Let’s have a chat about spoilers. Because this year I’ve had a couple major plot points revealed in advance of watching a show and I have to admit, it irks me. Fair warning, there will be spoilers in this post covering The Newsroom, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, and Star Wars – so consider yourself warned.
Sometimes one of the hardest things about living in Australia is the time difference and inconvenience at getting shows at the same time as they are aired in the USA or UK. The worst part of this is the social media. I have had two massive spoilers revealed to me on social media by the official pages of the shows I watch. One was The Newsroom and the other was Doctor Who. The most infuriating part was I don’t think they meant to spoil it, but they put up images which completely ruined the surprise of the twist.
This was the image put up by The Newsroom‘s official Facebook page. Very kindly they put a notice that the link will contain spoilers, but what about the huge spoiler on the damn image?!!! You say ‘In memory of’ and you immediately know that person has died! I spent the whole episode waiting for it to happen, and it only happens in the last minute of the show. Huge spoiler!
Doctor Who did a similar thing (and subsequently removed the image) by putting up a photo with a quote on it revealing that ‘Missy’ is The Master. Now, I had suspicions about this one, but nonetheless it was a huge spoiler!
The Doctor Who spoiler appeared within minutes of the show ending, and The Newsroom spoiler was within the first 24 hours after the show aired. I was innocently scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook when I saw them. You can’t un-see a spoiler.
Mashable did this with Joffrey’s death on Game of Thrones, putting an article on their home page spoiling the death within minutes of the end of the show. I knew it was coming because I’ve read the books but there was general outrage about the spoiler being out there. I was kind of annoyed about it because it meant I had seen a photo of his dying moments before watching the show, and I would have much rather seen it for the first time as I was watching.
My question is this: at what point are spoilers fair game? I mean, basically everyone knows that Darth Vader is Luke’s father in Star Wars, so we can assume that’s fair game to discuss openly.
Is it when they are out on DVD here? Is it 24 hours after it’s released in it’s original time zone? What are the rules about spoilers?
Or is it my own fault for being on social media before watching the show?
What do you consider to be the official etiquette for spoilers?