Yesterday a friend mentioned an interesting Facebook post to me. A person had posted that they were defriending someone because they had casually written a Game of Thrones spoiler 3 days after the most recent episode aired. (They could have just unfollowed them, but I guess that was worth the price of friendship to them.)
It made me wonder: What’s a reasonable timeframe for spoilers in different forms of media?
Personally, I try to be aware of the people around me when I’m talking about content that could include spoilers. For example, if I want to talk about something that happened in The Walking Dead, I check with the people I’m with to see (a) if they’re up to date and (b) if they don’t watch it, do they care if I talk about it?
When I’m on the other side of things, I can be somewhat anxious about spoilers. When the 7th Harry Potter book was released, I didn’t leave the house or go on the internet until I finished it. For The Force Awakens, I avoided all trailers, and I was legitimately concerned that someone walking out of the theater while I walked in would give away a key plot point.
But for those types of things, I tend to watch or read them as soon as they’re released. Any longer than that, and it’s indicative of a lower level of excitement and less of a concern about spoilers.
What do you think is a reasonable timeframe to be okay with people openly talking about something that happened on a TV show? A few days? A week? When the season is over? When the season is available on DVD?
What about movies? Do they differ from TV? And books take longer to consume than a movie or an episode of TV–does that grant them more time before spoilers can be posted?
Or is it never okay to post any kind of a spoiler without prefacing it with “spoiler alert”? Like, you can’t talk about Blade Runner without checking to make sure everyone has seen it. Is that taking it too far?