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Old 2013-09-17, 18:08   Link #1
Triple_R
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The Real Reason for Spoiler problems, and how to address this.

Anime Suki has, unfortunately, had a lot of problems with members failing to adhere to its spoiler policy. For a long time, I felt this was because the spoiler policy here on Anime Suki was too strict, making it overly difficult for source material fans to have the sort of comprehensive and cross-media discussions that they often wish to have.

But recently, I've changed my mind on this. I think that the main reason why Anime Suki's spoiler policy is so frequently flaunted is due to a certain lack of respect for anime adaptations themselves. And I think it's this lack of respect that needs to be addressed if we want to cut down substantially on the spoiler problems that we have had in abundance here at least since SAO started airing (and probably before that).

What I mean by "lack of respect" is that anime adaptations tend to be thought of as subordinate to the source material. In other words, many simply refuse to allow the anime adaptation to stand on its own two feet and to be evaluated strictly by what it shows. This obviously creates a disconnect between source material fan and anime-only viewer.

The anime-only viewer will naturally evaluate an anime's narrative and its characters strictly by what is shown in the anime itself. But many source material fans graft on what they read or saw in the source material (or extended material in some cases - such as drama CDs, spin-offs, etc...), automatically adding that to their viewpoints of anime characters before the anime even gets to that part of the story. So its only inevitable that different assessments of characters may arise. And since these different assessments of characters are largely rooted in the source material, any disagreements arising from those different assessments will naturally result in source material being cited, which will often run afoul of Anime Suki's spoiler policy.

So how can Anime Suki work around this?


Well, anime-only viewers could be told to not voice their opinions of characters or of important plot points or of the perceived writing quality of the anime. But that hardly seems in keeping with the spirit of a discussion forum, and it also would amount to treating anime-only viewers like second-class citizens.

The other alternative is that source material fans could be encouraged to view the anime has its own distinct thing, to be experienced and evaluated on its own merits without reference to the source material. After all, any good adaptation should be able to stand on its own two feet, and not require familiarity with the source material in order to follow/assess the adaptation's narrative, themes, and characters.

As long as anime adaptations are viewed as subordinate to the source material, spoiler discussion is inevitable. Anime-only viewers will make assessments based strictly on what they're watching, while source material fans will make assessments based on what they're watching and what is unknown to the anime-only viewer. When the two sides disagree, spoilers will fly.

The only way to truly get both groups on the same page is to encourage source material fans to view the anime adaptation as its own distinct thing, discouraging reliance on source material in anime-based discussions and debates (such as in episode threads and general discussion threads).


So, what I'm proposing here is that Anime Suki make it official AS policy that all anime adaptations are to be evaluated as their own distinct thing. In other words, that an anime adaptation is not merely seen as an extension or replication of the source material, but rather as its own story with its own versions of the characters that may or may not be the same as the story and characters in the source material.

By making and promoting such a clear division between anime and source material, anime-only viewers and source material fans will be put on the same page, discussing the same anime content and nothing outside of it. Cross-media comparisons are certainly fine, and so are points elaborating where the anime differs from already adapted source material. But if it's not something found in the anime it is not simply presumed to apply to the anime and its characters.

Now, the particulars of my proposal could come in many forms. Perhaps some ideas there can arise from discussion.

But the main point is this - If we want source material-based spoilers to end, or at least to decline, then anime adaptations need to be shown more respect and considered independent from the source material.

What do my fellow AS members think?
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Old 2013-09-17, 19:56   Link #2
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I like your idea, but I don't think that adding it as a policy will have much effect. The issue is that people with knowledge of the "original story" are going to make comparisons no matter what. It doesn't have to be a matter of disrespecting anime, either; comparisons are a natural thing to make.

The only 99%-effective solution is to segregate anime-only viewers from people who have seen the other material. Some people drop spoilers without even realizing it; others want to discuss the comparisons so badly that they jot out their thoughts even though they're aware that many other forum-goers are only viewing the anime. Keeping the two separate will allow both groups to converse as they please.

I say "99%-effective" and not 100% because I've seen subforums where this is implemented to a certain degree, and yet people still can't get it right. At that point I'm not certain if it's a matter of not respecting the anime, or not respecting other forum members. Who knows - maybe it's just an inability to think about things from the perspective of someone who is seeing the story for the first time.

Personally, I either avoid the discussions or, if there's heavy moderator interest in the series and activity on the threads, rely on the moderators to sweep the spoilers.
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Old 2013-09-17, 21:43   Link #3
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Then there's my understanding that the good majority of anime (at least the ones these days), even ones that make it to two-cour or beyond, aren't really meant to stand on their own... or rather, as I've seen this discussion come up before, a good amount of anime is mean to serve as a "commercial" for the source material itself. Which makes respecting it as a stand-alone even harder- it's meant to be more of a glimpse into an on-going story

And this isn't even factoring in that a general rule of thumb is anime adaptations are never nearly as good as the source material, which will inevitably lead to more comparisons.
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Old 2013-09-17, 21:48   Link #4
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The problem is the mindset is already there. Even if you're not a source humper, previous contact with related material is going to influence your mindset regardless.

I mean it would be nice to encourage such behavior, but that would be like making it a policy that you won't make preconceived notions of an anime and come to a judgement before finishing it, but that's just not really viable to make it a policy. It's nice to encourage such behavior and maybe we could pin a PSA. A great example is the sticky in the Little Busters forum where it's reminded that is indeed not by Kyoani, and thus save us or at least mitigate the damage from the super annoying Key/Kyoani combo elitists that would have overrun the discussion.

The other problem is that actual source humpers exist in that the lack of respect comes from a perceived sense of superiority for having in contact with the sacred material. Unfortunately, I've noted a lot of faux hints that are really just source elitists showing off with that incredibly condescending manner. Let's just say I feel absolutely no pity when they get banned.
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Old 2013-09-17, 22:06   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
It's nice to encourage such behavior and maybe we could pin a PSA. A great example is the sticky in the Little Busters forum where it's reminded that is indeed not by Kyoani, and thus save us or at least mitigate the damage from the super annoying Key/Kyoani combo elitists that would have overrun the discussion.
That's kind of what I'm thinking of actually. Pinning a PSA encouraging source material fans to treat the anime as its own standalone work.

I certainly understand what I'm up against here. Yes, what I'm suggesting would involve a bit of a paradigm shift. But if any site is well-designed for promoting such a shift, I think it's Anime Suki (given its focus on anime, given its strong stance on spoilers)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Magin View Post
Then there's my understanding that the good majority of anime (at least the ones these days), even ones that make it to two-cour or beyond, aren't really meant to stand on their own... or rather, as I've seen this discussion come up before, a good amount of anime is mean to serve as a "commercial" for the source material itself.
Just because something exists to promote something else doesn't mean it's not meant to stand on its own. I'm sure many mecha shows, at least historically, were made primarily to promote toys. That doesn't mean that the anime narratives of these mecha shows aren't presented as complete, standalone stories that can be appreciated even if you don't buy, showcase, or play with the toys.

Does the anime present a detailed, comprehensive narrative that can be followed and understood strictly through watching the anime? Can a viewer follow and appreciate that anime and its story/characters without needing to check out source material and/or supplementary material?

If the answers to these questions are "yes", then there's no reason whatsoever for why the anime can't be treated as a standalone. And in fact, it's only through treating the anime as a standalone that anime-only viewers and source material fans end up on the same page. Otherwise, it's been my experience that anime-only viewers will end up getting treated like 2nd-class citizens.


Quote:
Which makes respecting it as a stand-alone even harder- it's meant to be more of a glimpse into an on-going story
Plenty of anime adaptations end up getting adapted to completion. Recent examples are Ore no Imouto and Shakugan no Shana. These are not mere glimpses. These are full, complete narratives.

And even those that don't get adapted to completion usually cover an entire light novel, or an entire arc in a manga. They cover enough of the story for viewers to legitimately develop impressions and assessments of characters.


Quote:
And this isn't even factoring in that a general rule of thumb is anime adaptations are never nearly as good as the source material, which will inevitably lead to more comparisons.
A general rule of thumb is that a movie based on a book is not as good as the book itself is. But does that mean that people who watch The Lord of the Rings movies can't hold opinions on the narrative and the characters and even the movie itself unless they read the book as well?

I definitely don't think it means that. People are able to appreciate Hollywood movie adaptations of books as standalones to be evaluated on their own merits. There's no good reason why the same approach can't be taken towards anime adaptations.
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Old 2013-09-18, 00:13   Link #6
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The proposed solution expects too much on user mentality immediately changing after the implementation of said rules. That and not all anime series adaptations are created as standalone projects. (There are exceptions like Kamisama no Memochou and C3-Bu, which change the story of the source so much that you may not have actually watched an animated version of the source.)

Honestly? It will not work.
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Old 2013-09-18, 00:57   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
The proposed solution expects too much on user mentality immediately changing after the implementation of said rules.
Where did I wrote that it has to be "immediate"? The change in user mentality can be gradual, if necessary. Paradigm shifts rarely happen overnight, after all.


Quote:
That and not all anime series adaptations are created as standalone projects.
All anime series can be approached as standalone projects. People can choose to approach them that way. It is entirely possible for people to adopt that approach to an anime series. It is entirely possible to disregard source material when watching an anime. After all, that's exactly what anime-only viewers do.

I'm going to speak frankly here - It's rude for source material fans to randomly bring up points from the source material when discussing/debating the anime with an anime-only viewer. Doing so is essentially treating an anime-only viewer like a second-class citizen. It's basically telling anime-only viewers that they can't say anything about characters or plot because source material fans could bring in contrary points from the source material that the anime-only viewer obviously does not know about. The anime-only viewer is basically denied the ability to experience the anime narrative organically, and discuss it organically, because some source material fans insist on bringing in source material content that the anime-only viewer obviously isn't familiar with.

Is this really how you think anime-only viewers should be treated?

The only way for anime-only viewers and source material fans to be on the same, fair field of discussion is for source material fans to leave their source material knowledge and preconceptions at the door (which would also have the beneficial effect of fewer spoilers coming up). And I think that the only way that happens is if source material fans start treating the anime as its own distinct thing to be evaluated independently from the source material.

Look, it's not that hard. There are countless versions of Superman and Batman. Nobody assumes that what's true about the character in one medium will necessarily translate over into the next. People accept that there's not just one absolute definitive version of the character, and that the character can have nuanced differences from one story to the next, and from one medium to the next. There's no reason why anime characters can't be treated the same way.


Quote:
Honestly? It will not work.
I disagree. I think it can work.
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Old 2013-09-18, 01:35   Link #8
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I think it's probably too much to expect a cognitive dissonance for someone who has read/seen the source material before. No matter what you do and how much you try, the influence is there, and you will eventually slip up at some point even if you make the constant conscious effort not to.

And let's be serious. You're trying to enjoy something. It can be stressful having to consciously mind and guard everything you say in the forum.
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Old 2013-09-18, 01:38   Link #9
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I don't think you can legislate that people consider the anime a separate work to be judged on its own merits, because a large part of your audience nowadays is already biased coming into the anime. To them, no matter what you say, the anime is an adaptation of the source material (which it is), and they are judging it based on how well it conforms to the original, whether consciously/overtly or not. Expecting them to not bring up the source material at all and to set it completely aside is trying to enforce a completely different approach in viewing the content, and I don't think we can force that on people as if it's a "condition" for discussing here.

There's the idea of splitting threads completely between source readers and anime-only viewers, but the problem here is that source fans tend to have a very keen interest in monitoring and even participating in the discussion that anime-only viewers have. For some, this can be due to an over-zealous desire to protect the source material from criticism. So even if we try to segregate it, source readers will still "infiltrate" the discussion, but now they are going to try to resort to more "covert" tactics to try to pretend they're not spoiled even when they are.

I have been a source material reader on occasion, and I know that applies to some other mods/admins as well, and I don't think we necessarily want to be forced to always treated it as if it's fully separate (there are some cases where a good comparison can be useful and interesting, without giving away future content). The difference is that we tend to have a firmer understanding of where we think the line should be compared to some other forum members, and that is based on having a keen respect for the discovery process that comes with being an anime-only viewer. But not everyone respects or sees the value in this.

We live in a fan culture nowadays where a decently-sized part of the fanbase feels that the only way they can be part of the "leading-edge" of the conversation is not only to watch the anime immediately as it airs (sometimes even watching the raw first even though they don't understand it well), but also to be completely caught up on all the source material translations, summaries, and other information related to the franchise. For some, this is the starting point for the conversation. In that mentality, anyone who isn't willing to advance themselves to that level of knowledge is a clueless novice that needs to be informed and corrected until they too "join the cult". There is an absolute feeding frenzy whenever the light novels are released for some of these franchises to quickly and immediately extract as much information as possible just so you can know what happens and consider yourself a "fan". (Spend some time in the Index, Highschool DxD, or SAO novel threads to get a better a sense of what the culture is like in those sorts of circles. The most popular threads on AnimeSuki for the last few years have all been light novel threads surrounding the time when new novels are released and the "feeding frenzy" is on.)

So I think the issue you're trying to combat is a cultural change. The interest in light novel discussion on this forum has grown tremendously in the last few years, trending with the increase in the availability of English fan translations and light novel summaries. Wikipedia openly posts spoilers from the source material right on encyclopedia pages because they consider it basic information about the story the instant it's revealed in the source material. Other sites on the Internet also tend to have a much more loose definition of what counts as a spoiler, often either discussing things openly, or going with an "as long as it's in a spoiler tag, anything goes" rule. Adding yet another sticky (that most people won't read) isn't going to reverse the trend, and trying to enforce a separation that many viewers will find artificial and unnatural will probably not be well-received.

I think the only obvious answer is that there is no obvious answer.
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Old 2013-09-18, 02:37   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
In that mentality, anyone who isn't willing to advance themselves to that level of knowledge is a clueless novice that needs to be informed and corrected until they too "join the cult".
And that mentality clearly runs completely contrary to the spoiler policy of Anime Suki. And it's that mentality that causes certain members to frequently flaunt that spoiler policy.

I really don't see the point in Anime Suki having the unusually strict spoiler policy that it has if the moderating staff is not going to do anything to combat a mentality that naturally leads to the spoiler policy being flaunted routinely.

It's like treating the symptoms of a disease while ignoring the disease itself.
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Old 2013-09-18, 09:57   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
And that mentality clearly runs completely contrary to the spoiler policy of Anime Suki. And it's that mentality that causes certain members to frequently flaunt that spoiler policy.
Instead of holding your nose and ignoring them, use the handy report button to let the staff know that those certain members are flaunting the spoiler policy.

Quote:
I really don't see the point in Anime Suki having the unusually strict spoiler policy that it has if the moderating staff is not going to do anything to combat a mentality that naturally leads to the spoiler policy being flaunted routinely.
The moderating staff can't do anything if the handy-dandy report button isn't being used to report those flaunting the spoiler rules. It really isn't that hard.
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Old 2013-09-18, 11:08   Link #12
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I do think the discussion of anime adaptations being considered inferior or "subordinate" to their source material is an interesting one. I have to say, though, this is an active dilemma for nearly everything that is adapted, though, no matter its country of origin or its medium of delivery. Throwing the proverbial stone into this forum, I'm sure I would hit several dozen people right now that would tell us all in great length why the Harry Potter movies are awful simply because they didn't follow the source material. And let's not even get started on the recent fan outrage over casting choices for Batman or 50 Shades, etc. To somewhat mimic Relentless, this is simply the culture we live in, and changing culture can be extraordinarily hard at times.

To put it bluntly, I expect the vast majority of this forum wants to be able to discuss differences and compare adaptations and materials. While it is nice to keep adaptations separate, and to try and analyze everything on its own merits, ultimately that is something only the most stringent of critics can accomplish (and despite the long-winded nature of many of our posters, very few are as truly critically as they like to think they are ). Consequently, trying to change the mentality of the posters of this forum is not as easily accomplished as one would think.

To semi-quote Crow, only active participation from fans (and not just anime-only fans) will help to relieve some of the strain and help keep our anime threads relatively clear of spoilers.
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Old 2013-09-18, 11:13   Link #13
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Now maybe I’m just being a bit ignorant, but I’m curious: what’s Asuki’s policy regarding ‘pretenders’? As said by Relentless here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
There's the idea of splitting threads completely between source readers and anime-only viewers, but the problem here is that source fans tend to have a very keen interest in monitoring and even participating in the discussion that anime-only viewers have. For some, this can be due to an over-zealous desire to protect the source material from criticism. So even if we try to segregate it, source readers will still "infiltrate" the discussion, but now they are going to try to resort to more "covert" tactics to try to pretend they're not spoiled even when they are.
If mods know (or receive a report) that certain members are pretending to be the ‘unspoiled ones’ while at the same time posting faux-speculations in anime threads that are too accurate to be true, would mods do something about it? What action will mods take? Like many members already know, this happens quite often. For example, I noticed a number of ‘pretenders’ in Titans’s Episode Threads (courtesy to my manga-reader friend who point them out) who keeps on posting plot-spoilers masked as very-accurate speculations. I personally consider such behavior to be ridiculous and laughable (as if pretending to be anime-Sherlock in a forum using a username will get you much reputation ) but I know some ‘novice’ members who are annoyed and felt spoiled by these kinds of posts. IMO They do need some assistance to keep them away from faux-speculations by some arrogant elitists who just can't 'leave the thread full of novices alone'.
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Old 2013-09-18, 11:21   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
If mods know (or receive a report) that certain members are pretending to be the ‘unspoiled ones’ while at the same times posting a faux-speculations in anime threads that is too accurate to be true, would mods do something about it?
We have in the past and will in the future. Warnings have been issued to individuals known to be manga/lite-novel fans who are posting "speculation" in anime-only threads that is too close to known future events to be anything other than intentional spoilers. In fact, one of my few personal infractions (given to me by Monir) comes exactly from such an occurrence in the One Piece anime thread back in 2008 .

Obviously, we can not keep track of everything everyone posts (at least not in any sequential order), so many people who actively participate between anime and source material threads can fly under the radar unless they are reported.
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Old 2013-09-18, 11:36   Link #15
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Part of what prompted me to start this thread is this post here.

Specifically, I'm concerned with... "1. If you are an anime-only viewer and want to speculate and theorize over the decisions shown in this arc and to come, please go to the Speculation & Theories thread."

What does that even mean, exactly? Does it mean that I, as an anime-only viewer for Railgun, can't even comment on key plot points of what I just watched in the applicable anime episode thread? Does it mean that I can't even make critical comments on certain character choices because a source material fan could conceivably respond to that with a source material-based counterargument (an argument which has no business being an anime episode thread to begin with)?

If that isn't what it means, then please tell me that.

But if that is what it means, then that is basically indicating that anime-only viewers can't even discuss the characters or plot for what they have just watched in the applicable anime episode thread. That's drastically limiting the range of discussion for episode threads, in a way that I've never seen it limited before here on Anime Suki.
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Old 2013-09-18, 12:34   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
If that isn't what it means, then please tell me that.
It means just what it says: if you're an anime-only viewer and you want to speculate on what's going to happen in the arc, then go to the Speculation & Theories thread. And if you're a manga/novel reader, and want to speculate about what's going to happen in the arc based on your novel/manga knowledge, go to the Spoiler & Speculation thread.

It doesn't mean any of the other things you implied. All of our sub-forums have threads like these, and I was just encouraging people to use them rather than bunch everything in the episode thread where source readers and anime-only viewers are bunched together, which can result in situations like those that happened in that thread. You guys were getting into a discussion about the theoretical motivations of the characters, and that is probably better treated as speculation and split out so that novel readers don't feel the need to correct anime-only viewers on their speculation/ideas based on character insights from things that haven't been shown yet in the anime.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
For example, I noticed a number of ‘pretenders’ in Titans’s Episode Threads (courtesy to my manga-reader friend who point them out) who keeps on posting plot-spoilers masked as very-accurate speculations. I personally consider such behavior to be ridiculous and laughable (as if pretending to be anime-Sherlock in a forum using a username will get you much reputation ) but I know some ‘novice’ members who are annoyed and felt spoiled by these kinds of posts. IMO They do need some assistance to keep them away from faux-speculations by some arrogant elitists who just can't 'leave the thread full of novices alone'.
Report them. I'd like to think that there's a special place in hell for people who regularly play this sort of mean-spirited game. But, that being said, we'd need something to go on other than just "this speculation is eerily accurate" in most cases. The proverbial smoking gun is better to support such a claim.

And by the way, we will take action retroactively too. Infractions and bans will be issued as necessary to encourage/compel people to stop doing this. But the biggest problem is that people somehow just expect the staff to "just know" about this, and they assume that because no action was taken it means that the staff "condone" it -- which isn't the case. But we can't just act on speculation either. So good evidence is helpful.
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Old 2013-09-18, 13:04   Link #17
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Ok, my concerns have been well-answered. Thanks for your clarification, relentlessflame. I think I get what the moderators are saying now on the issue as a whole, and yes, perhaps that is the best course to take.

I'll be more diligent in reporting spoilers that I come across in the future.
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Old 2013-09-18, 13:52   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
I noticed a number of ‘pretenders’ in Titans’s Episode Threads (courtesy to my manga-reader friend who point them out) who keeps on posting plot-spoilers masked as very-accurate speculations. I personally consider such behavior to be ridiculous and laughable (as if pretending to be anime-Sherlock in a forum using a username will get you much reputation ) but I know some ‘novice’ members who are annoyed and felt spoiled by these kinds of posts. IMO They do need some assistance to keep them away from faux-speculations by some arrogant elitists who just can't 'leave the thread full of novices alone'.
Oh yea, those people think they're so clever, but they're not. I've posted before that they're not fooling anyone, but I'm just going to hit the button.
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Old 2013-09-18, 16:42   Link #19
Solace
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Join Date: Mar 2006
I don't really want to add much to this discussion, but I will say this:

Understand that there is no such thing as a "spoiler free" environment anywhere on the internet. By even reading a thread, you open yourself up to people who spoil, even if they didn't mean to. You can't "undo" spoilers. Once someone posts it, others will notice. It's unfortunate but that's the truth.

We can craft any kind of policy to mitigate the effects of this, and possibly prevent some of it. But our role ultimately lands on the enforcement side more often than not. It's similar to real police, in that we get alerted to the crime and arrive while it is progress, but rarely do we get the opportunity to stop it before it happens. At best we can stem the damage, for a bit.

When it comes down to it, it's a thankless and tiresome job, especially as a volunteer force. People don't notice when you've nipped a problem in the bud, but they will come down on you hard when you've arrived after the fact.

And I'll be frank for a moment as well. Personally, I find the "I don't want to be spoiled no matter what" attitude to be irritating. It's a very uncompromising position, yet we've bent over backwards to appease this group (the other extreme is open spoilers). As a moderator and a fellow community member, I've watched the demographics change in the near decade I've been here, and the truth is that the "anime only viewer who posts frequently" is a rapidly dwindling part of the forums. It's a rapidly dwindling part of internet discussion, even. The policies we've crafted already strain and groan under our attempts to keep that group happy. Most people simply do not give a shit about not being spoiled, in fact the more knowledge they have the happier they are. There's a human element of temptation, curiosity, and an voracious appetite for information there.

It's a common element of being a hardcore fan. Like it or not, anime isn't often a stand alone project. It's inherently designed to be a media franchise, promoting manga and novels, games, music, and so on. Casual fans aren't frequent posters who visit several different series threads a season discussing what they like and don't like. Casual fans at best post an opinion, vote in a poll, and find other things to do. Discussion is otherwise dominated by people who have to hold back constantly as a courtesy, walking on eggshells so as to not trip the mod landmine that is the spoiler policy. There's a lot more of that group than you'd think.

You might say "well, just avoid the anime only threads then!", but that's not really fair is it? Imagine being told you can't be in certain parts of the forum....it would suck wouldn't it? Similarly, you're not going to change culture. Do you know what would happen if we further segregated the community and took a more draconian approach to spoilers? People would just go somewhere else. Over the years, with our current policies, many already have, or they just don't post much, or they avoid certain sections entirely. That might be a win for certain groups, but that's not a good way to retain or grow membership.

Like relentless said at the outset, there's no easy solution to this, if there's a solution at all. As the saying goes, my rights end where yours begin. It's a delicate balance between liberty and fairness. But understanding the community and your place in it is a good start in establishing communication.
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Old 2013-09-18, 17:12   Link #20
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast USA
Age: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
When it comes down to it, it's a thankless and tiresome job, especially as a volunteer force. People don't notice when you've nipped a problem in the bud, but they will come down on you hard when you've arrived after the fact.
I'm thankful for it, personally. I've noted heavy moderator activity in threads where spoilers could really ruin the enjoyment of a series (Danganronpa and Attack on Titan are the two big ones I'm thinking of). I recall reporting a post that may or may not have been a spoiler, and it was taken care of pretty quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
As a moderator and a fellow community member, I've watched the demographics change in the near decade I've been here, and the truth is that the "anime only viewer who posts frequently" is a rapidly dwindling part of the forums. It's a rapidly dwindling part of internet discussion, even.
I view this as a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario. You're implying that the overall fanbase is becoming more accepting of spoilers (or just views more than the anime itself), but I'd offer an alternative suggestion: people have been burned by spoilers before, and then don't participate in discussions. That's a large part of the reason why I tend to keep away from discussions about series where a spoiler could kill the enjoyment, particularly if fans who have viewed the source material (if it exists) have made themselves known to the discussion.

It's an important distinction to make. If the discussion participants are changing because people are afraid of spoilers, then moderation plays an important role (and if the staff are getting exhausted, having series-specific moderators might be worthwhile). However, if we accept that it's an impossible rule to enforce, or if we believe that the fan base really has changed, then perhaps it's not worth moderating so heavily. At that point we would need to admit that while spoilers are requested to be placed in spoiler tags, people are reading at their own risk.

It's up to the moderators to decide what character they want the forum to take in that regard. It's their time and effort, after all. I suspect that a hands-off approach by the moderators regarding spoilers will result in users attempting to enforce it themselves through heckling and/or blocking, though.
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