampen the participation, can changing the thread-opening-time stay on the table for discussion?

Also, the white background is difficult for me to read too.
posted by donajo at 9:00 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


2 style notes: 1. Also not a fan of the white background — something about the simplicity of Mefi's content that really makes the white jarring. Other white-background sites have lots more going on atop the white which mitigates that. Also I think each subsite having their own color helps give each a sense of community, a sense of place. White just doesn't give that same sense.

I've mocked up a quick light grey version just as food for thought. I returned the date headers to their serif fonts and tweaked some other colors a bit. Link.

2. FF has extra space between the comments, which was bugging me. It's because the other sites have a "font-size: 12px" rule on the body element that FF lacks.
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:11 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Mods, could you add a post to FanFare specifically for book and TV spoiler speculative discussion of GOT? With a big above the fold note that this will be open to all spoilers from all books etc.

That way, people who feel constrained in the episode-only thread can go there as well, and we can trial series-long discussion vs episode-specific discussion.

I know I would post to both happily, as they're different discussions,one about the specifics of this episode and the TV direction and acting of the woman being hunted, the other to discuss how the tv is handling the narrative challenge of Reek for example.
posted by viggorlijah at 11:26 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


The acting of the woman being hunted
posted by unliteral at 3:16 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


Sorry, an awkward edit, but still an example of a specific detail of the scene that I would want to discuss in an episode thread (Reek/Theon and the victim of the hunt, how they were scripted and acted) vs the entire series' treatment of the victims of torture and violence in a series-wide thread with spoilers allowed.
posted by viggorlijah at 5:52 AM on April 20


So is this going to happen?

Don't you anticipate a somewhat problematic startup flood of posts that would push many contemporary episodes off the front page. Perhaps an indexed sidebar for grouping things like Star Trek that have enduring interest. But even that blows up after 30-40 different shows. Index by showruner? ;-)

What about older episodes of interest being out of order? Perhaps over time a topical listing ordered by episode sequence would make sense?

As for color, white is just too stark but there is already a grey so I vote for a basic puss coloration, really not bad out of context.
posted by sammyo at 7:55 AM on April 20


About adding an all-spoilers thread: we definitely hear that people are interested in that, and appreciate the thoughtful comments people have made about it. Just to set expectations, a change of that kind is probably not going to happen in the very near term. For the next day or so, people are traveling and doing family things for Easter so there won't be any big new developments today or tomorrow. Beyond that, just in general, I think we're aiming for a slowish pace of change with the beta site, so while a change like this is not impossible, it's something where the time horizon may be somewhat extended. (Not a criticism of the idea at all, I just want to be sure we all have the same things-will-move-slowly expectation.)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:00 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


an example of a specific detail of the scene that I would want to discuss in an episode thread (Reek/Theon and the victim of the hunt, how they were scripted and acted) vs the entire series' treatment of the victims of torture and violence in a series-wide thread with spoilers allowed.

Is this really something that couldn't be discussed in an interesting way without resorting to spoilers, though?

If there was something significant about that scene that relates to future events, just wait till the future events happen and then say, "remember that episode where Theon, Ramsay, and that archer girl are hunting the pretty pretty princess with dogs? Go back and watch that scene, because that's where the seeds of [future character development] start to germinate." Or whatever point you're going to want to make.

I get the impulse to compare that scene as produced in the show to the scene as written in the books, but I think that you can choose to do that without spoilers, or you can wait until the spoilers aren't spoilers anymore. You don't have to have that conversation right away, ruining the fun for everyone who isn't as far along in the story as you are.
posted by Sara C. at 9:46 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


> V.I. Lenin.

There was no "V.I. Lenin." There was a V.I. Ulyanov, who used the pseudonym N. Lenin.
  /pet peeve

> "I am the Walrus."

--John Lennon

"The Walrus was Paul."

--John Lennon


"I was the Walrus, Paul wasn't the Walrus! I was just saying that to be nice, but I was actually the Walrus!"
posted by languagehat at 10:06 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Orphan Black Just Threw Us Deeper Down The Cloning Rabbit Hole
posted by homunculus at 10:31 AM on April 20


I have always wanted a real life reason to say "can't you see this barnyard guessing game is tearing us apart?" I recently had a reason to say, "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown," totally in context and let me tell you it was great.

I feel your pain sweetkid, I've been waiting for 25 years for the perfect opportunity to answer the phone and say, "why yes, they are Bugle Boy jeans."

And not to be overly negative, but would one one of the Greasemonkey Magicians be willing to write a script that changes the word "Bookwalker" to "person who has read the books"? I have nothing to offer in exchange except for my 1 favorite, but it would be an actual favorite and not just a bookmark. (Disclaimer: I would probably also use it as a bookmark)
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:22 PM on April 20 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: The comment conformed to the letter of the law, but the inclusion of the disclaimer at the beginning was an indication that its status vis a vis the spirit of the law was much more ambiguous.
posted by spitbull at 4:35 PM on April 20 [3 favorites]


Also, the new subsite leaves me cold, except to the extent that it further siphons off television-related content from the blue which, if so, yay.
posted by spitbull at 4:37 PM on April 20


Sara C, they're two different conversations about the same theme. One would be about how this episode used the hunting to show Theon's continuing destruction - he's animal-like, far more than the woman being hunted who still tries to escape and fight back.

The other conversation would be possibly about GRRM's use of Theon and Arya and Other Spoilery Characters to show the flipside of fantasy tropes, what it's like to suffer through these events and not come out as a hero but instead be broken, and how the response to that pain transforms people in very different ways, such as Ramsay and Theon.

But there's no way to discuss that in the current thread without lots of spoilers, and by 2020 when enough ground has been covered by the show, I'm pretty certain I'll have forgotten the hunting scene against more recent events.
posted by viggorlijah at 4:45 PM on April 20 [7 favorites]


I get the impulse to compare that scene as produced in the show to the scene as written in the books,

In some cases, this one included, the scene is not in the books. It was either invented whole cloth for the show, or is a fleshing out of a brief flash of memory or something mentioned only in passing by a non-pov character.

I hope this isn't too spoilery (and I don't think it is since most everyone in this thread is caught up with the show), but in the books, Theon is presumed dead by everyone (including the reader) for... some vague amount of time while he's really being held captive by Ramsay.

Now, they couldn't really do that on the show. They have the actor and they can't really keep him on contract with nothing to do for... some vague number of episodes.

So there are discussions to be had about 'seeing' all the horrible things that Ramsay is doing in 'real time' rather than via the memories of a broken, delusional, and perhaps not entirely honest POV.

Same thing last season with Talisa, who was an invented character standing in for a book character.
posted by lovecrafty at 5:21 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


I don't know, I don't think there'd be anything at all wrong with having this conversation without resorting to spoilers. I'm Unsullied and am totally picking up what you're putting down on that topic. We can 100% discuss fantasy tropes subverted without needing to know every detail from all of the books.
posted by Sara C. at 5:26 PM on April 20


Well, there are other things I didn't mention because **spoilers**.

To me, it's mostly un-fun to have a muzzled discussion with non-readers, unless it's silly things like watching video responses to that scene and the like. On the other hand, it's heaps of fun to have discussions about the show with other readers without having to worry about spoiler minefields.

So again my vote is for some kind of separate show thread(s) for readers and non-readers. It works fine on most other sites I go to for ASoIaF discussion. Otherwise, I'll just refrain from participating in GoT discussion here.
posted by lovecrafty at 5:41 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


I just want to add that I've never watched a full episode of any Star Trek series, and I'd really like to someday, and I think it'd be a fun way to test out old retired/cancelled shows on FanFare. I'm looking forward to either a run of the original ones or the next generation ones.

Are they all on Hulu or Netflix or something else free/cheap?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:49 PM on April 20


They're all on netflix!
posted by stoneweaver at 5:54 PM on April 20


We Need to Take a Deep Breath and Calm the Fuck Down About Spoilers
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:31 PM on April 20 [4 favorites]


Spoiler alert: Half that article is just nonsense.
posted by cashman at 6:45 PM on April 20 [2 favorites]


So when does the Episode 3 thread for Game of Thrones get posted?

looks at watch, taps foot

Guys?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:18 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


After it airs on the west coast of the states.

Which is odd, upon reflection.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:35 PM on April 20


No, they explained this in the post. They intentionally don't want the thread to open until after the show's latest airing ('cause they don't want liveblogging, a preference I share, YMMV).
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:40 PM on April 20


As I don't have HBO and watch the show only by virtue of my genetically-engineered ability to intercept and decode satellite signals within my brain, and because I'm not overclocked, it will be at least another two hours until I've "assimilated" the show; so it's no skin off my nose, regardless.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:44 PM on April 20


I'll be posting the Mad Men thread soon, and the GoT thread will go up in about two hours when it finishes on the west coast.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:56 PM on April 20


lovecrafty: "(and I don't think it is since most everyone in this thread is caught up with the show"

I don't think this is true; at least I haven't. And it really shouldn't be necessary to post spoilers in a policy discussion like this.
posted by Mitheral at 8:32 PM on April 20


People on the west coast can watch the east coast feed for HBO. So I don't know that there is any reason to wait. You get both HBOE and HBOW when you get HBO.
posted by Justinian at 8:39 PM on April 20


I'm going to keep hitting refresh until you open the thread.
posted by Justinian at 8:54 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


I don't get HBOE on my cable system, so I actually have to wait for it to be over to post it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:03 PM on April 20


Huh. I thought everybody got both, sorry.
posted by Justinian at 9:05 PM on April 20


Mad Men hasn't aired on the west coast yet has it? I guess it has since mathowie is in there talking about it. What it's on at 7 pm?
posted by sweetkid at 9:08 PM on April 20


Yeah, it plays at 7pm on AMC on my west coast cable system
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:48 PM on April 20


New GOT thread.
posted by homunculus at 10:14 PM on April 20


I don't get HBOE on my cable system, so I actually have to wait for it to be over to post it.

That's kind of a shitty reason to make the rest of us wait past 1AM EST (or the next morning, by which time the west coast has discussed all there is to discuss).
posted by Sys Rq at 12:42 AM on April 21


Harsh!
posted by Justinian at 1:29 AM on April 21


Yeah, that's pretty...harsh. Waiting a few hours to avoid liveblogging was a smart design decision. Even if you disagree...I mean, it's just a few hours. Not a huge sacrifice.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:08 AM on April 21 [4 favorites]


Sys Rq, if it makes you feel any better there are countries elsewhere in the world that wait a week or longer.
posted by tracicle at 4:00 AM on April 21


That's kind of a shitty reason to make the rest of us wait past 1AM EST (or the next morning, by which time the west coast has discussed all there is to discuss).

This is why we can't have nice things.
posted by empath at 4:44 AM on April 21 [2 favorites]


I am totally excited about FanFare! looking forward to it opening up to other shows because I want to talk about Vikings.

my only problem is that I have to wait until thursday to watch the latest Game of Thrones because my boyfriend and I work different hours for half the week and can't watch it together until then and so I have to resist the urge to read all the comments and sneak peeks at it and arrg stupid ladyhawke lifestyle.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:55 AM on April 21 [2 favorites]


This is why we can't have nice things.

Pretty sure it's because of Tywin.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:33 AM on April 21


That's kind of a shitty reason to make the rest of us wait past 1AM EST (or the next morning, by which time the west coast has discussed all there is to discuss).

Why you gotta be a jerk like that. It's a new subsite that all hasn't even had all its tires kicked yet. If you think having a discussion about what time an episode post goes live is something that should happen, then say that but I don't see why you have to be rude about it.
posted by rtha at 6:06 AM on April 21 [7 favorites]


by which time the west coast has discussed all there is to discuss).

By that logic isn't the opposite also true? i.e., if the episode is posted when it's finished on the east coast but hasn't started yet on the west, the east coast could "discuss all there is to discuss" before west coasters even have a chance to see the episode.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 6:47 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Not only that, but, though I've not participated in FanFare as I'm currently behind on both dramas being discussed, I'm a veteran of other long boat TV threads, and the idea of people being all discussed out within a 24 hour period of a show airing seems... pretty unlikely.

Being unwilling to pick over all the finer parts of something is pretty much antithetical to the site culture.

"Y'all talk a lot," is what I'm saying.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:59 AM on April 21 [2 favorites]


("We all" is probably a more accurate word choice, I immediately realized.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:00 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


It's annoying for the east coast because the show can't be discussed 'till 1am in the morning, local time, while the west coast can discuss it at 10pm, local time. Not sure what can be done about this though.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:02 AM on April 21


FanFare delayed discussions: MetaFilter just found another way to ruin your productivity at work.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:10 AM on April 21


(or the next morning, by which time the west coast has discussed all there is to discuss)

This is Metafilter, not Firsties!.com. Last weeks GoT and MM threads were still popping a long days later, because there's plenty to talk about and doing so incrementally over a period of days works well and basically is how Metafilter tends to tackle stuff.

We'll continue to look at how posting stuff works timing-wise as we figure this stuff out, but please try to be patient and the least bit generous about the fact that this is a work in progress and that there are other well-intended motivations for the decision-making other than just facilitating discussion as soon as physically possible. Where to strike the balance is a tricky question but what we've been looking at is just that, a balance rather than ASAP.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:12 AM on April 21 [6 favorites]


Now that the first ~3 days of FanFare has run, will the beta be opened to all, and will this be a direct post situation, or will new post be vetted by the mods, to ensure nothing is posted ahead of the last regional airing? I tried making a new post, just to see how it might work and look, and I got the message: "Sorry, we're not adding new posts at this time."
posted by filthy light thief at 7:15 AM on April 21


We don't have crowdsourced posting implemented yet; that's high on a big list of stuff that needs doing still, and pb spent the weekend having a weekend with family so no news there. But, yeah, our intent is very much to have folks be able to make posts independently and we'll see about the details of making sure folks are following the intended guidelines time-wise and what we can do about automagically discourage double posts and such.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:20 AM on April 21


The history of Firsties!.com is a long and convoluted one.
posted by nobody at 7:37 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Really glad you guys are putting this together. I mostly use the SA tv forum but that whole site has had incredibly bad vibes lately, an alternative forum for decent TV discussion is really welcome.

Of course, at some point you are going to have to recognize that EST is God's One True Time Zone.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:01 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Also think it would be worth considering allowing images to be posted, screencaps are often relevant to TV discussion more so than images generally are for the average Metafilter post.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:03 AM on April 21


My gut reaction is that linking to images is pretty much the done thing for years now on mefi, and is only slightly less immediate than actually dropping an img tag while (a) preserving a lot of vertical space and (b) providing an extra scrap of buffer against poorly considered (or the occasional actually actively dickish) image posts, given how powerful visual memory is.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:18 AM on April 21 [6 favorites]


Of course, at some point you are going to have to recognize that EST is God's One True Time Zone.

Not unless mathowie moves.

Also think it would be worth considering allowing images to be posted

Not planning on it. imgur and a bunch of other sites are great for uploading screencaps & gifs and folks are more than welcome to link to offsite content. Navigating the tricksy "What is a spoiler" is a difficult enough thing to manage in a text-only environment, not really interested in going there with inline images becoming suddenly available.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:19 AM on April 21 [6 favorites]


I have come to relish the text-only space that is MetaFilter, so I am glad there are no plans to change that for FanFare. And thanks for the update re: crowdsourced posting.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:38 AM on April 21


This is Metafilter, not Firsties!.com. Last weeks GoT and MM threads were still popping a long days later, because there's plenty to talk about and doing so incrementally over a period of days works well and basically is how Metafilter tends to tackle stuff.

That's not really true, though. Almost half of that ~400-comment thread happened within 12 hours of the first comment, and there are only ~50 comments after the first 36 hours. More than a quarter were in the first 3 hours.

Hours matter.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:51 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Especially in a non-threaded discussion, hours really do matter. But I don't know what the solution is.
posted by mzurer at 8:57 AM on April 21


It's annoying for the east coast because the show can't be discussed 'till 1am in the morning, local time, while the west coast can discuss it at 10pm, local time. Not sure what can be done about this though.

I'm totally biased, being a central-time-zoner (I get stuff at the same time as the east coast and I get to go to bed an hour earlier!), but 3/4 of the US lives in EST/CST. I'm cool seeing how things go during FanFare beta, maybe it won't matter, but determining when posts go up based on Matt's particular cable package seems particularly arbitrary.
posted by donajo at 9:00 AM on April 21 [4 favorites]


Half of the discussion of GoT S04E03 is about the differences between the Jaime/Cersei sex scene in the book and the show. I think it's an important discussion to have but it breaks the current guidelines of pretending that the books don't exist.
posted by Mick at 9:07 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


The guidelines don't say "pretend the books don't exist", they say "be thoughtful about not introducing spoilers from other media". I think people have mentioned "pretend the books don't exist" as the hardcore line TWOP adopted, or something?

That's not to say it isn't worth discussing if there's a spoilery issue there, just want to be clear that acknowledging the existence of the books or discussing the handling of contemporary scenes from both in a careful way isn't inherently problematic.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:09 AM on April 21 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I was confusing the marching orders between FanFare and AV club with regards to the books.

I still think it's a hard line to dance around but I'll err on the side of caution should I ever have anything to say.
posted by Mick at 9:20 AM on April 21


i don't watch the show, i haven't read the books, but i still sometimes read the threads. i'm loving fanfare.

the scene being discussed in the thread seems to be mostly spoiler free, and i think a good argument for how book readers and show watchers can discuss these sorts of things - it's mostly confined to comparing 2 minutes of screen time with 2 paragraphs in the book, where they mostly match up (or, at least, can be seen as direct analogues). it doesn't introduce anything upcoming and most people aren't speculating forwards or backwards based upon book stuff.
posted by nadawi at 9:43 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Hours matter.

I get what you're saying but I'm not sure what they matter for. Sure there's a lot more discussion in the early part of a thread. This is true for literally any thread. Since we've said that we're not really expecting this to be for liveblogging, what I think is going to be most useful is if the new threads come out at some predictable time, but whether they're immediate after the show or the next morning or whatever is going to be somewhat arbitrary and we're going to have to just draw a line somewhere.

The balancing act we're doing is trying to make a space for discussion of shows after the shows have aired so that ET/CT people aren't doing post-show discussion and PT people are liveblogging, or something. And I guess we're not that concerned that if the thread doesn't go up immediately people will ... go talk about it somewhere else?

Again, these are not simple problems and I think people are falling into the trap of thinking that what is optimum for them is necessarily optimum for the rest of the site, or for just trying to manage a large picky userbase in general. We have to make some executive decisions about how a lot of this is going to work. Some of those are going to be seemingly arbitrary because the line has to go somewhere. And Matt (and pb and cortex) live in the Portland area. Many other people don't have cable at all (or record it) and watch this stuff after the fact. As cortex said, having there be a thread immediately is not as high on our list as having one be predictable and decently non-spoilery and these are already a little challenging.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:45 AM on April 21 [6 favorites]


This is going to sound kind of insane (because it does to me, and I'm in the Eastern time zone), but has there been any thought of cutting the proverbial baby in half and making it so all threads will go up, like, 9 a.m. Eastern the next day?
posted by Etrigan at 9:56 AM on April 21 [2 favorites]


Etrigan, that wouldn't work for East Coasters who would like to comment before work.

I'm not seeing what's so harmful about the posts going up when they do.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:00 AM on April 21


I don't think it really matters when a FanFare post goes up, as long as the episode has aired in all regions where it will air in a 24 hour period. If there's only one thread (or perhaps in the future two - one for spoilers and one without), it's pretty easy to see where to discuss a show. Unlike the rest of MetaFilter, people will come to FanFare to look for a specific discussion to join.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:01 AM on April 21


Speaking only for myself, I've never felt the urge to go directly to Metafilter and completely work out all my feelings about every TV show I watch immediately after the credits roll. I think it would be sort of cool if the threads were opened earlier so folks could discuss if they wanted, but looking at examples like previous Mad Men threads, I've always just gone and joined in later whenever it's convenient for me and have not felt like I've missed out at all.

Also the notion that West Coasters are sitting up all night taking up all the pithiest comments about a TV show is absurd.
posted by Sara C. at 10:07 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


I hadn't noticed the time thing at first, but I like it. I think it will also help people answer their own questions about episodes. A good number of early comments elsewhere are based on bad information, or asking questions to clear up a user's confusion. Who knows what will happen here when we branch out to other shows, but perhaps it will cut down on those two types of posts, giving an opportunity for rewatch.

I like that West coasters will perhaps post in larger numbers when the thread first opens, though I bet it'll still be mostly east coast people who stayed up. Also, for east coasters it gives 3 hours to work out a really fantastic comment that someone who just finished the episode 5 minutes ago will not have had time to formulate and compose. So the east coasters still have advantages, just might be at the expense of some sleep.
posted by cashman at 11:15 AM on April 21


Quick question about spoilers and accidents.

I just accidentally mentioned a minor event of last night's GoT episode in the old thread (because I suck), caught it moments later, and used the edit function to delete half a sentence or so.

Obviously spoiling and then un-spoiling is not optimal, and I'll try to never let that happen again -- because once you're spoiled you can never unsee -- but is that an OK use of the edit window? I also considered just flagging my whole comment.
posted by Sara C. at 11:42 AM on April 21


The thing we really prefer in an "oops, I shouldn't have made this comment" context of any kind is to drop us a line real quick at the contact form to ask for it to be deleted, so that we can make sure that the whole situation plays out sanely (e.g. being able to deal with followup comments if someone catches it before its gone).

If you need to edit something you just posted because it's a Defcon 1 sort of nuclear mishap, we aren't gonna ban you or anything but that's something that's a "this happens once every six months across the entire site" sort of situation, not a "this is something to think of as totally okay to do" thing. Edit's for typos, please try to adjust commenting habits in a measure-twice, cut-once spirit so that it doesn't even come into the question.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:46 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Yeah, sorry, that was what I hope is a once-in-a-lifetime sort of mistake. And it was so minor it barely registered as a spoiler, but I know it's against the guidelines. Definitely not a Defcon 1 nuclear situation.

If it ever happens again (which it won't), I'll drop y'all a line before taking action.
posted by Sara C. at 11:54 AM on April 21


Late to the party because I just got back from traveling for two weeks, so I just saw this (and have 3 GoT and 2 Mad Men to watch first), but YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!
posted by scody at 12:33 PM on April 21 [7 favorites]


Mod notes in the MeTa - is that about Jacqueline talking about kittens? Because that seems kind of, you know, not spoilerific at all.
posted by corb at 1:10 PM on April 21


Haven't been back to the thread today but my thought process last night was that, yeah, comparing a scene in the show to a direct analogue in the books was okay since it doesn't involve bringing in anything that could possible be a spoiler. It would be like comparing a scene as shot by the director to the same scene in the script and looking at the choices made in translation.

I did jerk awake from a dream in which I had posted major league spoilers to the thread and wondering what the fuck I was thinking. Look what you've done, Metafilter. I'm even posting in my dreams now.
posted by Justinian at 1:19 PM on April 21 [9 favorites]


I do really appreciate the book-readers' POV in the new episode thread, FWIW. Comparisons to the text are super useful and interesting in some cases and I'm glad for it.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:24 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


There has been no kitten-related mod action recently that I know of, no. My note in that thread was largely in reference to (a) a pretty vague but still not super great "I can tell you that in the next few books character x is y-ish" comment and (b) a deleted bit of metacommentary stuff that just needed to be more of an over-here sort of thing if it's a discussion folks want to have.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:28 PM on April 21


OK, cool, thanks. It's just hard to tell with vague notes!
posted by corb at 1:41 PM on April 21


A tiny, near insignificant UI bug that I noticed:

the "play video" buttons on YT/Vimeo links are yellow, even though the links are blue. It's inconsistent from how things work in the "professional white background" mode (in fact, in that mode, the video buttons on Fanfare are blue, too). Obviously not a big deal, but thought I would make a note.
posted by grandsham at 1:55 PM on April 21


Look what you've done, Metafilter. I'm even posting in my dreams now.

Welcome to the club.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:06 PM on April 21


MetaFilter: There has been no kitten-related mod action recently that I know of.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:18 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


It's kitten spoilers all the way down.
posted by Dr. Zira at 3:03 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


I did jerk awake from a dream in which I had posted major league spoilers to the thread and wondering what the fuck I was thinking.

Seriously, that's the kind of thing that the MLB bans you for.
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:05 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Regarding posting time: is the thought that if a show premiers in Canada a week before the US (like Dr. Who) the posting time would be after the pacific showing in Canada?
posted by Mitheral at 5:02 PM on April 21


Regarding posting time: is the thought that if a show premiers in Canada a week before the US (like Dr. Who) the posting time would be after the pacific showing in Canada?

I think this is also an issue with Downtown Abbey; I believe the episodes air substantially earlier in the UK than they do in the U.S. And of course this raises the question of when shows that don't air at all in the U.S. would be posted.

I sort of think the fairest and easiest thing to do would be to allow posting a thread after an episode airs in any market.
posted by lalex at 5:30 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


Well, during the beta period where mods are creating all the posts, it's going to have to be "after an episode airs in a market that a mod has access to". Because it really seems unfair to expect mathowie et al to be up on the differences in international premiere dates for Call The Midwife or whatever.

(Which reminds me, that's another show I'd like to see added to the flow as things open up.)
posted by Sara C. at 6:00 PM on April 21


Re images: The Greasemonkey script Mondo Image will allow you to see linked images in the thread as God and Ceiling Cat intended.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:02 PM on April 21


I would imagine that there's a certain window for the show to air - 24-72 hours, perhaps? Because the lag for UK-US airing of certain BBC programs is significant enough that it would be rather silly to wait a few weeks/months before discussing That New Episode, when the whole season is now over in the UK. And sometimes the delays change from season to season, as seen with Doctor Who in Canada and the US.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:23 PM on April 21


Forgive me if this already exists, but is there a way to "bookmark" the last comment you've read so that when you return hours (and potentially 100+ comments) later you can pick up where you left off?
posted by GrapeApiary at 6:03 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]


Plutor's MeFi Scroll Tag should do this.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 6:08 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


Given the direction the GOT threads have gone so far, let's not pretend that they're in any way safe for people who want to watch the shows as they are presented on the screen. If I wanted extra subtext I would read the books myself. (which I'm planning to do once the series is over). That's not to say that the way threads are going is bad, it's just that they're not for me - as they are filled with (sort-of) spoilers for both the shows and the books.

So I look forward to when FF is open for other shows that I currently watch, that don't have the wealth of source material as GOT.
posted by FreezBoy at 6:15 AM on April 22


For future consideration after everything is humming along, perhaps this October with the World Series: sports threads only during the finals of major sports. So, a few threads for the World Series games. A thread for the Super Bowl. A thread for the NCAA national championship game. And a few threads for the NBA finals. These events draw major viewing numbers and air on television. The dates and times would be known in advance, and there would be no overlap. The threads could be open during the event, or after the broadcasts end. And if you're looking at me like why am I creating more work for you, I'd be happy to do any tasks you need me to. By the time finals occur, there are typically great stories involved with the athletes, coaches, schools or organizations. Again, for future consideration once FanFare is up and running well.
posted by cashman at 7:39 AM on April 22 [3 favorites]


(Yes I saw earlier where someone proposed sports all the time, but I'm talking about a drastically scaled back implementation - just the finals events)
posted by cashman at 7:40 AM on April 22


GrapeApiary: You can use favourites for that too.
posted by ODiV at 8:16 AM on April 22


Thank you both.
posted by GrapeApiary at 8:38 AM on April 22


My su-su-su-su-su-suggestion for background.
posted by Kabanos at 10:30 AM on April 22


Is it an intentional feature, or a consequence of the project's beta status, that recently favorited FanFare comments don't appear in the "Recent Favorites" tab? I see that comments that get favorites in FanFare appear on the "Activity from [user]" page, but not on the Recent Activity page.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:24 PM on April 22


They're supposed to show up there. I'll take a look.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:28 PM on April 22


Also, favorited comments still don't show on the My Favorites tab.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:37 PM on April 22


The My Favorites tab only shows posts. So you won't get favorited comments from any site there.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:43 PM on April 22


Sorry, I had meant "Recent Favorites."
posted by Chrysostom at 1:46 PM on April 22


They should be showing up now.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:46 PM on April 22 [2 favorites]


They are. Thanks!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:48 PM on April 22


I've never watched a full episode of any Star Trek series

Goggle.

In addition to Netflix, all episodes of all the series (except maybe TAS, the animated one) are free on Amazon Prime, and gradually being made available in HD, probably following Blu-ray remaster releases.

Re: liveblogging pro/con. maybe use the "live thread" convention, which ropes off the live response stuff from the post-mortem stuff? I guess the problem there is time zones.

Mostly jesting suggestion: make FanFare the home of all SLYT style posts.
posted by mwhybark at 12:38 AM on April 23


Are gonna do Hannibal threads on FanFare?
posted by Justinian at 1:34 AM on April 23


The plan is to open posting to all at some point, so when that happens you can post about Hannibal, sure.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 1:47 AM on April 23


I've been waiting for a good 3-2-1 Contact thread for THIRTY YEARS
posted by roger ackroyd at 3:08 PM on April 23 [5 favorites]


*cough*
posted by zarq at 3:23 PM on April 23 [5 favorites]


I said a good one.
posted by roger ackroyd at 3:36 PM on April 23 [5 favorites]


HA! :D :D
posted by zarq at 3:39 PM on April 23


If you are in an unexplainable shitty mood, watching every version of the 3-2-1 Contact opening on YouTube during your commute home may be surprisingly effective for snapping you out of it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:19 PM on April 23 [4 favorites]


Especially if you commute by driving.
posted by koeselitz at 7:57 PM on April 23 [5 favorites]


OK, here is a big problem I'm noticing in the beta so far: Apparently we've got people with shitty memories flagging things as spoilers that are NOT spoilers (as they were covered on previous episodes of the show), and mods who can't even remember the names of the characters much less what happened in previous seasons subsequently deleting those comments because they don't know any better.

For example, Corb's now-deleted comment about the economics of Westeros, including the Tyrells closing the Roseroad trade route when they were in rebellion and then "saving" the starving population of King's Landing when they came back into the fold, was entirely within the scope of things that have been covered on the show. Meanwhile, the economics of Westeros and specifically the Tyrells' actions are directly related to the episode under discussion as both the Iron Bank of Braavos and the Tyrells' shifting alliances were directly referenced in the episode.

This was a bad deletion caused by people flagging and moderating comments that they lack sufficient knowledge to accurately flag and moderate.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:15 AM on April 24 [3 favorites]


This is yet another example of nonreaders assuming that just because they didn't notice / can't remember something that readers are talking about that we readers must therefore be posting spoilers from book knowledge.

I'd also like to point out that multiple people have posted in this week's discussion about how they went back and rewatched last week's episode and noticed who did it on second viewing and subsequently commented on who that was -- the exact same information covered in my comment that everyone was up in arms about last week. Why is something a spoiler when a reader points it out but not a spoiler when a nonreader rewatches the episode and points out the exact same thing???
posted by Jacqueline at 11:22 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]


This is yet another example of nonreaders assuming that just because they didn't notice / can't remember something that readers are talking about that we readers must therefore be posting spoilers from book knowledge.

Your spoiler about the poison in the necklace last week TOTALLY turned out to be a major spoiler for this week's episode.

Yet another example of readers having no IDEA whether something is going to turn out to be a spoiler or not.

Just err on the side of not talking about the books. The thread is about the TV show. There are many, many places on the internet -- including potentially places here on metafilter -- for talking about the ASOIF books. Go do that if you're so desperate to flaunt your knowledge of the books.
posted by Sara C. at 11:25 AM on April 24


the exact same information covered in my comment that everyone was up in arms about last week. Why is something a spoiler when a reader points it out but not a spoiler when a nonreader rewatches the episode and points out the exact same thing???

Because the next episode has already aired? You're sort of being weirdly pushy about this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:27 AM on April 24 [2 favorites]


Your spoiler about the poison in the necklace last week TOTALLY turned out to be a major spoiler for this week's episode.

It wasn't a spoiler. All you have to do is remember that we've seen someone die in exactly the same way in S02E01, rewatch that scene, notice the method of murder, and then rewatch the wedding to see who there had the opportunity to use that method. You didn't even have to rewatch every single scene, just the ones that nonreaders had already called out as weird on their own.

EVERYTHING you needed to put it together was shown on TV. I KNOW BECAUSE I CHECKED. I went back and rewatched all the relevant footage in all three episodes (S02E01, S04E01, S04E02) to verify that it was indeed all there before I even wrote my comment.

Having a good memory and/or having rewatched the episodes a few times is not a "spoiler."
posted by Jacqueline at 11:30 AM on April 24


Either way, Game of Thrones is a unique sort of show for posing these sorts of spoiler questions. It probably wasn't an ideal beta choice because of that, but the questions would have to be hashed out at some point anyway. I would prefer two threads, but I'm not the one who would have to do twice the moderating. (Or would not having to moderate spoilers as much save labor?)
posted by Drinky Die at 11:33 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]


It probably wasn't an ideal beta choice because of that, but the questions would have to be hashed out at some point anyway.

I believe that's WHY they chose it for the beta, to get these questions hashed out before it became open.
posted by KathrynT at 11:37 AM on April 24 [3 favorites]


I'd also like to point out that multiple people have posted in this week's discussion about how they went back and rewatched last week's episode and noticed who did it on second viewing and subsequently commented on who that was -- the exact same information covered in my comment that everyone was up in arms about last week. Why is something a spoiler when a reader points it out but not a spoiler when a nonreader rewatches the episode and points out the exact same thing???

For what it's worth, I flagged that as a spoiler when BB posted it and emailed the mods. Different mod, different time, made a different call. It is what it is, no biggie.

Vis-a-via fan fare as a whole, I think you've got to expect the mods to rely on flagging a great deal when it comes to spoilers -- they're not being paid to obsessively watch every TV show on God's green earth, and can't be expected to be able to independently evaluate whether something is a spoiler or not.

Again, I think this type of thing is a much, much More significant problem with GoT in particular than with almost any other show, and it may be worthwhile in this special case to have separate threads. Though I have enjoyed the contributions of the bookwalkers in the existing threads.
posted by Diablevert at 11:38 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]


I don't like the assumption that readers aren't acting in good faith in those threads. If you see something that you think might be a spoiler, why not just ASK the commenter if it's been covered on the show or if it's just from the books before flagging/deleting it just because YOU can't remember it?

Plus, in the case of corb's comment, even if it HADN'T been covered in the show, it was still allowable under the spoiler policy because it was about PAST events. The spoiler policy says "...refrain from discussing future events from other book/film/tv/comic versions of the story." [emphasis added] The events Corb was talking about (the closing of the Roseroad, starving of King's Landing, and "rescue" by the Tyrells) took place during the events of seasons 2 and 3. So even if those agricultural trade issues hadn't been explicitly covered on the show (which they HAD), her posting about it should still have been allowable under the spoilers policy.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:38 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]


It wasn't a spoiler.

Yes, it was. The Purple Wedding sequence was split between two episodes. The first episode set up the poisoning, and the second explained it.

By deciding that the show was clearly done talking about the Purple Wedding and taking it upon yourself to spoil the reveal, you made this week's episode less enjoyable for those of us who like the journey of speculating about the clues we'd already been given.

Just step back and let the show play out at its own pace. It's one thing to explain backstory that was obviously left out years ago in the first few episodes of the series, and something else entirely to tell me what's going to happen in the first scene of next week's show because you're too damn impatient to just wait till next week to talk about it.
posted by Sara C. at 11:40 AM on April 24 [8 favorites]


I don't like the assumption that readers aren't acting in good faith in those threads.

You seem to be reacting, on the whole over the last several communications we've had with you about this stuff since the start of the beta, as if anything that implies a need for caution or accommodation by someone who has read the books is an attack on someone who has read the books, is my issue here.

Disagreements and misunderstandings and the hashing out of this stuff is a necessary inevitability of this new thing we're doing, and everybody has a chance of stepping on somebody's toes, but we need folks to be willing to be like "oops, sorry about those toes" and "ooh, careful, got some toes here" and not treat it as an antagonistic dynamic where working out the details is treated as an attack.

People will disagree about some of the grey area stuff. We're likely to err somewhat toward caution in sorting that out. We need people to be cool about that. Being jerky about not being able to make exactly the comments you want or getting on our cases for not having total encyclopedic knowledge/recall of a narrative is not part of being cool about it. Please find a way to make some peace about this and work with us instead of getting in our faces about it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:44 AM on April 24


I am actually confused about what was a spoiler in that statement. When I referenced the starving/roseroad/Tyrells distributing largesse, I was talking about stuff that had been shown on the show. I mean, Cersei even makes herself an ass by trying to contradict it and giving the food to the dogs rather than the poor.

I mean, I'm not angry about it or anything, just.. confused.
posted by corb at 11:45 AM on April 24 [2 favorites]


Plus, in the case of corb's comment, even if it HADN'T been covered in the show, it was still allowable under the spoiler policy because it was about PAST events. The spoiler policy says "...refrain from discussing future events from other book/film/tv/comic versions of the story."

I think that "future events" implicitly includes "future revelations that change the viewers' perception of past events," (e.g., revealing a secret, explaining a mystery, etc.) but it might be a good idea to add that to the policy.
posted by Etrigan at 11:47 AM on April 24


I don't like the assumption that readers aren't acting in good faith in those threads. If you see something that you think might be a spoiler, why not just ASK the commenter if it's been covered on the show or if it's just from the books before flagging/deleting it just because YOU can't remember it?

I think that's nuts. Not everybody who watches the show is going to want to take a PhD in Westerosi studies. When people see something in a thread and say to themselves, "hey, I don't think they've actually covered this in the show, I think this is from the books" then they're going to Flag It And Move On. That's being a good mefite. And if a detail is so small and insignificant or part of such a convoluted bit of backstory that lots of show watchers are flagging it, then the mods are likely going to delete it. Regardless of whether, if you were willing to go back through 30-odd hours of television wearing out your freeze-frame button, you could have found allusions to the topic. You can't demand that every viewer scrutinise each episode like it was the gosh darn Zapruder film.
posted by Diablevert at 11:48 AM on April 24


The fact that the Tyrells had starved the city was not ever mentioned on the show. So far we have seen Margaery Tyrell "distribute largesse" exactly twice: once when she visited some orphans, and again when she declared that the feast leftovers would be given to the poor. Both instances seemed pretty clearly to me to be about Margaery, and specifically about what kind of queen Margaery would be, what she could bring to the Lannister dynasty, etc.

Talking about the machinations of House Tyrell goes outside the bounds of leaving book stuff out of it. It's not an egregious spoiler in the way the poison reveal was, but I don't know, maybe next week we find out that Margaery isn't just a Princess Diana wannabe and the whole starving/roseroad stuff comes to light.

The writers of the show clearly dole out backstory differently from the books, and the schemes of the Tyrells are still very current in the ongoing story.
posted by Sara C. at 11:51 AM on April 24


I think that "future events" implicitly includes "future revelations that change the viewers' perception of past events,"

As I've understood it, it's "nothing past the timeframe of the books as they take place, even if the books later explain more about historical timeframe."

For example: in the books AND on the show, there's a lot of discussion of Robert's Rebellion. Historically, it happened a long while ago, but I would consider that any discussion of Robert's Rebellion would need to not include any data from the books past the point when the purple wedding took place.
posted by corb at 11:51 AM on April 24 [2 favorites]


For example, Corb's now-deleted comment about the economics of Westeros, including the Tyrells closing the Roseroad trade route when they were in rebellion and then "saving" the starving population of King's Landing when they came back into the fold, was entirely within the scope of things that have been covered on the show. Meanwhile, the economics of Westeros and specifically the Tyrells' actions are directly related to the episode under discussion as both the Iron Bank of Braavos and the Tyrells' shifting alliances were directly referenced in the episode.


So in light of this clarification, would corb be allowed to repost the comment, if she were so inclined?
posted by homunculus at 11:53 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]


This is going to be a problem even in shows that aren't Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead.

For example, I had this problem on another forum with the most recent season of Sherlock. I was able to deduce after watching the first episode what the nature (if not the specifics) of the major reveal in the third episode would be. This particular plot point was NOT from the original ACD stories (which I haven't read anyway). After I turned out to be right, several people asked me where I'd gotten my information because they assumed I must have gotten production information somehow and some people were mad that I'd "spoiled" the reveal for them. But to me, it had been obvious (and I thought it was kinda ironic that people on a Sherlock forum were complaining about someone being able to deduce something in advance).

Some people just pay closer attention and/or rewatch episodes more than other people. Some people have a good intuitive understanding of how TV works, or are better at reading foreshadowing or context clues from the cinematography. Well-written mysteries show you all the clues before they reveal the answer and thus attentive watchers will be able to solve them in advance.

So are those of us who are good at solving these mysteries supposed to just shut up because the rest of y'all don't spend as much time analyzing things? I thought the whole purpose of the Fanfare subsite was for intelligent people to have serious conversations about TV, but based on how this beta has been going so far it feels like I'd have to lobotomize myself to participate in the discussions in a way that other people won't flag and complain about. This is a huge divergence from the site culture of the rest of MetaFilter, where people with extensive knowledge and understanding of a topic are not only welcomed but their lengthy and detailed comments are regularly sidebarred.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:55 AM on April 24 [2 favorites]


The starving peasantry in King's Landing because the supplies are closed off was discussed in the later half of Season 2, as an FYI - remember the "throwing shit at Joffrey" episode?
posted by corb at 11:56 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]


However - overthinking things in the context of Jacqueline's comment - the one thing that I think book readers and show watchers do have that is very different is actually the degree of obsessive detail-watching, which book readers take from the books and apply to the show. Not necessarily details from the books, but that sense of watching every moment and thinking three times about every statement. We're obsessive, because we've been waiting years for new books, and have had time to devour every crumb again and again and again.
posted by corb at 11:58 AM on April 24 [2 favorites]


So are those of us who are good at solving these mysteries supposed to just shut up because the rest of y'all don't spend as much time analyzing things?

I can't imagine anyone who enjoys talking about television would agree with that. Few things are more satisfying than being able to come back weeks or months later with a "CALLED IT!" link to a previous comment.

Can I just say how much I wish GoT wasn't one of the two shows chosen for this experiment? Because most shows are never going to have the problems this one does, and several hundred comments later, I feel like this very cool well has been poisoned a little by a lot of unnecessary dickishness.
posted by jbickers at 11:59 AM on April 24 [7 favorites]


The fact that the Tyrells had starved the city was not ever mentioned on the show.

I am 95% confident that it was (it was the underlying cause for the King's Landing Riot after Myrcella was shipped off to Dorne), but if I turn out to be wrong then I'll apologize.

Off to rewatch Season 2, BRB!
posted by Jacqueline at 12:04 PM on April 24


some people were mad that I'd "spoiled" the reveal for them

The problem isn't that you guessed something that turned out to be right.

The problem is that you cited the books.

If you're desperate to speculate about future events or resolutions to particular plot points, just don't mention the books and you're probably fine.

Nobody cares if somebody guesses and happens to be right. Plenty of people in last week's thread zeroed in on the necklace and Lady Olenna. Most of them managed not to rub everyone's nose in the fact that they'd gotten it from the books.
posted by Sara C. at 12:06 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


Ooh, just found this helpful site: Game of Thrones Transcripts.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:07 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


The problem is that you cited the books.

I did not "cite" the books. I tangentially mentioned that I'd read them, but did not cite them to support my description of events or conclusions, and even ended my comment by saying that I couldn't reveal any more because it hadn't been covered in the show yet.

As has been discussed upthread, we readers didn't even know for sure who did it until we saw it happen in the show because the explanation we had been presented in the books was given by a non-POV character that we don't trust. I was excited because the show had just confirmed something from the books, not because the books had confirmed something from the show.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:13 PM on April 24


I was excited because the show had just confirmed something from the books,

And you said as much. That is citing the books. That's what I objected to in your comment. Saying that broke the probability wave, it took the joy of speculation away from a lot of people and nailed it down into fact.
posted by KathrynT at 12:15 PM on April 24 [8 favorites]


Regardless of what happens with the solution, can we please stop acting like the only way to have a detailed discussion about television is to throw out speculation and spoilers? That is not the case. I think you're one of the best posters here, but that lobotomy thing was a bit much.
posted by cashman at 12:16 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


You're all kinda draining all the enjoyment out of of having a new subsite. Can we please just agree not to explicitly reference what happens in the books and let this go?

I'm beginning to get the feeling you're all going to try to control what people post and say to such a high degree that the actual site implementation will be a total friggin' disaster.

posted by zarq at 12:18 PM on April 24 [4 favorites]


So are those of us who are good at solving these mysteries supposed to just shut up because the rest of y'all don't spend as much time analyzing things?

Maybe just proceed with some restraint, is all? I mean, a lot of folks guessed the twist in The Sixth Sense before it was revealed, but in my experience nobody shouted it out in the theater. Sometimes it's more accommodating to the crowd to delay/contain one's thoughts. If you knowingly consider yourself a mystery hound, maybe recognize that and, yeah, reel yourself in a little bit. In the unusual case of a show famous for twists based on books-ahead source series that you've already read, doubly so. You still get full credit in your brain for careful observation.

I thought the whole purpose of the Fanfare subsite was for intelligent people to have serious conversations about TV, but based on how this beta has been going so far it feels like I'd have to lobotomize myself to participate in the discussions in a way that other people won't flag and complain about.

If you feel like showing some consideration for other mefites who aren't engaging in the show and books to the level of detail you are is the equivalent of having to lobotomize yourself, or that sharing space with people collectively enjoying a show as first-time watchers is unfairly confining, it may not be a discussion space that will work super well for you. That sucks, and I sympathize, but we're making a space for mefites in general, not for you specifically. I am hopeful that the actual resolution here will be you finding a way to nudge your preferences to work a little better with everybody else, but that's some nudging that needs to happen.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:19 PM on April 24 [6 favorites]


So, uh...okay to talk about the Tyrells and money and stuff? Or would it be helpful to cite seasons in talking about this stuff? I would like some guidance - I truly was not trying to be a dick and thought the statement was relatively uncontroversial. I'd like to repost something about the finances of Westeros, but would also like not to offend.
posted by corb at 12:27 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


One thing you might check out, Jacqueline, as something that does a great job of drawing on background info from the books without coming off as a spoiler at all is the Grantland "Ask A Maester" series that was linked in this week's GoT thread. It's a Bookwalker who is answering Unsullied questions about the world of the show, but without spoiling anything.

That non-spoilage partially seems to come from a knowledge that this information is definitely not a spoiler, but one thing that helps is that there are no additional layers of context added. Bastards from the Riverlands are named Rivers. It is known. There's no "... which you'll soon find out a little more about, bwa hahahahaha" tone added to lord it over all the poor dumb Unsullied.
posted by Sara C. at 12:30 PM on April 24


Or would it be helpful to cite seasons in talking about this stuff?

Yeah. As long as you can say, "Back in Season 2, at Renly's camp, Loras mentions that his father is blockading King's Landing," you're good.

In general I think it's best practices, when referring to previous material, to reference it under the rubric of the show, not the books. As a non-reader, I don't care whether something happened in Book 3 or Book 5. I care whether it's been mentioned on the show yet. And if it hasn't been mentioned on the show yet, it's highly suspect. (I won't make a blanket statement against book-related back story, because there are some people who've done a good job of explaining things using the books without spoiling anything.)
posted by Sara C. at 12:34 PM on April 24


I truly was not trying to be a dick and thought the statement was relatively uncontroversial.

And to sort of reiterate, several folks feeling like a comment's maybe getting into too much supra-show detail and flagging it as such shouldn't be taken as an accusation of dickishness, I think is part of how this is gonna have to work in practice. So you might say something that you feel is fine that might spook some folks, get flagged, get deleted. That's more of a potential damage containment issue than anything. Proceed from there with caution is probably the best advice.

If you find that that's something happening repeatedly to you, that's probably the point to start examining less the question of "was this book-informed comment a spoilerish thing?" and more the question of "am I having trouble navigating the book-informed comment boundaries?". Until then, just being sporting about any random point of friction is all we're asking.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:36 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


I'm beginning to get the feeling you're all going to try to control what people post and say to such a high degree that the actual site implementation will be a total friggin' disaster.

In all honesty --- I think the implementation has been working pretty well for everyone, with one notable exception. Aside from Jacqueline, most book readers who have participated in the threads have provided a lot of erudition without spoilers, and have seemed willing to back off revealing too much if that seemed likely. I don't know if we can come to a solution that would please her, but otherwise from my perspective it seems to be working pretty well. Of course, as a unspoiled person, I recognise that there may be conversations book readers would like to have that they can't have under the current format, and I'd support a seperate book thread for that. But I wouldn't despair of the whole project as yet.
posted by Diablevert at 12:40 PM on April 24 [3 favorites]


It wasn't a spoiler. All you have to do is remember that we've seen someone die in exactly the same way in S02E01, rewatch that scene, notice the method of murder, and then rewatch the wedding to see who there had the opportunity to use that method.

I'll re-iterate my previous comment:

As a bookreader, you already knew who and how it was done. Using that knowledge you cherrypicked the specific brief scenes in the show that demonstrated it.

As a viewer, I do not have that pre-existing knowledge to guide my eyes. It is spoilery for you, in your position, to point out that this, this and this moments are particularly significant.

Part of the pleasure of viewing media is the reveal; undercutting the reveal is kinda crappy.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:40 PM on April 24 [6 favorites]


For what it's worth, I flagged that as a spoiler when BB posted it and emailed the mods.

Curious, why would you do that in this situation?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:41 PM on April 24


Well, it's a bit of a clouded issue in this particular instance, because we had had that big thread blow-up about identifying the murderer, so when you were like , "I went and re watched the episode and am now explicitly confirming that all the stuff the spoiler- people were hinting at was correct" I thought that was over the line. Up to that point in the thread, people had still been arguing about who it might be and why; your comment kind of ended that.

I understood even when I emailed the mods that other people might take a different view, but since they've said they need to get there early to nip stuff in the bud I thought it worth giving them heads up. The mod on duty elected to leave it and that was that.
posted by Diablevert at 12:49 PM on April 24


One thing that's perhaps helpful is the difference between saying "I think this may have happened....." and "This is what happened." The voice of authority, while it can be satisfying, can also raise people's hackles. More importantly, it places the authoritative statement on a different plane from the people who are speculating. And the truth is, no one - no matter how observant - is an authority only from watching shows. The only people who truly know what happened are the people involved in production. The scenes that were highlighted involve what appear to be deliberate clues. But they could just as easily be misdirection, wardrobe malfunction or clumsy direction. The only way to know the difference is by appeal to outside authority (in this case, the books).

Staying away from stating things as Fact when they are mostly speculation would probably help this cool off.
posted by stoneweaver at 12:51 PM on April 24


So, speaking as someone who hasn't just read all the books, but has read them twice, kept up on all the released advance chapters, and spent countless hours dissecting the text like theologians dissect the Bible and discussing speculations with friends until the wee hours of the morning: I love the TV threads and I don't have any problems with keeping my book knowledge out of them. (I don't think, anyway.) My feeling is that filling in geographical or historical backstory that may have been shown onscreen but is made explicit in the books is OK, so like if someone says (this is a made-up example) "Who was that guy hollering at Robb during the council meeting?" you could say "Oh that was Snorwyn Fishbone, the second son of Lord Fishbone's younger brother. The Fishbones are a minor house sworn to House Tully. In the books there's a bit about how he's got a long-standing beef with the Lannisters because he has been trying to marry off his daughter to one of the Lannister cousins and they keep turning him down, and that's why he's so bent out of shape about Jaime," without being out of line. But saying "Keep your eyes on Snorwyn's fish-skeleton cloak clasp -- notice how it has sapphire eyes? -- because that is going to be SUPER IMPORTANT later" is not OK.
posted by KathrynT at 12:52 PM on April 24 [11 favorites]


I thought that was over the line. Up to that point in the thread, people had still been arguing about who it might be and why; your comment kind of ended that.

Well yeah, the episode was out, one could look at it and absolutely confirm that certain things had happened. A strange thing to flag, IMO, but whatever floats your boat.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:54 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I had an email exchange with a mod sort of right when this whole thing opened back up in the current GoT thread, and the implication from the mod was that I should be flagging. Previously I'd held back on flagging any one thing out of a desire to not be confrontational about it or get specific people's comments deleted. Because I don't really want there to be a lot of deleting in the threads, I just want people to chill the fuck out.

But, anyway, the current opinion seems to be flag it (and move on?), so that's probably why people are flagging stuff.
posted by Sara C. at 12:56 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


Another try at making clear I'm talking about stuff that's been on the show, and making it clear where I'm really speculating and have no fucking clue. Hopefully that works! But yeah, I'm mostly totally in KathrynT's position. Saying "WATCH THAT SPACE LATER" is kind of jerkish, being "And paper comes from this region!" is...fine. Show-watchers, we give to you our boring comprehensive knowledge of geneology, geography, and history!
posted by corb at 1:01 PM on April 24 [4 favorites]


I think your new comment in the thread is really good. Not only from a spoiler standpoint, but just in general in terms of thinking more about the different characters on the show and why they're doing what they're doing.
posted by Sara C. at 1:05 PM on April 24


Well yeah, the episode was out, one could look at it and absolutely confirm that certain things had happened.

I take the point. I just think there's a spectrum - on one end of which is, say this and at the other end of which is your PhD in Westerosi Studies, "Actually, if you turn to Season One, Episode Seven, the banquet scene, I believe you'll find that the third bannerman to the right..." Etc., etc. The Fanfare threads seem to be about on the middle of the spectrum, to my mind. To me, if a plot twist has not yet been revealed on the show but can be deduced by going back, re watching the episode several times in slowmo and counting how many times the second extra from the left scratches his nose...it still counts as a spoiler until the show confirms. Of course, your remark was much closer to the mid-point of the spectrum. However, again that exact point had been the flashpoint of the whole spoiler controversy, which raised it to a flaggable level for me personally.
posted by Diablevert at 1:09 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


I think the other issue with book readers vis a vis GoT is that in theory, you have no idea who's going to still be alive episode to episode. So when someone comments that character X is still alive in Book 5, yeah, I would say that's a spoiler.

(And I say that as someone who's read the books.)
posted by inigo2 at 1:37 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


"...by the end of this upcoming weekend, we'll allow for posting by members that will be approved by a mod, going live after the show has aired. After the beta, this will be open to any and all and go up instantly..."

Any ETA on when we will be able to make our own threads for discussing the episodes within the context of the books, or perhaps an overarching "all spoilers" thread for everything related to the universe of GOT/ASOIAF/D&E/etc.?

I think I'd be happier in those threads because a) I wouldn't have to worry about comments that adhere to the spoiler policy still being deleted because nonreaders don't notice and/or remember things and the mods don't know any better and b) I'd rather talk about the really interesting questions like what's down in the Winterfell Crypts (given that they made a point of showing them AGAIN in Bran's vision last week), which nonreaders probably haven't even considered yet much less begun to form theories about.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:38 PM on April 24


I'd rather talk about the really interesting questions like what's down in the Winterfell Crypts (given that they made a point of showing them AGAIN in Bran's vision last week)

This is something that would be totally welcome in the thread in question, as long as folks don't start throwing out blatant spoilers from the books or use Bran's vision as an excuse to go way outside the scope of the episode.

I'm a little surprised how little talk there was about Bran's vision in that thread, actually.
posted by Sara C. at 1:40 PM on April 24


The problem is to discuss that question meaningfully requires drawing from the books. It's also one of those topics where it's difficult to remember what was explicitly covered in the show and what was not, because while the show has certainly dropped hints that there's something important down there, the books have a lot more clues about what it might be.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:42 PM on April 24


I'm a little surprised how little talk there was about Bran's vision in that thread, actually.

Bran isn't just isn't very interesting. Hodor is though.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:44 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


At the moment, I'm feeling frustrated with both Jacqueline and Sara C, both of whom seem to want FanFare to conform to their particular sensibilities. And Jacqueline asks questions that have been answered and discussed to death already.

Discussion of the books is fine, as long as it's not spoilery. I agree that corb's discussion of the Tyrrells was information presented in the show and those who flagged it because they thought it wasn't were mistaken. I also think that if it hadn't been on the show, it still wasn't a spoiler and shouldn't have been flagged. A lot of people have book knowledge, deal with it. They will work to avoid spoiling those who don't, and those who don't can accommodate that people talk about book stuff. You know, "don't be a dick", it's not complicated.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:47 PM on April 24 [6 favorites]


to discuss that question meaningfully requires drawing from the books

No, it really doesn't. Just because something was in the books doesn't mean you can't talk about the TV show's take on it. The show is interesting beyond its existence as a checklist of narrative bullet points drawn from the books.

I personally didn't have any deep thoughts about the vision beyond "wow that was trippy", but that doesn't mean nobody did. And I think this is an area where book readers could probably join in the discussion without being total jerks about it, since the whole thing is much more open ended than the relatively simple whodunit of the Purple Wedding poisoning.

Also, I am shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU, that nobody has set up a one-off account under the username Hodor, for the purposes of general hodoring around in the FanFare threads.
posted by Sara C. at 1:49 PM on April 24


They will work to avoid spoiling those who don't

I think this is why I've been so spoiler-whiney in general. Because I really don't get the sense that certain participants are doing that work. Some people have been OK about it -- I thought the discussion of the rape scene in the episode vs. the book passage was handled well, and some of the deep background explanations have also been helpful, but to the extent that certain people keep putting their foot in it, I feel like somebody needs to stand up for the non-readers.
posted by Sara C. at 1:56 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


And Jacqueline asks questions that have been answered and discussed to death already.

I came back to this MeTa because just this afternoon someone incorrectly flagged corb's comment as a spoiler and a mod who can't even remember the names of the characters decided to delete it immediately instead of first asking either corb or a more GOT-knowledgeable mod whether it was actually a spoiler.

If this is supposed to be a beta test then my complaining about this bad deletion is a bug report. Because if this is the way that Fanfare is going to be moderated -- reduced to the lowest common denominator of what casual watchers notice and remember -- then it's NOT going to be the much-touted subsite for serious TV discussions with intelligent people. It's not even going to be like the rest of MetaFilter, where lengthy comments from knowledgeable people are welcomed and lauded.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:56 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


Just because something was in the books doesn't mean you can't talk about the TV show's take on it.

One of the things that I think might be down there is something that I'm not sure has been mentioned in the show yet, but it has been mentioned enough times in the books that I think it may be significant. So yeah, it does require drawing from the books to have a meaningful discussion about that particular topic.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:00 PM on April 24


Another example: There are clues in the show hinting at R+L=J, but the most convincing evidence (who was at the TOJ) has so far only been mentioned in the books. So there's not much point in discussing the R+L=J theory with book-knowledge-averse nonreaders.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:08 PM on April 24


Just because there's one detail in the books that might be relevant doesn't mean nobody can ever talk about it.

The purpose of the FanFare show threads isn't to act as a proxy for people to talk about the books. It's explicitly for talking about the TV show. If you're not interested in talking about the HBO television series Game of Thrones outside of the extent to which it gives you an opportunity to discuss the book series A Song Of Ice And Fire, just stay out of the thread and wait there's a FanFare thread for the thing you actually want to talk about.

I think that might be the point of contention, here. The purpose of the FanFare threads isn't for people to talk about the books. If someone asks for clarification (Who's that guy at the banquet table?), or if there's an elephant in the room a la the rape scene, sure. But you don't have to talk about the books. In fact you should avoid talking about the books if at all possible.
posted by Sara C. at 2:10 PM on April 24 [6 favorites]


instead of first asking either corb or a more GOT-knowledgeable mod whether it was actually a spoiler

She asked, and at least four other mods chimed in saying they couldn't remember that small tidbit either and it sounded like something that was maybe more obvious in the books.

if this is the way that Fanfare is going to be moderated -- reduced to the lowest common denominator of what casual watchers notice and remember -- then it's NOT going to be the much-touted subsite for serious TV discussions with intelligent people.

I don't think that FanFare will work for you. We've asked you multiple times to lay off the book mentions and at this point it feels like rules lawyering where you want to know exactly how far up to the line you can go before being cut off while at the same time arguing the line is too far to one side from the start. Everyone else is seeming to manage the new site's exploration of rules pretty well.

It's non-trivial to create a separate book-spoilers-filled double version of the site and at this point it feels like a ton of work for a very small handful of users on this show and I'm not sure it's worth our limited resources. There are tons of other places to discuss the books and shows with people that have consumed both, and I think those are a better fit for you than our new beta site.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:12 PM on April 24 [8 favorites]


And I don't see why anybody in any of the current GoT threads should be talking about "R+L=J" at all, since it's something that has not even remotely been hinted at in the barest possible way in any of the recent episodes.

FanFare doesn't seem to work in the way that the Blue works, where people use the pretext of a newsworthy or particularly internet-oriented angle on a thing to talk about that thing in general. As far as I can tell (and please, mods, correct me on this if I'm wrong!), it's for talking about that week's episode of a television show.

I would flag the shit out of any speculation about the thing you're cryptically referring to in any current GoT thread, because it is a derail/noise, not even for spoiler reasons.
posted by Sara C. at 2:13 PM on April 24


I can't find the speculation/spoiler comment I wanted to reference, but I agree with that person that throwing out speculations/spoilers or even just speculation is not the best way to engage in a show thread.

Also warning this comment has NOTHING to do with GAME OF THRONES.

In the Mad Men thread at least, people's speculation is mostly just bad things they want to happen to characters they don't like and good things to happen to people they like. It usually doesn't even have much to do with the history of the characters or show, or very little.

Like "Betty dies in a freak train accident!" "Peggy becomes a billionaire and starts schools for poor children, who grow up to be billionaires!" etc.
posted by sweetkid at 2:13 PM on April 24


> I wouldn't have to worry about comments that adhere to the spoiler policy still being deleted because nonreaders don't notice and/or remember things and the mods don't know any better

Do you not realize how shitty you sound when you say things like this? I would be much more willing to try and understand your position if you didn't sound like someone who was spoiling for a fight.
posted by languagehat at 2:15 PM on April 24 [10 favorites]


Eh, GoT is set up in a way that is a little more mystery/problem-solving related than Mad Men is. There are all kinds of question marks and hints and omens, and the whole premise is sort of a race to see who'll end up on top and how they'll get there. So the tendency to speculate is much more relevant than for a show like Mad Men which is just sort of a free-form character study of a show. On GoT it kind of matters who poisoned who, using what kind of poison, which they got from where, and whose horse they borrowed to do it.
posted by Sara C. at 2:16 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


The purpose of the FanFare show threads isn't to act as a proxy for people to talk about the books. It's explicitly for talking about the TV show.

The problem is that the TV show is peppered with clues that are of significant interest to readers but will sail over nonreaders head. For me, the most interesting bits in the recent episodes were Bran's vision and the name drop of one of the people in the White Book, but I can't go into why without drawing from the books. I'd still be talking about the show but not on a level that nonreaders could understand or participate in.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:17 PM on April 24


It's non-trivial to create a separate book-spoilers-filled double version of the site and at this point it feels like a ton of work for a very small handful of users on this show and I'm not sure it's worth our limited resources.

How is it so difficult? You said in the post announcing the site that people will eventually be able to make posts for whatever shows they want. If people can make posts for Golden Girls, why can't they make posts for a new "show" named "Game of Thrones (BOOK SPOILERS)"?
posted by Jacqueline at 2:20 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


but I can't go into why without drawing from the books.

then you are talking about the books and not the show. I'm not sure why you're being so insistent about this. If the thing in the show is only interesting because of something you'd have to have read the books to know about, then that discussion is a discussion about the books, not about the show.
posted by KathrynT at 2:21 PM on April 24 [7 favorites]


the name drop of one of the people in the White Book

I'm pretty sure I know who you're referring to (I've been waiting for him to show up, purely for the reason that he has my favorite character name in the entire ASOIFverse), and there are many ways to make note of it without being a jerk about it.

In fact I might go back to the relevant post and just go faff on a bit about how OMG seriously that is my secret baby name/next dog name. Because swoon.
posted by Sara C. at 2:21 PM on April 24


Eh, GoT is set up in a way that is a little more mystery/problem-solving related than Mad Men is. There are all kinds of question marks and hints and omens, and the whole premise is sort of a race to see who'll end up on top and how they'll get there. So the tendency to speculate is much more relevant than for a show like Mad Men which is just sort of a free-form character study of a show. On GoT it kind of matters who poisoned who, using what kind of poison, which they got from where, and whose horse they borrowed to do it.

Yes, but since this is in theory at least a "we have a new subsite" thread and not a "Game of Thrones: speculation yea?" thread I wanted to share my opinion on speculation in reference to someone upthread who said it wasn't necessarily something that made good conversation.
posted by sweetkid at 2:21 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


Talking about the show "Game of Thrones" without being allowed to reference the books is like talking about the play "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" without being allowed to reference Hamlet.
posted by Justinian at 2:22 PM on April 24 [8 favorites]


Crazy idea to address the gap between people flagging comments and the mods who respond to flags: select a sub-set of "neighborhood watch" folks who are up on the books and shows being discussed, so they can filter the flags and say "this is valid, this isn't."

This would require some significant bit of coding to create this in-between class, but it wouldn't give those folks any powers.

And I agree that it's good to get this minutae of "what is a spoiler, what is paying attention to minute details, what is wild-assed speculations that just happen to come true, and what should be deleted to foster a relatively pleasant conversation." We'd be hashing this out eventually, and it's good to do now that there are only a few live threads, before it sprawls between a ton of different shows.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:23 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but nobody's said "you aren't allowed to reference the books." Literally nobody. It's just, the two works are significantly different in a ton of ways, including the fact that much more of the story is available in one of them than the other, and the discussion needs to be about the show, not about the books. I don't think there's anything wrong with drawing from the books to shine light on the show, but that light needs to shine ON THE SHOW -- and backwards, not forwards.
posted by KathrynT at 2:24 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


Oh, yeah, totally, sweetkid. And in general I think the GoT discussers could probably take a note from how our long-running Mad Men discussions have gone down, just in the sense of the overall tone wrt speculation and what all is on the table to talk about.

I love it in the Mad Men threads when someone comes out of left field and says something like, "What did people think of the citrus pattern in Bonnie Whiteside's dress?" or whatever.
posted by Sara C. at 2:24 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


If people can make posts for Golden Girls, why can't they make posts for a new "show" named "Game of Thrones (BOOK SPOILERS)"?

Jacqueline, it's not that easy. I really think the Onion AV Club's expert threads is what you want and not what we're going to build in this first testing phase.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:25 PM on April 24


Also: "We've asked you multiple times to lay off the book mentions..."

I think you're confusing me with someone else because the only time I've mentioned the books in this week's episode discussion thread was to join in on an already-in-progress conversation about the books-vs-show rape scene (that many people were participating in and that had been going on for hours before I joined in) and to let someone know that something that they were worried about being a book knowledge spoiler wasn't necessary a spoiler.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:27 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


book-spoilers-filled double version of the site

Huh? Nobody has asked for this, as far as I can tell. People just want a single megathread for bookreaders, or at most, a separate thread for each episode - not a whole separate site! Surely this wouldn't be a problem once users are allowed to post their own threads?

I'm also pretty surprised that the solution to this problem is just to tell Jacqueline, a long-standing member of the MeFi community, that she basically isn't welcome on Fanfare while allowing Sara to continue to dictate what is and is not acceptable to her personally. Surely Jacqueline is not the only source of conflict here, as Ivan so eloquently described above.

Part of the conflict is that some people are vocally insisting that you aren't allowed to discuss the books at all, while the written policy is that book discussion is OK as long as it doesn't go past the temporal scope of the show ("refrain from discussing future events from other book/film/tv/comic versions of the story", my emphasis - not "refrain from discussing other versions entirely"). Blaming Jacqueline for this basic policy conflict is unfair, regardless of whether you agree with the way she's voiced her concerns, which is a separate issue.
posted by dialetheia at 2:27 PM on April 24 [12 favorites]



Crazy idea to address the gap between people flagging comments and the mods who respond to flags: select a sub-set of "neighborhood watch" folks who are up on the books and shows being discussed, so they can filter the flags and say "this is valid, this isn't."

This would require some significant bit of coding to create this in-between class, but it wouldn't give those folks any powers.


I think this is indeed a crazy idea.
posted by sweetkid at 2:30 PM on April 24


He would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you, meddling sweetkid.
posted by cashman at 2:32 PM on April 24 [4 favorites]


People are so neurotic about flagging and always devise elaborate alternate ideas/tactics beyond flagging and moving on.
posted by sweetkid at 2:34 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


...not what we're going to build in this first testing phase.

I wasn't asking for it to be built into the testing phase. I was asking what the ETA was on us being able to make our own threads (since the timeframe mentioned in the original post has already passed) and subsequently when we'd be able to make reader-friendly GOT threads.

Like, more specifically, are we going to be able to do it once we can start making our own TV show threads (like my example workaround of making a new "show") or do we have to wait until you expand to other media and then make those sorts of threads under the Books section?

I ask because I'm much more enthused about discussing this stuff with MeFites than with random AV Club people I don't know.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:34 PM on April 24


I was asking what the ETA was on us being able to make our own threads (since the timeframe mentioned in the original post has already passed) and subsequently when we'd be able to make reader-friendly GOT threads.

The queue for people to make new posts is live, but still just the two shows for now. I can't give you an ETA on reader-friendly GOT threads.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:37 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


Talking about the show "Game of Thrones" without being allowed to reference the books is like talking about the play "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" without being allowed to reference Hamlet.

What? No. The relationship between Hamlet and R&G are Dead is entirely different than the relationship between GoT-the-books and GoT-the-TV-adaptation.
posted by scody at 2:45 PM on April 24 [4 favorites]


People are so neurotic about flagging and always devise elaborate alternate ideas/tactics beyond flagging and moving on.

The problem is that the old FIAMO approach doesn't work when you expand the class of things to be flagged and deleted to include spoilers instead of just racism/sexism, derails, etc., because it requires the mods to have sufficient familiarity of the material being discussed to determine whether something really is a spoiler or whether someone is just clueless (or whether nonreaders are actively trying to drive readers out of the thread).

It moves the flagging/modding process from handling questions of tone (is this person being a jerk?) to questions of fact (has this material been covered on the show yet?). The former requires good judgment and an inculcation into MetaFilter culture, the latter requires deep knowledge of the material being discussed.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:47 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


> Your search - Snorwyn Fishbone - did not match any documents.

booooo, mean trick, KathrynT
posted by roger ackroyd at 2:53 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


Well, having a middle section of half mods who help determine if a flagged thing should stay a flagged thing goes well beyond the scope of what I think this site should be about and tips it into a Game of Thrones Discussions Place with a side focus on other stuff. If people care that much about this books/nonbooks stuff they should just go discuss it somewhere else.

It's funny because I joined this site mostly because the only other online community I had ever been on was TWoP and I got bored with it because it was SO overmoderated, and then so much of everything else is so undermoderated/trolls gone crazy.

I am Goldilocks and Metafilter is the Baby Bear's bed, in other words. Just right.
posted by sweetkid at 2:53 PM on April 24 [5 favorites]


I still really like the notion that having a comment deleted is more of a "be cool" thing, and less of a YOU SUCK AND ARE WRONG ON AN EXISTENTIAL LEVEL thing.
posted by Sara C. at 3:01 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


This is coming late because I've been bogged down with baby stuff and so I didn't even have time to flag it when it was fresh but this comment exemplified the kinda stuff that frustrates me about the tendency of book readers to spoil:

There's no doubt that Daeny will always come out on top so . . . where's the tension?

Without giving away anything, Denaerys' situation becomes much more tenuous over the next few books, and she's certainly not just kicking ass in every scene.
posted by The Michael The at 10:30 AM on April 21 [3 favorites +] [!]


It's just . . . I don't know. I didn't think I'd be someone complaining about spoilers here on metafilter but it's really hard to talk about narrative stuff and character stuff on the show when people who have read the book rush in to say "don't worry, it changes." Because it does give stuff away, inevitably and also it just feels kind of irrelevant to the topic of discussion. Which is the TV show, not the next few books.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:01 PM on April 24 [8 favorites]


Hey, so would it be cool if I just rounded up a collection of links to some of the more intriguing ASOIAF/GOT/D&E theories, discussions, resources, etc. and made a post on the Blue (ala JHarris's epic My Little Pony post)? With anything remotely spoilery below-the-fold and a giant warning above-the-fold that all spoilers from all sources were fair game?

I've thought something like that might be a good post for the Blue for a while now (I tried to talk JHarris into taking on the project, but he was too busy) and now seems like an opportune time because then we readers could take all our "THEY MENTIONED THE THING, DID YOU HEAR THEM MENTION THE THING???" post-episode squee over there.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:04 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


The problem is that the old FIAMO approach doesn't work when you expand the class of things to be flagged and deleted to include spoilers instead of just racism/sexism, derails, etc., because it requires the mods to have sufficient familiarity of the material being discussed to determine whether something really is a spoiler or whether someone is just clueless (or whether nonreaders are actively trying to drive readers out of the thread).

Half-mods are a suck idea and I'm strongly against them, but the problem described here has something to it. My concern about FIAMO with spoilers is that the only people encouraged to set the tone of moderation (by flagging) are the most radically anti-"spoiler" people. If 300 members think a comment is fine and 30 flag it, all the mods see is 30 flags, aka 30 votes for the comment being a problem. There's no feedback for "no this isn't a something I would consider a spoiler" until and unless a comment is pulled.

I don't have a solution to the problem, but the fact that the current system of flagging and moving on encourages people who have a problem and not people who are okay with existing discussion is worth considering as it specifically relates to the problems of FanFare.
posted by immlass at 3:05 PM on April 24 [3 favorites]


I don't think it's necessary that half-mods be appointed to handle matters of spoilers, to those in-the-know among the userbase, spoilers are usually pretty obvious. A new type of flag, Spoiler, could be invented, and users encouraged to flag things that reveal future knowledge for the protection of the unspoiled. Then once a certain minimum number of spoiler flags comes up a mod could take a look and then determine based on that, or then ask someone familiar with the show specifically what the nature of the spoiler is, and decide to delete based on that.

I would think that this wouldn't come up often, since for new shows usually all the readers are at the same point and so logically there can't be spoilers unless someone has privileged knowledge. Older shows being recapped, I don't know if we should care so much about spoilers, since more people would be familiar with later episodes (like mentioning That Character who gets killed on ST:TNG while we're still talking about the first season) and it would also stifle interesting discussion in light of later events.
posted by JHarris at 3:10 PM on April 24


One thing I've sort of noticed going on is that it seems like there's a mod for each show who at least somewhat actively watches the show in question. Now, I don't know, maybe this was arbitrarily assigned and we should assume that GoTMod and MMMod are complete newbs who are itching to nuke the thread from orbit with gratuitous deletions at the drop of a hat. But I think that assigning a mod who is actually up on the show in question helps with the "is it a spoiler" problem. Because yeah, of course the mod knows whether it's a spoiler, because they watch the show.

Since the FanFare threads right now are for TV shows and not books, it seems perfectly fine to me that whoever is modding the GoT thread is Unsullied (assuming they are?), because that makes them a mod and a litmus test all in one.

It seems weird, to me, to start from the assumption that the mods know fuck all about the FanFare shows and are just deleting left and right because they hate literacy, or whatever.
posted by Sara C. at 3:12 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


The former requires good judgment and an inculcation into MetaFilter culture, the latter requires deep knowledge of the material being discussed.

Yes, there should be a small council for Metafilter, to tend to a few small matters, to lighten the load.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:12 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


If 300 members think a comment is fine and 30 flag it, all the mods see is 30 flags, aka 30 votes for the comment being a problem.

Yeah. On the rest of the site, if a bunch of people flag something as offensive or derail or noise because it rustles their personal jimmies or is against their personal political agenda or whatever, the mods just read it themselves and can make the judgement call that it's fine and should stay despite catching a lot of flags.

But if on Fanfare the mods are relying solely on the number of flags to determine whether something is a spoiler then flagging will now work more like a Reddit downvote system. Both the mods and the community at large have said several times before that they don't want to implement that kind of voting-based moderation here, so let's not do that by accidental default on the new subsite.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:15 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


It seems weird, to me, to start from the assumption that the mods know fuck all about the FanFare shows...

Well, when you've got mods joking about how they don't know the characters' names, that doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:21 PM on April 24


This whole thing is making me think of much much earlier in the thread where it was suggested that posts could be hidden as "Potential Spoilers" and then people can make their own choice about whether to read it. I know it's not necessarily trivial to implement, but it's GOT to be easier than making sure there are mods up on every show that will eventually be part of FanFare. Because once it's not these two shows that gets a lot harder to scope.
posted by stoneweaver at 3:28 PM on April 24


One thing I've sort of noticed going on is that it seems like there's a mod for each show who at least somewhat actively watches the show in question.

Nope, not at all. Whoever's on shift mods the whole site. I think several of us have varying levels of knowledge of GoT specifically (I personally have read the books quite a few times, but I'm a season and a half behind on the show) and even more widely varying knowledge of the whole of television. It's a challenge, for sure, although probably worse with GoT than with most things, because so many fans have some knowledge of both sources and they're so thoroughly but inconsistently intertwined. It's not an easily solvable problem.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:30 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


making sure there are mods up on every show that will eventually be part of FanFare

I think that realistically a lot of the work here can be done by folks choosing to drop us a quick line via the contact form for something that's a little bit subtle or off the beaten path. "Hey, foo commented about x which is sort of a problem because z" will do even for situations where no one on the mod team has even heard of the show in question; disputes stemming from that can be settled with more communication as necessary.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:31 PM on April 24 [5 favorites]


An observation:

If y'all make the FanFare subsite more work than it's worth for Team Mod, you may just find that they won't bother to move forward with the beta. Or that it gets killed off soon after leaving the starting gate. It would be a true shame if FF became just another great idea killed off by a cantankerous userbase.

Do you really think the mods are going to want to deal with this crap day in and day out? Small groups of outspoken mefites who can't even agree on what a spoiler is or how to handle it, but simultaneously refuse to give a fucking inch in any direction because arguing and sniping at each other is more important than the good of the site?

Seriously folks, if you can't learn to play nicely with each other in a single metatalk post discussing a beta page of a subsite that isn't even really live yet, that does not bode well.
posted by zarq at 3:34 PM on April 24 [12 favorites]


The whole point of this MeTa thread is to hash this out. If this is the beta test, then the spats we're having here are the bug reports.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:38 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


You've all literally spent hundreds of comments arguing about spoilers for a single show. Hashing things out would mean someone making an effort to resolve the argument. You're not hashing anything out. You're arguing past each other.
posted by zarq at 3:44 PM on April 24 [7 favorites]


Yeah, both within this thread and in outside communication with a mod, the message I've gotten is that this is a conversation they are open to having.

I mean, I think all our wild theories about special threads and mods who are specifically up on every TV show ever are just not going to get implemented, and that's fine. They're going to set up the kind of site they're going to set up, and mod it however they see fit.

One ongoing MeTa is hardly "this is why we can't have nice things" territory. The behavior across all the FanFare threads has been remarkably civil as far as I can tell. I don't think I've seen a single "your favorite TV show sucks" threadshit yet, which is something I'm much more concerned about than spoilers, in general.
posted by Sara C. at 3:44 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


Sara C.: "One ongoing MeTa is hardly "this is why we can't have nice things" territory."

A single meta is all it takes. It has in the past.

If the Fanfare subsite gets shut down because you and a few other people in this thread have proven to the mods and the rest of us that you will be absolutely fucking intractable whenever a discussion about spoilers is brought up, then I invite you to consider how the rest of the userbase, myself included, will feel about that.
posted by zarq at 3:49 PM on April 24 [5 favorites]


Part of the conflict is that some people are vocally insisting that you aren't allowed to discuss the books at all

I don't see this at all. Consensus seems to be that discussion in the recent ep thread vis-a-vis the sept scene is significantly embiggened by the bookwalkers' perspective.

What am I missing?
posted by wemayfreeze at 3:50 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


What am I missing?

Well a bunch of comments got deleted from last week's episode discussion thread that said that book readers shouldn't be posting in the TV episode thread, and there's some stuff upthread here about how maybe we should follow some other site's policy of pretending the books don't exist or not allow speculation about future events from anyone, etc.

Those now seem to be minority opinions but there certainly was some early hostility towards readers.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:00 PM on April 24


At this point it mostly comes down to what the moderation strategy should be with regard to deciding whether or not something is a spoiler, considering that, at a certain level, that is a question of fact and not "is this offensive" or "is this noise" or the usual flags.

And, I don't know, mods gonna moderate, I guess. I don't think any of us has a say on what side of the spoiler line they eventually go with.

At this point I'd be completely OK with "caveat lector", as long as we don't have to turn every thread into a derail onto the subject of what's in the books and extreme far-reaching spoilers about stuff irrelevant to the episode in question.

I could also do without every GoT thread devolving into a conversation about the nature of adaptation, as interesting as that topic is.
posted by Sara C. at 4:09 PM on April 24


To widen the discussion back up a little:

I mean, a lot of folks guessed the twist in The Sixth Sense before it was revealed, but in my experience nobody shouted it out in the theater. Sometimes it's more accommodating to the crowd to delay/contain one's thoughts. If you knowingly consider yourself a mystery hound, maybe recognize that and, yeah, reel yourself in a little bit.

As Breaking Bad was winding down there was lots of speculating, and as I remember it was not an issue -- as a matter of fact, one or two people were roundly congratulated in following threads for their lucky or insightful guess. Personally, I enjoyed those threads, and being a naive watcher I appreciate that kind of conversation. Those conversations unfolded organically so since we're discussing guidelines for a new site I'd like to know what people think of this kind of free-form guessing.

For example, something occurred to me while watching The Americans that I could see being used as a cliffhanger for season two (a theory based on nothing other than a hunch.) Is that the kind of thing that people don't want to see happening in "regular" show threads? Is it the kind of thing that might be best left to decide on a case-by-case basis? I'm talking to the "naive viewer" angle here, not the "based on my experience working for the FBI in the 80s" angle.

Like "Betty dies in a freak train accident!"

Aww, I miss whispering ill-wishes on LyDiA in the Breaking Bad threads.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:12 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


Those now seem to be minority opinions but there certainly was some early hostility towards readers.

I wouldn't call it hostility, but there is frustration. It just kind of feels like . . . what's the point of speculating based on the TV show alone, or even of talking about the show's current trajectory if someone is going to come along and tell you you're right or wrong because of something said in the books?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:14 PM on April 24 [4 favorites]


There's plenty of speculation going on right now in the most current GoT thread, and I think it's fine.

The great thing is that it's completely on the level and relevant to things that actually happened in the current episode. I'm sure there are Bookwalkers who are laughing behind their hands at all of us speculating about what Dany'll do in X situation or what Tywin meant when he said Y. But none of them are being dicks about it, so A+.

For all I know there are Bookwalkers participating in that speculation, but they're not citing the books for the most part and their contributions don't stand out in any way.
posted by Sara C. at 4:17 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]



I am Goldilocks and Metafilter is the Baby Bear's bed, in other words. Just right.


I agree, and a lot of the contention in this discussion is coming from trying to crowbar a different model of discussion into MetaFilter's very well-established patterns of discourse and moderation. The friction being caused by that is obvious. Some of it is just the usual growing pains, but more is from a not-yet-fully-articulated shift in discourse modalities and expectations.

... Bookwalkers ...

I would give back every pony I have ever asked for if only I never again had to see the words "bookwalker" or "unsullied." I'm all for neologisms, but there's a point where the twee becomes painful.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:32 PM on April 24 [10 favorites]


(On rereading, I should have used a much softer word than "crowbar," which drastically exaggerates the situation. My apologies.)
posted by Dip Flash at 4:37 PM on April 24


This policy discussion by it's nature seems to require posting GoT spoilers in this thread. As a favour to someone who is still working on the first book and considering we can't really ban spoilers here can we please at least warn in the comment that spoilers follow. At least one comment shifted unexpectedly into what seems to be a fairly significant plot point and it kind of caught me unaware.
posted by Mitheral at 5:09 PM on April 24 [5 favorites]


Instead of bookwalker and unsullied, perhaps you would prefer wordcaster and muggle? Because readers and viewers, while obvious and to-the-point, is so banal. *siiiiiiigh* /hamburger
posted by filthy light thief at 7:00 AM on April 25


Part of the conflict is that some people are vocally insisting that you aren't allowed to discuss the books at all

I don't see this at all. Consensus seems to be that discussion in the recent ep thread vis-a-vis the sept scene is significantly embiggened by the bookwalkers' perspective.

What am I missing?


I think what's happening is, most people probably are fine with current spoiler policy, but since everyone's forming up and taking sides, people who don't like spoilers are getting more hardline about it, while people who want book stuff in thread are also getting more hardline about it.

That said, I do think it'd be kind of cool to have a separate "GoT: spoilers" thread, but not just along the lines of the book stuff, but also kind of like TWoP had, where you could bring in interviews with cast members talking about what might happen in future, etc.
posted by corb at 7:08 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


> This policy discussion by it's nature seems to require posting GoT spoilers in this thread.

Yeah, FWIW I was unavoidably delayed for a few days in watching the current season's second episode, and had been avoiding the related FanFare thread... only to have Important Event spoiled in this thread. When I finally watched Important Character die, what should have been a 'WHAAAAT!' became an 'oh right, I guess this is the thing'. Until I read this thread I'd had no reason to assume the character didn't in fact outlive everyone else and ascend to the heavens on a golden eagle in book seven. So that was a bummer.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 7:09 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


statement on MetaTalk
I could also do without every GoT thread devolving into a conversation about the nature of adaptation, as interesting as that topic is.
posted by Sara C. at 4:09 PM on April 24 [+] [!]



Contradictory statements on FanFare

The real problem here is the fact that anyone was ever willing to publish such garbage in the first place. Stop giving people who write incest porn TV deals, and then you don't have a situation where TV producers are trying to figure out what the hell to do with this basically unbroadcastable scene
posted by Sara C. at 4:51 PM on April 24 [+] [!]


&

Reading statements from Benioff and/or Weiss, it didn't seem to me that they thought anything other than what was actually onscreen, a rape. And they're the real decision-makers, here, not the director, the actor, or GRRM.
posted by Sara C. at 5:30 PM on April 24 [+] [!]


&
Again, the main problem is the source material, which includes graphic scenes of child rape which we're supposed to see as beautiful and sexy. Not the show, which now has to figure out what to do with this material.
posted by Sara C. at 7:16 PM on April 24 [1 favorite +] [!]


&
No, but again, the real problem here is with the source material. It's not like the showrunners took good clean wholesome fun and turned it into brutal rape. They took an extremely fucked up whitewashing of rape and went realistic with it.

You can't really be a fan of the books and also be mad that the TV series is depicting things like rape. Or, I guess you can, but I'm going to start questioning whether you actually know how to read.
posted by Sara C. at 9:05 PM on April 24 [1 favorite +] [!]


Sara C., I don't want you to get offended or upset. That's not my intention. But can you chill out on the FanFare thread? It feels like every other comment in that thread is from you and it's becoming noise. I apologize if I'm out of line for my request or the format of this comment. I have found some of what you say insightful and I share your enthusiasm for the show.
posted by GrapeApiary at 7:24 AM on April 25 [15 favorites]


I don't mind the twee labels, I just don't like Bookwalker. Perhaps Pagemaester?

I'm fine with Unsullied for the TV only crowd though. smirk
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:12 AM on April 25


Spoiler Maester? /hamburger
posted by Diablevert at 8:14 AM on April 25


GrapeApiary, can you not cut and paste comments from FanFare over here? I don't really see the point. Thanks.
posted by sweetkid at 8:27 AM on April 25


Also, it would be nice if spoilers from that thread not be dragged into this one unnecessarily. At least a couple of people have expressed disappointment about that above.
posted by zarq at 8:52 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


Noted. Thank you.
posted by GrapeApiary at 8:54 AM on April 25


Well, GrapeApiary could have linked the comments he was talking about, but not everyone is following all the threads on fanfaire.
posted by garlic at 8:59 AM on April 25


Thanks, GrapeApiary!
posted by zarq at 9:00 AM on April 25


Yea linking comments might be a better option.
posted by sweetkid at 9:05 AM on April 25


Sorry, it's probably mostly my fault that there are spoilers over here -- my entrance to this thread was to copy/paste a comment I had originally been writing in an episode discussion thread, because while I was in the process of writing it over there taz commented to take that sort of talk over here. I forgot to go back and sanitize it for the new setting and I think things sort of went downhill from there as people replied to me. :(

If the mods want to go back and retroactively add a spoiler warning to my comments here I would be totally fine with with that. Again, I apologize for introducing spoilers to MetaTalk.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:32 AM on April 25


GrapeApiary, can you not cut and paste comments from FanFare over here? I don't really see the point. Thanks.

Why not? The point seems obvious to me. It's been standard in metatalk for ages. There aren't really significant spoilers in them, IMO.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:49 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]


I didn't actually read the quoted comments because their content wasn't the point, as far as I could tell.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:14 AM on April 25


Personally I got really confused about whether those comments were from here or somewhere else, then realized they were from Fanfare.

It feels like talking about anything else besides how Game of Thrones is implemented on the subsite is getting drowned out by Game of Thrones. Which is ok I guess but it makes it hard to discuss anything besides book/TV/GameofThrones.
posted by sweetkid at 12:54 PM on April 25


Join us if you want to live, sweetkid! Pay the iron price! Catchphrases!

No, seriously, how's the Mad Men thread going? My sense is "a lot better" but I dunno, I peaced out on MM two seasons ago so I haven't checked it out.
posted by Diablevert at 12:59 PM on April 25


Which is ok I guess but it makes it hard to discuss anything besides book/TV/GameofThrones.

There's a soundtrack, we haven't discussed that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:01 PM on April 25


No, seriously, how's the Mad Men thread going?

Minimal drama.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:15 PM on April 25


I think the Mad Men thread is going pretty well! We don't really have the spoiler issues and speculation as I mentioned upthread, is always a little nuts/based on people's personal vendettas. i think the only Mad Men drama we've really had on this site (before Fanfare, when people posted relevant FPPs and we all just talked) were over representation of race and just generally Betty/January Jones stuff. The race stuff is going ok, we'll see what happens when Betty returns.
posted by sweetkid at 1:20 PM on April 25


Mad Men has neither the what's-with-all-the-rape issue nor the adapted-from-a-widely-read-book-series-therefore-spoilers issue. If the MM threads were as drama-ridden as the GoT threads, it would probably portend something very unfortunate.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:22 PM on April 25


"how is the thread going" needn't have "drama/no drama" as the only answers though. It's cool that people are participating. Also we did the liveblogging in the open thread on the blue and then moved over to the Fanfare thread when it was ready.

I guess a show about a bunch of middle class strivers *would* have a bunch of goody goody rules following fans.
posted by sweetkid at 3:31 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]



I bet if Mad Men ever included the rape of a main character by another main character as a major plot point, things would get heated in there.


We had a main character raped though. Just not by another main character. But yeah that was before Fanfare obvs.
posted by sweetkid at 4:17 PM on April 25


Which main character was raped? And why can I not remember this? It irritates me how bad I am at Mad Men trivia considering that it's my favorite TV show.
posted by Sara C. at 4:19 PM on April 25


In fact, I don't want to know how a FanFare thread would have gone down for the Mad Men episode back in season whatever when Pete date raped an au pair.

WTF? Is this just the spoiler thread now?
posted by Room 641-A at 4:20 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Shit, sorry Room 641-A.
posted by Sara C. at 4:22 PM on April 25


Which main character was raped?

Check your MeMail.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:26 PM on April 25


I guess a show about a bunch of middle class strivers *would* have a bunch of goody goody rules following fans.

I think most of the heat in the GoT thread comes from having a source in a years-old, much-loved series of novels. Many people in the thread have read them, many haven't, but the ways the show adapts the horrifying events described in the novel make for an interesting point of discussion — which discussion almost necessarily has to refer to things non-readers don't know about. Since so much of the pleasure of the story comes from its surprising twists, and people have invested themselves so much in that pleasure, critical talk relating the show to the book is almost never welcome for people who know the show and not the book.

Mad Men doesn't have this problem at all. The plot is less important, for one thing, and for another it doesn't come directly from any one source, so no one knows what's going to happen ahead of time.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:31 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


In some key ways, GoT functions more like a historical drama. People who've read the books (or the wiki) are the equivalent of people whose study of Roman history actively complements their viewing of Rome, whether it makes them happy, annoyed, confused, etc. It certainly doesn't make them any better or worse than people who just want to experience the story in a fresh way, but it does make the relationship to the show significantly different than how anybody would ever relate to Mad Men.

It's sort of a singular phenomenon in that way. I can't really think of any other pop culture thing which functions that way...
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:40 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


OTOH, I remember the spoiler discussion from when Rome was airing and the argument "if it's the basis of plays everyone has to study in High school and we have several sayings and MONTHS named about the characters and events then it doesn't count."
posted by The Whelk at 5:00 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]


I can't really think of any other pop culture thing which functions that way...

The Walking Dead, Agents of SHIELD (for supra-show information about the villains, at least), superhero movies, and any other comic book adaptation.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:02 PM on April 25


I can't really think of any other pop culture thing which functions that way...

I'd raise Hannibal again. A re-imagination, but it is very deliberately playing off the existing canon of books and movies by referencing iconic dialog, shots, and scenes. It does add extra easter-eggy richness for viewers that are familiar with the canon.

But because it's a much less literal interpretation than GoT, Hannibal speculation is far less about the destination -- I suspect most viewers have seen at least Silence of the Lambs and so know at least broadly where it's heading -- and far more about how it gets there.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:22 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]



In some key ways, GoT functions more like a historical drama.

I can't really think of any other pop culture thing which functions that way


I haven't really seen the show, but wouldn't it function like every other historical drama?
posted by sweetkid at 5:36 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Also in Mad Men threads we talk about outfits.
posted by sweetkid at 6:13 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]



I haven't really seen the show, but wouldn't it function like every other historical drama?


I raised this about a billion comments upthread, but I do think it's worse with GoT because, unlike a historical drama, the book people don't know how it ends, either. So both groups have the same compulsion to speculate about how the story will end, but they're coming at it from different points in the story. There's the exact same excitement over finding a clue to the eventual resolution of a plot thread --- it's just that the things the TV people are excited about are old hat to the book people, and the book people can't talk about the things they're excited about without ruining it for the TV people. The show Sherlock's treatment of Moriarty can't function as a clue as to how Arthur Conan Doyle will resolve the rivalry between him and Holmes, because we already know how ACD dealt with it. So there's no compulsion to speculate on that to the detriment of show people.
posted by Diablevert at 6:17 PM on April 25 [8 favorites]


Also in Mad Men threads we talk about outfits threads.

it's 1969 okay
all across the usa

or is it 1970? i forget.
posted by mwhybark at 6:17 PM on April 25


It's 1969 (This is not a spoiler)
posted by sweetkid at 6:22 PM on April 25


Re GoT vs a historical drama, the difference is not only that nobody knows the ending yet, but that even if the books were finished by now, it's not like you learn who finally holds the Iron Throne in high school.

The vast majority of historical dramas are about widely known subjects where, seriously, if you don't know that Mary, Queen of Scots dies, you are ignorant of basic facts about the world and don't deserve to be indulged about it.

It is almost impossible to get an obscure historical subject green lit as a major entertainment property. If they're making a movie/TV show about it, you probably already know how it ends.
posted by Sara C. at 6:32 PM on April 25


And, no, that is not a Reign spoiler.
posted by Sara C. at 6:35 PM on April 25


Also in Mad Men threads we talk about outfits.

It's been known to happen in GOT threads too.
posted by homunculus at 6:51 PM on April 25


Hannibal has already a couple times completely upset book canon so apart from someone feeling spoiled by finding out that Hannibal goes to prison, there's not a lot of book-source-ruining that can happen.

GoT threads are ALL ABOUT ruiners, though.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:55 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Well, there's Boardwalk Empire. There are a lot of characters where you know how they end up if you know the history of prohibition era America but most would be obscure for the majority of viewers. A lot is heavily fictionalized too. Would pointing out how so and so gangster or corrupt politician died in real life be a spoiler? I wouldn't post something like that, but it's easy to see how people can get confused.

I've followed Game of Thrones discussions on other forums since the show came out and the reality is it's impossible to get everyone to follow the rules, one or two people will end up not understanding them or making a mistake and letting something slip. This does not mean you don't have the rules, but if you absolutely can't stand being spoiled in any way avoiding online discussion entirely is probably the best option. Or at least wait a few extra days before coming to the thread here so the mods can clean up the bulk of the discussion first if any spoilers do drop.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:22 AM on April 26 [3 favorites]


(And be glad this site doesn't have an asinine culture that thinks it's funny to spoil stuff for fun, because if other forums are a guide $5 for a throwaway account would not be a barrier)
posted by Drinky Die at 5:24 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]


It's impossible for the mods to have watched or read every movie, TV show, novel or comic book somebody might make a post about. Moderation on FanFare is going to have work by self-policing and flagging, or it's not going to work. And, despite the acrimonious arguments here in MeTa, it seems to be working reasonably well in the FanFare threads so far. Most people seem to understand what the spoiler policy is and are abiding by it.

People are bringing knowledge from the books into GoT discussions, but, with only a few exceptions, only to shed light or provide background on past events in the show, or how the showrunners decided to handle them, not to give away future plot developments. And (despite pro-spoiler strawman arguments here) no one seems to have any problem with this.

The one egregious violation of the spoiler policy so far – Jacqueline's assassination plot give-away in the GoT Season 4 Ep 2 thread – was allowed to stand only because no one flagged it until much later and there was already a lengthy ongoing discussion about it both in this thread and the original one by the the time it got flagged.

So, basically: If you see a spoiler in a FanFare thread, flag it as "violates guidelines". If you see a spoiler that might not be obvious to someone unfamiliar with the topic of the post use the contact form to explain to a mod on duty what the problem is. Don't argue in thread about spoiler comments you think should be deleted and thereby create a whole chain of comments need to be deleted.

This can work if most of us are willing to make it work. For the most part it's already working; we just need to get better about flagging stuff.
posted by nangar at 8:29 AM on April 26 [11 favorites]


(And be glad this site doesn't have an asinine culture that thinks it's funny to spoil stuff for fun, because if other forums are a guide $5 for a throwaway account would not be a barrier)

I remember somebody being banned for maliciously spoiling either a brand-new or upcoming Harry Potter book, and nobody having that much of a problem with the mods on that one.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:36 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]


Arya kills Dumbledore.
posted by The Whelk at 8:40 AM on April 26 [2 favorites]


And it's Arya, so nobody much minds.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:51 AM on April 26


DARN YOU MR THE WHELK DARN YOU TO HECK
posted by mwhybark at 8:52 AM on April 26


It's impossible for the mods to have watched or read every movie, TV show, novel or comic book somebody might make a post about.

I'm hoping they take that as a challenge.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:15 AM on April 26 [2 favorites]


Coming soon, a new podcast by cortex.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:17 AM on April 26


Greaaaat, torticat asks a question in one of the GoT fanfare threads, the answer has information already in the thread, but a when I make a new comment putting all the information together, that gets deleted then memailed to me with the advice to put a note in the comment for those who might be reading the thread, but don't want to know the information.

That's just bizarre.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:37 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]


As I said when I emailed you, I'm just going by what gets flagged, and based on that it seemed like your extended explanation (of the little details you can put together from the episodes) was maybe something that would be courteous to put a "Here are the details, stop reading if you don't want to see them" line or something.

And now the reposted thing is getting flagged, so I'm still not sure.

Maybe people who watch the show can tell me if that counts as enough of a spoiler that it should get removed? (obviously, may contain spoilers, i'm not sure)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:47 AM on April 26


I mean, it's pretty much the same thing that we've been arguing about Jacqueline posting in the episode 2 thread - with a bit of information added from the third episode about the other party involved. I'm not really sure how we resolved Jacqueline's original comment, but if that one is OK, than this one is OK; if that one is a spoiler, it follows that this is also a spoiler.

I think that since it's all just stuff from the show itself - things that have been shown on-screen - that it's not technically a spoiler, but it is nice to mark it as "hey, this might feel spoilery because you'd have to watch really carefully to catch it." People who are really trying to figure out who poisoned Joffery and who have not read the books are going to just re-watch the episode and will probably figure it out upon re-watching, since from the comments it sounds like it's obvious enough for a careful viewer to pick up whether or not they have read the books.
posted by sockermom at 10:55 AM on April 26 [2 favorites]


It's a comment that pieces together other information in the thread, which is information from the episodes. If someone has read that far into the thread, they probably know the info.

Lobstermitton, you say the comment is getting flagged. What about this earlier comment of mine, which is just a shorter version of the more recent comment, was that flagged? If so, why wasn't it deleted? If not, then to the crowd, why wasn't it flagged,

The mods have reported people are often reluctant to flag and they've been thinking of ways to encourage members to do it more. Perhaps Fanfare would be good educational foundation for users? Not sure how exactly, just a thought.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:01 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]


That earlier comment (which is very short but does contain the "whodunit" line) was not flagged.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:06 AM on April 26


LobsterMitten, there's no easy way to deal with this. A lot of people are flagging this issue because they think it is a spoiler in the sense of resolving a question using information only available to readers. It's not that: I've read all the books, and parts of it are news to me, and I've puzzled out other mysteries from the books like Jon Snow's parentage, which is the mystery that the author used to determine whether the showrunners understood enough to run the show.

Instead, this is a spoiler because it resolves a question using careful analysis of already-available information. In that sense, it's more like spoiling a riddle than spoiling a plot.
posted by anotherpanacea at 11:06 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]


It's not that: I've read all the books, and parts of it are news to me

Agreed, you have to puzzle through it in the books the same way as in the show, which is probably why some book readers are assuming all the info that's going to be provided has already been provided on the show, so it's all fair game. Which may not be a true assumption, but that's where it's coming from.

However, I've very sorry, I really wasn't asking for a rehash of Jacqueline's analysis, which I think most everyone is quite clear on whether they want to be or not! My question was about events on the most recent episode and in what way, if any, those events had confirmed J's analysis (or been spoiled by it). I don't care if the question and answers to it are all axed.
posted by torticat at 11:19 AM on April 26


From this thread and other meTas we've had about spoilers, it seems that there is no clear agreement about what counts as a spoilers, once you've gotten past the very bright-line examples of "I saw a sekrit showing of this and the butler totally did it!" I'm not sure how this can be resolved, moderating-wise. People shouldn't be assholes and spoil things on purpose, and people also shouldn't be assholes and assume that a spoiler is deliberate. Or even necessarily a spoiler.
posted by rtha at 11:21 AM on April 26 [6 favorites]


From this thread and other meTas we've had about spoilers, it seems that there is no clear agreement about what counts as a spoilers, once you've gotten past the very bright-line examples of "I saw a sekrit showing of this and the butler totally did it!" I'm not sure how this can be resolved, moderating-wise.

Yes, and GoT adds a particularly complicated set of wrinkles to that situation. After having caught up on all three episodes this week and reading the threads, though, I have to say as a nonreader, I am now considering not participating in the GoT threads here at all. I had my suspicions about the whodunnit under discussion, and it was incredibly disappointing to have the pleasure of seeing if I was right or not taken away (for the record, I was partially right and partially wrong), and the "well, sheesh, it's ALL RIGHT THERE, if you're not lobotomized" defense was just plainly insulting. My hunch is that this won't be the last time this happens -- not because I think anyone here is going to maliciously spoil things on purpose, but because GoT is such a special case, I think this may be ultimately impossible to resolve without separate reader/non-reader threads, a la the AV Club.

I don't know, maybe I'll change my mind now that I'm caught up and can participate in the threads in real time. But this has certainly diminished my previous enthusiasm for discussing GoT here, when it seems like there are always going to be readers who are going to try to push the envelope -- again, whether in good faith or not -- on this question.

Now, about Megan's dress when she picks Don up at the airport...
posted by scody at 11:51 AM on April 26 [2 favorites]


Now, about Megan's dress when she picks Don up at the airport...

I mean, but this is also a spoiler. I don't know how we can have this thread about a TV subsite without ever having any spoilers at all.
posted by sweetkid at 12:56 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


I mean, but this is also a spoiler.

Oh, FFS.
posted by scody at 12:59 PM on April 26


I'm not even objecting to your including that scody, my point was different.
posted by sweetkid at 1:03 PM on April 26


But.... It's not a spoiler per the definition/rules mathowie gave at the top of this thread. It aired, yes? That means it's fair game to talk about and speculate on. Mad Men doesn't have a book filled with spoilers for watchers of the show.
posted by zarq at 1:09 PM on April 26


right but we've had people getting upset in this thread about people mentioning things that happened in S2 Mad Men. It's sort of blurry to me at this point. Anyway, not terribly important.
posted by sweetkid at 1:12 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


Ah. Ok.
posted by zarq at 1:14 PM on April 26


which is probably why some book readers are assuming all the info that's going to be provided has already been provided on the show, so it's all fair game. Which may not be a true assumption, but that's where it's coming from.

I think one thing that would really help with these situations would be if book readers remember that the show is an ongoing episodic/serial thing, and just because the credits roll on a given episode doesn't mean that the story isn't going to pick up where it left off last week. This isn't Law & Order.

If there's a mystery deliberately set up and left unresolved, assume the writers did that for a reason, and all will eventually be revealed (to the extent that anything is ever revealed in GRRM-land, of course). Viewers speculating about that cliffhanger of a mystery between episodes is the whole damn point of what the writers are doing. We're not speculating because we're stupid and need someone to explain it all to us. We're speculating because the show has set up an interesting situation and we're waiting for it to be resolved in the coming weeks.
posted by Sara C. at 1:23 PM on April 26 [4 favorites]


Agree with Sara C: Brandon's comment is spoilery, because it pulls together a bunch of very small details in the show, ties them in a bow, and shouts "ta-daaa! here's whodunit!"

And it's posted in the shadow of Jacqueline's earlier almost identical comment which was widely viewed as problematic.

At this point it looks more like deliberate dickishness.

(YES, THE TINY DETAILS ARE IN THE EPISODE. But if I pipe up halfway through watching Murder On The Orient Express with "look guys, all the clues are there already, if you pay very careful attention here, here and here you can totally see who did it, so I'm just going to tell you": dickish.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:55 PM on April 26


Sara C., in reference to your last comment in FanFare, maybe you could argue about spoilers over here rather than in FanFare (or contact the mods), and please avoid quoting spoilers you think shouldn't have been posted in your own comments. Come on, use common sense.
posted by nangar at 1:57 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


At this point it looks more like deliberate dickishness.

I think Brandon was approaching this as 'Hey, it's been spoiled already, and somebody asked'. I don't know what Sara's excuse was, except maybe the same thing. But, yeah, come on, people. Anyway both comments have been zapped now.
posted by nangar at 2:25 PM on April 26


It's not dickish to answer a question.

Mods, why was my comment deleted again?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:08 PM on April 26


It's not dickish to answer a question.

Ack, let this one go, BB. The info had already been posted, and it didn't actually answer the question I was asking anyway, and I am getting worried the mods are going to say fuck it and shut down the beta if we can't roll with things a little bit.
posted by torticat at 4:07 PM on April 26


The question torticat asked was very specific: "in what way did the most recent episode explain the poisoning?"

"Here's whodunit, based on a few minute details in the previous episode" does not seem to me to be answering that question at all.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:14 PM on April 26 [4 favorites]


(ack, didn't see torticat's response before hitting Post on mine, sorry.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:16 PM on April 26


Also: the most recent episode gives exactly the same amount of resolution to the poisoning issue as the books do at this point. There's not exactly a "j'accuse!" moment in the text, just some clues that a bunch of readers have decided means that XYZ happened.
posted by KathrynT at 4:19 PM on April 26


No, thanks, WHADK. I appreciate that someone understood the question. :)
posted by torticat at 4:23 PM on April 26


I am getting worried the mods are going to say fuck it and shut down the beta if we can't roll with things a little bit.

That is super unlikely and really not something on the table. We're willing to work with a lot of general cluelessness and missteps as we get this going. What we're less excited about dealing with is people who just want it to be the way THEY want it to be and will just make it terrible for everyone else because they either can't or won't mind the guidelines.

BB, I didn't delete your comment so I can't speak to that but I think you've made it clear that you think people should "just get over it" w/r/t spoilers a lot of the time, so I think it might be useful if you would try to be letter-of-the-law about posting in spoiler-problematic threads specifically because your own spoiler compass is set differently than where we're trying to set it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:32 PM on April 26 [4 favorites]


It's not dickish to answer a question.

Bud, I love you but you have a long history of periodically insisting that the thing you are doing that a bunch of other people are perceiving as sort of dickish or button pushing is not because, basically, you don't think it should be perceived as such, and I really wish you'd get a little better about just being willing to fold that hand and say "okay, I guess I'm not on the same wavelength as a bunch of people on this" instead of doubling down.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:54 PM on April 26 [6 favorites]


BB himself got unintentionally spoiled by vague comments way back in the 2011 version of this GoT clusterfuck, so I doubt he is doing any of this on purpose, but everybody who knows the story should keep in mind it's pretty easy to spoil unintentionally when you have more background on the story than most viewers.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:09 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


I fairly strongly think that a no-speculation policy will be far more trouble than its worth and a "don't speculate into too much detail" will be as bad, or worse, because people love to speculate and putting aside the folks who will find a no-speculation policy far too restrictive to normal discussion (me), you'll also find that many people will speculate without realizing they're violating the policy.

Similarly, I also strongly think that a "don't explicate subtle things we've seen" is a policy that would cause more trouble than it would avoid, even when it's narrowed to only "whodunit events". Because viewers vary widely in their level of attention to detail and solving whodunits where they appear is a big part of why people would want to talk about a show or an episode that contains a whodunit.

I argued earlier about Jacqueline's comment that it was a mistake and (under better circumstances) should have been deleted only because it was written by a book-reader, as a book-reader, and arguably was informed by book-knowledge. I think that book-readers in GoT have a special responsibility to avoid doing this sort of thing, even when what they write depends in no way whatsoever upon book knowledge, simply because tv-only-watchers have no way of knowing whether they're being spoiled in some way by this. More to the point, often book-readers have no way of knowing that they'd have noticed those details without book knowledge. Book-readers should be careful, it's a responsibility. Jacqueline thinks this is terribly unfair; I am not sympathetic.

However, the particular problem that she was complaining about later is when tv-only-watchers wrongly assume that something depends upon book-knowledge and then flag it and the mods have no way to know. We already talked about this, but this is the part of the equation for a workable discussion of GoT where the tv-only-watchers have a responsibility to some restraint and book-readers have a responsibility to flag. TV-only-watchers can't know if something depends upon book-knowledge, but the book-readers can know this. They're the ones who should be flagging that sort of comment.

And in the situation where another episode has aired and there's been some additional information that provides a huge clue toward what viewers should pay attention to if they watch the previous episode with the whodunit and then people start connecting-the-dots, I think that's a different kettle of fish. I can't think of anywhere, on the internet or in real life, where people discussing something like this won't, in fact, be connecting those dots. In the wedding episode, there was not much reason for most viewers to be doing so. After the following episode, when a big new clue was revealed, and after people everywhere have been talking about this, some viewers will have re-watched, it becomes unrealistic to expect that you won't encounter people connecting-those-dots.

Too many people seem to be taking the fact that now-and-then they'll have to censor themselves or they'll have to accept that a close-watcher will explain something that they didn't figure out themselves to be an affront when, really, it's just recognizing that we have to make compromises to have a discussion about this sort of thing. Any individual hard-and-fast policy rule that people propose they think would solve a particular problem will create other problems and push some segment of FanFare participants away from participating. The only hard-and-fast rule that is really workable is the "no future information" rule, and it's no accident that's the only hard rule we have. Everything else requires judgment and accommodation and occasional irritation, just like the rest of MetaFilter.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:07 PM on April 26 [6 favorites]


This thread is massive and I haven't been reading all that closely I admit, but it really does seem to me that literally all of the concerns people have about spoilers and speculation and so on could be easily and elegantly addressed by simply following the AVClub convention of Expert and Newbie threads where appropriate (and Game of Thrones would be the canonical example of a series where it would be appropriate).

I'm kind of assuming there's admin/mod resistance to this idea, since I seem to recall it being suggested upthread, but it seems like such a clear and easy win that I'm not sure why, other than it would be a break from convention. But sometimes square pegs just won't fit into round holes no matter how much you hammer at 'em.

Maybe I'm not thinking it through enough, though, which, you know, I can do sometimes.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:15 PM on April 26 [6 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: "I'm hoping they take that as a challenge."

With Apple®'s new iPNP6® you can now watch picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture in picture and keep up with every show posted to FanFareTM. Perfect gift for the Mod on the GoTM.
posted by Mitheral at 7:09 PM on April 26


right but we've had people getting upset in this thread about people mentioning things that happened in S2 Mad Men. It's sort of blurry to me at this point.

I'm at least one person who was upset about a major MM spoiler in this thread. To be clear I was upset because this isn't a thread about MM. As far as I'm concerned, any MM thread from that episode forward is fair game for the subject.

A few days ago in a thread on the blue that had nothing to do with FanFare, Veronica Mars, or TV in general, Sequence posted a comment that started with this:
Forewarning: The show's a decade old, but there's going to be spoilers in this comment about an episode of Veronica Mars.
I am probably never going to watch Veronica Mars, but Sequence doesn't know that. It's not that hard, guys.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:19 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


I am a GOT book reader and i just cant understand the need that some people have to delve into the minutia of what happens in the books at the expense of non readers. It becomes verbal diarrhea..."look how smart I am". It is a tv adaption. Not everything has stayed true to the books. If people are interested in investigating why something happened they can google it or read the books. To lord over other people with your superior knowledge is beyond irritating. Let people enjoy the show as it unfolds. Sure, there are a ton of things that readers can connect that non readers may miss but I believe that the writers will resolve the important plot points.

And where did the term bookwalker come from? I haaaaate it.
posted by futz at 7:19 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


It becomes verbal diarrhea..."look how smart I am".

To lord over other people with your superior knowledge is beyond irritating. Let people enjoy the show as it unfolds.

I completely agree, and have been thinking this through much of the thread.
posted by cashman at 7:51 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


Okay, Room 641-A, but at what point can we assume that enough time has passed and that people should just know something? Can I mention who shot J.R. yet?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:52 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


The question torticat asked was very specific: "in what way did the most recent episode explain the poisoning?"

"Here's whodunit, based on a few minute details in the previous episode" does not seem to me to be answering that question at all.


That wasn't the specific question I was responding to, this was:
"We don't have any new clarity on whether it was involved in the poisoning, or who did the poisoning, do we? "
So yeah, the comment was totally answering the question by saying who did what and why.


I think you've made it clear that you think people should "just get over it" w/r/t spoilers a lot of the time, so I think it might be useful if you would try to be letter-of-the-law about posting in spoiler-problematic threads specifically because your own spoiler compass is set differently than where we're trying to set it.

It wasn't a spoiler. It was information in the episode, information that had already been presented several times in the thread.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:52 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


So, if the mods are "just going by what gets flagged" to as their criteria for which comments to delete, does that mean that we've effectively implemented a Reddit-style downvote system of moderation in the Fanfare subsite?
posted by Jacqueline at 9:14 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


Flagging and MeMail, and knowledge of the individual MeFites past behavior, so it's more nuanced than that.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:22 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


Jacq, it is a beta project. Imperfect for sure but your relentless objections might indicate that you might be happier on another forum?
posted by futz at 9:31 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


To lord over other people with your superior knowledge is beyond irritating.

I don't think readers are doing it to "lord it over other people" -- we just want to talk about unsolved mysteries too! And the show is providing us with new evidence to help solve previously unsolved mysteries from the book, both by being able to *see* what happened instead of just relying on unreliable narrators or second-hand knowledge told to unreliable narrators, and because we can deduce from what they show vs. what they cut which details are important.

Who killed Joffrey was one of those mysteries until S04E02 aired because while we'd been given an explanation in the books, it was from a character that we have good reason not to trust. Seeing that character's claims verified by the "objective" view of the camera therefore alters our perception of the books.

Additionally, sometimes nonreaders have questions and we have the answers. It seems like the nice thing for someone with "superior knowledge" to do is to answer those questions, especially when we see other nonreaders attempting to answer those questions and getting it wrong. If someone asks a question of fact like who was that guy in that scene, why shouldn't we tell them if their identity has been revealed in the show instead of sitting on our hands and watching nonreaders guess and get it wrong?
posted by Jacqueline at 9:33 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


Let non readers enjoy the show on thier own terms.
posted by futz at 9:38 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


Jacq, it is a beta project. Imperfect for sure but your relentless objections might indicate that you might be happier on another forum?

The point of a beta test is to get feedback on what works and what doesn't. I'm giving feedback.

Since it's been established that MetaFilter's mods and most of the members do NOT want to a Reddit-style moderation system here, I think it's worth discussing whether the mods' reliance on the number of flags (instead of on their personal knowledge/judgment) to decide which comments should be deleted as "spoilers" is inadvertently implementing that system.

It may be that's the only sort of moderation system that will work for this sort of subsite, but if so I still think it should be a deliberate decision and not just "whoops, we accidentally added downvoting to MetaFilter."
posted by Jacqueline at 9:42 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


Let non readers enjoy the show on thier own terms.

Nonreaders are not a monolithic entity.

Several nonreaders have said that they've enjoyed the book-vs-show discussions of how certain scenes were adapted. Meanwhile, many nonreaders keep asking questions of fact about details that they and most other nonreaders have forgotten but most readers can answer easily because of our deeper engagement with the universe.

Who are you to decide that the nonreaders who WANT information from readers are enjoying the show wrong?
posted by Jacqueline at 9:47 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


It is not the nice thing to do! Part of the joy of a complicated story line is working it out for yourself. People like you who jump in and try to explain everything ruin the discovery process.
posted by futz at 9:48 PM on April 26 [5 favorites]


And for some people, being confused about names, places, events, etc. ruins their enjoyment of the show. Since it's definitely NOT safe for them to Google for the answers to their questions, why shouldn't they be able to ask readers to clarify?
posted by Jacqueline at 9:51 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


It is not the nice thing to do! Part of the joy of a complicated story line is working it out for yourself.

Sure, but it seems odd to insist that others not work it out, especially in a global medium.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:55 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, many nonreaders keep asking questions of fact about details that they and most other nonreaders have forgotten but most readers can answer easily because of our deeper engagement with the universe.

Perhaps MeMailing those people would be a better way to answer specific questions without the risk of ruining something for someone who doesn't necessarily want it ruined in a public forum.
posted by Etrigan at 9:57 PM on April 26 [5 favorites]


Another thing regarding the consequences of accidentally implementing a downvoting system: that Brandon Blatcher's comments keep getting flagged when other people's comments containing the same information don't get flagged already indicates that there are some members who are flagging maliciously (or at least prejudicially).

So, the mods' reliance on the number of flags to decide which comments to delete makes it very easy for a few users to deliberately push people they don't like for whatever reason (which might not even have anything to do with the discussion at hand) out of the conversation.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:57 PM on April 26


Geez. You obviously have strong opinions on this topic. I do not feel like it is worth arguing about. It is the beginning of a media branch of MeFi and I am happy with the way that things are going, bumps and all
posted by futz at 9:59 PM on April 26


Perhaps MeMailing those people would be a better way to answer specific questions without the risk of ruining something for someone who doesn't necessarily want it ruined in a public forum.

How is answering a question of fact about information that has already been included in the show "ruining" it for other people? Are you seriously saying that there are people out there who enjoy the show MORE when they can't remember characters' names or get one character confused with another or forget when different events happened relative to one another?
posted by Jacqueline at 10:00 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


Jacquline, everyone IS NOT YOU. You are really being obtuse about this.
posted by futz at 10:05 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


How is answering a question of fact about information that has already been included in the show "ruining" it for other people?

There have been lots and lots of examples of information of this type that edges into spoiler territory in this thread. I understand that you don't believe that such things exist, but do you think that maybe your perspective isn't the only possible one?

Are you seriously saying that there are people out there who enjoy the show MORE when they can't remember characters' names or get one character confused with another or forget when different events happened relative to one another?

No, I'm seriously saying that the people who ask questions about those sorts of things can be answered via MeMail without offending other people who maybe don't want you highlighting things that you know are important but that they don't yet.
posted by Etrigan at 10:09 PM on April 26 [5 favorites]


What I don't understand is, for those of you who would rather figure out everything for yourselves and just remain confused about details you've forgotten -- why would you even want to participate in a TV show discussion subsite???

If you explicitly DON'T want to know more about the show or what other people think about it then the logical thing for you to do is to avoid getting into discussions about the show. Reading the Fanfare threads will inevitably pierce your bubble of ignorance, so if that would ruin the show for you then you should just stay away.

Seriously, it seems like some of you want a TV discussion subsite where no one is allowed to actually discuss TV.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:15 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


I'm delighted to see this and I know we can't expand it yet but dayum I do wish we could get some Orphan Black action going. (I know, I know, do a FPP.)

Done.
posted by homunculus at 10:17 PM on April 26


Jacqueline, quit with the strawman already! No one said we can't, as readers, give background info on characters and places.

Your insistence that things go precisely your way just so you can gratify your own ego IS coming very close to breaking the, "Don't be a dick" guideline, though.
posted by misha at 10:19 PM on April 26 [5 favorites]


I wonder the same thing. If you don't want to know the answers, why participate in discussion about the show on the internet, as you're almost guaranteed to learn something you don't want to know.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:20 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


I know all the answers and haven't had any problems engaging in discussions without ruining the discussion for everyone else.

And if someone feels I am spoilering in a comment, I am more than happy to have that comment removed so that other people can go on enjoying the show and/or the books as much as I have.
posted by misha at 10:25 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


No one said we can't, as readers, give background info on characters and places.

Actually, that's what futz is saying right now. And he's just the most recent one -- there were some people who said in the S04E02 thread that readers like me shouldn't even be there (those comments have since been deleted), and other people upthread here have said we should just pretend the books don't exist.

Please actually read what people have said before accusing me of inventing strawmen when I respond to them.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:30 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


That wasn't the specific question I was responding to, this was: "We don't have any new clarity on whether it was involved in the poisoning, or who did the poisoning, do we? "

Oh for God's sake. Both questions are in the paragraph of the same comment which was very, very clearly asking only about the most recent episode.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:34 PM on April 26


Seriously, it seems like some of you want a TV discussion subsite where no one is allowed to actually discuss TV.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:15 AM on April 27

Really? I suddenly feel like I have wasted brain cells trying to engage with you.
posted by futz at 10:37 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


Yep, but I was very specifically answering one of them, which isn't the you claim I was responding too. If you're going to say my comment was dickish, at least have the decency to get it right.

Anyway, the comment was longer version of this other comment, which names the person who did it, explains how and provides a screencap to prove it. Was that comment flagged? And why was it not deleted? Is that comment dickish also?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:39 PM on April 26


futz: If you don't want to learn anything new that you didn't already notice or figure out on your own about a show, then what would be your motivation for participating in a discussion about that show?
posted by Jacqueline at 10:40 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


Very, very clearly asking only about the most recent episode.

Yeah. And I reiterated that in subsequent comments until I didn't know how to be more clear, and said I was hoping NOT to reopen this can of worms. Sigh. My bad.
posted by torticat at 10:44 PM on April 26


what would be your motivation for participating in a discussion about that show?

To discuss what has already aired? Not hint at future stuff, not throw in speculation and try to work in spoilers. To discuss what has aired on television, on the new television discussion subsite.
posted by cashman at 10:45 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


A major character was killed and you want people to not speculate on who killed him, is that what you're expecting?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:50 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


I am a careful book reader. I don't feel the need to oversplain to my friends.

You are being really weird about this.
posted by futz at 10:51 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


I don't feel the need to oversplain to my friends.

It's generally good form to answer questions when asked.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:54 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


But if there's no speculation then there's nothing to discuss. An episode recap is not a discussion.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:54 PM on April 26


You are being really weird about this.

You want the truth? You can't handle the truth.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:55 PM on April 26


Ok. Thanks hal.
posted by futz at 11:01 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


"You are being really weird about this."

No, you are. You came into this thread with a very provocative, tendentious characterization of people who discuss book stuff. It's sort of weird that you'd now complain that the people you were criticising in such unnecessarily harsh terms would react strongly, as if they're crazy people for doing so.

This conversation would be much more productive and much less unpleasant if the people involved wouldn't assume that those with whom they disagree are doing so because they're bad people who participate a certain way on FarFare out of a specific desire to make other people unhappy.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:02 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


Are you drunk? You totally misread me.
posted by futz at 11:06 PM on April 26


Ivan, don't drink from that cup!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:07 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


I think a lot of times Metatalk becomes a space for RARRR I'M REALLY MAD ABOUT BLARGHBLARGH, which can at least be helpful to keep that stuff out of regular threads, but here we are really trying to work out how this subsite can work, and are soliciting your thoughts and responses hoping that people who are interested can possibly interact productively with ideas and feedback that isn't just yelling at each other and/or insulting people they disagree with.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:12 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


I'm trying Taz, but there doesn't seem to be a mod reason why my comment was deleted a second time, when it contains information that was already on the thread, yet those comments weren't deleted.

Instead, the mod comments related to my question are along the lines of "hey, you're being difficult" though at least Cortex said he loved me.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:20 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


We discussed that here, which is probably easy to miss in this long thread, but we said it wasn't flagged until there were many responses, and we were leaving because of the conversation centering around it here. I'll find Jess's specific comment in moment...
posted by taz (staff) at 11:22 PM on April 26


here, and here
posted by taz (staff) at 11:28 PM on April 26


taz, I don't think Brandon is talking about that. I think he is talking about earlier comments in the current week's thread that said the same information as his deleted comment in that thread.

BTW, despite jessamyn saying that y'all agreed that y'all weren't going to delete my comment, I notice that it has since been deleted. Any idea who did that and why? Seems weird to say that all the mods agreed not to delete something and then have someone go in and delete it later anyway.

Nevermind, I'm computer illiterate. My comment is still there.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:32 PM on April 26


Okay, Room 641-A, but at what point can we assume that enough time has passed and that people should just know something? Can I mention who shot J.R. yet?

Well, I'd say a good starting point would be if a show is still on the air or not. Using your example, since Dallas has been off the air for 30 years then I think it's fair game.

Personally, I still think that's too broad because Breaking Bad isn't on the air anymore but I wouldn't think it right to spoil anything about it, but if this policy is up to you and me we're already 30 years closer than when we started. However, I believe we can still get a lot closer than that so the negotiation continues!
posted by Room 641-A at 11:33 PM on April 26



"No, you are. You came into this thread with a very provocative, tendentious characterization of people who discuss book stuff. It's sort of weird that you'd now complain that the people you were criticising in such unnecessarily harsh terms would react strongly, as if they're crazy people for doing so."

That is not what I said at all! And your interpretation speaks volumes about you.
posted by futz at 11:36 PM on April 26


Ah, thanks for the links, but I was referring to a more recent comment I made to the latest GoT fanfare thread. Lobstermitten deleted that, then contacted me about it, suggesting that I put a bit about spoiler at the beginning. Then I reposted the comment, adding to it that it was going to be an explanation, inserting a few blank lines and then the rest of the original comment.

Then that was deleted, despite it containing information that was already in the thread. So I'm asking why that second comment was again.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:39 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


"I'm trying Taz, but there doesn't seem to be a mod reason why my comment was deleted a second time, when it contains information that was already on the thread, yet those comments weren't deleted."

I haven't quite followed exactly what those two comments are. I just wrote a comment in that thread (because I just now got through with a re-watch of that episode) that I think is appropriate and which sort of sets out where I think the lines of appropriate discussion probably are.

Which is that it seems very clear to me that the scene in the most recent episode changes the context for discussion of the poisoning scene in that the writers are deliberately and obviously presenting crucial information to the audience about the poisoning. I think it's well within bounds to interpret and explain to others that information as it was intended to be interpreted.

However, that scene in the most recent episode does not provide any explicit information about co-conspirators although, given what we know from this new scene, if someone goes back and watches the previous scene there are ... clues. Even then, it would require a careful watching and there's ambiguity. So my feeling is that connecting those particular dots (coconspirators and the actual details of how the poisoning was accomplished) are possibly within the definition of things we shouldn't mention, especially if we're book readers.

But the first part? The parts that are made either explicit or nearly-explicit in the new scene? Those are entirely appropriate to discuss in detail, whether or not someone has read the books.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:39 PM on April 26


good lord, leave it to mefi to drain every last possible ounce of enjoyment out of an interesting and entertaining show

you people i s2g
posted by elizardbits at 11:42 PM on April 26 [7 favorites]


MetaFilter: Draining every last possible ounce of enjoyment out of an interesting and entertaining show
posted by Jacqueline at 11:43 PM on April 26


That is not what I said at all! And your interpretation speaks volumes about you.

It is absolutely what you said, and your aside here as well as your assertion that Ivan must be drunk (!) are not helping. Here are just a few of the comments from you over the last little bit that might make people think you're spoiling for a fight, if it's not clear:

It becomes verbal diarrhea..."look how smart I am". ..
To lord over other people with your superior knowledge is beyond irritating...
you [fellow community member] might be happier on another forum....
People like you who jump in and try to explain everything ruin the discovery process....
You are really being obtuse about this. ....
I have wasted brain cells trying to engage with you.
I don't feel the need to oversplain to my friends.
You are being really weird about this.
Are you drunk?


You're acting like it should be self-evidently obvious to All Decent People how we should talk about these things, and that is just not the case. It would be great if we could all try to give others the benefit of the doubt that we would like applied to ourselves.
posted by dialetheia at 11:46 PM on April 26 [5 favorites]


Like dragon glass in a white walker!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:46 PM on April 26


A few comments deleted. Guys, please cut out the personal poking at each other.

Brandon, I think maybe it was just that you didn't put an explicit Possible Spoiler / Don't read if you are still putting clues together notice. An "explanation" can mean different things to different people.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:53 PM on April 26


Wait, those sorts of notices are encouraged now? Earlier it seemed like jessamyn was saying that if a comment needed that sort of notice that it probably shouldn't be posted at all.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:57 PM on April 26


Taz, I can sort of understand that, but again, the information in that comment was already in the thread, in comments made by several other people. So it's somewhat bizarre to suddenly decide "no we can't allow this comment, but those others are fine."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:59 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


Brandon, just to save me some time, can you link me up, either here or via mail? I'm catching up on stuff that has gone on for the last 15 hours or so, and there's also some specific info from Me Mail to you that I don't have, I think. (price of doing business in the wee hours, US time.)
posted by taz (staff) at 12:04 AM on April 27


I swear, this thread is literally bizzaroworld. I want to break into a pharmacy and mass distribute valium through teleportation or something.

I'm pretty sure that the few people running through here saying "NO BOOK READERS EVER" are not going to get their way. I'm pretty sure that anyone saying "I DEMAND A RIGHT TO SPOIL EVERYONE" is not going to get their way. This conversation kind of feels like a lot of stuff has already been hashed out, but people are knife fighting in a corner by themselves anyway over stuff that's not going to happen.

Spoiler policy in main threads looks like it's pretty hashed and not moving for the moment. I think it's worth asking about whether additional posts for spoilers can be implemented, but there may be problems with having half a hundred threads currently going as it stands without doubling the number. I'd be interested, not in the way of grabbing a mod by the throat and threatening to waterboard them if they don't tell me, but just in the kind-of-wondering way, what mod thoughts are about that, why it'd be a pain to implement, etc.
posted by corb at 12:05 AM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Sorry Brandon, I deleted that because I wasn't asking for you to paste the email here, but just to show me the earlier comments in the thread that you say are the same as yours.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:11 AM on April 27


Corb, I can tell you that my *personal* NOT OFFICIAL thoughts are that a) I feel like it would good to have a sort of Spoilers/Discuss All page for many if not all of these posts for a number of reasons that would include some of the problems we've had with GoT discussions, but that b) having this would not necessarily cut down on the anger and dissatisfaction of people who want things to be done in a Very Particular Way. I imagine there would be big bloody battles about what should go on the Discuss All versus the main page, so I'm not really imagining that as a solution that will necessarily bring people together. That's going to have to be the community will to work together and exercise a little bit of tolerance on all sides.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:16 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


taz & BB: Since I was just going through the thread anyway, I copied the links:

http://fanfare.metafilter.com/9/Breaker-of-Chains#951

http://fanfare.metafilter.com/9/Breaker-of-Chains#956

http://fanfare.metafilter.com/9/Breaker-of-Chains#964

http://fanfare.metafilter.com/9/Breaker-of-Chains#1052

http://fanfare.metafilter.com/9/Breaker-of-Chains#1059

http://fanfare.metafilter.com/9/Breaker-of-Chains#1121
posted by Jacqueline at 12:19 AM on April 27


I imagine there would be big bloody battles about what should go on the Discuss All versus the main page

I don't think this would happen. I think that many people (including me) would just confine ourselves to the Discuss All thread so that we can talk freely. Also, readers will likely want to discuss a different set of topics than nonreaders (one of the most interesting aspects of the show is all the evidence it presents us for and against various fan theories about where the books are going), so the nonreader threads just wouldn't be as interesting to us.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:25 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Thanks Jacqueline.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:26 AM on April 27


After looking at the links, looking at your deleted comments, Brandon, and seeing restless_nomad's note, which somehow I managed to miss earlier, the situation is that your comments were flagged and objected to, and I believe it is because the framing seemed to read more like "Here is what definitely happened" rather than "here is what I think happened," which may seem like a fine distinction, yeah, but in a thread where people are unsure whether people are revealing info gleaned from reading the books, it's helpful to make that really clear. I imagine the other comments didn't strike people that way since they weren't flagged. Anyway, if you'd like adjust that to be totally clear, with the format that you posted earlier with the spaces, go ahead and do that (and let me know if you need the text again).

I'm sorry that this is a difficult case for working through things. In one way, I wish we hadn't included it in the early beta (which, as Matt notes, is really alpha), but on the other hand it's probably better to deal with a lot of this pain now, rather than work out a lot of mechanics and issues then be hit with it later and have to scramble to accommodate a show like this.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:47 AM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Brandon and Jacqueline, you have driven your point home and proven to me that I don't need or deserve to talk about GoT in the new MeFi forum unless I read the books. Thanks for the enlightenment.
posted by gingerest at 3:33 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


> Earlier it seemed like jessamyn was saying that if a comment needed that sort of notice that it probably shouldn't be posted at all.

I don't think we have a consistent policy about this yet. Personally I agree with jessamyn's "we'd like people to err on the side of not commenting about stuff that needs big DON'T READ IF... disclaimers."
posted by nangar at 4:29 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Brandon, I'm afraid I wasn't clear enough before about the problem. I've deleted your comment again, in keeping with this in-thread note from restless_nomad:
"Folks, given the state of the GoT universe and the prevalence of spoilers thereof, please avoid making definitive claims about open mysteries. If they're speculation, label them as such. If they're not, this isn't the place."
I said earlier "the situation is that your comments were flagged and objected to, and I believe it is because the framing seemed to read more like "Here is what definitely happened" rather than "here is what I think happened," and I should have been clearer that people commenting there to say "This is what definitely happened" is a problem when it's still an officially unresolved mystery. In your most recent comment you were saying "this is definitely what happened," which is what we are actually trying to avoid.

If it was a situation of "Okay, I watched this episode a billion times and spent a long time putting the clues together, and here's what I think happened..." this is a different beast than "this is what I saw in the episode and also know for a fact is what happened."
posted by taz (staff) at 5:05 AM on April 27


Oh lord.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:29 AM on April 27 [3 favorites]


I don't think it makes sense to have separate GoT episode threads for book-readers. I do think it will make sense to have threads on the Song of Ice and Fire books, separate from the GoT threads. People will presumably post these anyway when FanFare is out of beta testing and open to threads about books and other media.
posted by nangar at 5:29 AM on April 27


Anyway, thanks Taz for taking my complaint seriously and trying to work out a solution, it's appreciated.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:35 AM on April 27 [5 favorites]


FanFare bug/note: because mathowie said "The queue for people to make new posts is live," I wanted to see what the FanFare post view looked like and acted, so I clicked "New Post" and received the following message:

Sorry
You cannot post to the front page at this time because you have already posted in the past 24 hours.
Except I haven't posted anything to FanFare, I made a post to MetaFilter this morning. This is the same warning text I see when I try to make a new post on MetaFilter, though it lacks the additional information about when I can next post.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:54 AM on April 27


Sorry about the hassle, filthy light thief. It should be set to go now.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:03 AM on April 27


I have a question, Brandon: did you come up with the identity of the poisoner independently by watching the episode; or had you already been tipped off to it by comments here?

For me it was tainted by Jacqueline's earlier comment. So while on rewatching the episode I did see more telling details than I did first time through, I have a nagging suspicion that I noticed them mostly because I was told where to look.

The "but it was in the episode!" argument does seem to clearly allow it under the FanFare spoiler policy of "no future events". But yet: I felt pretty spoiled. The poisoning is a mini mystery story, and I feel the moral bar for spoilers on mystery stories is a little higher. As I said above: it's not OK to spoil an Agatha Christie adaptation halfway through, even if you're working only from the clues shown on screen.

I think I'm going to step back until after the next episode. Sorry for the "dickish" comment; it was born from frustration, but reading it back today it was kinda dickish of me.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:12 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Thanks for your quick work, pb! Just wondering, is there a break period between making/proposing new posts?
posted by filthy light thief at 8:13 AM on April 27


Odd idea for discussing chains of events that lead people to conclusions: follow the Universal Hints System style of game hints. Drop a series of bread crumbs to lead others to the same conclusion you've come to, instead of spelling it out, leaving the explicit conclusions for MeMail.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:17 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


The episode thread seemed like the wrong place to bring this up, but this remark of Jacqueline's made me raise my eyebrows:

Episodes of complex TV shows really should be watched at least twice. I watch every episode of GOT twice the first week it comes out (usually Sunday night alone and Monday or Tuesday night with my husband) and then marathon the entire season sometime after the season finale.

That seems...excessive, to me, to use a bit of understatement. I like the show, I like talking about the show, and I have a decent memory for narrative. Sometimes in the course of the FanFare discussion I've gone back an re-watched a scene or two to jog my memory. But: the expectation here is that the minimum bar is re watching each episode twice, plus a willingness to go back and re watch three or four episodes from two seasons ago (as she mentions elsewhere) in order to participate in a "serious" discussion? I've successfully completed graduate seminars without doing that much homework on a text. That's "get on my level, you filthy casuals" stuff, as the videogamers say.

I don't think that the vast majority of people talking in the thread would agree that that should be the de minimums requirement for participation. If, for example, there was some split-second screen shot in the Bran's vision section that, when combined with rewatching about 19 scenes from the first two seasons revealed something about when Dany invades Westeros, I don't think it's acceptable to treat that as "known, revealed fact, to be treated as such from this point forward." I'd regard it as a theory, and would treat it as such when bringing it up later, so that if a casual viewer was reading some thread down the line they wouldn't be spoiled on it.

I'd like to get other people's thoughts on this, if possible without reference to the whole Joffrey poisoning debacle, since the four W's of that are hopelessly tangled at this point. But, going forward, how do we want to treat this stuff? If a plot development is something a clever viewer could discern after sifting through the episodes for nine hours, should that be treated as fact or speculation?
posted by Diablevert at 8:18 AM on April 27 [4 favorites]


is there a break period between making/proposing new posts?

I'm not sure we've hammered that part out yet.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:19 AM on April 27


jessamyn, thanks. I wasn't looking to posting all back episodes of MM or GoT or anything of that sort, just curious.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:21 AM on April 27


Yeah we've thought about a few use cases

1. posting after a show has aired - obviously that's limited to however frequently the show has aired, though I suppose someone could queue a month's worth of posts but I don't htink that would fly
2. posting after a showdump has aired - Netflix style "here's the season" like House of Cards. Like should one person be able to make all the posts? Should they just be auto-generated?
3. Posting to backwatch old shows where all the episodes have aired

The things we're concerned about are one superfan sort of setting the tone for an entire season of discussions or, alternately, someone posting 15 episodes worth of threads that all sort of limp along until people who aren't bingewatching catch up. Presumably there's no status afforded to being the person who makes the "New episode of X, discuss" thread, but maybe there is? I'd be interested to know people's thoughts.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:25 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


I'd like to get other people's thoughts on this, going forward, how do we want to treat this stuff? If a plot development is something a clever viewer could discern after sifting through the episodes for nine hours, should that be treated as fact or speculation?

I think if people do that, and I've watched and re-watched shows in that manner, I would hope they can allude to it without ruining the surprise for others, if it's something that would be considered a spoiler.
posted by cashman at 8:32 AM on April 27


jessamyn, interesting thoughts.

I think there would be a benefit in auto-posting "the new episode of that show aired recently, let's talk!" for shows that will always have a group discussion, as to prevent double-posts. Otherwise, there might be the same sort of duplication for major obits, where someone might spend some time finding links, while another couple people post something more quickly.

Showdumps are tricky, because there will be people who binge in a day or two and want to discuss all the things, while others watch the episodes over the course of days or weeks, so their experience could be spoiled if someone accidentally mentions an event from a later episode, especially when there aren't posts for all episodes. With that, I think it would be OK to let people make posts for each episode in one go, to get the discussion structure up.

Back-watching could be done by one person or by different people. I don't see an issue here.

The only issue I see for someone posting every episode of a series would be if someone starts skewing the discussion in some way, but that can be the same for other MetaFilter posts, where editorial bias can also be problematic.

As for how to watch complex or detailed show, that's a level of user-requirements that cannot be regulated. Sure, it would allow for more in-depth discussions of details in show display and scripting, but that's not realistic.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:54 AM on April 27


I have a question, Brandon: did you come up with the identity of the poisoner independently by watching the episode; or had you already been tipped off to it by comments here?

Can't remember exactly, but I don't think it was the comments here.

There's a small gathering at our house, with several very smart people and we discuss the show afterwards and text each other through the week, so there's a lot of bouncing off other people's ideas. Plus my wife has a really poor memory and tends to rewatch episode several times in the evenings, so I pick up a lot by osmosis. Plus she's watched the series several times and repeatedly ask me questions about who X character and their history, so I have explain that and often she'll talk about similar events that have occurred in actual history. She loves reading about the history of royalty and can rattle off on the politics of the various wars and politics of the royals in European history. She was totally unfazed by the Red Wedding, as she figured from history that you can't break an oath to a Lord and get away with it.

I clearly remember noticing the camera shot of the cup Joffrety takes the final sip from and the person who was framed in it and thinking "Wtf, that's just lazy, to give it away like that." Others in the room noted the same thing afterwards and we all just pretty much assumed it was that person. Someone else, not me, traced where that cup had been and then text the rest of us on Monday. I rewatched that scene and noted they were correct and that sealed the deal in terms of who did what.

Oh wait, there was a comment somewhere on Metafitler that noted Baelish, the networking guy who wants power, was not at the most important wedding of the year. That made up my mind about him.

No worries on the dickish comment! I'll try to rein in all my speculating in the threads and keep the mysteries as they are.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:57 AM on April 27 [5 favorites]


I think I've finally come up with a solution that works for me, and other readers are welcome to it if it suits them: whenever I bring up something from a previous season's episode, I'll just cite the episode that it's from. Since I've seen the episodes so many times I have a pretty good memory for the dialogue and thus it's pretty quick for me to find the specific episode I'm thinking of by searching the Game of Thrones transcripts.

Yes, it does feel a little bit silly to be documenting my discussion of a TV show the same way I would write a research paper but at least this way I hope that I no longer have to worry about my comments being mistakenly deleted for containing book knowledge when they're actually referring to show events.

Mods, does that work for you?
posted by Jacqueline at 11:56 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


What works for us is that this not become a thing and people are going to have to work out the best way to do that for themselves. We're not going to pre-approve stuff. If you want to include citations, that's fine.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:59 AM on April 27


(I'm assuming that most people remember events from the current season well enough that I don't need to cite references for those, but I understand how people who don't rewatch as much as I do could forget stuff that happened a year or more ago.)
posted by Jacqueline at 12:00 PM on April 27


We're not going to pre-approve stuff. If you want to include citations, that's fine.

I'm not asking you to pre-approve stuff. I'm asking if that would help you solve your information problem of not being able to tell if something is a book spoiler or a show reference?

It would be nice to put an end to people flagging/deleting comments from readers under the assumption that if they don't remember something it therefore must be based on book knowledge, because it's very frustrating to put a lot of time and effort into writing a comment that carefully adheres to the show's scope (I spend more time rewatching scenes and reading transcripts than actually writing my comments) just to get deleted and/or attacked for posting "spoilers" that aren't actually spoilers.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:08 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


For example, corb's comments about the Tyrells -- IMO, it was actually *more* clear in the show than in the books how they were manipulating the food supply and public opinion in King's Landing -- but her original comment about that got deleted because some people flagged it and the mods couldn't remember it being covered in the show. Wouldn't citations to the episodes referring to the Tyrells being in rebellion, the food riots, and then the wagons of supplies they brought when they came back into the fold have prevented that misunderstanding?
posted by Jacqueline at 12:17 PM on April 27


Jacqueline: “her original comment about that got deleted because some people flagged it and the mods couldn't remember it being covered in the show”

This actually has not been established. I know, because I went back and watched the last few seasons of this thread.
posted by koeselitz at 12:20 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


This actually has not been established.

"She asked, and at least four other mods chimed in saying they couldn't remember that small tidbit either and it sounded like something that was maybe more obvious in the books." -- mathowie

When corb rewrote her comment to cover the same points but with citations to where the information came from in the show, the second version was allowed to stand.

I know, because I went back and watched the last few seasons of this thread.

You need to "watch" more carefully, then.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:27 PM on April 27


I missed the part where we established that it was "covered in the show," I mean. I guess that is a point that could be argued. I felt like the mods conceded that pretty quickly because they'd rather not have to be arbiters of what did and did not happen in the show. Which is totally fair on their part.

Concerning the general conversation – granted I haven't been involved here, and I really don't want to stir up shit, so I will try not to. I am kind of distantly interested in FanFare, as a sometime watcher of TV who doesn't really have time for it now but probably will by the end of next month.

But my take on the conversation here is: I really had no idea how much speculation was a deeply valued part of internet discussion about television shows. It seems like trying to guess what's going to happen in the future of a show is a huge part of why people want to take part in this kind of thing. That's really interesting to me, because I think it's an impulse that social convention often quashes.

I mean: I used to date someone who did this while watching shows. Ten minutes in – "oh, I'll bet she is going to turn out to be the killer!" I didn't really need these random speculations, and honestly they made watching much less fun, although I think there are people who really love watching shows that way. Either way, I think speculation like that is generally discouraged when people watch shows or movies with others, and it's hard to see the point when you're all alone.

The point of speculation – well, I guess that's a question to: why speculate? I worry that people speculation in order to win internet points when it turns out later that they were correct. I don't know that that's the entire point, but... I don't know. I'm still just not sure.

Either way, the best way out of this whole bramble of disagreements in my view is a de-emphasis on speculation. There's a lot more to talk about in a TV show than what might or might not happen or be revealed later on. Even with GoT.
posted by koeselitz at 12:32 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Anyhow, I think that citations to the relevant could go a long way in helping readers show a demonstration of good faith that we are indeed trying to be careful about restricting our comments to the scope of the show.

I'd hope that in return, nonreaders would demonstrate their own good faith by accepting that they might have just forgotten something instead of prejudicially (maliciously?) flagging readers' comments as spoilers.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:34 PM on April 27


Jacqueline: “Anyhow, I think that citations to the relevant could go a long way in helping readers show a demonstration of good faith that we are indeed trying to be careful about restricting our comments to the scope of the show.”

I agree that that might be helpful as a good-faith thing, but – isn't it clear that this is sort of a walk-back of the whole conversation here? I mean, we started out with the question of whether screencaps from a past episode can constitute a spoiler. Didn't it become clear that they could? And since that's the case, isn't it clear that citing past episodes is clearly not going to go all the way as far as preventing spoilers and keeping watchers of this show of all stripes happy?
posted by koeselitz at 12:39 PM on April 27


Either way, the best way out of this whole bramble of disagreements in my view is a de-emphasis on speculation. There's a lot more to talk about in a TV show than what might or might not happen or be revealed later on. Even with GoT.

What? A discussion without speculation isn't a discussion, it's just an episode recap. Even discussing what might motivate a particular character is a form of speculation. Talking about narrative themes is a form of speculation (both about the intentions of the writers, as well as another form of discussing where plotlines might be going). I think maybe the only non-recap-ish content one could "discuss" that is speculation-free would be the costumes and sets, and such a restrictive discussion would be pretty boring.

I thought the whole point of the Fanfare subsite was to have serious discussions with intelligent people? Such discussions involve digging in deep to the material and trying to figure it out, and that process is necessarily rife with speculation.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:39 PM on April 27


Jacqueline: “What? A discussion without speculation isn't a discussion, it's just an episode recap. Even discussing what might motivate a particular character is a form of speculation. Talking about narrative themes is a form of speculation (both about the intentions of the writers, as well as another form of discussing where plotlines might be going). I think maybe the only non-recap-ish content one could 'discuss' that is speculation-free would be the costumes and sets, and such a restrictive discussion would be pretty boring.”

I guess I never thought "speculation" was such a broad term. The term as I know it tends to imply discussion and prediction of the future, which in terms of television means discussion and prediction of things that will happen or be revealed in future episodes. Are you saying that there's no way to meaningfully limit the term in this way?
posted by koeselitz at 12:45 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


I keep hearing people insist that we can have speculation-free episode discussions but I've yet to see one person give any examples of what sort of topics such a discussion would cover.

Also, even if you can come up with some speculation-free topics to discuss, it's not like anyone here is telling you that you're not allowed to talk about that stuff if that's what interests you. So why are you trying to dictate to other people that they can't talk about what interests them? As long as it stays within the bounds of the spoiler policy, why not just let people discuss what they want to discuss instead of insisting on controlling the conversation?
posted by Jacqueline at 12:46 PM on April 27


I know mods have said it won't happen immediately, but I really think an ''anything goes' general discussion thread for GoT would solve many of the problems. As a reader I'm most interested in discussion and speculation with other informed readers, so I'd mostly stay out of the non-readers thread and wouldn't be at risk of posting spoilers. I think GoT is a special, maybe unique, case so I wouldn't see this being needed often.

Jacqueline: I think I've finally come up with a solution that works for me

FWIW that seems like a reasonable approach to me. I noticed you do it in the S4E3 thread, and I'd been halfway through your post wondering if it was referring to something that's only in the books. I was pleased to see your note about the source.

I wonder if we bookreaders might also throw in disclaimers when we refer to something that is book-only, but unimportant/non-spoilery (for example in the S4E3 thread I mention a very minor character who has been written out of the show, and Jacqueline mentions a kitten, not spoilers, but a non-reader might not know that).

I do think there's a strong obligation on readers to err on the side of caution - for example, the screencaps that were going round after E2 used only material from the show, but I strongly doubt anyone could have come up with them without having read the books and having a fair idea about what was happening. (Whereas I personally think Brandon's summary in the E3 was probably OK, because the show had clearly added new information). Part of this might include considering where we really found out about something - memory is fallible and it might be that we are sure something is from the show when really it's from the book.
posted by Pink Frost at 12:48 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


speculation like that is generally discouraged when people watch shows or movies with others

Whoa whoa, hold the normative statements - it's absolutely encouraged in my social group and we're not outside the norm either. There are lots of equally acceptable ways to interact with serialized media, and guessing what comes next really is one of the more popular modes of interaction, especially for shows that get much of their interest from surprising plot turns and twists. Without an explicit ban on speculation, it will never be eliminated from these threads because it's such a common way to engage with a serialized show.

You really assume the only reason people would want to speculate is to get fake internet points later? Not because they like to figure out puzzles, but because they're bad vain people who want to feel better than other people?

Everyone on both sides of this conflict is assuming the worst of each other at every step of the way. Speculators and readers (apparently lumped together now?) are characterized as vain and wanting fake internet points and liking to ruin things for others and feeling superior. Non-readers and people who don't want to speculate are characterized as not wanting any new information, wanting to stick their heads in the sand, being incurious and too dumb to put the pieces together, etc.

Both of these characterizations are inaccurate and hurtful to your fellow community members, and it would be really nice if we could start by assuming that we're all generally good people who just want to talk about TV together, not a bunch of intentional superior ruiners, or people with no curiosity, or whatever other mean thing you were about to think about the people with whom you're arguing.
posted by dialetheia at 12:51 PM on April 27 [5 favorites]


I guess I never thought "speculation" was such a broad term.

That's probably where the disconnect is. To me, speculation encompasses a lot the things Jacqueline mentioned and of course the possibility of things about the future. Regarding Tyrion's imprisonment, it would seem odd, IMO, not to discuss what could happen if he's executed or if he's going free, what then for the character. Yes, there are other things to discuss, but purposefully leaving out some of the most obvious questions...I just don't see people doing that.

but I strongly doubt anyone could have come up with them without having read the books and having a fair idea about what was happening.

I don't get this view. It's the internet, someone, somewhere is going to figure out what happened for just about anything. That's part of the power of the 'net.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:53 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


me: “speculation like that is generally discouraged when people watch shows or movies with others”

dialetheia: “Whoa whoa, hold the normative statements...”

Who made a normative statement? That was clearly a descriptive statement, not a normative statement.
posted by koeselitz at 12:55 PM on April 27


Are you saying that there's no way to meaningfully limit the term in this way?

Yes. Discussing a character's motivations is an attempt to form a model of their behavior, which then becomes a prediction of how they might behave in the future.

Discussing narrative themes is making predictions about the future because if you're correct in figuring out which theme the writers are going for, you therefore have a good idea of future plot events.

Even discussing the cinematography is a form of speculation about the future because the composition of shots and how scenes are edited together are one of the primary ways that foreshadowing is conveyed. (The shot of the wine cup just before the poisoned sip blatantly SCREAMS at the viewer who did it.)

If you don't realize that all these things inherently have future speculation built into them then you just don't have a very good understanding how narratives are planned, built, and presented on TV. On a subsite that's been touted as a place for serious discussion among intelligent people, I think it's reasonable to expect that everyone there either has a good grasp of how TV narratives work or is interested in learning.

Again, I don't understand why people who prefer not to learn anything new about a show would even WANT to participate in such a site.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:59 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


You were pretty clearly implying that speculation was 'not the done thing', no? Your framing was that it wasn't generally considered acceptable in decent company. Regardless this is beside my point, and I'll be happy to cede that your statement was descriptive but still intended to convey that these people would be considered uncouth for speculating, at least within your social circles.

people who prefer not to learn anything new about a show

Jacqueline, absolutely nobody is going to listen to you if you keep framing things like this. It does not imply that you're arguing in good faith.
posted by dialetheia at 1:00 PM on April 27 [9 favorites]


She brings up a good point. Some people seem to what threads where there is no speculation at all. I like admiring the sets and acting chops of various players, but that's a bit limiting, discussion wise.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:07 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


dialetheia: “You were pretty clearly implying that speculation was 'not the done thing', no? Your framing was that it wasn't generally considered acceptable in decent company.”

Well, I guess I was not clear. To try to be clearer: I do get that people love the internet because it's possible to have discussions with greater clarity and explicitness than it is in real life. The people I watch TV and movies with often don't want to talk about them. I'm glad there are people who do. So I totally understand the impulse to want to go online and have the discussions that "polite society" (which is not generally a positive thing for me) ordinarily would restrict.

“Regardless this is beside my point, and I'll be happy to cede that your statement was descriptive but still intended to convey that these people would be considered uncouth for speculating, at least within your social circles.”

Well, the "descriptive" or "normative" thing aside, yeah – maybe it was really gross and over the line for me to wonder if people only tried to predict future events in TV shows in order to score internet points later on. I think I got that feeling reading a few comments here, most of all this one, which now on rereading may be sarcastic, I'm not sure.

So: I take your point. Sorry to those who may have felt I was pidgeonholing them; I will try not to do so. Dialetheia, you make a very good point when you say that puzzle-solving is a very real impulse that isn't bad or evil or based in bragging rights or something like that. I'll try to keep that in mind here.
posted by koeselitz at 1:07 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Jacqueline, absolutely nobody is going to listen to you if you keep framing things like this. It does not imply that you're arguing in good faith.

There are people IN THIS VERY THREAD who have said that they prefer to figure out everything on their own and that when other people point out things they didn't notice or forgot that this ruins their enjoyment of the show.

Again, I don't understand why they'd want to participate in a TV discussion subsite, because exposure to additional information and perspectives is exactly what such a discussion is for.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:08 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


I think citations aren't a terrible idea, and will make things more clear some of the time, but as Jessamyn says it's not something we're going to enforce, and it's not going to solve every problem. The core of the problem - that's worse with GoT than with most things, but isn't unique to it - is that people prefer talking about and experiencing media in different ways, with different amounts of information. There's no shining line down the middle we can take that would make everyone happy, and insisting that people who have a different preference than you are "doin it rong" is not a workable way to have the conversation.

exposure to additional information and perspectives is exactly what such a discussion is for.

This is the sort of thing I'm talking about. It's what it's for in your view, Jacqueline, which is neither the official view nor a view everyone else shares. And unfortunately there isn't a ton of room to agree to disagree given the current setup - either anything goes, or some people will have to restrict their conversation. And right now, we're hashing out how much restriction there should be, not whether there should be any.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:11 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


I worry that people speculation in order to win internet points when it turns out later that they were correct.

Some of us just enjoy collaborative puzzle solving. The project to figure out the meaning of the commercial break glyphs code on Fringe was a great example of that.

Also, I'd much rather be the dumbest person in the discussion than the smartest because I learn so much more that way. As soon as I watch something I rush to the internet more to see what other people noticed that I didn't and less to post my own observations/predictions.

Absorbing hundreds' of other people's input makes things so much more enjoyable to me because it gets me much closer to understanding all the clever little things that the writers and cinematographers did to construct the narrative. IMO, *how* things are put together is at least as interesting as the end result.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:17 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Jacqueline: “Discussing a character's motivations is an attempt to form a model of their behavior, which then becomes a prediction of how they might behave in the future.”

Which then could become a prediction of how they might behave in the future. But surely it isn't necessarily that immediately. Consideration of a character's motivation is speculation only insofar as it is then bent around in order to try to puzzle out what they will do in the future. Surely people don't attempt to figure out character motivations solely in order to predict what will happen in future episodes – right? Otherwise, again, there would be no point in talking about a show after the final episode.

“Discussing narrative themes is making predictions about the future because if you're correct in figuring out which theme the writers are going for, you therefore have a good idea of future plot events.”

Well, coming around to this again – is this the point of discussion about television? To attempt to figure out the narrative themes solely in order to figure out what the writers will do next? If so, I mean, I can see the puzzle-solving quality of this being attractive, in the sense that it's a mystery to riddle out and that is an interesting and intellectually stimulating thing to do; but you seem to be suggesting that such puzzle-solving is the whole point of "serious, intelligent discussion" about media.

And I just can't agree. Because the moral quality of media, what it suggests about the human condition, what it seems to be saying about love, about life, about heaven and hell and sex and death – these things seem worthy of "serious, intelligent discussion" to me. That seems like the whole point of talking about a movie or a TV show, as far as I can see it. Figuring out what the writers intend and where the narrative arc is leading is interesting, and it's even how we get where we're going, but it doesn't feel like the end goal of discussions about media.

Of course, I can't tell everybody else what they're after. It's up to them to decide. Honestly, I'm not sure if I'm understanding Jacqueline right when I infer that she's saying the whole point of these discussions is to figure out what's going to happen in the next episode.
posted by koeselitz at 1:19 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


I'm not saying that the whole point is to figure out what happens next. I'm saying that speculation about what happens next is an inherent byproduct of engaging deeply with the text.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:21 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


You really don't think it's possible to engage deeply with a text without speculating explicitly about what will happen next? Or are you saying people will sort of implicitly be speculating, even if they don't appear to be doing so, whenever they talk about what X was doing in season 2, or what Y must have been thinking when she did that one thing?
posted by koeselitz at 1:26 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


I'll put it this way: I have never seen an online forum for an ongoing TV show (or similar) which did not also include at least some form of speculation as to future occurrences.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:29 PM on April 27 [4 favorites]


Again, I don't understand why they'd want to participate in a TV discussion subsite, because exposure to additional information and perspectives is exactly what such a discussion is for.

I get what you're saying Jacqueline, and I don't like how people have treated you in this thread at all so I understand your defensiveness for sure. Since you were told you basically weren't welcome early on, I think you probably feel like you're trying to argue that you should be allowed to have any presence in these threads at all, not that your view should hold sway (except insofar as it means you still get to participate). It's really unfortunate that your early comment has cast such a long shadow on this discussion, because from my perspective it made you feel like you were arguing for your Fanfare life, and when other people missed that aspect of the discussion, they misconstrued your passion as wanting to dominate everyone else instead of just trying to do your best to argue for your own seat at the table. I think you deserve to participate and I think it's unfair that so much of this bumpiness has been aimed at you (if it hadn't been you, it would have been someone else, and scapegoating you for this conflict is inappropriate).

But set all that aside just for a second and try to imagine just a few reasons why a person might want to be wary of e.g. deep speculation OTHER THAN that they just don't want to learn anything new. Often speculation focuses really deeply on plot and writing and only uses the other aspects of a show (music, cinematography) to bolster theories about plot or long-term characterization. But maybe someone wants to talk about the music and costumes in and of themselves, outside of any potential plot ramifications. Or someone wants to talk about the acting choices not in the context of plot, but in the context of e.g. socioeconomic factors, or some other interesting facet of the performance.

They have as much of a right as anyone to want to talk about the show, and it isn't that they don't want to learn anything new - they just want to learn about aspects of the show without consideration of what it means for the plot, and they want the conversational room to be able to talk about some of that stuff without having all of it instantly related back to writing and plot concerns. Does that make more sense? That's just one example of why someone might want to engage in the discussion without speculating on future plots. However, they also don't have the right to tell you that you don't have room in the conversation, either; it's a process of mutual accommodation, and we're working it out now. Just be careful not to inadvertently tell people that they shouldn't be welcome in the conversation, just like it was uncool for others to do that to you. I hope that helps a little.
posted by dialetheia at 1:29 PM on April 27 [6 favorites]


I think both that people will be implicitly speculating in such discussions and that the natural flow of those conversations will lead to more explicit speculation.

I think it's unreasonable for the few people who don't want to encounter any speculation to feel that they have the right to restrict everyone else's topics of conversation.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:30 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


I don't get this view. It's the internet, someone, somewhere is going to figure out what happened for just about anything. That's part of the power of the 'net.

Not only that, but people nowadays making shows like this one assume a level of obsessiveness among viewers and that screencaps will be pored over, mysteries discussed, and problems solved in the way Brandon Blatcher described here.

I think that showrunners count on this and it allows a whole lot more subtlety and less clubbing-viewers-over-the head with answers on the show. Maybe the purple wedding episode was intended as a cliffhanger, OR maybe there will never be a major reveal about it and the makers of GoT will assume people will figure it out from information already provided*, which is basically how GRRM handled it.

It's tough because there's no way to know in advance if that IS how the show is handling an event, but on the other hand it's going to be weird when things are figured out on the internet and answers become generally known/conventional wisdom, for people to tiptoe around that information on FanFare. I guess we'll just figure that out as we go along. Hopefully readers can try not to jump the gun and each side can give the other the benefit of the doubt.

*not that more information won't be revealed, as happened in the most recent episode, but that we might not get any more about the identity of the actual poisoner.
posted by torticat at 1:30 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


But maybe someone wants to talk about the music and costumes in and of themselves, outside of any potential plot ramifications. Or someone wants to talk about the acting choices not in the context of plot, but in the context of e.g. socioeconomic factors, or some other interesting facet of the performance.

Then they should start their own blog that is explicitly restricted to those parameters and where they can delete the comments that don't stay within their guidelines, not come to MetaFilter and insist that everyone else only have the conversation that they want to have instead of just letting everyone talk about what they want to talk about within the scope of the spoiler policy.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:34 PM on April 27


I'm not insisting that people who don't want to speculate HAVE to speculate, I'm just saying that they should have the right to tell the rest of us that we CAN'T speculate.

If you just want to talk about costumes and sets and music and whatnot, go for it. I may not reply to those comments myself, but you'll probably find others interested in discussing them with you.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:38 PM on April 27


The point of speculation – well, I guess that's a question to: why speculate? I worry that people speculation in order to win internet points when it turns out later that they were correct. I don't know that that's the entire point, but... I don't know. I'm still just not sure.

I love speculation -- both reading it and throwing theories out there myself. The fun of a show like GoT, to me, is that there are so many moving parts and so many ways you can think of to put those parts together, and it's fascinating to try different scenarios or combinations to see what works best ("best" in terms of how the characters, themes and plots seem to work, and in terms of trying to put those elements together in an especially insightful or surprising way). Sometimes a theory will later correspond to what actually happens on the show in the future and sometimes it won't, but to me, the fun is in the game of drawing together and debating a theory in the first place.

I think it's the same impulse that makes people want to write fanfic -- you're given a world and characters and some events, and then you get to extrapolate based on that. It's basically a (hopefully intellectually stimulating) version of "let's pretend." Of course, I also love drawing parallels between different aspects of a show and real-world knowledge/ideas/experiences or other works of art. I see that all as being roughly the same process -- finding parallels within the show, finding them between the show and other real life events or other ideas or other works of art, extrapolating on what those parallels and symbols, themes, emotions, might mean (both in terms of the show and in terms of the real world), etc.

Anyway, I don't want to step on toes in those threads. I'm not really sure where the line between analysis and speculation is, though? My speculation is based on my analysis, and my analysis is based on what I think could plausibly happen within the show's world and how I think that show's world works -- to me, they go hand-in-hand. If we can *only* discuss what we already know for sure and what's already happened, won't the conversation be stolid and constrictive?
posted by rue72 at 1:38 PM on April 27


I have never heard of discussions regarding "why do you think X character did Y?" or "what's the significance of the orange handbag?" considered speculation. It's analysis.
posted by sweetkid at 1:39 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


I'm not insisting that people who don't want to speculate HAVE to speculate, I'm just saying that they should have the right to tell the rest of us that we CAN'T speculate.

And this is the part that's getting lost in trying to analyze the motivations of those who don't want to speculate. It doesn't matter why - the thing you're objecting to is those people trying to deny you a place in the discussion, and rightfully so! So try to argue for your place, and not against their place, and I think people will get where you're coming from better.
posted by dialetheia at 1:40 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


I'll just cite the episode that it's from.

FWIW, I have found this -- and also your posting of illustrative dialog from the transcripts -- very helpful in your recent comments in the FanFare thread.

And also thanks for pointing to the transcripts as a resource. I suspect I'll be using them too; often I have a vague recollection of an event but can't remember the details of what was said or when.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:41 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Also, try not to be overly threatened by random people coming in here and saying "I hate speculation" - they aren't going to get their way 100% any more than you are.
posted by dialetheia at 1:42 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


"what's the significance of the orange handbag?" considered speculation

You don't think Mad Style is rife with speculation? It's about where the characters are at the moment, yes, but also about where they are headed. Are they going to have an affair? Is Joan in a downward spiral? Is the marriage going to last? Is Bob gay? Etc etc. I don't think you can really separate analysis from speculation.
posted by torticat at 1:43 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Surely people don't attempt to figure out character motivations solely in order to predict what will happen in future episodes – right? Otherwise, again, there would be no point in talking about a show after the final episode.

Did you miss all the "what will happen to [character] now?" discussions after the Breaking Bad finale? (Sadly, I'm still waiting on that Parks & Rec crossover fanfic.)
posted by Jacqueline at 1:43 PM on April 27


Jacqueline: “I think it's unreasonable for the few people who don't want to encounter any speculation to feel that they have the right to restrict everyone else's topics of conversation.”

Well, attempting to be even-handed about this, I totally understand that speculation will be a big part of any discussion of TV on the internet. I don't know if I agree that speculation is the only form of serious or intelligent discussion, but I don't think that was your point; I think your point was that it's going to happen, and banning speculation outright would be overly restrictive. And I agree. It's not something that can be completely forbidden.

What has to happen, I think, is that people will have to approach this with the understanding that there is a line that they shouldn't cross. Unfortunately, it isn't a bright line. It's not a line like "as long as you cite past episodes you're not posting spoilers." That would be easier, and I think when you said earlier that your solution would be to always cite past episodes, some of us got nervous at that because it sounded sort of like a tacit declaration that previous more-complicated definitions of "spoiler" were to be ignored.

I will be the first to say that I don't think it's easy to imagine how to do this. Speculation has to be part of conversation, but there has to be some kind of limit to it. That limit is apparently "don't speculate where speculation might spoil a big reveal later in the show," but as torticat pointed out above, none of us knows whether there will be a big reveal on any given plot point or not. It might never get discussed again, in which case rampant speculation would seem not to constitute spoilering.

So I guess we really do have to just try to carefully apply the "don't be a dick" standard as sensitively as we can.
posted by koeselitz at 1:50 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


So try to argue for your place, and not against their place, and I think people will get where you're coming from better.

Thank you for this suggestion. You have persuaded me that this would probably be a more productive approach to this debate and going forward I shall endeavor to follow your advice.

I really appreciate you taking the time to go back-and-forth with me about this for so long because discussing this with you has helped me understand other people's motivations and see how I could improve my communication style here.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:51 PM on April 27 [6 favorites]


I think when you said earlier that your solution would be to always cite past episodes, some of us got nervous at that because it sounded sort of like a tacit declaration that previous more-complicated definitions of "spoiler" were to be ignored.

To clarify: My decision to start citing past seasons' episodes is not an attempt to rules-lawyer my way around the spirit of the spoilers policy. It just seems like a good way to preemptively defend myself against misunderstandings over whether something is from the show or from the books so that my comments don't get flagged and deleted. It's also a good self-check to make me verify before posting that something really did happen on the show and that I'm not just conflating it with something from the books or fanfic. (I've read so much futurefic that I sometimes have a hard time remembering where the last book left some of the plotlines.)

In return, I hope that when nonreaders are surprised by something in one of my comments that they consider that it's because they probably just forgot something (or never noticed it in the first place) and not because I'm trying to spoil the show for them with book knowledge.

To use an analogy, I think the book series is kind of like the textbook and the show is kind of like the study guide (at least, for the events that are adapted the same way). If you've read both the textbook and the study guide then you are going to have a better memory of the material covered in the study guide than people who only read the study guide, simply because it's a reinforcement and summarization of what you already read in the textbook. Even moreso if you've read the textbook twice and then reviewed the study guide multiple times. So when I watch a new episode, I'm going to notice and remember things that nonreaders don't notice and remember not just because I have book knowledge of future events but because it's my third or fourth exposure to current events.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:06 PM on April 27


Would removing speculation from the table be entertained in this discussion at all if this particular show didn't have this particular reader/watcher issue?

koeselitz, I think the impulse that social convention might more widely quash is posing speculation out loud while in the act of actually watching, but I don't think that's ever been the case for normative behavior around the proverbial watercooler, no?
posted by nobody at 2:41 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


The reason Fanfare got created in the first place was because twop shut down. twop was a huge site where people talked about television. I know there is a metafilter member that worked at twop for a while. Twop has threads for each episode of Game of Thrones. There is no speculation allowed, and no spoilers are allowed in the episode threads. You faced the possibility of being banned from twop if you did otherwise. This is the precedent for Game of Thrones on the site that is shutting down, that prompted the creation of Fanfare in the first place. It is a site that has hosted discussions of television for more than a decade.
posted by cashman at 2:49 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


But that isn't the written policy of Fanfare, is it?
posted by dialetheia at 2:53 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Shoot, sorry cashman. I'd forgotten that "no speculation at all" was the path you were advocating for even apart from this show. (I'd have probably phrased things a bit differently if I'd remembered. I see your view as a hardline approach that isn't likely to be reflected by the eventual ruleset here, but I didn't mean to dismiss it out of hand as not even considerable.)

But still -- it looks like the advisory you linked to was specific to this outlier of a show, and not a general rule across the site?
posted by nobody at 2:56 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


HEY, GOT/ASOIAF SPOILER FANS!

Brandon Blatcher and I are working on a spoilers-friendly post for the Blue* that rounds up the major fan theories about the GOT/ASOIAF/D&E universe. We could use your help finding relevant links for each of the theories as well as input on additional theories to include.

If you want to help, please MeMail me your email address to be invited to the Google Doc.

*Don't worry, anti-spoilers people, all spoilers will be below the fold and there will be a spoilers warning above the fold. I've already run the post concept and the above-the-fold text by the mods.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:56 PM on April 27 [4 favorites]


The merman theories better be in there!
posted by Drinky Die at 3:08 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


It is not necessary to speculate to have a great, intelligent conversation on a television show. It's Fanfare, a site for people to discuss television, not a television industry symposium.

Sure we all like to solve puzzles. But imagine if The Sixth Sense was being shown in TV-Show sized segments - 30 minutes. After the first 'episode', you stand up in the theater and blurt out your speculation about the main character. At the end of the airing of the episodes, what is the general consensus of that behavior? Oh cool, good theory? Or - that it was a jerk move to do that? In general, in America, what would most people feel?

Nobody cares about you speculating. Most of us can do it. The issue is needing to to blurt that out for everyone to see, and thus ruining some plot point. I love mystery shows. I can figure out a lot of things as shows are airing. I delight in feeling like I told you so. But I have enough confidence in myself that if people don't want to believe I figured out some big plot point long in advance but didn't say anything so as not to spoil other people's enjoyment, that's something they can do.

I'm not a big Game of Thrones fan so I have seen some episodes but it isn't my thing at the moment. But I'd suggest that if you think there is only one way to have an intelligent conversation about a tv show, you might be incorrect about that.

Shoot, sorry cashman. I'd forgotten that "no speculation at all" was the path you were advocating for even apart from this show.

That twop thing is just the facts of how we got to the creation of Fanfare. It's context. We didn't just get here out of thin air, and I feel like some of the time with this situation we're acting like we have no precedent to go on with regards to tenable discussions on tv shows. This site (twop) operated for years and years and while we obviously don't have to use their rules, again I thought it was relevant to the conversation to reiterate how it was done on this site dedicated almost exclusively to the discussion of television shows, with a limited, human staff, as opposed to systems like Reddit.
posted by cashman at 3:09 PM on April 27


Sure it's part of the initial context, cashman, but Jessamyn weighed in on this practically first thing in the thread. Telling other people they shouldn't get to participate because another website did things differently seems pretty unfair.

Jessamyn: We are not trying to replicate TWoP, we just want to have a place where people can talk about shows they like with MeFites.
posted by dialetheia at 3:21 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Furthermore, I can get as much spoiler information as I'd like. I can easily find cast interviews, talk with show personnel, and compile the bits of information that different members of a show will dribble out to different sites, news outlets, people and media, and get advance information. I can find episodes in advance, or buy promotional episodes of media from sites like ebay, from shows desperate to gain popularity. I can then post that information and try to puff myself up and look like a know it all. I have access to pretty much any publication, can literally sit here waiting for updates, and break news, using advanced access to create unique points of discussion that other people don't have time to be able to do on a consistent basis.

So it isn't like I am unaware, or in the dark, or technologically challenged, or behind the times, or naive, or wish to be pure, or some nonsense. It's that as much as some seem unaware of it, most people know what a "spoiler" is, because that concept is obvious. We all know what "spoiling" is. It isn't a good thing. It doesn't mean you're smarter, or better, or a better viewer. It does not mean you are the one true being participating in the one true conversation.

Additionally, if you need more to grasp why speculation (about major plot points) is problematic, I think it helps to realize you're not in your group of friends. When I'm watching Murder She Wrote with family members, I play a game where as soon as the dead person pops up, I speculate jokingly about whether it was the janitor or the painter or the taxi driver or whoever is in the episode. Even when it is 'serious television', I'll speculate about something that has happened or will happen. But not if I think that would be a huge spoiler if it was true, and ruin the surprise of the moment. I figured out The Sixth Sense early on, but I didn't blurt it out in the theater. I've figured out some twilight zone episodes, but I would never blurt out "I bet they're dead", because I think we all understand that while it is speculation, it would ruin the whole reveal.
posted by cashman at 3:24 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


try to puff myself up and look like a know it all.

This is a pretty unfair way to characterize the people you're trying to have a discussion with, and furthermore I don't think that's what people in this discussion are intending to do.

We all know what "spoiling" is

We very clearly don't, because there are several hundred comments debating that very thing in this very thread.
posted by dialetheia at 3:26 PM on April 27 [7 favorites]


Telling other people they shouldn't get to participate because another website did things differently seems pretty unfair.

Which is why I am not doing that. It's like telling a rapper they shouldn't say 'bitch' and that rapper saying "I have nothing to rap about! You won't let me participate in the music industry!"

There are worlds of conversations to have aside from spoilers and speculation. For the record, I'm sharing my opinion. If mathowie and company want to start Fanfare as only spoilers, go for it. I'm not posting as some are, in that mode where it seems like they want to take their ball and go home if they don't get their way. Whatever is ultimately decided is how it will be. We'll all be okay.

But the point is, there are seasons upon seasons of information to discuss, parallels to draw, things to investigate, look at, draw out. Shows can be related to real world events. There is a mountain of content to discuss, but some are latching onto the molehill of possible future content like that's where the bulk of the discussion should take place, and anything else is uncivilized, for idiots, and is only recaps. Which I think is is not the case. And there is a decade of data at twop that also says it is not the case. And the reason Fanfare exists is because there was a groundswell that emerged because of the hole twop left. Where the episode threads didn't have spoilers in them.

We very clearly don't

I'm saying if someone says "your food is spoiled", you know what that means.
posted by cashman at 3:32 PM on April 27


I'm saying if someone says "your food is spoiled", you know what that means.

If you want to go with that analogy, then does knowing how the dish was prepared or which dish will be served next also "spoil" your meal for you?
posted by Jacqueline at 3:34 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


This is a pretty unfair way to characterize the people you're trying to have a discussion with

I think when someone says they'd have to have a lobotomy to have a conversation with you as you suggest, that there is already a lack of fair characterization going on.
posted by cashman at 3:35 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


That doesn't mean it's right to respond in kind.

cashman, I think the issue is that you're conflating spoilers and speculation in an unhelpful way. Everyone agrees there shouldn't be blatant spoilers in threads. What people don't agree about is the degree to which speculation itself constitutes a spoiler. Some people think the difference between speculation and spoilers is a difference in kind, while other people think it's a difference in degree. Conflating the two things as if they are self-evidently the same elides the actual source of conflict in this discussion and adds heat, not light, to the conversation.
posted by dialetheia at 3:38 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


If you want to go with that analogy, then does knowing how the dish was prepared or which dish will be served next also "spoil" your meal for you?

It wasn't an analogy. I'm saying the term "spoiler" is a term understood as something bad. Something that has spoiled, has gone bad. Has been ruined.

But again, Jacqueline you can have your way. Have it be all book, all spoilers, whatever you want, in the actual way you want it. As you say, we're talking about the site in the manner we think would work. So if others want it to be the way you want it, go for it, so be it. I can read the books if I want to participate. I am fine with that.

you're conflating spoilers and speculation in an unhelpful way

Lets just talk about speculation for this portion then. I've stated I think it is a problem when dozens and dozens of people speculate all in the same place, because more than likely, it functions as a spoiler. Think about some huge mystery show that you watched, where a reveal was awesome and people, including you, didn't see it coming. As in, didn't conceive of it, didn't even have thoughts in that direction. If there is just endless speculation about major plot points, chances are someone is going to posit whatever the reveal is.

That's all I care about noting. If someone speculates that Daenerys is going to pull a hamstring chasing after a dragon because they didn't show her drinking enough water this episode, nobody cares. I'm not advocating for anything crazy here, simply trying to help have an environment where we can discuss the show without diluting the effect of it.

To further explain, how many love speculation and that forms much of the basis of their enjoyment with the show, I think comparisons of shows to be something many engage in, and how one character dealt with something in one show, or how show writers dealt with something in one show, differs or compares to another.

But you can't even do that properly if you can't experience the show. If you know what is coming around every turn. If you don't get the gut punch where the writers wrote it, you can't do a good job of talking about a show in the context of other shows with any kind of of sense of how things were really taken.

But me stating that does not mean I'm fanatical about anybody watching tv that way. And again, run Fanfare how it's run. I'm just stating my opinion, and trying to detail the ideas because they aren't visible to some currently. And once again, whatever gets decided will be fine. Make it all spoilers, above and beneath the fold, it's all good. We'll all live.
posted by cashman at 3:49 PM on April 27


Wait, TWOP didn't allow speculation? If that's the case, then it seems incorrect to say that no discussion of television can happen without speculation. It's at least workable to ban certain forms of speculation, then.

Maybe we should look into how that would work.
posted by koeselitz at 3:51 PM on April 27


(I'm kinda wondering how much other people – Jacqueline, Brandon, etc – had experience with TWOP before it died. I've never been over there, so I guess I lacked that perspective.)
posted by koeselitz at 3:52 PM on April 27


There isn't a policy against speculation and I don't think there should be. The rule is: don't use knowledge from the books to give away future plot developments in the show. This means that people who are watching the show and haven't read the books can speculate as much as they want, but it places pretty severe restrictions on the kinds of speculation people people who are up-to-date on the Song of Ice and Fire books can engage in in GoT threads. That's going to have to wait till we have Song of Ice and Fire book threads, or separate just-for-book-readers GoT threads, if we end up doing that.

Giving away future plot developments is not a form of speculation; it spoils the fun of speculation and suspense for people who haven't gotten there in the story yet. So, please, don't do that.
posted by nangar at 3:53 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Twop had varying policies. Since the main issue was Game of Thrones, the link was to the Game of Thrones show policy.
posted by cashman at 3:54 PM on April 27


But the link only said you couldn't mention the books, as far as I could tell. Is there a separate part about speculation?
posted by dialetheia at 3:55 PM on April 27


Good point - maybe someone who has participated in it can share.
posted by cashman at 3:56 PM on April 27


I'd forgotten this, but – we've talked a bit about TWOP's "pretend the books don't exist" policy here. The consensus seems to be that that's extreme and furthermore doesn't really fit with the Metafilter model, and thinking about that now I can see why people felt that way and I think I agree. It's tough, because we're many comments deep so it's easy to miss stuff like that that happened.

It does seem useful to remember the model of TWOP as a site that did discussion about television well. It also seems useful that TWOP is not Metafilter, and we're inevitably going to do things differently here.

And ultimately I think "don't be a dick" is going to be the most cohesive guideline we can formulate here. It sounds like TWOP verged over into deleting way too much stuff and being fighty and argumentative in a way that restricted some conversation. We're better off not going down that road, most of all because we are a different site with a different culture that isn't so amenable to it.

As tough as that is, it means asking members to just try to be nice. But Metafilter is often awesome, so I think it will work.
posted by koeselitz at 4:02 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


TWOP was completely different. They had whole forums for each show. A quick look at their GOT forums shows that they had threads for book vs movie, spoilers, and speculation without spoilers.
posted by amarynth at 4:03 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


"...it places pretty severe restrictions on the kinds of speculation people people who are up-to-date on the Song of Ice and Fire books can engage in in GoT threads."

The way I've been dealing with this is by posting what I remember my thoughts and speculations about characters were when they were at the same point in the story in the books as they are now in the show. For example, everything I've written about Littlefinger in the current episode thread is what I remember thinking after I'd read chapter 61 of ASOS, refined a bit by the actor's creeptastic performance on the show. (Littlefinger is somewhat easier than other characters because he never has a POV chapter so even book readers don't know what's really going on in his head.)
posted by Jacqueline at 4:13 PM on April 27


jessamyn: "Presumably there's no status afforded to being the person who makes the "New episode of X, discuss" thread, but maybe there is?"

People jump to post obits for whatever reason so I think it's fair to assume that there maybe competition to post threads on FanFare. Especially since users know exactly when the post can go live.
posted by Mitheral at 4:47 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Are we going to be able to queue up posts for future episodes? In that case, I think it might be easiest to have one person make all the posts for a season as far in advance as possible (e.g., as the schedule is released).

While mathowie's mini recaps at the beginning of every post are nice, I think just "S##E##: discuss" would be adequate, so we don't need anything beyond the episode title and date/time to set it up.

Perhaps we could have a Wiki page where we coordinate who volunteers to set up the posts for each season?

This is how I used to do the Battlestar Galactica open discussion threads on my now-defunct blog back in the day -- I'd just set up a few weeks' worth at a time as scheduled posts and they would automatically publish whether I was home or not.

For old shows, I think season-by-season works best as that seems to be how most people watch them these days (marathoning big chunks over a short period of time).
posted by Jacqueline at 4:59 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


While mathowie's mini recaps at the beginning of every post are nice, I think just "S##E##: discuss" would be adequate...

The episode title should also be included.