# Should we worry about spoilers?

If we talk about adventures, we're probably going to have spoilers. Do we care?

My position: we should be a spoiler zone, and this should go in the FAQ so as to warn people. It's going to limit the ability to answer questions too much if people have to worry about talking around their answers. If the SO programmers would like to add a spoiler block, that'd be keen, but this feature request has been around for nearly a year and hasn't seen much support so far. We could lobby for it, though!

• Agreed. If folks worry about spoliers they shouldn't read a question. I want to see this site be full of questions like "How do I make the Waterfall fight in Shadowfell more dangerous?" (okay maybe not that one) – anon186 Aug 26 '10 at 13:47

I think we should give a little care to hide spoilers. When a question specifically asks for spoilers it should be tagged spoiler. However I think a FAQ statement might go a long way.

Also there is a better performing [feature-request] here.

• Tagging that sort of question along with a firm FAQ statement that says users get no expectation of a spoiler-free zone sounds good. – Bryant Aug 25 '10 at 15:05
• @Bryant added that to the FAQ question. – C. Ross Aug 25 '10 at 15:14
• Just an observation: wouldn't [spoiler] be a meta-tag? Not saying we shouldn't have a [spoiler] tag, just making the observation: do we actually want to effectively have our own "acceptable" meta-tags? Could that be detrimental to the organizing of questions etc? (are there musings better suited to the meta tag question?) – LeguRi Oct 1 '10 at 18:00
• @LeguRi - I don't think spoiler would be a meta-tag. It categorizes the questions it is attached to. The tag can stand alone as the only tag on a question and still retains it's meaning. – Pat Ludwig Nov 5 '10 at 17:53
• @Pat Ludwig - I disagree; spoiler of what? What user of the site would search for all questions of the "spoiler" tag? It's no more useful than [list] or [advice]. – LeguRi Nov 6 '10 at 3:17
• @Leguri - I see value in allowing someone to decide, "I don't want to see spoilers" Is there a better way to do that than tagging them? Frankly, I might use the tag myself as I'm a player as well as a DM. – Pat Ludwig Nov 6 '10 at 5:32
• @Pat Ludwig - That's an interesting point; it's not something we'd search for but it is something we might filter out. – LeguRi Nov 6 '10 at 15:48
• I agree that the spoiler tag is useful so that people can hide them if they want to. I'm currently hiding a bunch of questions because they're tagged with games that I know nothing about, and I want to be able to find all the other questions more easily. So I can imagine that working. – Dave Hallett Nov 17 '10 at 22:15

A spoiler syntax has been implemented network wide.

• Nice! This should come in handy. – mxyzplk Dec 3 '10 at 5:48

My take on it:

• Spoilers need to be allowed, in order for us to effectively answer some important questions.

• It is common courtesy to warn others about spoilers in some may, much as it is common courtesy TO TURN THE CAPS LOCK OFF.

• The spoilers tag works well, but only for people who don't want to ever see a spoiler about anything, ever. Most people will have a few things they don't want spoiled, while being okay with seeing spoilers for a great many other things.

Until the Feature request for a spoiler markup tag comes through, I'd suggest the following:

• Use descriptive, but spoiler-free titles for posts containing spoilers.

• Use the Spoiler tag.

• Append a simple warning paragraph to the top of the post, if you don't think the title is sufficient warning.

Once the feature request comes through, use the above for posts which contain extensive spoilers (i.e. the entire thread is likely to be one huge spoiler), and the markup tag for incidental spoilers.

• I'm hesitant about the [spoiler] tag, but I strongly agree with putting a simple warning paragraph at the top of posts. +1 – LeguRi Nov 16 '10 at 20:05
• ... and come to think about it I'm in support of using the [spoiler] tag until the spoiler feature is available; it's an excellent way to keep track so that the daunting task of editing all those questions is more manageable... though once that task is done I'll start arguing about it being a meta-tag again :P – LeguRi Nov 16 '10 at 20:07
• @LeguRi -- Yeah, I'm pretty "meh" about tagging questions with spoilers too, to be honest. The tags aren't visually prominent enough to serve as an actual warning, and no one is going to search for them. Their value is exclusively in whether or not someone actively filters them all out, which I'm skeptical of. Still, I included them because they seem popular and don't really hurt much. – AceCalhoon Nov 16 '10 at 20:11

We should definitely be a spoiler-permitted zone. However, we should be careful to warn people of where spoilers are particularly present, or seek to hide them from general viewing entirely. Measures we can take to this end should include:

• Spoiler warning in the site FAQ.
• Spoiler tag on affected Questions.
• This maybe should include Questions for which there are Answers containing spoilers, as the Answers themselves cannot be tagged.
• Explicit spoiler warnings in Question/Answer posts containing spoilers.
• Support of the Feature Request to hide spoilers.
• This feature is marked as STATUS-PLANNED! :-)
• Use of spoiler-hiding features once they are available.
• This should include retroactive editing of existing posts, for site-wide consistency. - This can be helped along with consistent use of the spoiler tag, until the feature is implemented.