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It may have been on the minds of some users how inconsistent we are with spoilers on the site compared to our other fellow Stack Exchange site.

While not a pressing matter, it is a bit of a problem that merits resolution, to me at least.

On that topic I'd like to propose the following guidelines for spoilers:

I have four (4) categories in mind for spoilers:

  • New. This includes very recent spoilers for any story/character content from/about something anime/manga/novel/game within the last ninety (90) days (about one cour) of it's premiere
  • Aged. Same as the above, but for content between ninety (90) days old and one (1) year old (about four cours)
  • Old. Same as the above, but for content between one (1) year and four (4) years old (one Olympiad, about sixteen cours)
  • Ancient. The same as above, but for content that is more than four (4) years old

Expected guidelines to follow for the above categories for the site:

  1. Spoilers for "New" content

    • Is mandatory
    • The title of the question must not have any spoilers, nor should it imply any kind of spoilers
    • The body must use the spoiler markdown for the spoiler content
    • This gives users who prefer to watch a typical anime series at the end of it's cour some leeway as to not get immediately spoiled once some revelation is revealed
    • Writing only "spoiler" in the question title and/or body is not acceptable at all
  2. Spoilers for "Aged" content

    • The title may hint at a spoiler (including meta-spoilers) in the title but must not reveal anything significant
    • E.g., What happened to X character in Episode Y? Why did Q character do what he did in Chapter Z. Why does V series have Tragedy genre attached
    • The body must use the spoiler markdown for the spoiler content
    • The typical anime season lasts, 1 cour but there are occasionally those that last 2 cours. This gives users some leeway in case they like to watch a series after it's finished or prefer to follow the dubbed version (Fact: There are good dubs out there)
  3. Spoilers for "Old" content

    • Spoilers in the title are left up to the discretion of the OP
    • The use of spoiler markdown is optional in the body, but the user of the spoiler markdown is encouraged for significant spoilers
    • After a years has passed for a series, chances are that any spoilers for a series in question have already propagated throughout the internet. By then most people will have at least an inkling about spoilers in a particular series, thanks to the internet, social media, and memes
  4. Spoilers for "Ancient" content

    • Spoilers in the title is acceptable and expected
    • Spoilers in the body without spoiler markdown is acceptable as well
    • Typically few anime are memorable enough to persist in memory more than 4 years in the minds of audiences, when they are, they usually are the ones most talked about
    • If you haven't had time to watch the series within 4 years of it's premiere, chances are that you weren't interested in the series enough to begin with and wouldn't mind being spoiled

Expected guidelines to follow for the above categories for the chat:

  • Spoilers in the main chatroom are expected
  • A courtesy to other users, please consider using this hacky, cumbersome link spoiler markdown: [spoilers](http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/6697/# "Snape kills Dumbledore")
  • It should look something like this: FSN spoilers
    • Hover over see the spoiler
    • There should be some url, /# at minimum, and then the spoiler text in quotes
    • No one is expected to know how to use this hacky method, the inefficient method is there if any one wants to use it. Implementation of spoilers in chat was never intended to be supported anyway.

How to enforce these guidelines:

  • Please edit and remind users that do not follow the above guidelines, if you have the privilege to do so, otherwise flag it
    • Link new/uninformed users to the meta explaining our spoiler policy
    • Users should be given three (3) chances to try to comply with these guidelines
    • Repeated disregard after that may warrant suspension

Spoilers are inevitable, but this proposal intend to provide some consistency and courtesy to users who are sensitive about spoilers.

What do you think? Do you like it? Hate it? Think it's a waste of time? Want to comment on how my lazy, unproofed writing and grammar sucks? Good or bad, your feedback is welcome.

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    What about when the spoiler content ages between posts? for instance when it initially happened someone posts about L's death in Death Note, this get spoilered. after 4 years someone else posts about L's Death, this doesn't have to be spoilered but what about the first post? should we be editing the older post, newer post or not edit at all | NOTE: i use the term post to cover both questions and answers – Memor-X Dec 1 '16 at 12:40
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    also what about comments? we can't edit comments like we can with other posts – Memor-X Dec 1 '16 at 12:41
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    I like the idea of better spoiler tagging practices, but this seems way too complicated. – Torisuda Dec 3 '16 at 21:04
  • Can you give an example of a question title that fits the criteria for new content? Most question titles I can think of (that seem well-written, and that are somewhat related to important plot-points) seem to at best fit into the criteria you've specified for "aged" series, if I'm trying to avoid spoilers. – Maroon Dec 9 '16 at 13:23
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Though I appreciate the initiative being drafted here, I'd like to point out what's been said before:

Spoiler markup - which hides information - is by-design a reader-hostile feature! It should be used sparingly, and avoided whenever possible.

The last thing you want to do is encourage new users to start spoiler-marking every last detail of their posts on the off-chance that someone doesn't know them yet. This is supposed to be a community of experts and those seeking expert knowledge - don't hide your light under a bushel.

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    I disagree with this answer. As Madara mentioned on in another answer, different sites have different uses for the same features. We don't use ruby text as JLU would. We don't have videos anable because few of our answer are media heavy enough to warrant it. The anime and manga fandom community is somewhat sensitive to the subject of spoilers, as it may ruin their experience. The meta is intended to establish a baseline of etiquette that we can refer users to asking about spoilers. If we don't properly educate users of our features and etiquette, abundant spoilers in the tile can ruin things. – кяαzєя Dec 8 '16 at 2:35
  • It's a given that bit of common sense needs to applied in order to balance user experience in regards to spoiler. However it's worth noting that most of our user base falls under the 18 and under category compared to most other recreational sites. With that come a bit of immaturity and sometimes a lack of common sense. The proposal attempts to create a more spoiler neutral atmosphere by only restricting newer spoilers while allowing flexibility based on user discretion for older content. Some users like spoilers, but others don't. We can't keep everyone happy so we need to make a compromise. – кяαzєя Dec 8 '16 at 2:47
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    That's all cool, and, as I said, I appreciate the initiative being drafted here. Just reiterating that hiding valuable content is no good for anyone, since no one will be able to find it then. Having a generic title ("what really happened to this character?") and >=75% of the body of the question hidden in spoilers means the question won't be easily found. And while that might mean that our regular users will still benefit from it, we're also losing out on drawing in new users and helping a larger audience that might reach us from search engines. Just watch out for that, is my point :) – JNat Dec 8 '16 at 9:47

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