If You’re Tweeting Spoilers, You’re Kind of a Douche

In Shep's Soapbox, Shep's Thoughts on March 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Remember the days when the internet didn’t exist and we actually had to WATCH TV shows to find out what happened? Yeah, I don’t either. I like to refer to those as the Dark Ages. Now with the fabulous existence of mass communication, anything and everything is available on the interwebs. The problem is that sometimes, I don’t want to see it. And if you make me see it when I don’t want to, you’re kind of a douche..

The truth of the matter is there is such a thing as spoiler etiquette. Before we even start with that, I think there needs to be some sort of a Spoiler Alert Threat Level. Hey if it works for the US Government, it can work for TV fans right? We’ll work from the bottom up, shall we?

There’s really very low chance of you seeing spoilers. Case in point, if you’re worried about seeing spoilers for Bones, go look at Pintrest. There is less likelihood of you finding out something about the next episode if you are browsing someone’s collection of Tilapia recipes.

There is a chance of you seeing a spoiler, if you’re not careful. You have your friends screen journalists on Twitter for you to see if they ever tweet a spoiler. Same goes for generally any person on Twitter, or Facebook, or Tumblr. Living in the guarded zone, if taken too far can equate you to that quasi-racist dude in the neighborhood who just is hyper aware of anything that goes on around him and will never ever ever sign for his neighbors packages.

You live in the zone of following journalists & other fans who are known for their “scoops.” The chances of you seeing a spoiler in this zone are heightened because you’re looking at TV related content.

There’s about an 85% chance at some point you will see a spoiler tweeted by either a journalist or a fan and there is nothing you can do about it.

You go after spoilers like the Walking Dead go after brains. But probably faster and with much more gusto. Zombies are slow right?

Whatever category of spoiler threat level you fall into, it doesn’t really matter. The only safe way to really avoid spoilers is to unfollow absolutely everyone that talks about your favorite show, lock yourself in your closet and only come out when the show is literally about to start. But that doesn’t work for everyone, so you take your chances and you face the world. This brings me back to my original point:

Hey, if you’re tweeting/facebooking/tumblring/pintresting spoilers, you’re kind of a douche.

I suppose we could look at what defines a spoiler and I’m going to go with the simplest most straightforward definition that I’ve got. You ready? Listen closely.


And now its as if each and every excuse has a hand and is raising it proudly to protest my point. I’ll take these one at a time.

1. I can tweet about whatever I want, you followed me! This is your fault!
In some aspects, this is true. But it is also the most commonly used excuse in the book for anyone who’s been called out on being a douche for spoiling something. It’s also a CRAP excuse. That’s like you punching me in the face and you blaming me because my face was within range of your fist. It really doesn’t make that much sense and you’re kind of a douche for punching me in the face.

2. But I was talking about something in the promo!
Did you know there are people who don’t watch promos because they want to be surprised? My personal take on promos is that they’re fair game to discuss, but again that’s just me. People who prefer living in the guarded and low zone disagree, and think you’re kind of a douche.

3. But that reporter said that in an article.
Did you know that some people don’t read articles like that because they want to avoid spoilers? Share a link to the article with the words spoiler warning and go tell people to discuss it in the comments. Openly talking about it on twitter or anywhere else makes you kind of a douche.

4. But I already saw the episode and I want to talk about it!
This one is easy. If you’re talking about anything other than what happened in the promos and you’re not a legitimate journalist, you’re a douche. I exclude legitimate journalists because they understand how to appropriately share spoilers.

5. But I didn’t actually say it, I just said “I can’t believe so & so said it!”
If you’ve alluded to the spoiler, told me where to find the spoiler, told me who said the spoiler, you’ve handed me the keys to spoiler castle. I can go enter at my own risk, but I’m thinking you’re still a douche for dangling them in my face. I like to equate this to the onion rings in the freezer. Apparently, there was a bag of Nathan’s Onion Rings in my freezer that i had no idea about. They sat in there for like 3 weeks before I noticed them. And for those three weeks, when I was on my diet, I did not want those onion rings. But the minute I knew they were there, they were tempting. Kinda like spoilers.

So basically it’s up to you all. You have your preference of what Spoiler Alert zone you want to live in and you have the choice of what to say on Twitter, Facebook or anywhere else. But if you tweet spoilers without so much as even a thought to those following you, I will stand here and make one solid final conclusion.

If You’re Tweeting Spoilers, You’re Kind of a Douche.

  1. I agree with the basic thrust of this, but do think people who don’t want to be spoiled at ALL, who consider promos and episode titles to be major spoilers, or who think they should be allowed to wait and watch the ep days after it aired and yet not be spoiled, bear some responsibility for not being so.

    Social media is people talking about stuff, and people talk about books, films, and TV. So if your bar for what constitutes a spoiler is essentially high enough to exclude all conversation about it…you need to take some responsibility for not being spoiled and avoid the internet.

    (I saw someone complaining recently about having the end of Deathly Hallows spoiled for them. I’m sorry, but expecting the entire universe to wait for you to catch up is also douche behavior.)

    That said, it’s not that hard to avoid being a douche by spoiling people. I literally live in the spoiler section of a forum, and if there’s a spoiler out there, I probably know it. But I find it remarkably easy not to spoil people simply by not referring to specifics. If I have a desperate need to talk about something I’ve just found out…I go to the spoiler section of the forum.

    People make mistakes, especially excited ones. But if I see someone tweet or post a spoiler and not apologize, I assume they’re doing so deliberately either because they get their rocks off on ruining the show for others, or they derive a sense of importance from saying, ‘I know something you don’t know.’ They’re a douche, in other words.

  2. I live in the elevated zone. I know that if I’m on twitter or if I like (insert TV show) on FB there’s a likelihood that I’m gonna see a spoiler. And usually I don’t mind if a tidbit slips through, especially right after a spoiler has been released. I know what I’m getting into there and usually have enough of a heads up to avoid twitter. What gets annoying is when it’s been days after a spoiler and I’ve managed to avoid it, but because someone just can’t stop talking about it, they start it up again and reveal stuff. It comes out of nowhere and it’s kind of rude. The euphoria is no longer an excuse. And people who say “There’s the unfollow button” you’re right, I can unfollow you, but do you really want to lose friends and alienate people over it?

  3. In order to avoid spoilers, I think you have to take yourself off of ALL forms of social media. I unfollowed my entire BONES twitter list and still had Baby Booth’s name revealed to me in a fanfic review. I didn’t realize I should also have stopped writing fanfiction.

    I agree with your ‘if it hasn’t aired, don’t discuss it’ rule. Promos, though, have aired. I think they’re fair game.

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