(Note: While this post talks about the act of spoiling and spoilers, there are no actual spoilers for Legion within)
It’s that time again. Legion alpha has dropped, and with it, the trickle of Legion info has turned into a flood. Spoilers are rampant and many people are making the decision to either avoid or embrace these tidbits. The fires of war have been stoked once more, as the denizens of the internet prepare for battle. Only through brutal and bloodthirsty combat will-
Hold on there, put down your pitchforks and torches. Wipe off your warpaint, unstrap your armor, and just sit and listen for a second. We don’t have to war over spoilers and spoiling, we just need a little common sense.
But first… What is a spoiler?
While this might change from person to person, a spoiler is generally any new information about Legion that has been gleaned after Blizzcon. In other words, the datamining and news from the alpha are spoilers. Spoilers can be anything from class changes to new model- pretty much anything at all coming in Legion that was not announced at Blizzcon. Some people might include Blizzcon info in the off topic spoiler territory, but most consider Blizzcon news to be fair game for discussion, even in spoiler free zones. But like all things, its probably a good idea to ask someone what they consider spoilers before you start discussing new Legion news.
You’ve just read up on all the Legion changes and you can’t wait to discuss them with all your internet friends. You’ve just gotta share your opinions with the web. But before you post in that website comment section, your guild chat, or a group message, ask yourselves these questions:
What is the policy for spoilers?
Often times, chat groups like this will have a laid out spoiler policy, and you should probably follow that before posting. If the policy isn’t clear or isn’t present, it’s always a good idea to ask before you post anything that could contain spoilers. Many websites will have an unspoken but agreed upon policy of having a SPOILER WARNING before posting any new Legion info (and I would advise including this warning almost anywhere you post spoilers). Some guilds will ask that you keep spoilers out of chat while others will be fine with any and all spoilers. And there are plenty of group messages that create separate rooms just for spoilers. In the excitement of the moment, it can be difficult to remember but for the sake of the place you are posting it’s a valuable rule to follow.
Why should I follow the policy?
First and most obviously, you avoid fights. Often times, people who have been diligently avoiding spoilers get pretty ticked when you spill the beans on them. But another effect is that is often overlooked is that it can accidentally exclude people. Especially if you are spoiling in a semi-private channel, those who don’t want to see might start avoiding you or the group in general. Nothing is worse than being forced out in an attempt to avoid spoilers in a group you thought wasn’t going to post them. For the good of all, it’s best to have a clear and adhered to policy.
What about social media?
This might change from person to person, but I would generally say that spoilers are ok in a social media. Post a little warning in advance and then spoil away! I will touch on this again later, but because of the connective quality of social media, it’s almost impossible to avoid spoilers and thus would be silly to try and censor them.
~Ask what is accepted before you post in a public forum
~Include a SPOILER WARNING unless you are in a spoiler specific channel
~People will like you more if you don’t spoil it for them
~Social Media is OK to post spoilers on
You heard that Legion Alpha dropped and you’ve diligently avoided all of that news. Every time you see that Legion logo, you close out of that window as fast as you can. You’ve been avoiding all the major news sites and warning all of your friends that you do not want to see a single spoiler. But you worry that you could be doing more.
What’s the best way to avoid spoilers?
The 100% guaranteed, will never fail you way to never spoiler yourself is to avoid the internet entirely until Legion drops. But really, this isn’t a viable option. You have to be on the internet to go on the game. And most people browse the internet for work or in their freetime. So there’s gotta be a better way right?
In all honesty, the best way to avoid spoilers is to use common sense. Don’t go to the websites that post spoiler news. Don’t read the blogs or group messages that contain spoilers. And don’t surf social media. Or, if you’d rather not cut these things out of your life, learn to skim and skip quickly. You can blame no one but yourself if you accidentally read a spoilerific comment on a website devoted to spoilers. Learn to use restraint and you will probably make it to Legion almost entirely unspoiled.
Why no social media?
As I have said before, it’s almost impossible to avoid spoilers on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Because of the level of connection social media allows, it is so easy to stumble upon spoilers accidentally. And especially with things like Twitter, a character limit makes it even harder to mask spoilers underneath a warning tag. People are going to post spoilers and there is nothing that will stop them so you need to be proactive about avoiding it.
How should I react if/when I am spoiled?
I have never been an advocate for anger or foul language and I still maintain that even when you are spoiled new information, don’t lash out in frustration. However, I do believe there are situations where its ok to be ticked off and express that (just please, stay civil!)
When its ok to be upset
- You are spoiled in a place you have previously cleared to be spoiler free- such as a group message or guild where the policy was strictly no spoilers
- Someone goes out of there way to spoil something for you
When its not ok to be upset
- You read a spoiler on a site where the policy is to post spoilers
- You go looking for spoilers
- You join a group with the full knowledge that there might be spoilers
I will be the first to admit, I hate being spoiled. There once was a girl who ruined the end of a book for me and I still haven’t forgiven her. However there are times when it is entirely your fault that you were spoiled. Those who decide to avoid spoilers until Legion have made a conscious decision to alter their habits but they cannot and should not force others to change because of their personal decision. Managing spoilers is an art of give and take, you can absolutely do it, it just takes a bit more effort.
~The best way to avoid spoilers is to avoid the internet entirely
~A good way to avoid spoilers is to avoid the places where spoilers could be
~Stay away from social media if you want to avoid all spoilers
~Its ok to be upset about being spoiled only if you are in a place where spoilers are not allowed
~Avoiding spoilers is a decision that changes your habits and no one elses
~Don’t expect others to change because of your decisions
I have been following these rules since Mists of Pandaria, and I have yet to be majorly spoiled on any of the big expansion news, so I think this is generally a good guideline to follow. And yes, this blog will be spoiler free until Legion drops because I again will be avoiding them. All you spoiler free folks can read here safely!
Really the best way to sum this all up is use common sense. Treat others how you want to be treated but don’t force your decisions onto them. Nothing is worse than spilled beans.