Spoiler Rules Version 2.0
Updated: Dec 20, 2019
A few years ago I wrote about my Madden's Laws on Spoilers. It was a fairly simple directive for what is and isn't acceptable regarding sharing spoilers on social media in public.
Like everything else in the world, things have become rather more complicated since then. The influx of blockbusters and'must-watch' TV has muddied the waters and the rise of social media and trolls has complicated things further.
So here are the Madden's Laws on Spoilers Version 2.0
i)General Directive: Don't be a d*ck
Each of these rules is superceded by one found further up the list - and this one sits atop the pile. As with all things, have some simple decency with regards to other people's thoughts and wishes. If you don't need to share spoilers then don't and don't go out of your way to spoil it for people.
ii) Spoiler Watersheds These are the acceptable amount of time to expect people to actively refrain from spoiling something. Film: 1 week* TV show: 24 hours** Theatrical production: 1 week Sporting event: The next day
iii) The Midnight Queue Principle This serves as a footnote to film releases and says that for the latest release from a single-arc film series, the watershed shall be reduced to 24 hours. It works on the principle that if you really cared that much, you would have queued at midnight for the release.
iv) The Spoiler vs Inference Conundrum Mentioning a TV show online is not a spoiler. Writing something such as "Araya Stark - what a badass!!" is not a spoiler. If you can infer a spoiler from those words then you should have watched the show when it went out.
v) Spoilee's Perogative Film's are for people to enjoy - hence trying to avoid spoiling them. But it is up to you to manage your own enjoyment. So long as people are adhering to the General Directive, then staying away from spoliers is the duty of those who do not know and do not wish to know.
vi) Soap Watershed An addendum to the TV show watershed: For a programme such as a soap opera, which goes out every night, the watershed is reduced to 12 hours. Essentially, you have until you get to work the next day.
vii) A Person Who Falls Behind Gets Left Behind If you are a series or so behind - or haven't started watching something yet, then don't hassle people discussing things which are generally accepted by up-to-date fans. See Point v.
viii) Social Media More care should be taken with throw-away comments on social media. "I can't belive X died in her arms" may be ok in a conversation, where it is a passing comment only heard by those who are listning, but social media posts can be shared and linger. Be duly careful with your words. Or DM - it's 2019.
ix) Whinger's Forfeit No one likes spoilers, but no one likes a person who posts "NO SPOILERS" on every mention of a TV show online or on hearing the name of a certain film mentioned in passing. Anyone guilty of three offences shall have an moderate spoiler revealed directly to them.
x) Respect Effort
The person who has turned off their phone and will not step outside without headphones should be respected. If they are going to that effort then give them some grace. And maybe take a photo to remind them how bonkers they looked.
xi) It's Supposed To Be Fun
"They're more like guidelines, than actual rules."