One of my biggest pet peeves is spoilers. I’m the kind of person who even avoids watching too many trailers. I hate trailers that are long and give too much away. After watching the initial trailer for something I want to see, I’ll usually avoid the rest. There’s nothing like watching a movie or TV show and discovering things along with the characters in front of you. It makes you a part of the story. So when something crucial is spoiled, you lose that moment. It possibly ruins the whole episode or movie.
There’s obviously a time period for any medium when you’ll just have to accept that people will talk about something. I mean if you get mad that someone spoils the end of The Sixth Sense for you by now, you need to get over it. But I do think that time period for talking spoilers is now much later than what it used to be. Back in the day, if you missed an episode, you were out of luck unless you had a friend record it for you or you caught a special rerun weeks later. With the Internet and DVRs today, people aren’t beholden to cable providers’ schedules. People set their DVRs to automatically record their favorite shows, watch them online a few days or weeks after premiering on TV or even wait until an entire season comes to Netflix.
We completely cut cable two years ago and it was the best decision we ever made. We save hundreds of dollars a year and are perfectly content with catching up on older shows and movies on Netflix and streaming newer shows online when necessary. No regrets!
One of our current favorite shows (along with half of the country) is The Walking Dead. We watched Season 1 on Netflix and have watched Season 2 and now Season 3 on AMC’s website. AMC streams each episode on their website two days after it shows on TV. If you watched last Sunday’s episode you’ll know it was a doozie. So, I’d love to know why the official The Walking Dead Facebook page thought it was a great idea to post its biggest spoiler on that day!
I’m going to link to a screenshot to show what I’m talking about after the break. You are being warned. If you are not caught up to episode 303 of The Walking Dead, then do not click that link.
****SPOILER ALERT | SPOILERS BEHIND THIS LINK**** Click here to see the spoiler image ****SPOILER ALERT | SPOILERS BEHIND THIS LINK****
That was posted the same day that episode 303 went online streaming. As you can see, the description for the blog post they linked to contains a pretty huge spoiler. I didn’t go to their Facebook page to see this post. It was in my feed because I liked The Walking Dead page on Facebook back during Season 1.
So let me offer some spoiler etiquette for the marketing people running The Walking Dead Facebook page and anyone else who’s still reading.
It’s good to be mindful that someone could be episodes behind you on a show. And, be aware of appropriate times and places to talk about spoilers. For example, if you’re talking to someone about a show, it doesn’t hurt to say, “by the way, are you caught up?” or “what episode are you on?” If you’re posting to a blog, make sure to put “SPOILER” tags around your post and give it some space so people can easily hit back or scroll on by.
However, one place that’s never a good idea to post spoilers is your Facebook feed. People reading their feed can’t avoid it and often aren’t expecting it. Now, you can vaguebook about a show. That way people who are in the know will get you, but people who haven’t caught up will remain in the dark. For example, “Wow I cannot believe they did that in >show< tonight. I was on the edge of my seat all episode!”
Be aware of descriptions when linking to things that could contain spoilers. Did you know you can actually change the description of pages you link to?
Here’s how you do it:
Paste your link into your status. Then after it drops down, click on the description for the page. It will highlight it and open an editing box for you to type in whatever you like e.g. “This post contains SPOILERS! ” You can also usually scroll through a number of thumbnails below that or elect to not show a thumbnail.
So there you have it. I hope we all learned a valuable lesson.