Twitter Is a Terrible Place to Post Spoilers

Twitter is the worst place for sharing spoilers pinterest heading

Nearly everyone seems to hate spoilers…but not quite enough for some people to stop posting them, often unlabeled, online.  Avoiding spoilers has become something of a herculean task, as fans of books, TV shows, video games, and more have to avoid everything from blog posts to videos to fan art to every social media platform.  Of all these things, however, I maintain that Twitter is one of the most annoying places for people to post spoilers.

Unless the creator literally titles their blog post or Youtube video something like, “Character X Dies in [Book Title],” fans who want to avoid spoilers can easily avoid reading any blog post or article or watching any video that so much as mentions the book, regardless of whether it is labeled “Warning: Spoilers” or “Spoiler-Free” or not labelled at all.  It’s harder but still doable to avoid spoilers on platforms like Instagram; don’t read the caption of any post that has a photo of the book, and don’t click on the “read more” option to read the whole caption.

Twitter is a whole different story.  While well-meaning fans will label spoilery tweets with a hashtag, and other people can then choose to “mute” that hashtag, this system is not full proof.  People might use different hashtags.  Readers might see spoilers before they can mute them.  Fans serious about avoiding spoilers on Twitter are left to frantically mute hashtags, book titles, abbreviation of book titles, author names, major character names, and any other identifying detail from the book that might pop up in their feed—and they often have to do this before the book is even released.  Recently, readers who received their preorders of Holly Black’s The Queen of Nothing were posting spoilers before other people could even purchase the book, much less find the time to read it.  Anyone who failed to mute all possible keywords early was out of luck.

The scrolling nature of Twitter also makes it much easier to see spoilers accidentally than on other platforms.  Something might actually be labeled “spoiler,” but a reader will have scrolled past that and read the entire tweet before noticing.  This is true even when people attempt to “hide” the spoiler by writing “spoiler” at the top and following it with a bunch of periods.  For example:

Spoiler
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Character X dies.

Someone mindlessly scrolling down their phone can inadvertently get to the “character x dies” part without having read or registered the spoiler warning at top.  (And, yes, I have seen tweets with supposed spoiler warnings that literally just said “spoilers ahead” without specifying what exactly it was a spoiler for.)

Is there anything to be done?  Personally, I’d love it people would just…not post spoilers the day something is released or several days before it’s released, but I know that’s not going to happen.  People read (or watch or play) things and want to talk about them, and they’re not necessarily thinking about whether they’re spoiling it for others.  I would love it if people would keep these conversations to DMs or blog posts or other places where they can be much more easily avoided rather than on Twitter, but I realize the only truly practical thing to do is to attempt to mute any possible word related to the content you don’t want spoiled.

Briana

14 thoughts on “Twitter Is a Terrible Place to Post Spoilers

  1. alilovesbooks says:

    I seem to do pretty well at avoiding spoilers on Twitter although have to confess if it’s a big TV show or movie I either stay off the platform altogether or watch the show immediately even if it means getting up in the middle of the night.

    Where I come across most book spoilers is actually Goodreads or Amazon. I tend to skim reviews when deciding whether to get a book and the number of times people put massive spoilers in the first line of their review is ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I think a lot of people just stay off social media, but it’s frustrating you have to, and it’s also difficult if you can’t read/watch the thing right away. Like, must I stay off Twitter for two months if I can’t read a big book the day it comes out???

      I agree there are a lot of spoilers in reviews, but overall I think it’s easier to just not read reviews on Goodreads for that book. Twitter drives me nuts because you just see spoilers randomly! (Also, anyone who opens a review with some random big reveal like, “I can’t believe Characters A and B got married!” isn’t writing a very organized/structured review!)

      Like

  2. Michael J. Miller says:

    Yes! A thousand times yes! I was having a conversation with my friend Jeff the other week and he said we need a new Social Contract Theory for the Internet Age because we need to mindfully consider what we can/should do and what we can’t/shouldn’t on these platforms. This is a perfect example. I have spent a lot of time trying to get to the WHY people post spoilers like this but I can’t settle on anything that feels like a definitive answer.

    Regardless, thank you for reminding us of how easy it is to be polite in these matters…even if people will often refuse to. This post just made my day :). Viva la spoiler-free revolución!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Yes! I think if you asked people, a lot of them would just say they “want to discuss the book/movie,” but you can do that in private! You can tweet you want to discuss it and have people direct message you or something! There is really no point to tweeting, “I can’t believe Bob died!” two days after something is released unless you’re actively trying to spoil it for other people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael J. Miller says:

        In fact, given how fast social media moves, I think you could make the case a private message is a safer way to guarantee whomever you want to talk about a book/movie with actually sees it. I grant I don’t live on social media the way some can, but there are sooooooooo many posts I miss. So if I REALLY wanted to have a conversation with someone about something, I’d message (or call or text or email or…) them because I can’t have any sort of way to be sure they’d even see my initial post unless I tagged them in it whiiiiich just takes us right back to the idea of a private conversation anyway.

        Like

        • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

          That’s a good point. If I know someone else has read the book/seen the movie, it would probably be much more efficient to just talk to them specifically about it than to randomly tweet, “How could Jane marry Rob????” and hope someone who even knows what I’m talking about sees it and then replies.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    I never see spoilers on twitter. I’m not sure why?! But I can see what a hassle it is the have to mute all of those hashtags. Maybe it’s better to stop following those accounts who post spoilers? This may be harsh but it’s probably a handful of accounts only. I hope those who read your blog take note! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. shanayatales says:

    Ugh, yes, Twitter is the THE place I usually get spoiled. Which is why if there is a big movie / show / book I want to check out – I go off social media usually. Especially Twitter. Because there is simply no help for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I think a lot of people do this, and it’s unfortunate you have to. It’s also really hard when books that don’t even have ARCs are being shipped to readers early. How am I even supposed to know people are going to get a book two weeks before the actual release date and will then post spoilers about it???

      Liked by 1 person

  5. La La in the Library says:

    People I follow with my music account were tired of seeing movie spoilers and spoilers for GoT and TWD, and were suggesting Twitter needs a spoiler button where a hashtag shows but the rest of the tweet is hidden. Like it does “sensitive content”. That seems like a good idea to me. 🐦🐥

    Like

  6. Kelly | Another Book in the Wall says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this post, Briana! It’s honestly such a shame how Twitter has become an outlet for sharing spoilers. Many times the spoilers come with little warning and are difficult to avoid because of the scrolling nature of the app!

    Like

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