What constitutes a spoiler in FanFare? June 2, 2014 8:27 AM   Subscribe

As a general guideline for FanFare: what are the best ways for people who are both show watchers and book readers to enjoy a thread, make comments, and have engaging conversation while: 1) not ruining things for the show-only folks, or 2) having people assume that every comment made is a spoiler?

In a recent Game of Thrones discussion, it was mentioned that some show-watchers don't like to see comments about the books -- at all. It may be that sometimes a discussion of how visual narrative vs. book narrative differ is an interesting one, but that discussion may have spoilery implications for those who only watch the show.
posted by tempestuoso to Etiquette/Policy at 8:27 AM (230 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

From a mod perspective, we expect people to make a good-faith effort not to inadvertently spoil people. It doesn't mean the books can't come up at all, though. I know that's not precisely your question, but that's where I'm coming from .
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:31 AM on June 2, 2014


This is a tough balance, especially with Game of Thrones being a close-enough book-to-show adaptation. We've talked a bunch in the past about spoilers on the first few threads about FanFare. The short version is we won't do two versions of threads, and we ask that book readers don't talk about future info from the book plotlines in the show threads.

Personally, I'm show-only, and we've had to reign a few users in on this aspect. I scanned through last night's thread after watching the show and saw a bunch of comments on how a scene played in the book differently (seems ok, could be annoying to people), but I did also see a couple comments alluding to what looked like stuff that happens in the book in the future that was starting to seem spoilery, and I can see how that would be annoying to show-only folks.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:36 AM on June 2, 2014


In a recent Game of Thrones discussion, it was mentioned that some show-watchers don't like to see comments about the books -- at all.

One thing that's become pretty clear from FanFare (and in particular GoT-related) discussions is that we've got a spectrum of preferences in the userbase in terms of how much acknowledging/discussing of the books they're comfortable with. Our actual policy on the ground, like restless_nomad says, is that talking about the books isn't disallowed but we need people to be thoughtful about avoiding spoilers from them.

And we have folks who would rather not have the books come up at all; that's not something we're comfortable enforcing.

And we have folks who basically want to make really strongly book-influenced comments, and that's something that it's sort of on those folks to check themselves about so that they're not coming off as dangling info or flirting with spoilers for folks not coming from their perspective.

The bulk of the folks active in FanFare seem to be comfortable occupying a more moderate position in between that's captured well by the current "be thoughtful, avoid spoilers" policy and the general Metafilter expectation that people will be considerate of the other folks around them and so some self-moderation where there's potential friction.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:37 AM on June 2, 2014


From a watcher's perspective, I'll tell you that I no longer read the Game of Thrones threads. And that sucks, because I really enjoy the commentary in them and would rather get it here than elsewhere. But so far, every single thread (of the ones I've read; again, no longer reading them) eventually turns into a **wink wink but wait 'till you see what happens NEXT you just won't BELIEVE IT!!!** (I think I've seen the mods try to quash that when it happens, but still, it happened.)

So, okay, not exactly a spoiler. No actual information was transmitted -- EXCEPT that I need to be watching the next episode in a certain way, with a certain degree of anticipation that I would not have had I not read the *wink wink* in FanFare, and I absolutely HATE watching the show that way. During every scene, I find myself going "okay, is it going to happen now???" After every scene, I find myself going, "Was that it? That didn't seem very big." And it's just a fucking distraction.

So, there you go. I've solved the problem by just not reading those threads anymore. But I'll be honest -- I feel cheated out of them. I like FanFare as much as the next person, and I really value the discussion there, and I feel like I should be able to participate in those discussions too. But the Game of Thrones threads that I've read ruin my show-watching experience, and I'm not down for that.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:39 AM on June 2, 2014 [26 favorites]


Mudpuppie, I've basically stopped participating in the fanfair threads as well because, as a bookwalker, I've really got no interest in talking about what happened without the context of the whole story. I'm really enjoying the FPP spoiler-friendly discussion, and I like the FF threads when the show introduces content that wasn't in the books. But yeah like you say, the half-conversations are tedious at best and nigh-spoilery at worst.
posted by rebent at 8:48 AM on June 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


As someone who has neither read the books nor watches the show and thus has no dog at all in this fight, I'm curious why 'just one thread' is the policy? It seems like a lot of problems could be avoided by allowing people to self-segregate. It seems like there's more than enough discussion happening that having it happen in two different threads isn't going to leave anyone out in the cold. Is it a technical issue or some other social problem that I'm not seeing?
posted by jacquilynne at 8:55 AM on June 2, 2014 [8 favorites]


As someone who has neither read the books nor watches the show and thus has no dog at all in this fight, I'm curious why 'just one thread' is the policy?

Possibly because if you allow two threads for GoT, then you've sent the precedent for future series/movies/whatever to have two threads and thus increase the workload.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:57 AM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


jacquilynne: some other social problem that I'm not seeing

I think the problem with two threads is that it's dividing up the conversation. The ethos of MetaFilter is "One subject, one discussion" (no doubles, no threaded comments, etc) and having separate spoiler/non-spoiler threads goes against that. It may well be that this is an area where the ethos just does not provide for a good user experience, but I don't think that decision should be taken lightly, on the basis of one TV show.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:58 AM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I imagine that creates way more work for the mods -- not only do you now have to monitor two threads, but you also have to police that bright line much more rigorously. "No, see, because you mentioned the book it has to go in THIS thread." "But they're not talking about Sansa in that thread! They're talking about Sansa in the show thread!" "Too bad, so sad."
posted by lilac girl at 8:58 AM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


For my own part, I try to be careful not to talk explicitly about future events when I do know how things turn out. "Wink wink" sorts of posts are just rude and I fully support their eradication.

There is, however, as was pointed out in the aforementioned thread, the possibility of talking about past events in a way that implies continuity that might not otherwise have been assumed. Maybe it wasn't intentional, but it's still spoilery.

Therein lies the problem: if we book-readers always have to tag our comments with "opinion, not spoilers," doing so also implies that we don't know the answer, which may or may not also imply that a character lives, dies, turns into a frog, etc. Yet if we don't explicitly state that we are just stating an opinion, our posts are flag-fodder.

In addition, I very much enjoy the show and enjoy talking about it, but I don't like it when there is a tone of hostility toward book readers simply for having deigned to make a comment about the show.
posted by tempestuoso at 9:01 AM on June 2, 2014


I've really got no interest in talking about what happened without the context of the whole story.

Yeah, I'm kinda at this point too, I think - there are lots of things I want to discuss about the episodes and the show and how certain things are being done/not-done that I can't seem to do without edging into spoiler stuff or getting told how annoying/boring it is for the book-readers to be trying to carefully bring that in.

So I think I'm going to stick to other corners of the internet for my GOT discussions, and FanFare for other shows and movies. I was even thinking of suggesting to Matt that we start a book thread/discussion posts for A Song of Ice and Fire on Fan Fare, and then realized we'd have the exact same problem - some readers might be joining to do a re-read, others might be reading for the first time.

So yeah, I think GOT represents a really tough case because it is both a TV and book series in progress, both at different stages/points of the story, and so we can't really bridge this divide easily. Can't be all things to all people.
posted by nubs at 9:04 AM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


As an Unsullied, the "opinion, not spoilers" tags are themselves, generally huge spoilers (because they explicitly state that whatever the commenter is discussing has not happened yet). Even if nothing else changes because of this MeTa, I'd like to request that people stop doing that.

Regarding having multiple threads:
I don't think that decision should be taken lightly, on the basis of one TV show.

It's more than just this once TV show though. There are rewatch threads already started for Mad Men and The Wire. The Fannibals are conspiring to find off Metafilter locations to discuss Hannibal in context with the books and movies.

I feel where the GOT book readers are at when it comes to Fanfare, because it's just as hard for me to participate in The Wire threads without spoiling things for the newbies. The Fanfare for newbs+rotating FPP for experts compromise is pretty good, but won't work for rewatches, and kind of violates the "no doubles" policy on the front page.

I think that having separate experts and newbies threads for media on Fanfare that has outside available canon is the best way to work this out. It's not perfect (twice as many threads, etc) but I think it gives everyone a way to talk about the content in the way that works best for them.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:36 AM on June 2, 2014 [7 favorites]


As an Unsullied, the "opinion, not spoilers" tags are themselves, generally huge spoilers (because they explicitly state that whatever the commenter is discussing has not happened yet). Even if nothing else changes because of this MeTa, I'd like to request that people stop doing that.

It's kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't, though. The only reason that a lot of us are doing that, is because we made predictions in earlier threads that people thought to be "What Happens In The Books" and got marked for spoilers, even though they didn't actually happen in the books.
posted by corb at 9:53 AM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


I agree 100% with mudpuppie.
posted by isthmus at 9:56 AM on June 2, 2014


It's kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't, though.

I assume that most Unsullied don't have a running tally of who has read the books and who hasn't. Even if I do remember that you, corb, (for example) are a bookwalker, when I read your comment, I don't see who posted it until the end.

When you tell me "opinion, not spoilers" you are bringing your extra knowledge front and center, and then proceeding to tell me about things that definitely haven't happened yet. It's unhelpful.

Given how young Fanfare is, I wouldn't be surprised if the mods were a little trigger happy on potential spoiler comments at first. Now that things have matured a little (and people are blessedly so much better about obeying the rules, to the point where we can have reasoned discussions about tweaks to the rules such as in this thread), and the mod staffing situation being what it is, I would imagine that it's much less likely for a non-spoiler prediction to be deleted as a spoiler.
posted by sparklemotion at 10:00 AM on June 2, 2014


I decided to stay out of the GoT threads partly from the spoilers (outright show spoilers or heavy-handed book hints), and partly from the size of the threads. I'm just not into the show enough to stay on top of the discussion, so at this point I can rely on other recap/newsy sf sites to hear about what egregious adaptation choice was made.

In general, it would be nice if the initial spoiler warning of a thread was a bit more than just "spoilers within", so I could figure out whether something is my kind of thread without having to get to Nope the hard way. "Spoilers for x season(s)" or "Spoilers from original novel/screenplay" just something to base a choice on.

Not sure how this will play out when S2 of Masters Of Sex starts up next month - since the book it is based on is non-fiction and 2 seconds on Wikipedia will tell you where Masters & Johnson's relationship went, but some characters & events have been fictionalized.
posted by oh yeah! at 10:01 AM on June 2, 2014


Hannibal appears to be sort of a special beast - jump in if I'm wrong here, fellow Hannibal people, but we seem to have developed a little mini-culture of being perfectly happy to discuss the books and movies right along with the TV show. I think it's partly just because of how old the source material is, and partly because part of the joy of the TV show is how blatantly it plays with both honoring and subverting the source material because it's a prequel rather than an adaptation of the material itself.

We're taking some of the book and movie discussion off-site mainly, I think, because it just seems too tangential to FanFare or the FPPs (and because the rest of you all don't need to know exactly how nerdy we may want to get about this stuff), not to find ourselves a spoiler free-for-all zone because we sort of are one here already. It just hasn't been a problem, maybe because you don't get as stupidly fanatical about our precious baby of a show as some of us are, unless you already know and want to flail about the rest of the canon.

I don't necessarily think other shows should function the same way, I'm just observing that I'm not sure we're a good test case for how to handle spoilers for adaptations of more current material, or adaptations that are more straight-up retelling the source material, vs. filling in an imaginary prehistory for the source material that quite intentionally rewards those who know and want to flail about the source material.

Or maybe I'm totally wrong and we're all being spoilery asses in the Hannibal threads, in which case I apologize and will try to stop being a spoilery ass if more people who have no idea how Hannibal Lecter turns out want to join us. Come on in. Have a drink. It's probably not people.
posted by Stacey at 10:08 AM on June 2, 2014 [8 favorites]


I was the one who made the original comment about all the book comments in the thread. It seemed like nearly half of the comments were of the ilk "I like that the show differs from the book!" or "I wish the show didn't differ so much from the book!". I don't need to know everyone's individual preference about this issue - it's boring. And yes, even when not saying anything/much, it's spoilery.

Also agree that the comments that say "want to see how secret-big-thing is going to play out!" ruins my enjoyment of the show. That was bad in previous weeks, but I didn't see it this week.

You're right, mudpuppie, I should just stop reading. It's a shame.
posted by valeries at 10:18 AM on June 2, 2014


Can you explain why you think something is spoilery "even when not saying anything"?
posted by corb at 10:23 AM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's more than just this once TV show though. There are rewatch threads already started for Mad Men and The Wire.

There's already been discussion about having Rewatch threads vs. First Watch threads. And that issue is totally different from the GoT issue. GoT is unique in that it is a show that is rather strictly based on a series of very popular books that is both decades old and yet still ongoing. About the closest parallel I can think of is The Walking Dead, but the comic books are both much less popular than ASoIaF, and the differences between the show and the books are quite vast (as I understand it).

Can you explain why you think something is spoilery "even when not saying anything"?

"I like the way the show is dealing with the relationship between Ser Cromulent and Lady Kwijibo better than the way the books are." This suggests that the relationship is of some importance and that the relationship continues for some length of time, for example.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:30 AM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


It worked out pretty well when we had the huge spoilery GoT thread on the blue and I am very sad that it is closed and no new spoilery discussion thread has appeared.

Luckily I don't see books vs visual media issues happening with any other current media being discussed on fanfare and I would consider actual prayer to an actual deity that it remains thus, because it is a shitty fun-ruining situation for pretty much everyone on either side of the argument.
posted by elizardbits at 10:33 AM on June 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


"I like the way the show is dealing with the relationship between Ser Cromulent and Lady Kwijibo better than the way the books are." This suggests that the relationship is of some importance and that the relationship continues for some length of time, for example.

That may be the assumption, but I think honestly show-only watchers may underestimate book-reader's obsessive, compulsive, nitpicking. Some of us could probably, as another brilliant Mefite said, "have a PhD in Westerosi Studies."

When we say "I like the way the show deals with the relationship between Ser Cromulent and Lady Kwijibo better than the way the books do", the relationship may have only lasted two pages. Some of the most popular and long-enduring fan theories are born off less than a paragraph of text. And sometimes, hilariously, long-enduring fan theories are born off the absence of a word or two in text, and people will folllow GRRM to conventions and ask him about it, and be like "Hahahah! He said 'Fuck off and go away and let it die already, will you?' That clearly means he's hiding something!"
posted by corb at 10:35 AM on June 2, 2014 [7 favorites]


I think honestly show-only watchers may underestimate book-reader's obsessive, compulsive, nitpicking.

If there's one thing trying to talk about Game of Thrones has taught me, it is definitely not that I should be underestimating book-readers' near-superhuman nitpicking, no.

At this point, I've accepted that it's essentially impossible to have a conversation about the TV show without someone going, "Well, in the books..." but I chalk it up to a difference between the way I'm engaging with the show and the way other people engage with the show, and there isn't really a right or wrong there. The spoiler policy does a good enough job of holding that back that I still find FanFare usable. At worst, it lets me treat "Well, in the books..." as pretty much just ants at a picnic: not ideal, but inevitable.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:43 AM on June 2, 2014 [7 favorites]


Corb: Can you explain why you think something is spoilery "even when not saying anything"?

Other people have said it better than me - when you talk about differences, it highlights that 1) characters will survive for a while longer and 2) stories will turn out one way (someone gave the example that they knew Jon and Bran wouldn't meet up at Craster's because people said it diverged from the book).
posted by valeries at 10:55 AM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Can you explain why you think something is spoilery "even when not saying anything"?

Back in the S04E06 discussion of GoT, it was commented by a prolific bookreader about one character that:

"I wasn't a huge fan of [character] in the books but [actor] has made him one of my favorite characters on the show. Brilliant casting and acting."

That seems like a pretty benign statement... except hey, look at that tense. Thanks for telling all the people who aren't reading the book that this character isn't still alive in the books!

The same person, in the same thread, also commented:

"How I feel about the upcoming [event]."

The comment was a link to an image macro stating how cool the event was going to be. You know, the event that, while hinted at by the episode, was not actually a certainty? The event that a non-bookreader could have very plausibly come up with a number of speculations about how certain parties might act in future episodes to try to prevent it from happening?

But hey, now we know for sure: it's happening!

I'm not even going to bring up who said it, because frankly this isn't about one user. But, hopefully this helps you understand how someone can in fact spoil quite a lot of stuff "even when not saying anything".
posted by tocts at 11:03 AM on June 2, 2014 [8 favorites]


I wasn't a huge fan of [character] in the books but [actor] has made him one of my favorite characters on the show. Brilliant casting and acting.

FWIW, if I were reading that statement, all I would take that past tense to mean is "When I was reading the books, which is something I have done but I am not currently doing, I wasn't a huge fan of this character." Maybe they talk elsewhere about reading the books in a present tense, so you notice the difference, but it doesn't immediately seem like the spoiler you are assuming it to be.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:09 AM on June 2, 2014 [18 favorites]


except hey, look at that tense.

That doesn't follow at all. They mean they weren't initially a fan - they're using the past tense because that isn't how they feel about the character now.
posted by dialetheia at 11:10 AM on June 2, 2014 [10 favorites]


Yeah, I really think that first example is just assuming bad faith and reading something that is not actually there.
posted by elizardbits at 11:21 AM on June 2, 2014 [8 favorites]


cortex: "And we have folks who basically want to make really strongly book-influenced comments, and that's something that it's sort of on those folks to check themselves about so that they're not coming off as dangling info or flirting with spoilers for folks not coming from their perspective."

Unfortunately, asking people who don't want to check themselves to check themselves is obviously not workable. That's fine as a choice for the site, but I don't participate in FanFare because of this.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 11:22 AM on June 2, 2014


People at both the "No Spoilers Ever" end of the spectrum and the "Free For All Discussion" end of the spectrum are both going to be somewhat disappointed in FanFare. This is a known bug, and is probably not going to be remedied, as the former approach requires heavy-handed moderation and the latter excludes all but the most die-hard fans. FanFare was designed from the beginning to be a "happy medium" kind of place when it comes to spoilers.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:29 AM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Unfortunately, asking people who don't want to check themselves to check themselves is obviously not workable.

It's totally okay to give us feedback mod-side via the contact form or whatever if you're seeing what looks like unchecked patterns of behavior. I worry sometimes that folks assume we're seeing literally everything that's going on and that unaddressed problems are us giving stuff a tacit thumbs-up rather than just not hearing from as many people as are actually concerned/bothered by something. Definitely helps us to be able to talk it out with folks who may be having check-thyself issues if we can have the context of people being bothered, too.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:33 AM on June 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


I am considering not using FanFare for GoT for exactly the reasons stated above. The nudge-nudge-wink-wink I can't wait to see how everyone reacts to next week is totally disturbing, like going into a film and someone says "do you know about the twist?". It's really that bad and I've probably flagged more in GoT threads on FF than I have in my entire time on Metafilter.

Since I've already been spoiled a little on some future event in another part of the internet I guess I will head over to the thread, but I will be ctrl-f-ing "foreshadowing" before I dive in.
posted by Iteki at 11:36 AM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


The problem I'm talking about seems to be the same one that tocts is experiencing, though I can see why people are questioning his/her reading of that one comment.

I won't link to the comments that irked me, because I don't mean to call out any actual person/people, but I think taz's gentle shaking of the finger in this thread sums it up for me. Except that it didn't really stop, in that thread, or the next (in which taz repeated her request).

That's when I threw up my hands and said to hell with it. It feels like that's how the discussions are going to go from now on, and it ruins the next week's episode for me -- not "spoils," just ruins the experience of watching it.

I can't really even fault the book people. I think a lot of folks who have read the books are making a concerted effort to keep spoilers out of the threads, but they don't realize the trail of breadcrumbs they drop along the way. But it also feels that others are maybe trying too hard to demonstrate their superior memories of the tiny details that happen in the books, and man is that tiring. Reading those threads just got to be a drag for me.

I've also been following three or four other FanFare threads, and none of them have the same problem -- even Hannibal, based on a series of books.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:38 AM on June 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


cortex: "It's totally okay to give us feedback mod-side via the contact form or whatever if you're seeing what looks like unchecked patterns of behavior."

I'm sure this is good advice for some people. But I'm not going to do that—because I'm not going to participate in FanFare, because I don't want to see those spoilers in the first place. I just have no interest in policing something I don't want spoiled for me.

Again, I respect the choice MetaFilter has made here. But as the commentary in this thread shows, folks who don't want to encounter spoilers simply can't rely on the current rules in order to avoid them. The only safe approach is to skip FanFare GoT threads entirely. So be it.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 11:39 AM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


(seems ok, could be annoying to people)

I find most of the book-talk in the Got FanFare thread to be of this variety. I'm show-only, but I do intend to read the books at some point and I don't really want to know all the little bits of divergence. It probably sounds dumb to say that the book, even past events, are being spoiled for me. So, it falls in line with quote above. Not really a dealbreaker, just a minor annoyance.
posted by GrapeApiary at 11:48 AM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


So "two separate threads" for GoT is completely off the table at this point? I don't understand...the current setup is making very few people happy and is actively driving others away. The AV Club has zero moderators and the two-thread approach works out pretty well for them.
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:53 AM on June 2, 2014 [10 favorites]


I used to flag the comments I found to be too revealing, but yeah, I've also given up on reading the GoT threads because of too many subtle hints being thrown around. The last straw for me was the S04E06 thread.
posted by isthmus at 11:54 AM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


I agree with mudpuppie, and it has led me to stay out of all Game Of Thrones threads here at Metafilter. Eventually I just realized that the book readers were louder than the show watchers, and their consensus seemed to be the way those threads were going to be.

At this point, as a non-reader I assume that every GoT thread in FanFare is going to be chock full of things I don't want to know.
posted by Sara C. at 12:20 PM on June 2, 2014 [7 favorites]


There are rewatch threads already started for Mad Men and The Wire.

So far, The Wire threads are emphatically NOT rewatch threads where anything goes in terms of spoilers. Newbies welcome!
posted by Sara C. at 12:23 PM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's totally okay to give us feedback mod-side via the contact form or whatever if you're seeing what looks like unchecked patterns of behavior.

Totally Ok, but in my experience unlikely to actually affect moderation. Sometimes "it's going to play out the way it plays out. "
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:26 PM on June 2, 2014


Sara C.: " So far, The Wire threads are emphatically NOT rewatch threads where anything goes in terms of spoilers."

What does "So far" mean in this sentence?

If someone comes in and posts spoilers, would they be flagged and deleted? Or are we looking at yet another situation where subtle spoilers will be left in threads, as long as they are unobtrusive?
posted by zarq at 12:26 PM on June 2, 2014


I flagged a spoiler in a GoT thread that was a subtle spoiler. It was deleted within about fifteen minutes. I think it'd be an error to think the mods are not on this and trying their best, or that those who have already been spoiled don't also want you to remain unspoiled to the best of their ability.
posted by corb at 12:28 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I really think that first example is just assuming bad faith and reading something that is not actually there.

You may be right (though, and I'll try to avoid adding to the spoilers, but, my interpretation turned out to be correct). In my defense, if I'm assuming bad faith, that may simply be because so many bookreaders in the GoT threads seem intent on walking as close to the line as possible without technically crossing it.

When there's a constant group of people who bring book-versus-show comments into every thread, and who also sometimes make comments that amount to "you won't believe how that turns out!", it becomes difficult not to read between the lines of their comments.
posted by tocts at 12:30 PM on June 2, 2014


It worked out pretty well when we had the huge spoilery GoT thread on the blue and I am very sad that it is closed and no new spoilery discussion thread has appeared.

What I hear you saying is that you volunteer to help collaborate on writing one, yes? ;)

I meant to make a new thread in time for the old one's closing but have been really exhausted all week and forgot. :( I'll get on that now, but as before, I'd like other book readers to help me assemble and organize links so we can make something more substantial than "spoilers: go!" (which the mods have already said is not sufficient for a FPP).

The spoilers-friendly FPP also needs to not be a double, so I was thinking since the last one was specifically about fan theories that the next one could specifically be about differences between the show and the books. That topic would be timely given how much this season has diverged from the books, plus it seems to be the topic that book readers are most interested in discussing. I know there have been a LOT of articles about it as well as websites/blogs that do episode-by-episode breakdowns of the similarities and differences, so I think we have a lot of material to work with in putting together something FPP-worthy.

Everyone who wants to help collaborate on a spoilers-friendly ASOIAF/GOT/D&E FPP please MeMail me your email address so I can invite you to the Google Doc. I gotta do some stuff around the house today but should be able to put several hours into this later tonight.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:36 PM on June 2, 2014 [9 favorites]


Yep, I've already given up on FanFare for GoT. I was out of the country when the season started, and was so excited to get up to speed and contribute when I got back -- and then, honestly, my experience of reading just the first few weeks worth of episodes (and the ensuring MeTa thread) completely drove me away.

So "two separate threads" for GoT is completely off the table at this point? I don't understand...the current setup is making very few people happy and is actively driving others away. The AV Club has zero moderators and the two-thread approach works out pretty well for them.

I agree, absolutely. I genuinely don't get why it's clearly workable to have threads about dozens of different shows, but is considered unworkable from a moderating point of view to have two separate threads for GoT. I don't get the sense that anyone's happy with the current set-up, and I would think that having two separate threads to allow for two very separate viewing experiences would probably wind up minimizing the amount of moderation necessary.

And yeah, I've found Hannibal to be a totally different beast (as it were), given that Bryan Fuller is obviously playing around wildly with the source material. It's not like there's actually a book that Thomas Harris wrote that contains the storyline that culminated in this season's finale, so there's no way anyone could have actually spoiled the ending, regardless of whether they've read the books.
posted by scody at 12:37 PM on June 2, 2014 [10 favorites]


Well, one anecdatum is that I read GoT threads (though not for the latest one until I've seen it) and the [THING WHAT HAPPENED JUST THEN] was not spoiled for me.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:38 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think the argument against two separate threads would be that it then sets a precedent for future things that people want to make a fuss about.

(to clarify, i think that two separate threads would be glorious and perfect and wonderful and should happen immediately but i also think that the above argument is valid, if unfortunately so)
posted by elizardbits at 12:40 PM on June 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


Also, FWIW, the biggest "spoilers" in this week's GOT thread are from someone I confirmed has not read the books (I MeMailed and asked because I was thinking about flagging several of their comments). Sometimes people are able to guess what happens next because they understand how TV works (e.g., Chekov's guns, foreshadowing via cinematography/editing choices, etc.) or because they've developed a good intuition for how the writer(s) think.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:42 PM on June 2, 2014 [10 favorites]


scody: I don't get the sense that anyone's happy with the current set-up

I'm perfectly happy with them. I don't participate that much, because as a Bookwalker I don't want to slip up and drop a spoiler, but I enjoy reading the threads quite a bit.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:47 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


This has happened: somebody posts something in X discussion about a desire for Y and Z characters to be (re-)united. The comment reads very much like a spoiler. I know it isn't a spoiler so I don't flag it. But somebody else might. Should I have as well?*

Is it wrong to speculate about plot? And if so, how could someone tell the difference between a spoiler and speculation?

Some portion of us (a majority, I hope) genuinely do not want to spoil this show for others. When I watch the show with my SO, I keep my mouth shut the entire time so as not to ruin her experience (and with a little bit of schadenfreude if I'm honest). I regret that some of my comments may have detracted from someone else's enjoyment.

A more fleshed-out explanation of what could potentially spoil the experience for others would be handy, perhaps as an addendum to the spoiler policy. Some people who have good intentions might just be ignorant of how a little comment could say more than they intend. Such has been the case with me.

I find it very discouraging that people are just finding that they can't participate in discussion.

* Could one of the flag reasons be "definite spoiler," or something along those lines? There are things that I know are blatent spoilers, for example, but there are also comments that just look like spoilers to the unsullied.
posted by tempestuoso at 12:54 PM on June 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


Well, one anecdatum is that I read GoT threads (though not for the latest one until I've seen it) and the [THING WHAT HAPPENED JUST THEN] was not spoiled for me.

The thing is, GOT/ASOIAF is filled with *so many* ZOMGWTFBBQ moments that when someone refers to "the big thing" coming up later they could be referring to half-a-dozen different things. We haven't even had this season's episode 9 event yet -- why are y'all are assuming that last night was "the" thing that book readers have been anticipating?

I don't see how anyone can possibly claim that "something shocking is going to happen on Game of Thrones" is a spoiler when that's basically a description of business-as-usual for the series. It's not like it's a sitcom that only has a Very Special Episode once every season or two.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:54 PM on June 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


For people driven away by the first few threads this season; I think it's gotten a lot better with regard to potential spoilers. People have learned not to do the whole "JUST WAIT FOR THE THING THAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!" stuff as well as other quasi-spoilers.
posted by Justinian at 12:56 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Jacqueline; hell, I get annoyed by it and I've read all the books. It adds no value to the thread and subtracts from some people's enjoyment.
posted by Justinian at 12:57 PM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think the argument against two separate threads would be that it then sets a precedent for future things that people want to make a fuss about.

I don't even get why this is much of a concern. If an analogous situation arises in the future of a beloved series of books being adapted for TV and there is a discussion of having separate threads for readers and non-readers based on the nature of how closely (or not) the adaptation is hewing to the books, then surely that can be discussed on its merits at that time.

I'm perfectly happy with them. I don't participate that much, because as a Bookwalker I don't want to slip up and drop a spoiler, but I enjoy reading the threads quite a bit.

Okay, so saying "no one" is happy was a bit of hyperbole. But clearly, there is a not-insignificant number of readers and non-readers alike who are not happy with it, some (many?) of whom feel they have to go elsewhere for the GoT community that better serves their reader/non-reader needs. This seems especially ironic to me, given that GoT was one of the two shows that prompted the FanFare site to begin with. Instead of providing a place where the maximum number of GoT viewers across the spectrum can participate, it's created a place where the maximum number of GoT viewers who feel they can tread a middle ground can participate.

I should note that I am not a particularly spoiler-averse person, and I have no patience with super-strict definitions of what constitutes a spoiler (I'm fine with plot speculation, for example). I've been spoiled for shows before, and usually -- though not always -- it hasn't negatively affected my enjoyment. But I think GoT is an unusual case, both in my experience as a viewer and as a cultural phenomenon, and I think it does a disservice to a lot of people not to take the two-thread step (the wild dance craze that's sweeping Westeros!) to address it.
posted by scody at 12:59 PM on June 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yeah, on some level it kind of feels like when you watch something with a friend who's already seen the thing you're watching and they keep looking at you to see your reactions to stuff that happens. Like, just let me watch the thing, damn.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:00 PM on June 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


Also count me in as one of the people who'd support a two-thread setup. I guess I see it as not making a lot more work, because the thread for people who've read the book would require less moderation.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:04 PM on June 2, 2014 [7 favorites]


How will a de jure two-thread-White system work any better than the de facto two-thread-Blue-and-White system we've had in place?
posted by Etrigan at 1:11 PM on June 2, 2014


To be honest I think Jacqueline just gave a good example of the problem with this by (here) confirming as fact whatever the most *wow* bit of speculation on this weeks thread is. Don't think I will dive in after all.
posted by Iteki at 1:12 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


That is a great example, and it makes me glad I haven't been reading the threads.
posted by isthmus at 1:16 PM on June 2, 2014


Since there is already a precident for more than one potential thread on a given episode (Rewatch vs first watch threads for Mad Men), and the status quo basically results in more than one thread on the topic (Thread per epsiode + a "spoilers all" FPP), it doesn't really seem like a big leap to just have two threads per epsiode of GoT, at least to test it out in what is obsentibly still a beta-sorta period for FanFare.

That this is not something that is even really on the table as an experiment (as cortex said last time around "it's not something we're doing at the moment"), is frustrating. It seems (strictly from my non-mod vantage point) that it would result in 2 threads that are lower-touch from a flagging/deleting/etc perspective, vs what we have now. It would at least seem worth trying out for the last couple of episodes of the season.
posted by grandsham at 1:22 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't think Jacqueline has here confirmed as fact whatever the most wow bit of speculation is, because...there's no one big wow speculation. For all we know dragons are going to carry off Samwell and make him their king.
posted by corb at 1:23 PM on June 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


I don't think that speculation can ever be considered spoiler (unless it is confirmed in thread by someone else saying "hey...that's a spoiler").

Given how much speculation is happening in the FF thread, I don't think that Jacqueline has really given anything away by saying "one of the theories discussed is correct."
posted by sparklemotion at 1:23 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Same thread, different day.
posted by cashman at 1:24 PM on June 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


Also, FWIW, the biggest "spoilers" in this week's GOT thread are from someone I confirmed has not read the books (I MeMailed and asked because I was thinking about flagging several of their comments). Sometimes people are able to guess what happens next because they understand how TV works (e.g., Chekov's guns, foreshadowing via cinematography/editing choices, etc.) or because they've developed a good intuition for how the writer(s) think.

But see, Jacqueline, that comment of yours is kind of part of the problem. I don't want to make this personal at all, but for me it's a baby elephant in the room. And I love baby elephants! I have nothing against them! But you can't just pretend they're not there!

I haven't read this week's thread -- as stated above, I stopped reading them. But what you just did was tell us that someone in the thread predicted that some something something is going to happen in a future episode -- and that they're right. Which you know because you have read the books. I don't know how that person's comment was phrased, so I don't know how spoilery it really was, but the fact that you just defined it as a spoiler rather than a prediction -- confirmed that yep, whatever that person predicted is sure enough going to happen! -- is problematic. So if after this reading MetaTalk thread, in which someone just said this week's thread didn't have as much of the hint-dropping as others have had, I decided to visit this week's GOT thread, what might have just seemed like a musing over there is confirmed to be a spoiler here. It's just more *wink wink, I know but I'm not going to tell* which I don't think is your intention, but I don't think you understand that it is read that way by a lot of folks.

But I think GoT is an unusual case, both in my experience as a viewer and as a cultural phenomenon

I've come to accept this as well. Not having read the books, I can't really relate to how fervent the book readers are. So, I've just decided to assume that this is the way it's going to be. And that's fine, I guess, but it leaves me (and a lot of others, from what I can tell) out, and I don't think there's any single-thread solution to that other than to let the people who have a lot of stuff to say say it, and those of us who don't want to hear it will go sit on the seesaws instead of playing on the monkey bars, because the rules in this one part of the playground are going to make us end up hating playgrounds.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:24 PM on June 2, 2014 [8 favorites]


But what you just did was tell us that someone in the thread predicted that some something something is going to happen in a future episode -- and that they're right.

Yes, but you'll note it was said in MeTa, not FanFare.
posted by corb at 1:26 PM on June 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


I meant to make a new thread in time for the old one's closing but have been really exhausted all week and forgot. :( I'll get on that now, but as before, I'd like other book readers to help me assemble and organize links so we can make something more substantial than "spoilers: go!" (which the mods have already said is not sufficient for a FPP).

Can I just say, this seems more than a little problematic?

Like it or not, the policy right now is that there aren't two separate GoT threads for book readers vs. non-book readers. The last spoiler-full discussion on the blue was OK because there was at least a fig leaf of a novel (as in, new-to-the-blue) post around it to justify its existence. Now, though, you seem to be openly soliciting people for ideas for a new post that you pretty much admit is just an excuse to continue the discussion from the now-closed older thread.

If the mods want to change the policy to have a separate spoilers-full thread in FanFare, that's their choice, but it does not seem appropriate in the meantime to be mis-using the blue to get what you want.
posted by tocts at 1:27 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Fanfare struck me as an odd section of the site to open up even before site finances made downsizing necessary. After that, it's like the mods decided what was really missing from their days was "let's just all start hitting our fingers with hammers!" as part of their task lists.

Until such time as the show gets firmly out ahead of the books, or otherwise leaps into Hannibal-esque riffing-and-remixing-inspired-but-not-beholden-by-source-material territory, having split show threads only and show-plus threads is probably the only thing that'll keep repeated flare-ups of this kind of thing down to a dull roar.
posted by Drastic at 1:28 PM on June 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


All this has happened before. It's hilarious watching it happen again.

The same discussion where people plead to others to chill on the spoilers, and the same thing where some disregard it in favor of the wink wink "look at me, and how smart I am" stuff. Even down to the crowdsourced post.

I think it's time to just two-thread it and be done with it, because people just are not getting it.
posted by cashman at 1:31 PM on June 2, 2014 [8 favorites]


corb: " Yes, but you'll note it was said in MeTa, not FanFare."

People have asked that folks not add spoilers to MetaTalk in at least one other thread.

Jacqueline actually apologized in the thread I am thinking of, for doing it in MetaTalk once before.
posted by zarq at 1:36 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, but you'll note it was said in MeTa, not FanFare.

Yeah, agreed. C'mon, MeTa is not a spoiler-free zone and if Jacqueline is to be able to talk about specific policy issues, she at least needs to be able to vaguely describe what those issues are.
posted by lalex at 1:37 PM on June 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


Bookwalker? Fuck that.
posted by mullacc at 1:40 PM on June 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


Can I just say, this seems more than a little problematic?

I don't see why, the goal is to make a post that isn't specifically "spoilers: go".

People have asked that folks not add spoilers to MetaTalk in at least one other thread.

Sure, but no one has done that. At best, we've got people complaining that because Jacqueline noted that one theory mentioned in the GoT thread is correct, without giving any details as what the specific comment is, the whole thread is ruined. In people are going to be that sensitive, then yes, it's best that not read GoT threads.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:43 PM on June 2, 2014 [11 favorites]


The unsullied thing is hilarious to me because people are voluntarily taking on the name of a bunch of dudes who were kidnapped and forcibly castrated and using it to describe the way they enjoy the series.
posted by elizardbits at 1:43 PM on June 2, 2014 [16 favorites]


C'mon, MeTa is not a spoiler-free zone

The mods have consistently and repeatedly said things to the effect of "Let's not spoil things just to demonstrate what a spoiler is or isn't."
posted by Etrigan at 1:44 PM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


I haven't read this week's thread -- as stated above, I stopped reading them. But what you just did was tell us that someone in the thread predicted that some something something is going to happen in a future episode -- and that they're right.

There are literally dozens of predictions in that thread, including several that contradict one another. So me saying that one person's guesses were so accurate that I wrote to him/her to ask whether he/she had read the books is not a spoiler because you have no idea which person much less which prediction I'm talking about. If you're afraid of reading speculation that might turn out to be true then you should just stay out of TV discussions because people are going to speculate and sometimes they're going to be right.

The reason I cited that example in this thread is it is an example of how easy it is for mistake speculation as spoilers, and if people are just flagging/deleting things that *might* be a spoiler then a lot of made-in-good-faith speculative comments will be deleted as well. It's also an example of a comment that as per the current spoilers policy (as I understand it) shouldn't be deleted because it was posted by a non-reader but would be deleted if it had been posted by a reader, and I still find that whole moderating-different-members-differently thing kinda weird.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:45 PM on June 2, 2014 [12 favorites]


The mods have consistently and repeatedly said things to the effect of "Let's not spoil things just to demonstrate what a spoiler is or isn't."

Do you think that happened here? I was responding specifically to complaints that Jacqueline's vague comment was a spoiler of some kind.
posted by lalex at 1:47 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


my bad. i just enjoyed hearing what i heard when i watched it and couldn't resist. my comment was deleted though so hopefully not too many non-book folks got tainted by it. would be nice to discuss with folks that have read the books though.
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 1:47 PM on June 2, 2014


where some disregard it in favor of the wink wink "look at me, and how smart I am" stuff. Even down to the crowdsourced post.

But... the crowdsourced post was on the Blue, not fanfare! I'm not sure what you mean?
posted by Justinian at 1:50 PM on June 2, 2014


Meanwhile, if the mods start deleting accurate speculation as spoilers then they're essentially spoiling everyone by confirming that any predictions not deleted are things that are definitely not going to happen.

We really need two threads. I still don't understand why this isn't as simple as making two different "shows," one named "Game of Thrones (Nonreaders)" and one named "Game of Thrones (Readers)"? (Please do NOT adopt the Unsullied/Bookwalkers terminology.)
posted by Jacqueline at 1:51 PM on June 2, 2014 [7 favorites]


Ftr, I wasn't calling Jacqueline's comment here a spoiler, just using it as an example of the type of comment that, in thread, could unintentionally be very revealing, especially taken in combination with it's placement in the thread, the individual commentors prolificacy, etc. Again, an example only.

I have an unusual gift for suspending my disbelief which makes telly very entertaining for me, I never see stuff coming on my own. I take my risks along with the best of them and the biggest "spoil" I've gotten was at the hands of an insightful bookfree speculator, the second he posted it I thought, awww, motherfuck, he's right of course. Which is fine and par for the course if I am hanging out in a speculation thread.
posted by Iteki at 1:52 PM on June 2, 2014


If every episode has something that is a "big thing," what is the point of mentioning that there is a big thing coming? What is different between that and just saying you are looking forward to every next episode? And then, doesn't that just go without saying?

Part of the joy of a plot twist is you don't see it coming. Telling people to expect a plot twist takes away most of the fun. It sets expectations that can never be met. It's sort of like someone telling you "this comedian is soooooo funny." Then for whatever reason, you see the comedian and you're not impressed. Maybe they just weren't funny, but maybe it's because your expectations were pre-calibrated. Someone has robbed you of your objectivity.

Please do NOT adopt the Unsullied/Bookwalkers terminology.

Unsullied is a word that actually meant something pre-GRRM. Bookwalker is not.
posted by tempestuoso at 1:58 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


The unsullied thing is hilarious to me because people are voluntarily taking on the name of a bunch of dudes who were kidnapped and forcibly castrated and using it to describe the way they enjoy the series.

Not to mention the forced-to-kill-puppies part.

Count me as another hope for two threads. I don't participate in GoT FanFare threads right now because, as a reader, I would find it too stifling.

I have peeped in on occasion because I enjoy seeing non-reader reactions to certain things. I have seen a lot of 'hee hee, just wait, wink wink' comments, along with 'speculation' that seems... a little too on point? But who can tell for sure.
posted by lovecrafty at 2:00 PM on June 2, 2014


Not everyone uses those terms to denote their participation in this fandom so why not just use very simple words which accurately and correctly describe the difference between the Readers and the NonReaders.
posted by elizardbits at 2:00 PM on June 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


Not as "cool".
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:03 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I assume people like using Unsullied and Bookwalker because they like making people like me want to go outside and yell at clouds.*

*Spoiler: I don't assume that.**
**Spoiler-spoiler: it does make me want to do that, though.
posted by Drastic at 2:07 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


clouds

You mean Skywalkers?
posted by davidjmcgee at 2:09 PM on June 2, 2014 [8 favorites]


Ungroundies, please.
posted by Drastic at 2:10 PM on June 2, 2014


Watchin' TV 'round here seems really stressful.
posted by BeerFilter at 2:11 PM on June 2, 2014 [10 favorites]


As a non GoT person who's viewing the level of spoiler discussion over time regarding GoT with some bogglement, I think that whatever conclusions the mod team comes to for GoT should be considered a special case. If that means two threads for this one series, so be it. It doesn't have to be a precedent for other shows that don't need the same consideration.
posted by immlass at 2:12 PM on June 2, 2014 [12 favorites]


Just chiming in to Nth the desire for two threads ---- I don't think this is a solvable problem, otherwise. I myself, in one of my not-shining MeFi moments, got pissy in a GoT thread after reading a bunch of comments from book readers and taking them in bad faith; turned out they were pure speculation. It's impossible to tell from a position of ignorance how much of what feels
*wink wink* is so, and how much is a false positive.

Of course, I'm still participating in the threads myself, and enjoy them. I do think that for the most part people are doing their best to not be dicks, and for me it's enough. But I think there's a certain amount of inadvertent dickishness that you can't do anything about, and which would be much alleviated by the two thread solution.
posted by Diablevert at 2:14 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]



The unsullied thing is hilarious to me because people are voluntarily taking on the name of a bunch of dudes who were kidnapped and forcibly castrated and using it to describe the way they enjoy the series.


I like "Unsullied" as a term because it is self depreciating, and in a silly way acknowledges that by choosing not to read the books, we have chosen to essentially mentally castrate ourselves, and put ourselves through the torture of trying to navigate a spoiler-filled Internet.

That being said, I use it as a tongue in cheek sort of thing and wouldn't say it really makes sense for thread titling purposes.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:18 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I guess calling a group of people "Non-Readers" has a vaguely negative connotation to it. I prefer "Book Reader/Show Watcher" personally, giving both a positive sort of bent.

In any case if "Unsullied/Bookwalker" was never used on Metafilter again, I certainly wouldn't mind.
posted by grandsham at 2:25 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Watchin' TV 'round here seems really stressful.

This has 100% been my experience with the fanfare subsite.
posted by dogwalker at 2:28 PM on June 2, 2014


I prefer "Book Reader/Show Watcher" personally, giving both a positive sort of bent.

But we readers also watch the show. Readers/Nonreaders is the only terminology that's both clear and accurate.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:33 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


I guess calling a group of people "Non-Readers" has a vaguely negative connotation to it. I prefer "Book Reader/Show Watcher" personally, giving both a positive sort of bent.

But everyone talking about the show is a show-watcher. A subset of those show-watchers are people who have not (yet) read the books. Hence reader/non-reader. Everyone knows it means "non-reader in context of the ASoIaF/GoT series," not "people who don't read ANY books."
posted by lovecrafty at 2:34 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


The mods have consistently and repeatedly said things to the effect of "Let's not spoil things just to demonstrate what a spoiler is or isn't."

Do you think that happened here? I was responding specifically to complaints that Jacqueline's vague comment was a spoiler of some kind.


It's one thing to say "Jacqueline's vague comment wasn't a spoiler". It's another to say "C'mon, MeTa is not a spoiler-free zone".
posted by Etrigan at 2:40 PM on June 2, 2014


Readers/Nonreaders is the only terminology that's both clear and accurate.

AVClub gets by with "expert" and "newbie" and that seems pretty clear and accurate to me so you can keep your "only."
posted by dogwalker at 2:42 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's another to say "C'mon, MeTa is not a spoiler-free zone".

But it's not a spoiler-free zone, and the fact that gratuitous, blatant spoilers for current TV shows sometimes get deleted doesn't make it so.
posted by lalex at 2:48 PM on June 2, 2014


Kind of a bummer that people are not participating because of fear of spoilers - we've apparently hit a sour spot. I understand it from all sides - I don't like reading speculation, but I do love relating current events to future ones. As much as I'm enjoying popping into The Wire rewatch, it's essentially bubble gum. I've seen most of the series three full times. I'm not going to make it four times just to make sure I'm not relating spoilers.
posted by mzurer at 2:48 PM on June 2, 2014


Everyone knows it means "non-reader in context of the ASoIaF/GoT series," not "people who don't read ANY books."

Exactly. I'm a lifelong book worm (and a book editor by profession) and I find nothing pejorative about using "non-reader" in reference to people who haven't read ASOIAF but are watching GoT. It's purely descriptive.

AVClub gets by with "expert" and "newbie" and that seems pretty clear and accurate to me so you can keep your "only."

I don't have any problem with newbie/expert either, but I would point out that newbie/noob actually is a term that can have negative connotations.

But really, I don't really care what the two separate thread categories might be called, in the event that this happens. Call it Unsullied/Bookwalker, call it Innocence/Experience, call it Beatles/Stones. Just call me when it happens.
posted by scody at 2:51 PM on June 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


MeTa is not a spoiler-free zone

But it's not a spoiler-free zone, and the fact that gratuitous, blatant spoilers for current TV shows sometimes get deleted doesn't make it so.


The facts that spoilers sometimes get deleted and that the mods have said, as I noted, things to the effect of "Let's not spoil things just to demonstrate what a spoiler is or isn't" would seem to indicate that there is some restriction on spoilers in MeTa. Declaring it "not a spoiler-free zone" strips away a fairly important level of nuance.
posted by Etrigan at 2:54 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Of course people don't participate because of spoilers. That's what you do when you don't want to know what happens. Myself, I'm a book reader. Haven't seen a show. But I'm only on the second book! It takes me a long time to get around to stuff. What can I say?

So I too avoid all Game of Thrones threads, because I want to enjoy the story as presented. You know what though? I'm coming back to all the threads when I'm done, and read them all. Then, maybe I'll watch the shows. I'll let you know how that all works out sometime next decade.
posted by Roger Dodger at 2:55 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Newbie/Expert isn't accurate either because there are people who are experts on the show but haven't read the books, and there are people who have read the books but wouldn't consider themselves to be experts.

Since the point is to have different threads for people who have read the books and people who haven't, Reader/Nonreader is the terminology that actually describes what we want to accomplish. If being called a "Nonreader" in this specific context bothers you then that's your own hangup to work through.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:55 PM on June 2, 2014


Have we thought about implementing a "Spoiler" flag?
posted by pwally at 2:58 PM on June 2, 2014


You are so set in seeing that there is only one way to label the different threads, it's hilarious.

What if a non-reader says fuck it all about spoilers and enters your non-reader thread? Then the label is inaccurate.

But whatever you're right. You know more about this than anyone else.
posted by dogwalker at 2:59 PM on June 2, 2014


I agree my preferences aren't really viable as classifiers for the thread names, and I wasn't offering them as such. I am just being overcautious with a group that includes members that can take afront at things like the tenses of verbs.

My comment was much more about "not Unsullied/Bookwalker" than "please consider not using 'Non-Reader'". Even then, as long as we actually get two threads, I really couldn't care less what they are called.
posted by grandsham at 3:02 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


What if a non-reader says fuck it all about spoilers and enters your non-reader thread? Then the label is inaccurate.

I have no idea what you mean by this at all. If the non-reader wants to read the book-spoiler thread, they are accepting the risk of being spoiled. The whole point of the nomenclature is simply to protect those who don't want to know what happens in the books, not to perfectly classify them by some platonic ideal system.
posted by dialetheia at 3:07 PM on June 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


The facts that spoilers sometimes get deleted and that the mods have said, as I noted, things to the effect of "Let's not spoil things just to demonstrate what a spoiler is or isn't" would seem to indicate that there is some restriction on spoilers in MeTa. Declaring it "not a spoiler-free zone" strips away a fairly important level of nuance.

I think we mostly agree? My understanding of the guideline is basically "don't be a total dick" plus that it's nice, if possible, for folks to try to be vague about specific plot points when they use examples to talk about policy.

But my comment was in response to people who seemed to think that Jacqueline's vague comment crossed some kind of line - spoilers are most definitely not uniformly policed in MeTa, so I don't think anyone should have the expectation that this is a spoiler-free zone. It's not.
posted by lalex at 3:11 PM on June 2, 2014


Hodor.
posted by Hodor at 3:12 PM on June 2, 2014 [32 favorites]


I don't care if one thread is called Goatfuckers and the other is called Whalefelchers as long as there are separate ones for people who have and who have not read the books.
posted by elizardbits at 3:12 PM on June 2, 2014 [19 favorites]


Carry me out of here, Hodor.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:14 PM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


If the non-reader wants to read the book-spoiler thread, they are accepting the risk of being spoiled. The whole point of the nomenclature is simply to protect those who don't want to know what happens in the books, not to perfectly classify them by some platonic ideal system.

Yeah, I think we agree regarding the purpose of the two separate threads. People want TV show discussion that's independent of book/tv discussion. But some people think "the point is to have different threads for people who have read the books and people who haven't."

And that to me, seems like a silly (and vague) distinction to make and certainly not worth getting all knotted up over labelling, especially since the mod input currently puts it at unlikely.

I realize I am part of the knotted up problem here.
posted by dogwalker at 3:23 PM on June 2, 2014


Just adding from the sidelines: the point of a two-thread solution wouldn't be to classify people, but to have two different kinds of discussions. If some people want to participate in both, surely that's okay as long as the rules for each discussion are followed?
posted by immlass at 3:24 PM on June 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


no i definitely want to classify people using the designations i posted above, this is now an intrinsic part of my game of thrones enjoyment and to take that away from me would be cruel
posted by elizardbits at 3:28 PM on June 2, 2014 [13 favorites]


this is now an intrinsic part of my game of thrones enjoyment and to take that away from me would be cruel

Then we must take it away from you, because if there is nothing else to learn from GOT it is that (a) all is suffering and (b) life is cruel.
posted by nubs at 3:34 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


(c) kung kung kung.
posted by homunculus at 3:38 PM on June 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wasn't there talk about adding threads that cover a whole season or show?

I don't watch GoT but am excited about The Wire on FanFare. I don't think there's enough interest for two parallel threads, and am fine with the episode-by-episode one being spoiler-free. But it would be cool to have at least one parallel post where we could talk about things in the context of the show as a whole. If it was up at the same time as the rewatch, first-time watchers could read/comment in the episode post only, while folks who've seen the whole thing could comment in both... we could try to lean towards using the episode-by-episode threads to discuss if possible, but if there's something interesting but spoilery to say about that episode we could raise it in the season/series thread.

For GoT, rather than two separate posts for each episode, maybe there could be at least one season-long or series-long thread that's explicitly open to book-related discussion (and which could obviously talk about the events of each episode as they happen)? Dunno if that would make folks happy, but a thought.
posted by EmilyClimbs at 3:45 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Goatfuckers are never happy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:47 PM on June 2, 2014


I'm a non-reader/unsullied/goatfucker (or is it whalefelcher?) who dislikes spoilers, but I actually find it very interesting when the book readers describe how the events we've just seen on the show compare to how they were portrayed in the books. If we had two threads, I think I'd miss that. Granted, talking about these events in a way that implies continuity beyond what's been on the show can be spoilery, but it's vague and uncertain enough that I don't really mind it. In any case, it's something I'd rather live with than drive the book-readers away. But I agree with many people here that the two-thread solution seems like the best answer.
posted by homunculus at 3:49 PM on June 2, 2014


What does "So far" mean in this sentence?

There's been some discussion within the threads about newbies vs. veterans, and so far I think only one person has said they would prefer it to be a spoiler zone, while everyone else has said that they are new viewers and are happy to have a space to watch and discuss as first time viewers.

Down the road, who knows, maybe a large population of Wire Veterans will show up and the consensus will change, but for now there's been no demand for spoiler-inclusivity and no problems with spoilers aside from one person who flagged their own post.

As someone who isn't a mod, but who is sort of taking an active role in posting the threads, I don't know how much of a say I really get in whether there are spoilers or not, hence my equivocation. I would flag any egregious spoilers, since the culture of the threads so far is that we're not doing that.

I'm a little afraid of being too bossy in "The Wire" threads, basically.
posted by Sara C. at 3:50 PM on June 2, 2014


honey that boat has sailed, run aground, and been salvaged by pirates long ago
posted by elizardbits at 3:53 PM on June 2, 2014 [12 favorites]


I don't know how I could be less bossy in The Wire posts without just like quitting Metafilter or something.
posted by Sara C. at 3:58 PM on June 2, 2014


Also I know this has been discussed and shot down, but I really wish we had some sort of spoilertext system. I think it is a good idea in general (and could provide a way to address some of these GoT book vs non-book issues without having to split posts, and have integrated discussions on rewatches like The Wire where veterans can talk about some things in plaintext with newbies but then mix in some spoilery stuff that's hidden that we want to talk about with other veterans.)

But also, selfishly, I care about spoiler policy on the site and want to be part of the discussions happening here in MetaTalk about it, but also happen to be a person who has not read/watched GoT yet but want to someday and since all these important site discussions on spoiler policy seem to center on GoT I'm constantly afraid of coming across big spoilers. I am currently trying to balance engaging in the discussions and avoiding spoilers and I'm pretty sure I'm failing badly at both...

posted by EmilyClimbs at 3:59 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also I know this has been discussed and shot down, but I really wish we had some sort of spoilertext system.

I get the thinking behind this, but I don't see how it would solve the GOT problem since there are factions that can't even agree on what constitutes spoiling. As things are now, and having seen the ways in which the conversations get steered in a certain direction by people who are REALLY, superlatively passionate about the discussion, the presence of spoiler text wouldn't make me more comfortable reading GOT threads. I wouldn't trust that they'd be used in a way that would make the thread accessible to me, first off. And besides, then you'll get all of these responses to blacked out comments, that may or may not be blacked out themselves, and then the thread will become impossible to follow unless you reveal all of the spoiler text.

I can see how it would work in, say, The Americans threads. But it seems GOT is a special snowflake.

Snowflake, you know, because winter yada yada.

posted by mudpuppie at 4:15 PM on June 2, 2014


I think spoilertext could work for Mad Men, where really everybody agrees what the spoilers are, and some people want to be like "this foreshadows when X happens", while we all know that X is something newbies won't see coming. There are a few things in the other shows I FanFare about that would benefit from spoilertext, too.

But the GoT problem is just so much bigger than that.
posted by Sara C. at 4:21 PM on June 2, 2014


I've suggested it repeatedly since the outset, so I'll just add my voice to the chorus here re-supporting Newbies/Experts threads for Game of Thrones now and any future situations where it makes sense.

That said, I haven't really found Fanfare threads compelling enough in my toe-dipping to mitigate my trepidation about spoiling, so: the suggestion is just on principle for me at this point.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:26 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


totally unrelated to anything at all but stav i dreamed you kidnapped my dog to weaponize her farts

in this dream you were an actual chicken and also a supervillain
posted by elizardbits at 4:34 PM on June 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


I want you to prepare yourself for some upsetting news.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:44 PM on June 2, 2014 [22 favorites]


Just timing in to add my support for a 2-thread solution. Honestly, I cannot imagine how it could possibly be more work than this constant twoing and froing, metas etc - I say this as someone who has read the books, watches the show, and doesn't participate in the thread on Fanfare.
posted by smoke at 5:37 PM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Previously I was opposed to having two separate threads for GoT episodes, but given the way things have been going, I think it's the only way to make this work.
posted by nangar at 6:20 PM on June 2, 2014


Haven't read the books.

The spoiler averse are precious to me and more likely to ruin this toy in their insistence on discussing the show whilst having a sanitized experience and reacting to every implication of the possibility of a hint as some demon to be exorcized. Two threads would be ok but the complaining seems more rocking the boat than the mostly good natured but sometimes excessively numerous reader comments. I don't think comments per se can be excessive in and of themselves but comments on both sides of this issue can be, on the White.

I am a contrarian and will eat soft spoilers of all kinds if I want to discuss a show and and read plot theories and motive speculations, and find the complainers more precious than the coy hint droppers but the excited pseudo spoilery anticipation (winter is coming and it's gonna suck zomg) can be tiresome and is best met with moar speech including good natured non passive aggressive chiding if flags of memail don't help.

I liken this to the "I'm not happy about the meta queue" complaints...chill and let things shake out a bit, use your tools and words and don't get all millennial and me me me about my mefi. I realize this is a vote of sorts being tallied and an RFC, so here's mine
posted by aydeejones at 6:37 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Example of good natured chiding:

"reader, maybe I'm paranoid but when you talk about x in that way I watch the entire show anxiously sweating in extra anticipation and the show is hard enough on my blood pressure as it is! " (no moar back and forth)

"non reader, that was not my intention and don't feel like I let anything slip, but in the interests of squashing this I will not go into why it was or wasn't a spoiler and let's just agree that blah blah common ground stuff blah." (no moar back and forth)
posted by aydeejones at 6:46 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


if you are not actually a chicken i am going to be very disappointed
posted by elizardbits at 6:50 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am a contrarian and will eat soft spoilers of all kinds if I want to discuss a show and and read plot theories and motive speculations, and find the complainers more precious than the coy hint droppers but the excited pseudo spoilery anticipation (winter is coming and it's gonna suck zomg) can be tiresome and is best met with moar speech including good natured non passive aggressive chiding if flags of memail don't help.

I've typed and deleted several responses to this, but I realize in doing so that I have no actual idea what point you're trying to make, and I'm reminded of weaponized dog farts, which I had never actually thought of before until two hours or so ago.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:55 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I liken this to the "I'm not happy about the meta queue" complaints...chill and let things shake out a bit,

The problem with this analogy is that the pushback against the metaqueue was happening before anyone had any experience of what, in practice, it actually meant for the site. By contrast, we have had nearly an entire season of GoT to experience whatit means, in practice, for the site to have one thread instead of two.

In other words: this is what "things shaking out a bit" actually looks like.
posted by scody at 7:18 PM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Is this where I complain about GoT threads starting at midnight or 1am EST, instead of at 10 or am I in the wrong line?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:23 PM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm an avid show watcher, haven't read the books and honestly spoilers don't bother me that much but all this discontent is wearing me out. Can someone please remind me why the idea of two seperate threads was frowned upon? It seems like the only solution at this point....and selfishly, it would give me another GOT thread to enjoy.
posted by pearlybob at 7:31 PM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Grandpa: She doesn't get eaten by the eels at this time.

The Grandson: What?

Grandpa: The eel doesn't get her. I'm explaining to you because you look nervous.

The Grandson: I wasn't nervous. Maybe I was a little bit concerned, but that's not the same thing.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:34 PM on June 2, 2014 [21 favorites]


Speaking of eels....

Problematic participant in the hypothetical Princess Bride thread: "Oh hey, that thing Inigo keeps saying over and over? You know, that thing he keeps on saying? Well, I read the William Goldman original, and the next 30 minutes of the movie are going to be mind-blowing!"
posted by mudpuppie at 9:58 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't have a strong opinion either way, but I am beginning to think that a two-thread solution might actually be the lesser of the evils here. Less opportunities for MeTa-worthy incidents, anyway. Maybe a small increase in content to monitor, but it seems like the potential for low-level incidents stays about the same, and the potential for big blowout MeTa posts decreases.

Would this be the sort of thing someone could use MeCha or one of the other unofficial mefi-multiverse sites to set up? Sounds like an awful lot of work and sort of counter to the whole point of creating fanfare, but if the staff would prefer a single thread per episode and people really want isolated reader and not-yet-reader experiences, going elsewhere might just be the Path Of Least Resistance.

I'm not entirely sure what anyone ever used Google Wave for, but it sounds like it could've maybe been relevant here? Ha.

I do want to go on record as saying that I'm opposed to the idea of creating a "differences from the books" post for the blue just to have a place to talk about book spoilers. It seems like violating the spirit (if not the letter) of the staff's guidance. It could be a cool post, and I may yet contribute to it for that reason. At the same time, I don't like the idea that it is a thin veneer of legitimacy over a thing that runs counter to how the folks who pay the server bills want the site to run.
posted by Alterscape at 9:58 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Could we please please testdrive two threads for the next GOT episode? Just as a testcase and not as a firm decision from the mods?

If the mods put up two threads and clearly mark them as a One Time Experiment, then we can move on from theoretical debate to actually being able to have some community experience. If it works better, yay. If it explodes into a frenzied crossover spillage, then okay, that doesn't work.
posted by viggorlijah at 10:18 PM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also, I want a books vs show FPP because the draft I've seen is about all the seasons and includes external comments by GRRM and other creatives, so it's more about adapting and translating from page to screen, an interesting discussion to have in of itself.
posted by viggorlijah at 10:19 PM on June 2, 2014


Could we please please testdrive two threads for the next GOT episode? Just as a testcase and not as a firm decision from the mods?

There are only two episodes left, so we chould wait and just do it for the season finale, since that will be an obvious jumping off point for massive speculation on the future of the series which book-readers will have different insights into than non-readers.
posted by homunculus at 10:37 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, we're been talking some today about the two-thread approach as something to try for the last couple episodes of the season, yeah. At this point enough other pieces in FanFare are in place, and we're starting to catch our collective breath on the whole financial crisis and staff reduction thing, that slipping in another bit of experimentation on this front seems manageable, and it'd clearly be good to see how well it resolves the issue even if it ends up being a fairly show-specific case.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:42 PM on June 2, 2014 [14 favorites]


I can't wait for season 6 so we don't have to talk about this anymore.
posted by Justinian at 10:42 PM on June 2, 2014


Personally I have an iron constitution in regards to Game Of Thrones thread shenanigans – the only thing that even slightly irks me is when people are like "hey you know that knight that fell off the horse and tumbled down the hill to a gory death at the bottom of a waterwheel in Season 1? That was Jorah's cousin" and I'm all "ooodafuck cares" but only for half a second really. But you should def give the two-thread approach a shot for Game Of Thrones I think.
posted by furiousthought at 10:51 PM on June 2, 2014


we're been talking some today about the two-thread approach as something to try for the last couple episodes of the season

Then could we please start with a second thread for this week's episode ASAP?

I'm still interested in doing a book-vs-show FPP for its own sake as I think it's an interesting topic to have an overarching discussion about, but if we didn't have an immediately need for an open spoilers-friendly thread then we could push that proposed FPP back to after the season finale. IMO that timing would be a bit better as the links relating to the last two episodes could be based on what actually aired instead of my educated guesses on what will be covered, plus it would give me more time to put together a comprehensive post without sacrificing sleep.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:52 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Problematic participant in the hypothetical Princess Bride thread: "Oh hey, that thing Inigo keeps saying over and over? You know, that thing he keeps on saying? Well, I read the William Goldman original, and the next 30 minutes of the movie are going to be mind-blowing!"

It's revenge, isn't it? When the Kid asked if there were sports in it, Gramps gave a big list of things, and we've pretty much seen fencing, fighting, torture, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, and miracles already.

(Also, geez, Grandpa, spoilers!)
posted by radwolf76 at 10:54 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


give me more time to put together a comprehensive post without sacrificing sleep.

Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Meta Filter
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:55 PM on June 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


Then could we please start with a second thread for this week's episode ASAP?

Please take "hey, we're actively considering doing this starting next week" at face value and keep in mind the other extenuating shit I just mentioned instead of pivoting immediately into Okay But Do It Now Instead. It is not that big of a deal if the path from this moment to the next GoT thread that fits your preferences involves some small delay.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:02 PM on June 2, 2014 [25 favorites]


I suppose people can keep it in their pants for another week given that we know relief is coming soon, right?

Meanwhile, we'll keep plugging away on the show-vs-book adaptation FPP and it will get done when it gets done. I'll also see how the other collaborators feel about holding the post until after the season finale so we can fill in the last links to the various episode-by-episode breakdowns that people have been doing around the internets.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:30 PM on June 2, 2014


furiousthought: the only thing that even slightly irks me is when people are like "hey you know that knight that fell off the horse and tumbled down the hill to a gory death at the bottom of a waterwheel in Season 1? That was Jorah's cousin" and I'm all "ooodafuck cares" but only for half a second really

For what it's worth, the answer is 'me'. I am the person who cares and finds that sort of world-building interesting and enjoyable.

I'm glad the two-thread system is being considered as a possibility, the finale does seem a good place to try it out. Gives us time to have the threads, then (likely exhaustively) hash out any difficulties that pop up so that we're perhaps got a firmer idea of whether to continue the experiment next season.

Mark me down as in favour of the idea as a whole.
posted by pseudonymph at 1:23 AM on June 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think it's worth noting that a lot of show-only people are quite happy with the way the threads are going, and the way the readers are approaching things (see this comment and several after it). Notwithstanding that we all have different preferences, we do seem to have compromised well, in general.

On the topic of separate threads: any reason we can't just have a longboat spoiler-friendly thread that covers the whole season? It might make for less work than having two threads for each episode. Either way, I'm in favour of this pony, and thankful for it.

On one thread with hidden text for spoilers: westeros.org does this, and I don't think it always works. Someone will post something in spoiler tags, but the replies will often make it clear what the hidden text was. So even if that was practical here, I don't think it's desirable.
posted by Pink Frost at 3:03 AM on June 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


Re The Wire threads: I'm one of the "newbs" in there. I think people have been striking a pretty good balance in those. There haven't been any plot spoilers, except apparently for one comment, quickly deleted at the poster's own request, which I didn't see.

There has been some discussion of the general themes of the series as a whole, and how events of the particular episode under consideration fit with those themes. I'm completely fine with that. I can see that if someone was very very spoiler-averse, they might not want to see even those, but frankly if you consider even that kind of thing an unwated spoiler, you shouldn't be reading anything on the internet at all about the series.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:10 AM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I feel like if the spoiler-laden thread on the blue hadn't closed it would have been better. That thing was still going strong up until the day it closed and was a great relief valve for book-felchers. While we're requesting special snowflake-shaped ponies maybe we could just have the blue thread re-opened indefinitely.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, then you'd get a thread colonization event and everyone hates those.
posted by norm at 5:52 AM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


But so far, every single thread (of the ones I've read; again, no longer reading them) eventually turns into a **wink wink but wait 'till you see what happens NEXT you just won't BELIEVE IT!!!**

Yeah, that's why I don't read the GoT threads either in FanFare. The inability of some people to stop doing the winky thing is boring and annoying. I am fine with reading much more spoiler-laden threads, though, or even the GoT wiki, but the way that people dance around spoilers calls attention to itself far more than if they were just like "i wonder if Strega Nona will die in season four, like in the badly-written book"
posted by Greg Nog at 5:56 AM on June 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


The first novel in the series was published in 1996. Cold Mountain came out that year, too -- should we discuss the movie with no mention of that bestselling book? This intense focus on (purely plot) "spoilers" is asinine, honestly, and wildly inappropriate for something that has been out in the public for that long.

It's not my site and not my policies, but it's not an approach with internal coherence nor is it in keeping with how the rest of the site works.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:00 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


norm: great relief valve for book-felchers.

How does one suck the semen out of a book?
posted by gman at 6:01 AM on June 3, 2014


I think the argument against two separate threads would be that it then sets a precedent for future things that people want to make a fuss about.

SURELY you're not implying MEFITES would ever be FUSSY?
posted by Greg Nog at 6:02 AM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


give me more time to put together a comprehensive post without sacrificing sleep.

Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Meta Filter


For what it's worth, I don't.
posted by sparklemotion at 6:11 AM on June 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


How does one suck the semen out of a book?

Isn't there some kind of community norm (ahem) about invoking Rule 34?
posted by norm at 6:12 AM on June 3, 2014


Two threads is the way to go, I can't think of a site that discusses the show that doesn't provide separate spaces. But, people who are sensitive to spoilers should not expect this is really going to solve the problem immediately. It takes time for people to get the rules about what they can and can't say in the spoiler free thread and people are still gonna blow it.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:18 AM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


should we discuss the movie with no mention of that bestselling book?

If Cold Mountain had a sequel, say "Cold Dead Mountain," it would be rude to discuss the events to come in the sequel in a thread about the first movie, or to imply what happens to characters in the sequel, or even to imply that characters necessarily are the same. "I didn't like Jude Law in the first movie, but if they make a sequel I'm really looking forward to seeing him as an Ice Zombie..."

If there is 1-to-1 book-to-movie parity, that's one thing. That is not the case with GoT, so the comparison is not apt.
posted by tempestuoso at 6:22 AM on June 3, 2014


I think as a general guideline, people should pick one and participate in it, so there aren't a bunch of oopsie daisies. Love spoilers and the books, go in that thread. Expound on everything you've ever wanted. Type freely with no worries of anything.

Because if they go through the trouble of creating two threads and having to moderate two threads, the last thing we need is the problems two threads was supposed to eliminate.
posted by cashman at 6:24 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, if/when we get 2 threads I'm going to do my discussing over in the reader thread and probably only drop into the nonreader thread to answer questions (since nonreaders can't safely Google the answers).
posted by Jacqueline at 6:27 AM on June 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


I can't wait until the first inadvertent spoiler slips into the non-spoiler thread and users clamor for a third Game of Thrones thread in which no Game of Thrones discussion at all is allowed.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:36 AM on June 3, 2014 [16 favorites]


The first novel in the series was published in 1996. Cold Mountain came out that year, too -- should we discuss the movie with no mention of that bestselling book?

This isn't really a comparable situation -- if you're in a thread discussing the movie Cold Mountain, presumably, you have already seen the movie Cold Mountain, and thus cannot have the ending of it spoiled for you. But there are (currently) more ASOIAF books than there are GOT seasons, so people who have read the books can spoil future events for people who haven't.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:39 AM on June 3, 2014


That's why as a general guideline, I think the idea is just pick one and participate in it.
posted by cashman at 6:39 AM on June 3, 2014


That's why as a general guideline, I think the idea is just pick one and participate in it.

And for what it's worth, if there were two threads I would almost definitely just stay in the spoiler-y thread and avoid the other one, which is probably a great argument for having two threads if you're so anti-spoiler that the very hint that spoilers might be possible is enough to enrage and/or deter you from reading.
posted by norm at 6:42 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, we're been talking some today about the two-thread approach as something to try for the last couple episodes of the season, yeah

Cool. Thanks, cortex, for considering it, and I hope it gets the greenlight!
posted by corb at 6:43 AM on June 3, 2014


I'd assume a reasonable comparison would be the Hunger Games movies -- if you are watching them without having read the book, what do you do in a movie discussion for Mockingjay pt 1? (Assuming for the sake of argument that lots of people here watched the movie and didn't read the books but want to discuss the movie. This would also have worked for Harry Potter and Twilight.)
posted by jeather at 6:51 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


because it's just as hard for me to participate in The Wire threads without spoiling things for the newbies.

I watched The Wire years ago and would definitely have the same problem sooner or later, but probably only if I was just participating in the thread without re-watching it. I guess I assumed most people were going to re-watch the show along with everyone else within the same time frame (like one episode per week or whatever) in which case I don't think it would be nearly as confusing. If I wanted to participate without watching I'd personally just take a little extra care about plot points. (I popped in for the first episode but I don't have time for one more show.)

As someone who isn't a mod, but who is sort of taking an active role in posting the threads, I don't know how much of a say I really get in whether there are spoilers or not

Now I'm really confused. Why would the person posting the next episode have -- or need to have -- any say about the spoiler policy? That would create a lot of confusion, or maybe even a race to post threads to set spoiler policy. (Or even just the first episode, for that matter. Can someone come along and start a new re-watch with different rules?)

I thought the policy for re-watch was the same for regular shows: don't reference things that haven't happened yet. (Hence the concern I responded to, above.) Mods, can you clarify what, if any, spoiler guidelines are already in place for re-watches or if it's just at the discretion of the person posting that thread/episode. Thanks.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:51 AM on June 3, 2014


I thought the policy for re-watch was the same for regular shows: don't reference things that haven't happened yet.

Right now we don't have anything formally in place; what we do have is an experimental Mad Men Rewatch thing getting underway that's intended to be distinct in how folks work with it from the threads we've had to date, in that it, specifically, is intended to be a spoiler-friendly "let's talk about this series we're all invested in, after the fact" thing. There, talking about how e.g. something Peggy says in S01E03 resonates with a development years later in S05E12 would be fine, specifically because it's a spoilers-okay Rewatch thread.

That's in comparison to what I've been thinking of as First Watch threads, which is where our default thread policy applies: don't discuss anything that hasn't happened up to this episode. It applies very naturally to stuff currently airing since when the threads go up everybody is in the same boat (barring issues of adapted material but that's a whole other issue as has become clear).

So it's not a distinction of whether or not it's people organizing some rewatching of a show; it's a distinction of which specific approach people are taking to that rewatching. Is it going to be a spoilers-aplenty Rewatch thing or a no-spoilers First Watch approach?

Right now, we've had nothing but First Watch threads, almost entirely of material as it airs. The new Mad Men from-the-beginning thing with full-series discussion is an explicit experiment with the Rewatch style, handled for now with just manual disclaimers in the post text. The new The Wire threads appear to be aiming for a First Watch approach to an older show, though less totally explicitly.

We're talking about the details of how to actually formalize this distinction in the long run—to make it something that can be selected in the posting interface so that the site's automatically provided text on the page can be style-specific and help remind folks which type of thread they're clicking into and posting in. But right now it's just People Trying Stuff Out so we can see a little bit how it works and what we need to account for there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:07 AM on June 3, 2014


spoilers are most definitely not uniformly policed in MeTa, so I don't think anyone should have the expectation that this is a spoiler-free zone. It's not.

It should be, though, it really should be, if the idea is to encourage everyone to be free to discuss and shape the Fanfare spoiler policy. If these MeTa threads aren't sensitive to spoilers, then people who want to avoid spoilers will avoid them. So the only people discussing the spoiler policy will be the people who don't mind spoilers, which doesn't really seem fair or productive.

I would even argue that it's more important to keep MeTa spoiler-free than it is to keep Fanfare spoiler free (as long as everyone understands that going in). If the decision is to allow spoilers in Fanfare, that's great, I will just avoid Fanfare, but I would still like to be able to participate in meta discussions about that policy and possibly changing it.
posted by payoto at 7:13 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't know, I really don't see it as workable to explicitly police spoilers in MetaTalk. I understand the desire for it and I do see the argument being made, but it seems like a pretty thorough non-starter to me as a matter of uniform policy.

I do think there's a difference between "no spoilers in MetaTalk ever" and "this isn't a designated spoiler-free zone but please don't just bust out spoilers to be a dick." The former would just not work at all, but the latter is pretty much already policy in terms of not being a dick.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:37 AM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Having multiple threads for the last two episodes of GoT would be odd at this point, since most of the season is over. Ideally there it would have been at the beginning so everyone, including the mods, could see how it plays out over time and develop the customs/rules about what happens in each thread.

Doesn't mean it shouldn't happen, just noting the oddity of how its finally seems to be happening.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:44 AM on June 3, 2014


Yeah, if/when we get 2 threads I'm going to do my discussing over in the reader thread and probably only drop into the nonreader thread to answer questions (since nonreaders can't safely Google the answers).

I would respectfully request that you don't do that latter part.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:45 AM on June 3, 2014 [11 favorites]


I would even argue that it's more important to keep MeTa spoiler-free than it is to keep Fanfare spoiler free (as long as everyone understands that going in).

This would make it impossible to effectively discuss policy.

For example: upthread I talked about having flagged an item in the current thread as a spoiler, and it being then deleted. If you already saw the other comment, and then saw it was deleted, now you know it was a spoiler, thus accurate.

Or, otherwise - someone might want to say here, "Actually, Ser FooFoo taking the Bunny of Doomface as his standard is not actually a spoiler, because in Episode 1, you see Ser FooFoo hanging out with Lord Rockhead, who has sworn allegiance to the Doomfaces." If we are talking about whether or not it is a spoiler, there's no way to talk about it without mentioning this fact.
posted by corb at 8:52 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


But this thread is not about discussing whether a specific thing is or is not a spoiler, this is a general policy discussion.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:59 AM on June 3, 2014


Brandon Blatcher: " Doesn't mean it shouldn't happen, just noting the oddity of how its finally seems to be happening."

It should be fine.

Most of the current shows with posts on Fanfare only have threads covering the middle or end of their seasons. They began late because FF has only been live for a month or two, towards the end of the network viewing season. This will shift as we get more shows starting in 2014, such as Orphan Black and OitNB.
posted by zarq at 9:06 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


The GoT threads are not lacking activity for the lack of some of your engagement. This "well, I'm just not going to PLAY on your PLAYGROUND" stuff needs to go back to middle school.

Engage or do not engage with the treads as is your choice, but don't pretend that FanFare is somehow falling apart because you can't engage with your pet thread on the terms that make you happiest.
posted by absalom at 9:07 AM on June 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


I don't know, I really don't see it as workable to explicitly police spoilers in MetaTalk. I understand the desire for it and I do see the argument being made, but it seems like a pretty thorough non-starter to me as a matter of uniform policy.

I do think there's a difference between "no spoilers in MetaTalk ever" and "this isn't a designated spoiler-free zone but please don't just bust out spoilers to be a dick." The former would just not work at all, but the latter is pretty much already policy in terms of not being a dick.


Yeah, I would totally agree with all of this. I was really just responding to lalex's multiple comments that seemed to be sort of dismissive of concerns about spoilers in MeTa. Just saying "MeTa is not a spoiler-free zone" is pretty dismissive of the actual meta concerns being voiced here and if that's actual policy, then it's going to have a real chilling effect on the discussion here. Maybe policing MeTa for spoilers is unworkable, but I also think that the general MeTa policy against comment deletions is going to be unworkable for spoiler discussions. I mean, if the reasoning for having a high bar for comment deletions in MeTa is to allow for frank and forthright discussion, this policy would have an opposite effect in spoiler threads because you'll be shutting out a significant portion of the userbase who won't participate in the threads at all. That is a real downside that has to be taken into consideration.

I'm rambling but I just feel that spoilers are a special case, and GoT spoilers are an extra special case, and maybe trying to fit Fanfare into the existing framework of the site just isn't going to work. Similarly to how people are lobbying for separate book-spoilers-OK and book-spoilers-not-OK threads for GoT even though this is pretty counter to the more general site policy against doubles.
posted by payoto at 9:12 AM on June 3, 2014


Well, it was part of a larger conversation. Lalex was specifically saying that Jacqueline's deliberately vague comment was not a spoiler. It's not as if lalex was saying that Meta should be a spoiler free-for-all. :)
posted by zarq at 9:19 AM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


If I'm mischaracterizing you, lalex, please feel free to correct me!
posted by zarq at 9:19 AM on June 3, 2014


If I'm mischaracterizing you, lalex, please feel free to correct me!

Same here.

When I see this comment:

I think we mostly agree? My understanding of the guideline is basically "don't be a total dick" plus that it's nice, if possible, for folks to try to be vague about specific plot points when they use examples to talk about policy.

But my comment was in response to people who seemed to think that Jacqueline's vague comment crossed some kind of line - spoilers are most definitely not uniformly policed in MeTa, so I don't think anyone should have the expectation that this is a spoiler-free zone. It's not.


I see two issues in here. The first deals with the subjective question of intent and the second is a more objective question of whether something should be deleted as spoilery, regardless of intent.

It's possible to inadvertently spoil something, or to not realize that what you are doing is spoiling when it totally is, or to otherwise spoil without being a dick about it. And saying "I don't think anyone should have the expectation that this is a spoiler-free zone. It's not." is where this takes a wrong turn in my mind, because I can't reconcile the idea of free and open policy discussions with the idea of shutting out the very people who have a strong interest in the policy being discussed.
posted by payoto at 9:39 AM on June 3, 2014


It's also relevant that lalex linked to her earlier comment which goes pretty far by saying that At some point [being spoiled is] just life on the internet if you choose not to stay up on media. I really strongly disagree with this; it is possible to cultivate spoiler-free discussions even of adaptations, but it requires strong user support and moderation. Whether this is desirable, workable, worth the costs, that's all up for discussion, but I really see "well stay off the Internets then" as a pretty extreme and unreasonable response to anyone who complains about being spoiled.
posted by payoto at 9:46 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


At some point [being spoiled is] just life on the internet if you choose not to stay up on media.

In lalex's defense, it's worth pointing out that this had been the prevailing MeFi spoiler rule since time immemorial up until Fanfare opened. Occasionally the "don't be an asshole" rule would cover egregious spoilers, but spoilers have not been explicitly policed here until recently.
posted by dialetheia at 9:50 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


To clarify, it's not that I think fanfare shouldn't have spoiler rules - I wholeheartedly support them - it's just that lalex's comment can't really be called "unreasonable" if it just echoes site policy from a couple of months ago.
posted by dialetheia at 9:51 AM on June 3, 2014


such as Orphan Black and OitNB

Hmm. How is FanFare going to handle Netflix's bulk distribution format?
posted by Rock Steady at 9:53 AM on June 3, 2014


In lalex's defense, it's worth pointing out that this had been the prevailing MeFi spoiler rule since time immemorial up until Fanfare opened. Occasionally the "don't be an asshole" rule would cover egregious spoilers, but spoilers have not been explicitly policed here until recently.

Yes, but she linked to that comment in this very thread, just yesterday, and the act of relinking seems to be reiterating that sentiment from before. Anyway I don't want to get too far afield by trying to pick apart all of her comments; I respect her opinion and feel her viewpoints are important, but to the extent she is saying that people who want to avoid spoilers should avoid MeTa, I do disagree.
posted by payoto at 9:54 AM on June 3, 2014


Hmm. How is FanFare going to handle Netflix's bulk distribution format?

I thought about this a while ago.

I'm pretty okay with FanFare not having extraordinarily rigid rules about threads and when it's acceptable to make one. That way, unique solutions can be applied to special cases as needed. Game of Thrones, for example - I think the TV only / TV and books setup is a good idea and I think it'll work nicely.

For Orange is the New Black, I'd take my cues from what the AV Club did, to an extent. What I'd do is do threads as normal per episode - one a day maybe, to avoid crowding the site too much? - with the same spoiler policy as a rewatch (only spoilers up to and including the episode being discussed allowed), and also on the same day as the first episode thread goes up, have a separate catch-all thread for binge watchers to discuss the whole season if they want to.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:03 AM on June 3, 2014


How is FanFare going to handle Netflix's bulk distribution format?

Asked and half-answered.
posted by Etrigan at 10:11 AM on June 3, 2014


For me, a big part of "don't be a dick" is "if people are saying that your behavior is dickish, don't huffle about and claim that they're wrong and stupid and illogical and that this TOTALLY isn't dickish."
posted by KathrynT at 10:28 AM on June 3, 2014 [11 favorites]


... with the same spoiler policy as a rewatch (only spoilers up to and including the episode being discussed allowed)

I'd advise being very careful with terminology here.

Right now, there is only one FanFare thread that includes the term "Rewatch", and that's the inaugural post of the all-spoilers-all-the-time Mad Men re-watch where anything is fair game, and all participants are assumed to have already seen the entire show. In contrast, the current set of threads that are going through The Wire from the start do not include the word "Rewatch", and appear to be thus far hewing to the policy you're advocating in the quoted text.

I'm not advocating for one set of terminology or another as preferable (though I do think a standardized term for these scenarios is advisable), but simply pointing out the usage as it stands thus far.
posted by tocts at 10:31 AM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hmm. How is FanFare going to handle Netflix's bulk distribution format?

Not very well.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:36 AM on June 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


How long are FanFare threads open?
posted by norm at 11:45 AM on June 3, 2014


On the other hand, who even has time for the rest of the internet when there are 13 new episodes of OitNB to watch? Like, who are these people who are going to STOP watching that and go to some other website to discuss individual episodes in lieu of just watching the next one? And what is wrong with those people?
posted by Sara C. at 11:46 AM on June 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


How long are FanFare threads open?

I believe it's a year.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:52 PM on June 3, 2014


Like, who are these people who are going to STOP watching that and go to some other website to discuss individual episodes in lieu of just watching the next one?

I actually found my enjoyment of House of Cards Season 2 was enhanced little by limiting myself to just a few episodes per week, so it took me about a month to finish it over a series of small binges.

If I use that same schedule for OiTNB S2 (which I might not, because school is out) I could see myself popping up in an episode 3 or 5 thread to chat a bit. But I definitely wouldn't make time to post in every thread.
posted by sparklemotion at 1:03 PM on June 3, 2014


How is FanFare going to handle Netflix's bulk distribution format?

Experimentally! We'll nail it down by Friday, whatever specific structure we go with.

How long are FanFare threads open?

Indefinitely at this point.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:27 PM on June 3, 2014


the only thing that even slightly irks me is when people are like "hey you know that knight that fell off the horse and tumbled down the hill to a gory death at the bottom of a waterwheel in Season 1? That was Jorah's cousin" and I'm all "ooodafuck cares" but only for half a second really

For what it's worth, the answer is 'me'. I am the person who cares and finds that sort of world-building interesting and enjoyable.


Me too. It's one of the things which book-readers in particular contribute a lot which I really appreciate.
posted by homunculus at 2:19 PM on June 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


I can't wait for season 6 so we don't have to talk about this anymore.

You may have to wait a bit longer.
posted by homunculus at 2:21 PM on June 3, 2014


[GRRM's editor] has suggested that the series might end up with eight novels rather than the planned seven.

That's fucking hilarious. Poor book fans.
posted by nooneyouknow at 2:25 PM on June 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


[GRRM's editor] has suggested that the series might end up with eight novels rather than the planned seven.

At some point, we're going to get to the time where book readers have to avoid GoT threads because of TV spoilers.
posted by jeather at 2:54 PM on June 3, 2014 [14 favorites]


It doesn't matter how many books Martin writes, the show will pass the books sometime next season. Therefore season 6 will all be new material and we no longer need concern ourselves with spoilers.
posted by Justinian at 3:21 PM on June 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


As I understand it, book 3 was split into seasons 3 and 4, so if they keep doing two seasons per book then books 4 and 5 will stretch from season 5 to 8.
posted by homunculus at 3:52 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


They aren't doing two seasons per book. Which is a good thing since there isn't remotely enough decent content in the next two books to make 4 seasons. I'm hoping there is enough decent content to make one season. And I'm skeptical about that.
posted by Justinian at 5:04 PM on June 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Why can't elizardbits help moderate FanFare? Seems that would settle a whole lot of issues and establish a definitive personality for the subsite.
posted by dmh at 5:35 PM on June 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


They aren't doing two seasons per book. Which is a good thing since there isn't remotely enough decent content in the next two books to make 4 seasons

Interesting, according to Wikipedia they're no longer adapting it book-by-book, but adapting the series as a whole. "This gives them the liberty to move events back and forth across books according to the requirements of the screen adaptation." We're certainly already seeing things from books 4 and 5 in season 4.
posted by Pink Frost at 6:11 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why can't elizardbits help moderate FanFare?

Because she doesn't suffer fools gladly and would probably ban half the contri- ....
...
We should make her a mod as soon as possible.
posted by zarq at 6:56 PM on June 3, 2014 [9 favorites]


Count me in as yet another non-BookReader who is really happy with all of the GoT discussions in FanFare. If there have been spoilers, so far I've been too dull to pick up on any of them. Carry on!
posted by hush at 6:56 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Going back to the original subject of the post: I just had a comment in the current FanFare GoT thread deleted. It was a link to a French teaser trailer for next week's episode. I'm not MAD or anything about the deletion, I mean, eh, whatever. But I am a bit fuzzy as to why that would get deleted. I didn't say anything about it except that it showed more footage than the US trailer and thus was a bit spoiler-y on that basis. But the comment itself had no spoiler content at all. Is there a policy somewhere that might have clued me into not wasting my time posting that? Clarification welcome, and again I'm not upset by any stretch of the imagination, just looking to toe the correct line here.
posted by norm at 9:09 AM on June 4, 2014


Fanfare threads are supposed only be about that particular episode or proceeding episodes. Posting a trailer about next week's episode invites discussion about that episode, which may introduce spoilers.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:15 AM on June 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Fanfare threads are supposed only be about that particular episode or proceeding episodes. Posting a trailer about next week's episode invites discussion about that episode, which may introduce spoilers.

Gotcha. Thanks.
posted by norm at 9:16 AM on June 4, 2014


Yeah, exactly. No big deal, you obviously had no ill intent or anything. We just want to keep the line pretty clean from one episode to the next, so linking to but not directly posting spoilers is sort of a letter-but-not-spirit-of-the-law thing since the only thing people could do with that comment is quietly ignore it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:22 AM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, we're been talking some today about the two-thread approach as something to try for the last couple episodes of the season, yeah

Yeah, it would be nice for me to have a place to talk about GoT the way I want to as opposed to the majority rule / mod choice that is the other threads. Its not like we are going to run out of electrons and I am guessing both threads about the same episode would be viable.
posted by shothotbot at 2:28 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not GOT, but spoiler-related; How best to deal with the above the fold recaps of older but still somewhat current shows? This seems a little iffy to me. I'm only midway through S2 of sherlock, so for me that was fairly spoilery. I am not particularly spoiler-sensitive, but I think big plot events are generally best only alluded to on the front page, since they're hard to avoid seeing.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:27 PM on June 4, 2014


I don't know, I just got spoiled hard on a recent above-the-fold synopsis (the return of Pamela to Louie), but I'm still really meh on that idea.

Also I generally feel like if one isn't up to date on a show, this all just gets really questionable really fast, because you could get equally spoiled anywhere on the internet. If there's a show you don't want to know anything about, and you know it's being discussed on FanFare, I kind of think it's on you do not read the episode synopses.
posted by Sara C. at 7:33 PM on June 4, 2014


That works for me if the front page is just a list of shows, sure, or there is an alternate way of navigating them. I don't think the blog model is the best FP for FanFare, really. I'm happy to avoid FanFare entirely for shows I'm behind on, but I don't want to avoid it altogether. There's plenty of below-the-fold room for less vague recaps.

Alternatively, a user pref to turn off everything but the Ep name/number would work, too.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:40 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't know, I just got spoiled hard on a recent above-the-fold synopsis (the return of Pamela to Louie), but I'm still really meh on that idea.

Are you referring to the episode titled "Pamela: Part I"?
posted by Etrigan at 7:41 PM on June 4, 2014


Yeah. Just because the episode is called Pamela doesn't mean she comes back. I wasn't too pissed off about it, since most likely it'll happen in the first ten seconds of actually watching the episode.

And, again, if I was that rabid about spoilers I could just not read the Louie synopses since I know I'm not up to date on it and won't have time to watch for a while. I don't find it that difficult to just not read 100% of all the text on the FanFare front page.
posted by Sara C. at 7:46 PM on June 4, 2014


Looking at the Netflix synopsis for Sherlock it's pretty similar, so possibly there is no better way of phrasing some things. I will leave it to the genuinely spoiler-intolerant to decide if recap-hiding is needed.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:47 PM on June 4, 2014


Sara C - me neither, it just happened to be the first entry and my treacherous eyes latched on. Again, not a huge quibble.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:49 PM on June 4, 2014


Me too. Stupid eyeballs always searching for words to read on web pages. At this point I just trust that anything in the synopsis can't be that big of a deal.
posted by Sara C. at 7:52 PM on June 4, 2014


I don't know, I just got spoiled hard on a recent above-the-fold synopsis (the return of Pamela to Louie)

Thanks for that note!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:57 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


This seems a little iffy to me. I'm only midway through S2 of sherlock, so for me that was fairly spoilery. I am not particularly spoiler-sensitive, but I think big plot events are generally best only alluded to on the front page, since they're hard to avoid seeing.

I can see how that's a spoiler for S2, but it's not really more of a spoiler than the episode name for the S2 Finale, and episode names are pretty much always going to be there.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:15 PM on June 4, 2014


... But right now it's just People Trying Stuff Out so we can see a little bit how it works and what we need to account for there.

Thank you, cortex, that was all very helpful! I knew nothing was set in stone, but I did think the starting point was "Let's try it the First Run way and if that doesn't work we can try something else."

I only have one current show I'm following (Orphan Black) and I think I'll stay out any future re-watches for now because at this point the thought of possibly (re) negotiating the policy every thread (even if it's just for now) is mentally exhausting, especially if people come in mid-season and want to revisit the policy. Also, I'd be really bummed if I started a show knowing the ground rules and they changed midway.

That's not meant as a knock against the mods or this beta process! Honestly, I was really, really surprised to see this MeTa asking about GoT was still at square one but I was even more surprised that the first 20 comments weren't people saying, "Did you read the last five mega-threads about this?" I'd have more energy for an evolving, ongoing discussion and wish that the philosophical debate about spoilers was separate from the practical aspects of running and participating in FanFare. I'd also suggest that keeping GoT and general policy discussions as separate as possible would help with that.

Again, this is just my beta testing feedback, but I guess I thought we'd be further along in the process by now, at least from the baseline standpoint. (Of course there was a lot going on behind the scenes we didn't know about until now.)
posted by Room 641-A at 9:47 AM on June 5, 2014


I actually find that, aside from GoT, for the most part a consensus seems to develop in the specific show threads.

Certainly for shows that are airing currently and don't have that pesky book/series divide, there's really nothing to be over concerned about, since there's no real spoiling to do unless you wander into a thread for an episode you haven't seen.

Re "further along in the process", I feel like things are moving along at a clip, and in general things subsite-wide are going better than I'd ever hoped, and certainly better than the MeTa threads would imply.
posted by Sara C. at 10:01 AM on June 5, 2014


Yeah, GoT is really just the bizarre outlier at this point, god bless it. It's been both useful as a test case for wrinkles and kind of a big distraction in terms of how much air it has at times sucked out of the more general, and for more broadly applicable, discussions.

The original "no spoilers for stuff past this episode" policy is and remains and we expect will indefinitely remain the default for basically everything not explicitly from thread one declared to be otherwise.

Right now we're working on formalizing both that default and the exception cases and making it metadata that's clearly communicated on the FanFare front page, archives, and individual threads. People should be able tell at a bare glance whether or not there's something other than the default policy in play on a thread, to make it easy to painlessly and risk-free navigate their preferences there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:06 AM on June 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


cortex: Yeah, GoT is really just the bizarre outlier at this point

Sorry, when I mentioned separating GoT I meant in here MeTa. It's just frustrating trying to follow other FanFare discussions in between the book/show stuff.

Sara C., did you see my first comment, too?

I actually find that, aside from GoT, for the most part a consensus seems to develop in the specific show threads.

I know. I quoted you.
Sara C.: As someone who isn't a mod, but who is sort of taking an active role in posting the threads, I don't know how much of a say I really get in whether there are spoilers or not
That is my point. I'm willing to try anything, but at this point I'm not interested in having this discussion again and again for each thread,
Sara C.: Down the road, who knows, maybe a large population of Wire Veterans will show up and the consensus will change
and I defintiely don't want to do it from episode to episode, ever.

Certainly for shows that are airing currently and don't have that pesky book/series divide, there's really nothing to be over concerned about,

I know. I'm not.

Re "further along in the process", I feel like things are moving along at a clip

Figuring things out for every new thread is not how I would define moving along at a clip, but it's not up to me. I have no beef with the mods, I just had different expectations.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:44 AM on June 6, 2014


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