All spoiler tags posted before September 5, 2013 did not survive the forum conversion. So if you view any topics before that date you risk spoilers. This is especially applicable in the topics discussing adapted works such as The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones. View older pages in such topics at your own risk.
I feel like most of this goes without saying, but I just want to put this down for the record. Spoilers. We hate them when we don't want to hear them, we want to tell everyone about them afterward.
First off, let's learn how to post with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used to conceal potential plot points in movies and TV shows that some people might not want to know about until they watch it happen on screen. To use a spoiler tag, in the text editor, type in the phrase...
...then type your spoiler, such as "THIS IS A SPOILER", and then put in the phrase...
[spoiler]THIS IS A SPOILER![/spoiler]
turns into this:
Or, you can simply highlight the text you want to use the spoiler tag on, go to the "Special BBCode" button in the top left of the text editor, select "Spoiler" and your text is tagged.
Now that we know how to use spoiler tags, there are a few special unwritten rules that have been circulating this forum for a long time, and I think now is a good time to make them written rules.
- Unless explicitly stated otherwise by the topic starter, you are NOT REQUIRED to use spoiler tags in topics discussing current episodes of TV shows, or movies that have been released. For example: in the Walking Dead topic, if you are posting about an episode that has aired (anywhere in the world) and a character dies you are completely within your rights to post, "HOLY HELL, DARYL JUST DIED!" (Daryl has not died, this is just a hypothetical example), and you can do so without using a spoiler tag. But say it's a week before Daryl dies, and the information leaks, you are not allowed to post that information without both a spoiler tag, and explicitly explaining that it's leaked information. The same goes for movies. For example: Captain America comes out on April 4th (this is the US release, but let's just pretend that it's the worldwide release date), and you get to go to an early screening on the 2nd. You are required to use spoiler tags on all potential spoilers. But once the 4th hits that international date line, you are no longer required to use spoiler tags.
- No matter how old or popular the source material is, spoiler tags ARE REQUIRED for all spoilers concerning original source material, such as books, unless you are describing events that have already occurred in the show, or if it's a movie, that movie has been released, at which point they fall under rule 1. So in other words there are a lot of movies and TV shows adapted from other media, such as Game of Thrones, the Walking Dead, and the Hobbit. With Movies and TV shows like the Hobbit or Game of Thrones, they are almost completely adapted from the books. So all the big events from the books happen in the show or movies. For example: if in the books a dragon attacks Winterfell (calm down, it's just a hypothetical), you are not allowed to post that without a spoiler tag, until after that event occurs in the TV show or the movie is released. But there are other shows, such as the Walking Dead, which don't follow the plot of the books, in such a direct way. Some characters die in the books, but last for much longer in the show, and some characters die in the show, and last for much longer in the books. Sometimes a battle happens in the book, which doesn't happen in the movie or TV show. With movies and shows like this, if you read the book and Daryl is killed (once again, just a hypothetical, and Daryl isn't even in the books), but he isn't killed at that point in the TV show, you need to use spoiler tags on that information until (if ever) that character does indeed die or it's safe to say that any event like that is not going to happen (use your own judgement, but see rule 3 as well). If a character dies in a book, there's a good chance that even if they don't die in the same exact way, they will die in the show. Movies usually don't apply to the second part, because they usually only have one installment, in which it would fall under rule 1, and are fair game after their release. Basically, if an event happens in the source material, you need to use spoiler tags when discussing that information, until it happens in the TV show, or the movie is released. On top of that, like rule 1, if the topic starter specifically states for a topic to be 100% spoiler free, or if they say you can discuss original source material spoilers, then you can follow said rules.
- Special rules for topic starters. You have a couple options as a topic starter, as long as you explicitly explain this at the top in the original post or in the title. You can go by the default rules, stated here, by not stating any special rules in your original post or title. You can go spoiler-free, meaning that all spoilers no matter when they have or will happen, require spoiler tags. You can go with allowed book spoilers, by stating so, meaning no matter when the show or movie is in the story, you are fully allowed to let your discussion include book spoilers. Or you can go with any combination of these. But I cannot stress enough, that you need to state this explicitly in your title, or at the top of your original post.
- Spoiler tags are required for posting spoilers about a show or movie, in topics not specifically created to discuss that exact show or movie. Example: There is a topic for discussing the TV show, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, and there is a topic made for discussing The Marvel Cinematic Universe (movies such as Iron Man and The Avengers). Since Agents of SHIELD is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rule 1 applies in the MCU topic when discussing Agents of SHIELD, meaning you are not required to use spoiler tags as long as you are discussing current episodes. But when you are discussing things like Thor: The Dark World, a MCU movie, you are required to use spoiler tags. So you can go into the MCU topic and without spoiler tags you can write, "Nick Fury had a cameo in Agents of SHIELD!" But in the Agents of SHIELD topic you need to use a spoiler tag while writing, "Iron Man had a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy!" (BTW, I have no idea if Iron Man is in GotG, but it would be cool)
- If you are not sure if you should use a spoiler tag, use a spoiler tag. Better safe than sorry. No one will get mad at you for spoiling anything, and no one will mind clicking on a spoiler tag.
- If you go into a topic, and have something spoiled, when there is no indication that a topic is spoiler-free, it is no one's fault but your own. If you are catching up on a TV show, or it's the day after a new episode and you have the new episode on your DVR, or it's the day after a release date of a movie, I'd highly suggest not even entering a topic for that show or movie, if you do not want to be spoiled. Wait until you watch the most recent episode or movie, and then come to the discussion. Once again, it is no one's fault, but your own, if you find out that the main character of your favorite TV show or movie dies before you see it.
Spoiler tags are a great tool, but we set up these rules to reduce the number of tags used, and to make everyone accountable for their own being spoiled. It's not that fun to look at page after page, and post after post, of just spoiler tags, with three or four sentences uncensored, or two people arguing about spoiling the most recent episode of a popular show 5 days after it aired.
Thank you for your co-operation. PM me for any questions, and have fun.