Last night, things happened on television. People had feelings about those things. People professed those feelings on the Twitter and Facebook machines. People got mad about feelings being professed via devices and so on and so on forever and ever amen.
Social media is a lawless society of rogues and knaves, united by but one universal truth: spoilers make people mad. But there truly exist no hard and fast rules defining The Spoiler and what does and does not constitute such a crime.
So let’s make some up.
1. It doesn’t really count as a spoiler if we’ve spent the last year or so talking about it.
Let’s get this one out of the way first: if you’re complaining that Jon Snow being alive was spoiled for you, you’re going to have to yell at a LOT of people. Us. Joanna Robinson. HBO. The entire goddamn internet. Millions of people have tweeted “JON SNOW IS ALIVE” since last summer—it doesn’t suddenly become off-limits in one evening. Calm down.
2. Hinting at spoilers is way worse than outright spoilage. This kind of shit:
“No spoilers, BUT MAN THE TWIST ENDING OF THAT EPISODE WAS SOMETHING I DID NOT SEE COMING AND COULD NOT POSSIBLY EVER EVEN IMAGINE. YOU WILL NEVER EXPECT IT. IT WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU COULD POSSIBLY EVEN THINK. YOU’LL NEVER GUESS.”
…is literally worse than just telling me who did it/who’s dead/I look fat in this shirt.
3. Don’t be on social media during the actual episode itself—what are you even doing?
4. Movies are different. Be cool. At least until that shit comes out on BluRay.
5. Spoilers officially stop being spoilers within, I don’t know, some arbitrarily longish span of time, let’s go with three years. Anything beyond that, it’s just a cultural reference.
6. If it’s actual history, it does not count as a spoiler. It was not physically possible to spoil The People vs. OJ Simpson.
7. If you do fuck up and spoil something for someone, don’t be a dick about it. Don’t defend yourself by insulting the bespoiled for not seeing a movie in time or watching the show live. Be a decent human being.
8. For those of us with certain jobs, all of this is out the window entirely. If your job involves social media or internet use, you will be spoiled. I haven’t watched a single episode of The Walking Dead since season one. I know every major moment and every death. Such is life.
9. Cultural osmosis aside, if the work is quality, spoilers genuinely don’t matter. The product is still worth it, so still give it a chance.
10. But don’t pull that #9 shit as an excuse for when you’ve been a buttdick and spoiled something for someone. Get back to #7 with that nonsense.
This has been the Spoiler Bible. As always, the general rule is this: don’t be a dick.