The question is related to the recent release Age of Ultron.

This questions contains details about the movie that can be termed as spoiler. I tried to put a Spoiler Alert at the top of the question to alert others. Not a big fan of Spoiler Markup and mostly because the details are an important part of the question. My edit was rejected.

So my question is how to deal with Spoilers?

  • 6
    In the same way we always deal with them: Don't spoil anything in the question title and any other spoiler considerations are entirely upto the author's deiscretion and spoiler blogs should not be overused. But really with your example question, the fact that the question is about that movie (and has it as tag and as the first few words of the question) already is the actual spoiler alert, repeating the title yet again adds nothing at all. Anyone who clicks it and is suprised that a question about Age of Ultron is suddenly about Age of Ultron seems to be missing the point somehow.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Apr 28, 2015 at 13:32
  • But really, that has already been adressed at length here and even is part of the current help center.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Apr 28, 2015 at 13:34
  • 1
    Now as I read it, It makes sense. Apr 28, 2015 at 13:36
  • possible duplicate of Are we overusing the spoiler markup?
    – user5603
    May 6, 2015 at 12:17
  • possible duplicate of What's the policy on spoilers?
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Dec 18, 2015 at 10:58
  • Avoiding the review queue is pretty key. The "ignore tag" doesn't work there
    – user7812
    Dec 18, 2015 at 20:56
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of What's the policy on spoilers? May 18, 2017 at 14:32

2 Answers 2


We don't like spoiler markup. Spoilers for newly released movies is a moving target and at the end of the day somebody has to remove them when they're no longer a spoiler. Wait - what? They're always a spoiler for people who've not seen the movie? Oh right...

What we should be doing is:

  • Tag the question correctly, if people don't want spoiled but they're browsing a question tagged , then that's their problem.
  • Be courteous with your titles, people will see your question titles in a lot of different places, sometimes against their will. Having an obvious spoiler in your title is just mean because people don't have full control over the question titles they're exposed to (think: network wide hot questions list). This means don't ask "Why didn't Bruce Willis's character realize he was dead?".
  • Once you're in the question body, it's fair game. If you want to be extra careful then make sure the spoiler doesn't appear in the first few hundred characters of the post (since this is shown in excerpts for example chat's feed bot)

At the end of the day, we're a site about the contents of movies and TV shows, expect our questions to be about the contents of movies and TV shows.

  • 1
    This! and well put.
    – CGCampbell
    May 9, 2015 at 14:13
  • 1
    It's worth noting that you can hide questions with a tag you don't want spoiled for you by adding it to the Ignored Tags list and then setting the site to hide those questions instead of gray them out. Dec 18, 2015 at 17:59
  • @Thunderforge and then staying out of chat; and uninstalling the mobile app which ignores tag preferences; and never looking at the HNQ list ever again; etc.
    – KutuluMike
    Dec 20, 2015 at 13:02
  • @MikeEdenfield Some of us don't use chat or the mobile app anyway, and there is a feature request in Meta Stack Exchange to hide ignored tags from hot network questions. Dec 20, 2015 at 16:49
  • @MikeEdenfield The HNQ list doesn't show the content of questions anyway, only their spoiler-free titles (as well as the app does, I presume).
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Dec 21, 2015 at 3:41
  • Who's this 'We' you speak of? Also this feels more like 'They shouldn't be enforced.' than 'Don't use them ever', except it's not completely clear from the way this is phrased. Jan 31, 2022 at 17:53

I agree that any and all spoilers should be kept out of the question title. But I also think we should embrace and encourage the use of;

The spoiler box.

There is a reason that this feature exists in markdown, and it's to hide things that people might not necessarily want to see. Like spoilers!

Obviously, we don't want questions that are a spoiler-box and nothing else, but that is still preferable to potentially ruining a film for someone who mistakenly sees something that they didn't want to see.

The downsides of spoiler tags are minimal, taking very little effort to add in a spoiler tag (it's just >! before the text you want hidden) or hover over one to read what it hides, and the benefits are that we don't potentially ruin someones enjoyment of a TV show or movie by giving them knowledge that they don't want or need before seeing it.

As a site dedicated to movies and TV, this seems like something we should care about.

  • I think a 2 week forced Spoiler Box usage period for any new movie, especially something like Force Awakens should be mandatory. It doesn't hurt SEO, google won't be affected, and mousing over doesn't require anything from a reader.
    – cde
    Dec 18, 2015 at 15:06
  • 1
    @cde I don't see why a time limit needs to be put on it. We should use the tools given to us, is my point here - and the spoiler box is a great way to ensure that we don't inadvertently harm a users enjoyment of a film (and therefore their likelihood of returning). Dec 18, 2015 at 15:13
  • 1
    I mean for the first two weeks of a movie, questions on plot should be forced to use the spoiler box. As a common courtesy. Afterwards its up to OP or any editors to spoiler box key spoilers.
    – cde
    Dec 18, 2015 at 15:20
  • And especially because we're a site dedicated to movies & TV we should not have nearly each and every question be hidden to its readers, which is the exact outcome of trying to hide any discussion about a work's content. Assuming you can click on a question about a movie you haven't seen and not expect the chance to possibly get parts of its content revealed is simply delusional to reality.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Dec 20, 2015 at 21:56
  • @NapoleonWilson But there is no harm in using spoiler boxes beyond the less than a second effort required to add the !> to a post. And the result is that we can know for certain that someone has to deliberately hover over hidden text to have potentially sensitive details revealed to them, rather than simply clicking on (or being redirected to, or linked to) a page. We can't control how people get to the page that includes the potentially sensitive information, but we can control what they can and cannot see once they are here. Dec 21, 2015 at 8:53
  • 1
    The site is about the contents of movies and TV shows, everything is a spoiler to somebody, since spoilering all of the text actively harms readability the other solution is to not spoiler at all otherwise you'll be constantly arguing about where the threshold for spoiling is or worse - applying them inconsistently.
    – user5603
    Dec 21, 2015 at 9:00
  • @user5603 It seems very obvious to me that a spoiler is a spoiler based on what you are or aren't expected to know when watching the film for the first time. I do not consider "Well technically, everything is a spoiler to somebody" to be a valid argument against the use of the spoiler formatting, particularly in cases where it is clear that the information in question is a spoiler. Dec 21, 2015 at 9:02
  • 1
    When somebody watches a film for the first time, the only expectation you can have is that they know nothing. Since they know nothing, everything is a spoiler. Assuming a base level of knowledge on a subject is the "threshold" I mentioned above - if you assume that a new watcher should have X prerequisite knowledge and you're wrong, you still end up ruining the movie on a site where apparently spoilers are clearly marked. The only solution is to not have spoilers and this has been at the core of this site's ethos since the beginning. All you achieve by using spoilers is harming readability.
    – user5603
    Dec 21, 2015 at 9:05
  • 1
    @user5603 Again, I do not consider "Well technically, everything is a spoiler to somebody" to be a valid argument against the use of the spoiler formatting, particularly in cases where it is clear that the information in question is a spoiler. Dec 21, 2015 at 9:23
  • 1
    You're trying to base your entire policy on spoiler usage on an assumption that a user has a base level of knowledge on a subject - on a site about authoritative and sourced content you're trying to introduce a policy based on an assumption... Fortunately it's not about whether you think it's a valid argument or not since there have been many instances across the network of people being unable to decide what should be spoilered and what shouldn't be. We avoid the argument altogether by not using spoilers - the site is about the content of movies and TV - assume spoilers.
    – user5603
    Dec 21, 2015 at 9:28
  • @user5603 No, I'm just trying to hide the reveal of information that may have a negative impact on the viewing pleasure of those who have not yet seen the film. You are correct when you say that we cannot and should not hide literally everything, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to hide information that could ruin someones experience of a film. Dec 21, 2015 at 9:32
  • 1
    People who are reading questions on a Q&A site about a movie or TV show they haven't seen should expect to see spoilers. Even something as simple as "when X and Y went to..." spoiler text is a spoiler because now you know X and Y went somewhere. If somebody is browsing through a Q&A site for movies and TV show, looking at questions for something they've not watched yet, then they're giving up the right to complain about stuff being spoiled.
    – user5603
    Dec 21, 2015 at 9:44
  • 1
    It's far better to be in the situation where you can say "well, we are a Q&A site for movies and TV shows, what did you expect you'd find when you were browsing breaking bad questions?" rather than "oh sorry, yes, the spoiler markup was applied inconsistently" or "well actually I'm not sure why that was spoiler marked" or "well yes let's edit all of our content to add one line spoilers that make everything impossible to read"
    – user5603
    Dec 21, 2015 at 9:45
  • @user5603 That's all well and good, but we cannot control how people find the site and access pages. I can easily link someone directly to an answer that contains an unhidden spoiler, as can Google or anyone else on the Internet - the result of which is someone getting something spoiled for them beyond their control. We can stop that (or at least, limit it), with the spoiler formatting. Dec 21, 2015 at 9:49
  • 2
    It's not beyond their control, they clicked the link. People who blindly click links on the internet deserve whatever they find at the other end...
    – user5603
    Dec 21, 2015 at 9:49

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