Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fall TV: Spoiler/Plot Revelation Policy

I figured I should throw something together about this to try to prevent anyone from getting upset at my tweets or posts as we get into TV season. Well, no, it won't prevent that, but at least I can say I warned you.

First: a definition. I feel pretty strongly that a "spoiler" is something that hasn't happened yet. If it's been on TV, I believe it should be fair game. That said, I know people use "spoiler" to mean "any plot point a particular viewer hasn't happened to see yet." Yesterday, someone (half-jokingly) warned me about a spoiler from the year I was born. So, there has to be a middle point negotiated here, or else we can't ever talk about anything.

Real spoilers: I generally don't write about them at all; if I do they'll be really well labeled. (This means if I feel the need to say that I read that a month from now, character A will do xyz. I do NOT generally consider casting news to be a spoiler, though.)

Now, as far as plot details of things that have just aired:

On Twitter:

If I livetweet a show, I will put the show's hashtag at the beginning of each tweet. I won't spoil major things; I will mention non-vital plot details and vaguely allude to more important things.

I won't tweet major things from an episode at least until it has aired on the West coast. Most times, I'll try to wait a day or two, but no promises. I'd guess that I'm more likely to talk about Vampire Diaries and maybe The Secret Circle, Gossip Girl, and Castle earlier than most shows. I realize that people keep things on DVRs for a while - I do it myself, of course - but I don't expect anyone to refrain from discussing things based on my schedule. And it's not like I'll be the only one talking about TV on Twitter. So, basically, if you're going to get really upset about reading a show before you get to it, you probably shouldn't be on Twitter anyway.

Here on the blog:

A post about an episode will have that episode in the title, and anything on the show up to and including that episode is fair game. I'll put in-depth discussion of an episode behind a cut, so if you go to a direct link, you'll see it, but it won't be right on the front page. So don't click on a link if you haven't seen the episode!

If I'm writing something more general, rather than about a specific episode, you can probably assume I'll discuss anything that has aired, but I'll try to spell that out at the beginning of the post.

Does that all seem reasonable? Anything unclear?

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