Spoiler protection (was: META: readalong list rules)

Wed Jun 12 08:13:38 PDT 2002

On Wed, Jun 12, 2002 at 02:29:21PM +0200, Sander <dragaera at juima.org> wrote:
> Matthew Hunter wrote:
> >Any other policy will tend to stifle discussion of the latest
> >works.
> Although I only look into rawsfr-j once or twice a month, I did get the 
> distinct impression they warn for spoilers a lot longer than just one 
> month. Maybe spoiler space is only included for a month, but spoiler 
> warnings in the threadtitles can easily be applied a lot longer.

This is true.

Following is the Spoiler Policy from the rasfwr-j FAQ:

Section 3.2:  Spoiler Policy:

   NOTE:  This section is left in so that people can see what the
policy was last year, and what it will likely resemble for Book
Ten.   However, it is NOT CURRENTLY IN FORCE.

   When a new book comes out, some people obtain and read it
before other people do.  People who have read parts of the book
want to talk about them, but people who haven't gotten that far
don't want you to spoil the surprises for them. 

   After long discussion prior to the release of _Winter's
Heart_, there was consensus for the following policy:

	1)	Try to enforce spoiler protection for _Winter's
Heart_ for two or three weeks after the release of the book. 
Trying to enforce anything for any longer than that simply turns
out to be unfeasible, and very annoying. 

   2)	Therefore, in the subject header, make people aware of
the content by adding either the prefix tag WH: to the subject,
or the word "Spoilers!" to the subject.  Preferably both.

   Additionally, do not use a title that is, itself, a spoiler. 
For instance, if it turns out that Tam al'Thor killed
Asmodean, then a subject of:

   WH:  Tam killed Asmodean!! (Spoilers)

   Doesn't really help us.

   3)  Finally, once you've done that, then in the body of the
   message, insert either a page break or a screen of whitespace
   before your actual spoilers.  While not all newsreaders accept
   page breaks, neither are all terminal sizes limited to 24
   lines.  It is the opinion of this FAQ writer that newsreaders
   that do not accept page breaks are broken by implementation. 
   It is also the opinion of this FAQ writer that anyone who braves 
   a post marked "Spoilers!" in the header gets exactly what he
   or she deserves, whether through a broken newsreader failing 
   to implement a page break, or through a post with insufficient 
   whitespace for his screen settings.


This is a good policy.  I suggest we follow something close to

> I also disagree with this stifling discussion. The WoT Book Forum at 
> wheeloftime.com has the policy of warning for spoilers for roughly three 
> to six months after the release of a new book (and warning for the 
> really serious spoilers (comparable to those David gave) at least until 
> the release of the paperback a year later) and this does in no way 
> stifle discussion.
> Adding a [spoiler] in the subject is no work at all for us, and the 
> benefits to the people who haven't read the latest book can be huge. 
> It's also the polite thing to do.

I have no issue with this for recent books.

> As for the 'spoiler space' character, it's a shame most email clients 
> are broken with regards to it, but since that's the case, using a few 
> hard linebreaks seems preferable. (Also because the web-archives of the 
> list don't do the right thing either.)

I don't mind using linebreaks.

Matthew Hunter (matthew at infodancer.org)