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Old 2012-07-08, 20:29   Link #1
Triple_R
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A discussion on spoilers.

My goal with this thread is not to put forward a specific proposal (at least not right away), but rather to have an open-ended discussion on what would be the ideal Spoiler policy for Anime Suki. What has prompted this for me is how I've recently noticed a significant uptick in "out there" spoilers.

The current Spoiler Policy forbids making source material spoilers on anime-based threads even if the spoiler in question is put inside of Spoiler Space and marked well.


I think that a couple of problems are starting to arise from this policy, and that they relate to the uptick in "out there" spoilers:

1. I think that more people are kind of getting rusty at properly using the spoiler space function, precisely because the circumstances for its appropriate use are increasingly rare. Basically, outside of very generalized subforums and threads, there's never an opportunity where using a spoiler space would be both beneficial/needed and in keeping with Anime Suki's policy.

2. I think that many people may sometimes think to themselves "I want to bring up this element from the source material since it'll answer a critic's question, and I'm going against the rules however I bring it up, so why even bother putting it in spoiler space?" (A lot of times, spoilers are made in efforts to answer a more critical viewer's question).


Now, some may say "Then enforce more strictly against spoilers", but I think that's a lot to ask of the Moderators.

So what's the answer then?

Well, I'm not sure. But I think it might be good to have an open-ended discussion on this, where people can share their honest viewpoints on AS' Spoiler Policy. I think that because I see real problems arising from the policy as is.


The current policy I think is bad for both source material fans and anime-only viewers.

As an anime-only viewer, I find myself running into "out there" spoilers more often than I used to on this site. As an anime-only viewer, I'd much rather see a lot of posts that have spoiler spaces in them (and take responsibility for myself in not clicking on them) than to be openly spoiled where I have no control at all over if I get spoiled or not.

Now, in those rare occasions where I myself would like to make episode-pertinent comparisons/points that involve spoilers, I find that I can't do that either, of course (not on the episode thread itself). On the whole (and this is me speaking as a guy who's usually an anime-only viewer), I think that Anime Suki's current Spoiler Policy has detracted from my experience here more than it's added to it.


Anyway, I'll leave it at that. I'd like to see what other people have to say on this topic.
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Old 2012-07-08, 21:14   Link #2
relentlessflame
 
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Honestly, the staff are committed to stricter enforcement of the current policy, but people need to report every inappropriate spoiler they see. I have no idea why people encounter spoilers and don't report them -- it only takes a few seconds and it is appreciated by all who don't like to be spoiled.

I have considered ways of trying to take one last-ditch effort at making the spoiler policy more visible (for example, making a note about this visible under every post box), and then accompanying this by even stricter punishment (including automatic bans even on the first offence, as we did with Fate/Zero).

The other thing that's a problem is people who use "unlabeled" spoiler tags. IIRC, our new tags (currently in beta) do require a label. My view is that not properly-labelling a spoiler tag can be just as bad, as it encourages people to randomly click on things without knowing what they'll get. This is why we changed to our current policy that tries to get inappropriate spoilers out of threads entirely. Our new tags also have separate tags for images, nsfw, and other things so that people don't use the spoiler tag for random things that aren't really spoilers.

Some people really think that anime-only viewers will benefit from knowing whatever source material information they want to share with them ("it'll help them appreciate the show!" and "you can't avoid spoilers anyway..."), but our view is that it is not up to the person with the information to make that call. Our view is that the person who wants to be spoiled needs to seek that out in the source material thread (or other appropriate thread). I don't see this policy changing any time soon because the staff generally think it is the most fair and balanced. (We always do have a thread for the source material easily accessible, and if by chance there isn't one, one can be created. We don't want to block spoiler-related conversation, only put it in the right thread.)

I think the big problem is that you have people arriving to this forum all the time from other places that don't have the same policy that we do. They don't take the time to read our rules, and just assume that whatever they think is okay is okay. But we on the staff don't consider ignorance an excuse, because you have to read the Forum Rules before you join, and spoiler policy notices are readily available (and in the top page of every episode thread in sub-forums, and many other threads all over the place).

So I'm not sure what else will be discussed, but I can basically already tell you that, if anything, I can only see us being more strict at enforcing the current policy, and trying to make it more visible so even first-time visitors know exactly how things work here. I don't think arguments like "oh, you shouldn't be so strict about spoilers" or "you should allow any spoilers as long as they're tagged" or anything else will be really considered by the staff. But if anyone has any ideas about how we can make the policy more clear, easier to understand, and harder to claim ignorance about, I am all ears.

By the way, to all:

Click here to access the Spoiler Policy
Please read this first before commenting so you know what our rules are now.



Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Now, in those rare occasions where I myself would like to make episode-pertinent comparisons/points that involve spoilers, I find that I can't do that either, of course (not on the episode thread itself). On the whole (and this is me speaking as a guy who's usually an anime-only viewer), I think that Anime Suki's current Spoiler Policy has detracted from my experience here more than it's added to it.
For clarity, are you saying "the times when I do know the source material, I can't post relevant spoilers in anime threads" (which would be true), or are you talking about cases when you're an anime-only viewer? If you're an anime-only viewer, I think most comparisons you could make are okay (in spoiler tags), so long as you're not revealing any future events (which you hopefully wouldn't know as an anime-only viewer). So it isn't too clear to me what you mean here.

I can say that there have been times when I've known the source material before watching the anime, and I know that it requires a bit of discipline. You have to resist the temptation to give people hints that will address their concerns/criticisms, even though you might want that person to be able to enjoy the show as much as you do and you figure the info might help. So I know the feeling... but we have to be considerate. There are a lots of other ways to communicate with people too, and I've had cases where people have PMed me to ask for info that I wouldn't post in an anime thread, and I don't mind helping out that way.

In the end, it's hard to balance everyone's needs, and that means those in the know have to work a bit harder than those who don't know. It's sort of "with great knowledge comes great responsibility". It doesn't help I know that some people are personally sort of "spoiler-immune" and don't mind being spoiled left and right. I can guarantee you that all of us on the staff have basically lost our ability to watch any show unspoiled... but it comes with the job we volunteered to do. Personally, I don't think it hurts my experience that much, but it is a different experience. I don't want to rob people of the experience they would like to have, if we can help it.
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Old 2012-07-08, 21:50   Link #3
SeijiSensei
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For me personally a rule that banned all discussion of the source material in anime threads would be preferable to the current policy. If you want to talk about the manga, go do it in the manga threads. If you want to talk about how the manga and the anime compare, do it in the manga threads with spoilers for the anime material. Not including a spoiler tag about how an event in the manga is handled in the anime has a lot less impact when directed to an audience of manga readers than the reverse situation we have now.

I can't say there have been many times when my enjoyment of a series has been enhanced by manga discussions in the anime threads. Nearly always those discussions are full of spoilage and whining and are typically irrelevant or "dangerous" from the viewpoint of an anime-only viewer like myself.

It seems to me the current spoiler policy is simply too difficult to enforce. A clear-cut "no manga, novel, game discussion in anime threads" policy provides a simple rule that would be much easier to apply. This may not be a popular opinion, but on a forum that is intended to discuss anime, discussions of the source material deserve a distinctly second-class status.
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Old 2012-07-08, 22:00   Link #4
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I don't think arguments like "oh, you shouldn't be so strict about spoilers" or "you should allow any spoilers as long as they're tagged" or anything else will be really considered by the staff.
Why not?

My observation is that there's been a recent uptick in completely "out there" spoilers. I get the sense that you're seeing the same thing that I'm seeing there.

My theory is that this is due, at least in part, to not letting people make spoilers even inside of spoiler space.

While I respect all of the points that you made in your reply to me, you never really addressed that theory.


You're right about many members "arriving to this forum all the time from other places that don't have the same policy that we do." On pretty much every other internet message board I've been on, if you put spoilers inside of spoiler space that's considered good enough.

And you know what? Those other sites I'm on don't have anywhere near as many "out there" spoilers as Anime Suki now has, at least from what I've seen in recent weeks and months.

While I respect the good intentions behind your current policy, I very sincerely think it's exacerbating the very sort of problems that it's intended to prevent.


Here's a policy idea:

1. Any spoiler within spoiler space is fine as long as the spoiler space is properly labelled/marked. This is true throughout the whole of anime suki.

2. If it is not labelled/marked well, and if you are reported on it (or if a Moderator notices it), you will face disciplinary action for it.

3. If you see a poorly labelled/marked spoiler, please report it. Also report any spoilers that aren't inside of spoiler spaces at all, of course.


I honestly think this would lead to fewer "out there" spoilers than we currently have. I think it would improve discussions here on this site, to the benefit of anime-only viewers and source material fans alike. And for people who practice enough personal responsibility to be careful about which spoiler spaces they click on, they'll get spoilered less this way, I think.

Your current policy is well-intentioned, and may seem great in theory, but I just don't think it gels well with human nature (especially given what the rest of the internet tends to be like). I think that it's causing more harm than good.


Quote:
For clarity, are you saying "the times when I do know the source material, I can't post relevant spoilers in anime threads" (which would be true), or are you talking about cases when you're an anime-only viewer?
My personal example is a bit of a strange one. It's wanting to make comparisons between Fate/Zero (the anime) and the Fate/Stay Night (the anime) on Fate/Zero episode threads were I felt those comparisons were pertinent to the episodes.


Quote:
I can say that there have been times when I've known the source material before watching the anime, and I know that it requires a bit of discipline. You have to resist the temptation to give people hints that will address their concerns/criticisms, even though you might want that person to be able to enjoy the show as much as you do and you figure the info might help. So I know the feeling... but we have to be considerate.
Why is this inconsiderate?:

Poster A - How are these characters able to do those things? They don't have any superpowers, and what their doing is clearly beyond what normal humans are capable of. That seems like pretty sloppy writing to me.

Poster B - There's an answer for that. You can read it in the spoiler space below. <Insert Spoiler Space with Sci-Fi Answer Inside>

If Poster B is replying to a specific criticism voiced by Poster A, and answers him with a spoiler space, isn't it rather obvious what the spoiler is pertaining to? Isn't it really easy for people who don't want to be spoiled on this particular question to just skip over the spoiler space? And there's a good chance that Poster A will appreciate the spoiler.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
For me personally a rule that banned all discussion of the source material in anime threads would be preferable to the current policy.
I think that would upset far more people than would feel benefit from it. The fact is that we anime-only viewers are probably the minority on this site. Those of us who are very spoiler-sensitive are an even bigger minority.

I don't mind the occasional spoiler, and I don't think most people do. Sometimes I want to be spoiled. What I do mind is being spoiled against my will (i.e. "Out There" spoilers). It's not that big an inconvenience to skip over a few posts with lots of spoiler space in them.

If Anime Suki would just take the same approach to spoilers that pretty much every other forum/message board takes, and then enforce strictly against poor spoiler space labeling, that would be what would work the best for the greatest number of people, imo.
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Old 2012-07-08, 22:34   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
My observation is that there's been a recent uptick in completely "out there" spoilers. I get the sense that you're seeing the same thing that I'm seeing there.

My theory is that this is due, at least in part, to not letting people make spoilers even inside of spoiler space.
No, I don't agree with your theory. In fact, in my opinion, your theory makes no sense. The people who post unmarked spoilers are not aware that we don't allow them behind spoiler tags, because if they knew that they would know that we definitely will not allow them unmarked (or else they'd be banned)! The reason they post unmarked spoilers is because they are simply unaware of the policy or don't care.

People don't not use spoiler tags because we don't allow it. Sorry, but that's illogical. It's not the tags that are banned, it's the spoilers themselves. I should think that everyone is smart enough to at least understand that much (if they pay attention to the rules at all).

(I would offer as evidence that the most common reply I get to spoiler warnings/infractions is: "oops, I didn't know!")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Here's a policy idea:

1. Any spoiler within spoiler space is fine as long as the spoiler space is properly labelled/marked. This is true throughout the whole of anime suki.

2. If it is not labelled/marked well, and if you are reported on it (or if a Moderator notices it), you will face disciplinary action for it.

3. If you see a poorly labelled/marked spoiler, please report it. Also report any spoilers that aren't inside of spoiler spaces at all, of course.
No, we've tried that. That was our policy before and, believe me, it was much worse than it is now. People have suggested various times that we go back to that thinking that it'll be better, but I don't think that will help at all with the problem you are outlining. It will just mean even more spoilers, and even more unmarked spoilers, because people honestly do lack the discipline to even click the spoiler button no matter how visible we make it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
My personal example is a bit of a strange one. It's wanting to make comparisons between Fate/Zero (the anime) and the Fate/Stay Night (the anime) on Fate/Zero episode threads were I felt those comparisons were pertinent to the episodes.
This was a very unusual case where we had to make some special rules where I don't think there really was a perfect way of handling it. Thankfully, these sorts of situations don't come up often.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Why is this inconsiderate?:

Poster A - How are these characters able to do those things? They don't have any superpowers, and what their doing is clearly beyond what normal humans are capable of. That seems like pretty sloppy writing to me.

Poster B - There's an answer for that. You can read it in the spoiler space below. <Insert Spoiler Space with Sci-Fi Answer Inside>

If Poster B is replying to a specific criticism voiced by Poster A, and answers him with a spoiler space, isn't it rather obvious what the spoiler is pertaining to? Isn't it really easy for people who don't want to be spoiled on this particular question to just skip over the spoiler space? And there's a good chance that Poster A will appreciate the spoiler.
That's so simplistic. If things were actually that clear-cut, it would be generally fine. We used to have an exception in the policy that was basically like this, but the problem is that it's never that simple. The problem is that you also have Poster C, who has also has read the novel and disagrees with Poster B. And then, Poster D comes along and agrees with Poster B. Poster A asks a question about what Poster C says, and then Poster B comes back and explains why Poster C was wrong anyway so there's no point in asking. And now you've gotten into this whole derail where what seemed like a straightforward question & answer ends up with a debate among readers of the source material. So this is why it's much cleaner to disallow any future event spoiler discussion in anime threads, and have it go to the source material thread. (When we have a sub-forum, this is why we have a Q&A thread; so that you don't have to wade through spoilers to get a simple answer to a simple question.)


I realize that no solution is without its flaws, but I can only say that we on the staff really did try hard to think this through, and the current solution is (in our view at least) generally okay. But I do think we have had an influx in new people recently, and they need a bit of a push to remember our unique approach. Being a bit different than the norm has its disadvantages, but I think the biggest disadvantage is the need to help people see and understand that we're not like other places. In other words: communication.



Edit: I wanted to acknowledge this as well:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
For me personally a rule that banned all discussion of the source material in anime threads would be preferable to the current policy. If you want to talk about the manga, go do it in the manga threads. If you want to talk about how the manga and the anime compare, do it in the manga threads with spoilers for the anime material. Not including a spoiler tag about how an event in the manga is handled in the anime has a lot less impact when directed to an audience of manga readers than the reverse situation we have now.

I can't say there have been many times when my enjoyment of a series has been enhanced by manga discussions in the anime threads. Nearly always those discussions are full of spoilage and whining and are typically irrelevant or "dangerous" from the viewpoint of an anime-only viewer like myself.

It seems to me the current spoiler policy is simply too difficult to enforce. A clear-cut "no manga, novel, game discussion in anime threads" policy provides a simple rule that would be much easier to apply. This may not be a popular opinion, but on a forum that is intended to discuss anime, discussions of the source material deserve a distinctly second-class status.
Your point of view is certainly part of what contributed to the current policy, which as you can tell was an attempt to be a compromise. I suppose, if I could summarize the compromise, it was "allow low-risk spoilers (i.e. comparisons), forbid high-risk spoilers (i.e. future events)". But, as you say, it isn't particularly easy to enforce because the lines can be rather blurry, and it often requires someone with knowledge of both the source and the adaptation to make consistently good judgement calls. So we do rely a lot on reports in cases where we aren't ourselves sufficiently expert or watching the show in question, and reports can be inconsistent. We've seen threads where there are some really adamant anti-spoiler readers who religiously report any spoiler they see (sometimes even if we would technically allow it). We've also seen threads that seem to be lacking in spoiler reporters, and when a member of the staff happens to check out a thread for whatever reason, they find all sorts of spoilers that nobody mentioned or reported. This certainly gives a sense of inconsistency in application of the policy, and adds to the confusion (because if someone sees some spoilers ostensibly allowed in one thread, they'll think it's okay in another thread).

I don't know if your proposal is the right direction to go either, though I do see the appeal. In similar feedback threads in the past, various elaborate schemes were proposed to try to combat this problem, but all have flaws of various kinds. And, for whatever reason, I have observed that the source material audience seems to have increased over the last few years, particularly as more and more light novels are fan-translated. In some cases, I wonder if source material readers outnumber anime-only viewers. That certainly wasn't the case when I joined the forum 8 1/2 years ago (people who knew the source were generally rare and somewhat revered back then! ).

Anyway... if I made it sound like we're closed to all new ideas, we're not... but there are so many trade-offs to be weighed.
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Old 2012-07-09, 01:51   Link #6
Seitsuki
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I think the problem with the current policy is that it closes off options.

The way it stands, 'spoilers' in an anime thread can only refer to content that just aired. Which won't be much.

If someone wants some additional information pertaining to a particular point, they are unable to look/ask for it in that thread and must go to the appropriate manga/LN thread. The problem for this is that it forces them to run into a whole heap of other spoilers. The way I see it, you can either not be spoiled, or get far too much spoiled. (Naturally there is the option to PM someone knowledgeable, but that rather defeats the purpose of a public forum I think.) As long as something is *correctly labelled* as being a spoiler, whatever the source, I believe it should be allowed since it will then load as such and only be visible upon clicking. The problem is really only with spoilers which aren't tagged as such no?

I understand that all of this is a nightmare to enforce, but as you've alluded it seems the problem generally isn't so much the policy itself as people simply not being aware of what the policy is..
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Old 2012-07-09, 03:09   Link #7
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Why not adopt the older policy but with a much much stricter punishment? If spoilers aren't properly labeled within spoiler tags, why not just give bans outright?

It might seem harsh, but it's the only way to prevent most carelessness and at the same time allow for a more lenient spoiler policy.
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Old 2012-07-09, 03:41   Link #8
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Bans for spoilers? I think it's too harsh.
Sometimes, spoilers may be needed to gain information about a certain series, particularly a series that has little to no exposure to foreigners like the currently airing Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. Blocking the only way for people to understand a particular series is detrimental to the discussion.

From what I'm seeing, there are no vocal problems when it comes to spoilers. I assume that people understand that in the recent trend of adaptations, information from the source is welcomed, if not vital to the discussion.
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Old 2012-07-09, 03:50   Link #9
hyl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Bans for spoilers? I think it's too harsh.
Sometimes, spoilers may be needed to gain information about a certain series, particularly a series that has little to no exposure to foreigners like the currently airing Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. Blocking the only way for people to understand a particular series is detrimental to the discussion.

From what I'm seeing, there are no vocal problems when it comes to spoilers. I assume that people understand that in the recent trend of adaptations, information from the source is welcomed, if not vital to the discussion.
I think it depends though. Certain spoilers that you think that the anime hasn't explained yet, might be something that is going to be explained in a few episodes later.
Like a recent example would be Fate Zero's 24th episode. The novel readers complained that the anime cut down the exposition on berserker, while in fact some of it was saved for the final episode (and the blu ray version).

As for problems with spoilers, i think that it's quite bothersome if people are going to spoil away whole events that should cover the next few episodes (like some almost did in the accel world general discussion a few weeks ago for the current arc)

About series that that have "no exposure to foreigners", i think it's pretty rare to find series that doesn't bother explaining the premise, setup and the basic information of the serie to newcomers. Because otherwise the serie won't be able to attract new people, while it would only cater to the people who were already familiar with the original source.
While in the case of Horizon , there were some information that were somewhat vague but most of it doesn't seem to bother me as an anime only viewer, because it hasn't been used much yet in the first season.

Last edited by hyl; 2012-07-09 at 04:22.
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Old 2012-07-09, 09:02   Link #10
relentlessflame
 
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This is as an answer to both your points...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seitsuki View Post
As long as something is *correctly labelled* as being a spoiler, whatever the source, I believe it should be allowed since it will then load as such and only be visible upon clicking. The problem is really only with spoilers which aren't tagged as such no?

I understand that all of this is a nightmare to enforce, but as you've alluded it seems the problem generally isn't so much the policy itself as people simply not being aware of what the policy is..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Why not adopt the older policy but with a much much stricter punishment? If spoilers aren't properly labeled within spoiler tags, why not just give bans outright?

It might seem harsh, but it's the only way to prevent most carelessness and at the same time allow for a more lenient spoiler policy.
Because, again, every decision has wider consequences.

Consider the example I gave before about how what seemed like a simple spoiler question turned into a giant discussion/debate among spoiler-knowing experts. This happens quite regularly. Back under the old policy, you would sometimes go into an anime thread and you would have nothing but page after page of posts under spoiler tags (even if properly labelled), all speculating about things that were going to happen later. The topic thus shifted from the anime itself, to the source material; the thread had gone off-topic. But how can we moderate this? At what point is the line crossed from "acceptable spoiler" to "off-topic tangent"? This is why the new rule says "anything outside the scope of a topic is considered a spoiler"; we are trying not just to eliminate unwanted spoilers, but also to narrow the focus of the topic and prevent these sorts of tangents from starting.

In addition, it is very annoying to enter a thread where every single post contains spoiler tags, particularly for the anime-only viewer who doesn't want to be spoiled; it makes it seem like there's no one like them with which to discuss the work. In many cases, those familiar with the source material can be the most talkative bunch. For those who are okay with the spoilers, it's annoying to constantly have to open the tags all the time, and even with good labels (many people's labeling skills are generally horrible in my experience), it can be hard to know if it's really safe to open a tag or not based on what you know (or are willing to spoil yourself on).

So again, if you only think about spoilers in the cleanest, most narrow application, then the old rules might seem to work (that's why we tried them in the first place). But experience showed that reality isn't so simple, and controlling spoilers is also a way of controlling the topic and allowing each thread to have a single focus. Although this policy is hard to enforce in some ways, it is much more clean-cut than the old policy, and has generally accomplished the goals of reducing the amount of source material conversations (and need for spoiler tags) in anime threads.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Bans for spoilers? I think it's too harsh.
Sometimes, spoilers may be needed to gain information about a certain series, particularly a series that has little to no exposure to foreigners like the currently airing Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. Blocking the only way for people to understand a particular series is detrimental to the discussion.

From what I'm seeing, there are no vocal problems when it comes to spoilers. I assume that people understand that in the recent trend of adaptations, information from the source is welcomed, if not vital to the discussion.
I want to make it clear that inappropriate spoilers are not banned completely, just banned from adaptation threads. There is always another thread where the discussion can occur, whether it's the source material thread or (in the case of sub-forums) the Q&A thread or various speculation threads. Our objective is not to stop discussion, only to see it occur in the most appropriate thread.

And, for what it's worth, there are a number of people on this forum who really don't like seeing any information about the source material in adaptation threads. We know because we get reports from them regularly. And for the reasons I outlined above, we don't want the threads to go off-topic and turn into source material discussion threads under the guise of ostensibly providing answers or clarification. We have some exceptions that allow source material comparisons where it is relevant to enhance the discussion at hand, and will not give away future plot points yet to be shown. Again, it may be useful to actually read the current policy to understand some of the "nuance" of what is permitted.
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Old 2012-07-09, 11:24   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyl View Post
The novel readers
There's your problem. The massive increase in translated manga and light novels has resulted in many more people being aware of source material than ever before. SAO's General thread was basically nothing but a second Novel thread, in fact Relentless ended up removing over 40 posts from there and creating a new thread for Novel readers to spoil themselves with.

I've lamented in the past about how I missed the days when people didn't have stuff like manga/novel readers so readily available. Sure, in and of themselves it's fun to read all of these "new" things. But they also "contaminate" the fun of going into a new anime with limited to no knowledge and discussing with others what happened and what will happen next.....and not really knowing who is right until the next episode airs.

These days, frankly speaking, people (think they) know too damn much, and it kills the fun of community interaction. I don't mind spoilers personally, I can moderate them and knowing things doesn't hurt my viewing experience usually. However when it comes to discussion with other members, it's very difficult to do this when an anime comes out and half the thread is dominated by source material conversation. It's no longer just the Naruto/Bleach guys complaining about filler. Now it's the people reading novels complaining too.

To be honest, the quality of debate has shifted greatly, to where so much anime discussion is now meta, where people talk "about" the episode or the anime in general and they don't really dig much deeper in analyzing characters and events.

You might say that we should just kick those people to the source material thread if they want to discuss it so much. Fair point, except that all we've done is shift the problem around. Instead of anime viewers not wishing to be spoiled about the novel/manga, now we have novel/manga viewers who may not wish to be spoiled about the anime.

Like RF says, every decision has wider consequences.
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Old 2012-07-09, 12:11   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
There's your problem. The massive increase in translated manga and light novels has resulted in many more people being aware of source material than ever before. SAO's General thread was basically nothing but a second Novel thread, in fact Relentless ended up removing over 40 posts from there and creating a new thread for Novel readers to spoil themselves with.

I've lamented in the past about how I missed the days when people didn't have stuff like manga/novel readers so readily available. Sure, in and of themselves it's fun to read all of these "new" things. But they also "contaminate" the fun of going into a new anime with limited to no knowledge and discussing with others what happened and what will happen next.....and not really knowing who is right until the next episode airs.

These days, frankly speaking, people (think they) know too damn much, and it kills the fun of community interaction. I don't mind spoilers personally, I can moderate them and knowing things doesn't hurt my viewing experience usually. However when it comes to discussion with other members, it's very difficult to do this when an anime comes out and half the thread is dominated by source material conversation. It's no longer just the Naruto/Bleach guys complaining about filler. Now it's the people reading novels complaining too.

Very good post. I had typed up a reply to several of relentlessflame's points, but perhaps it would be better/simpler if I just made a few key points based off of your own observations here.

Yes, the source material fans are the majority now. The solid majority. As a guy who's typically an anime-only viewer, I've grown used to this.


The way I see it, Anime Suki now has functionally three alternatives (unless somebody can come up with a better idea):

1. Current policy (or a stricter one), strictly enforced. I think that this would come across as very draconian to a lot of people, and it will piss them off. I honestly worry about the possible repercussions of this.

2. Current policy, moderately enforced. Anime-only viewers will sometimes encounter page after page of completely "out there" spoiler discussion. This is the current situation.

3. Old policy, strictly enforced. Anime-only viewers will sometimes encounter page after page of spoiler tag-heavy discussion.


If given a choice between the three, I would pick 3. Of the two options that avoid pissing off a lot of people, it's the one that would at least keep spoilers in spoiler tags, where at least I now am empowered to choose (or choose not) to spoil myself.

I think that we anime-only viewers need to accept that we're the minority now; yes, even on a site named Anime Suki, and not Manga/VN/LN Suki. So there's limits to what we can reasonably expect of the source material fan majority. If we go beyond those limits, I think many will simply ignore the rules (and to a certain extent, I think that's what is happening now). It's like trying to ban alcohol in a country where the solid majority enjoy drinking alcohol...

I don't think you can successfully do that. But you might be able to get people to use alcohol responsibly, at least. If you catch my analogy here.
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Old 2012-07-09, 13:03   Link #13
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
You might say that we should just kick those people to the source material thread if they want to discuss it so much. Fair point, except that all we've done is shift the problem around. Instead of anime viewers not wishing to be spoiled about the novel/manga, now we have novel/manga viewers who may not wish to be spoiled about the anime.
Yes, but as I wrote above, the consequences of spoilage are very different in these situations. People already familiar with the source material simply cannot be as profoundly spoiled as anime viewers with no prior exposure to the story. Certainly it's possible for the adaptation to take a different route than the manga or novel and thus create some potential for spoilage among readers of the source material. But that seems less problematic to me than the opposite situation where people without any prior exposure are spoiled by thoughtless manga or novel readers.

I also think it matters greatly what types of shows we're talking about here when it comes to the proportion of viewers with prior knowledge of the source material. I'd imagine it is much more common in otaku-oriented shows than it is in, say, a noitaminA show. Yes, there were people who had read Sakamichi no Apollon before the anime was released, but they seemed like a pretty small minority in that thread. (Some of the anime viewers then started reading the manga, but they didn't come to the discussion with prior knowledge.)

To me it's pretty obvious when a series will be dominated by people with prior exposure. If there are pages and pages of commentary on a show before even one episode has aired, I know to be very cautious in that thread. To give one example, Dance in the Vampire Bund had about a dozen pages of discussion before the first episode was telecast.
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Old 2012-07-09, 14:05   Link #14
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I can definitely see that the mod staff are aware of this problem andare taking measures to combat it, but it doesn't really seem to be getting through to some people. The major problem is definitely select users inability to keep novel comparisons out of the anime thread. It's like some people feel the need to constantly compare the anime to it's source material and in the process are revealing much about the future plot. I don't think it's malicious, I think it's just grown to be so accepted that they need to be compared to argue how good the adaptation is or isn't that they just aren't blissfully unaware of what they are doing for the none LN readers enjoyment of the show.

I'm personally all for stricter enforcement up to and including temporary bans for such infractions if only to send the message clearly, but it's not my decision to make.
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Old 2012-07-09, 16:26   Link #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Yes, the source material fans are the majority now. The solid majority. As a guy who's typically an anime-only viewer, I've grown used to this.
I don't think that's always the case, and it's definitely not the case in the broader English-speaking fandom. But I think that when you have threads where a lot of source material readers have gathered, people who don't know the source feel left out and like there's no point in contributing. This is precisely what we want to avoid. I also think that some people feel pressured to catch up on the source material so that they feel like they can be part of the "in crowd".

In any case, going back to the old policy is not being considered at this time, because again I really don't think that's going to solve the problem at hand. People aren't leaving more spoilers in the clear because they think spoiler tags aren't allowed, they just don't think that this information they know is something that other people may not want to be told about. Allowing more spoilers in threads really won't change that, and will have other consequences as has already been discussed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
YIf we go beyond those limits, I think many will simply ignore the rules (and to a certain extent, I think that's what is happening now). It's like trying to ban alcohol in a country where the solid majority enjoy drinking alcohol...
No, we're not banning alcohol. We're just restricting where you can drink it. We will always have places where discussing the source material is welcome.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaioshin Sama View Post
The major problem is definitely select users inability to keep novel comparisons out of the anime thread. It's like some people feel the need to constantly compare the anime to it's source material and in the process are revealing much about the future plot. I don't think it's malicious, I think it's just grown to be so accepted that they need to be compared to argue how good the adaptation is or isn't that they just aren't blissfully unaware of what they are doing for the none LN readers enjoyment of the show.
Yes, I think you are right, and Solace alluded to the same point. Some people enjoy discussing the "meta" of the adaptation (how it was adapted, how it compares to the source material, etc.) more than the actual content of the story itself. Speaking as someone who has been on that side of the fence occasionally, I do see how that can happen... but I have always been careful to try to keep those topics into the source material threads as I know it can be annoying for people who want to watch the show and judge it on its own merits. I think this sort of consideration is necessary, and that's the spirit of our current policy.


I still have my central question from earlier, which is: how can we make the policy more clear/visible/easy-to-understand so that people can't claim ignorance? Harsher punishment may be part of the solution, but I would feel better doing that if we could make it so "there's no way you could have missed the warning signs". Sort of like having visible speed signs before you nail someone for speeding. Maybe I can start by putting together an announcement or something...
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Old 2012-07-09, 17:02   Link #16
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I have to say that the spoiler policy is one of the things I like about this place. A few other forums I used to frequent had threads that were filled to the brim with the source material spoilers, making it rather difficult for people with no knowledge of the source material to join in.

I agree with Triple_R that there have been a lot of 'out there' spoilers as of late. One place that comes to mind is the Sword Art Online sub forum, and namely, the episode 1 discussion thread. Quite a few spoilers, and a lot more 'spoilery' hints were thrown around there without any regard for the anime-only viewers. And as a reader of the light novels, it was fairly disappointing to see it happen. I reported the posts I thought had spoilers, but I think that wasn't nearly enough.

During the past few things I've noticed quite a few things, with regard to spoilers:

1) Some people post somewhat vague 'spoilery' hints or teases that only a fan of the source material would recognize. And once a fan of source material recognizes them, they reply, and it becomes a spoiler-orientated discussion. I've seen the same happen with speculative discussion.

2) People (like myself) seem to be hesitant to report posts because of spoilers. I think it's because I (like many others, I'm sure) feel a sort of closeness to certain members I've talked to before, and think it's easier to send a message telling them to remove their spoiler than to report their post(s). I can't help but feel many think that by 'reporting' someone, the person on other end will get punished; I realise this isn't always the case here, but I still think it's a pretty common fear, especially for newer members. Having said that, I'd like to ask a few questions about reporting posts, as this seems to be the place for it:

- When reporting posts, how long should the message be? A single sentence? Something akin to 'This is a spoiler', maybe? Or do we need to explain the spoiler? I'd rather not spoil the person or people reading these reports more than they should be. I tend to over think things, so this may be an isolated case.

- Are we allowed to report all those posts that we, who are knowledgeable of the source material, consider to contain some degree of a spoiler, as sometimes, it just isn't that easy to say whether or not something is a spoilers.

3) The third and last thing I've noticed is that those who do not have a good grasp over the English language seem to misunderstand the spoiler policy here, and just post away. I believe this more or less goes hand-in-hand with those who feign ignorance and say they didn't know.

Based on the above observations, I'm just going to throw out a proposition or two:

1) Could the spoiler policy be updated to include that 'hinting' or 'teasing' future events is also considered a spoiler, as those are the most common spoilers I've seen. The language in the spoiler policy is already pretty accessible, but maybe it'd be worth adding some colloquial terms (hinting, teasing, etc)? Mayhap getting the posters aware of that it exists, and what it consists of will be more than enough?

2) What I think the community would really benefit is from getting more people on board with the idea of reporting posts that they consider to contain spoilers, no matter how insignificant or irrelevant they may think they are. I don't know for sure, but wouldn't it be better to get lots of reported spoiler posts, some of which could be allowed to go un-deleted because the person who reported them just was being extra careful, than to get very few posts that are considered spoilers? And maybe the spoiler policy could also be updated to reflect this?
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Old 2012-07-09, 17:08   Link #17
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Well the issue is a bit murky, but I think a solution to stimulating more pertinent and good discussion won't be brought by trying to trim and destroy the conversation that is currently there. That just might make the conversation seem even more weightless and dead for people who are not reading the source material.

It is true that under the old policy we did have pages of posts just in spoilers and it was hard to even know if something was a spoiler or not at times, giving everyone including the moderators a head ache. So yes, that's probably not the way to go either...

In reality there just isn't a perfect solution. You have to weigh the pros and cons of each approach and see which you were willing to entertain more.

I personally think outlawing LN comparisons would be a bad thing because then it would result in a don't get spoiled or get completely spoiled scenario, which I don't think is favorable. Sometimes getting some LN information, without being spoiled too much can be very helpful.

I think the key here is to encourage the use of spoiler tags for these LN comparisons and make it more visible to everybody that this is a policy that will be enforced.

An announcement would make it clear to everybody for sure. I also think the policy can be implemented gradually. Like first if it persists after the announcement, gently remind people in the threads of the policy. If it persists, start giving out warnings, and then eventually progress to giving infractions and such for not correctly using spoiler tags.

-----

I think the worst problem I encounter on this forum are the people who do read the source material but pretend that they don't and join in anime discussions as if they were only an anime viewer and then speculate on things they already know about hinting at future events and spoiling it. It's the hardest to detect sometimes, but it's the most infuriating.
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Old 2012-07-09, 18:01   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Yes, the source material fans are the majority now. The solid majority. As a guy who's typically an anime-only viewer, I've grown used to this.
I don't know if they are the majority, but they are very vocal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
But that seems less problematic to me than the opposite situation where people without any prior exposure are spoiled by thoughtless manga or novel readers.
So the lesser of two evils approach then? It's still pushing the problem elsewhere. Not that you don't have a point, and I doubt most manga/novel readers would care anymore than they do now.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I think the worst problem I encounter on this forum are the people who do read the source material but pretend that they don't and join in anime discussions as if they were only an anime viewer and then speculate on things they already know about hinting at future events and spoiling it. It's the hardest to detect sometimes, but it's the most infuriating.
Absolutely, but it's not always intentional. Sometimes people just forget and it slips out in the excitement of discussion.

The primary thing here is that most people are posting because they want to be involved with the community, to share in the excitement that is being a fan. They don't see teasing, hinting, spoiling, etc., to be malicious, but to help keep the excitement/interest going for something they really like. This isn't a bunch of people running around telling people the ending before things even begin just to ruin their day, it's just excited fans who sometimes let their fingers get ahead of their brain.

Comparisons too, are a way to show excitement or disappointment. Sometimes when I see people turn their nose at source material in favor of anime only adaptations, I'm saddened, but some people really just have no interest in manga/novels no matter how amazing they are.

And ultimately, there has to be some give and take. This obsession some members have with not being spoiled at all is just as bad as some members constantly spoiling everyone. We have a cramped forum and it's very difficult to cater to all of the people who post here.
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Old 2012-07-09, 18:07   Link #19
SeijiSensei
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I personally think outlawing LN comparisons would be a bad thing because then it would result in a don't get spoiled or get completely spoiled scenario, which I don't think is favorable. Sometimes getting some LN information, without being spoiled too much can be very helpful.
It is possible to put the spoilering information in the source material thread and post a link to it in the anime thread. Oh, I know that would be seen as "too much work," but it would really only take a few seconds.
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Old 2012-07-09, 18:14   Link #20
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Originally Posted by Aphrah View Post
1) Could the spoiler policy be updated to include that 'hinting' or 'teasing' future events is also considered a spoiler, as those are the most common spoilers I've seen. The language in the spoiler policy is already pretty accessible, but maybe it'd be worth adding some colloquial terms (hinting, teasing, etc)? Mayhap getting the posters aware of that it exists, and what it consists of will be more than enough?

2) What I think the community would really benefit is from getting more people on board with the idea of reporting posts that they consider to contain spoilers, no matter how insignificant or irrelevant they may think they are. I don't know for sure, but wouldn't it be better to get lots of reported spoiler posts, some of which could be allowed to go un-deleted because the person who reported them just was being extra careful, than to get very few posts that are considered spoilers? And maybe the spoiler policy could also be updated to reflect this?
I definitely agree with both of these points.

Regarding the first point, when I have left warnings in threads, I usually add these sorts of colloquialisms like "hints", "teasing", and so on. So adding these to the policy seems like a good idea. To be clear, we don't allow hints or teasing.

Regarding the second point, this is absolutely what we want. In fact, even now some people report some posts that are not exactly spoilers but look like they might be, and the staff look at it and go "hmm... okay, that's not really a spoiler; it's fine". Now, if someone is constantly reporting posts that are clearly not spoilers that could get annoying (and we'd contact the reported to help them understand the difference if it happened all the time), but we really encourage people to air on the side of caution. If someone is talking about something that really wasn't explained at all in the anime and it sure seems like it must come from the source, then feel free to report it. We will do our best to make a determination.

Sometimes, while we try to make a determination, the post may be "unapproved", which has the effect of hiding it from other members.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aphrah View Post
- When reporting posts, how long should the message be? A single sentence? Something akin to 'This is a spoiler', maybe? Or do we need to explain the spoiler? I'd rather not spoil the person or people reading these reports more than they should be. I tend to over think things, so this may be an isolated case.
Thanks for your consideration. In general terms, just pointing out that it contains a spoiler is good enough, but if you do know the source and can confirm that the spoiler comes from future material that has yet to be revealed, that is helpful (because we want to try to confirm that it isn't one of the acceptable exceptions, like comparisons to things already shown). There are times when something looks like a spoiler and we act (because we're not experts on every show), and then the person comes back to us and explains why it isn't a spoiler and we have to reverse the decision. We're not above doing that in cases that we're wrong. But don't feel like you need to have an explanation. Even "suspicion of spoilers" is okay based on what I said before.

And yeah, all the staff are basically ruined for spoilers anyway, so rather get the reports than to allow other people to be spoiled.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aphrah View Post
- Are we allowed to report all those posts that we, who are knowledgeable of the source material, consider to contain some degree of a spoiler, as sometimes, it just isn't that easy to say whether or not something is a spoilers.
Please report any post that you see that contains spoilers. If there's a whole conversation chain that starts, you could just report the first post of the chain and just mention in the report that there are subsequent replies that continue the conversation. I agree with you that sometimes it isn't so easy, but again, the main theme is: if it hasn't happened yet in the anime, then it's off-topic. So if people start talking about anything that hasn't come up in the anime yet, it's probably an inappropriate spoiler and that conversation should go to the source material thread.

Source material readers/players are often the most excited about an impending anime, but they need to direct their conversation to the right thread.


And by the way, we will never tell the party who reported them. This is why we would encourage people to just report posts and not necessarily to make in-thread warnings. The mods and admins can leave the in-thread warnings as needed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I think the worst problem I encounter on this forum are the people who do read the source material but pretend that they don't and join in anime discussions as if they were only an anime viewer and then speculate on things they already know about hinting at future events and spoiling it. It's the hardest to detect sometimes, but it's the most infuriating.
I agree with you on that. For myself personally, those few times that I do know the source material, I will often put even my anime-only impressions in spoiler tags just because I know that I'm inescapably a little biased even if I try not to be, and I don't want to give the impression that whatever observations I may make in that case are completely bias-free.

I still think that the underlying issue here is really consideration; respect for people who want to choose to have the anime be their first-time experience without any external influences. If people try to pretend they're just really smart and observant buy really they spoiled themselves on the story and so are ruining the surprise for everyone else... well, we have a place for those people: the banned user list.
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