This is the revision/post I am curious about.

Now, I'm not going to start a rollback war and I'm not here to criticize this user's reasoning over why the rollback was needed, rather, to make sure that what I did to edit the question title/body was actually unnecessary.

I had edited the question because the question title did indeed contain a spoiler (for a game that hasn't been out for a year yet) as the first commenter mentions. I explained my reasoning for the changes in a comment:

The game hasn't been out for even a year yet. Even then, spoilers are not constricted to a time basis. Given that, the title would still be a spoiler to anyone happening across it. I can see why the body would not need to be changed, but I simply did it while I was already editing the title.

  1. I've been to other SE sites that state that spoilers are not necessarily restricted to a certain time window. There can always be someone who hasn't enjoyed the experience that could have it spoiled and that should be protected (I don't see why it should be different in this case, especially with a relativity "new" game).
  2. I can't remember the related meta post off the top of my head, but another reason I edited the title was to get rid of the "- The Witcher 3" part.
  3. I don't really see any reason that adding spoiler markup in the body actually hurt the post. Although I am by far the most lenient on this point, as they likely didn't help the post nearly as much as the title edits. I just did it while I was there. (the linked possible duplicate in the comments answers part of this, and is definitely not a duplicate of this post as a whole)

I'm curious as to the opinion of the community, for future reference of my editing (and I suppose for reference to the post in question as well).

  • 4
    That is part of point number 3 only. Definitely not a duplicate of that meta post. Mar 8, 2016 at 16:21
  • 1
    Like the answer says, which title is better or not is up to interpretation. I think the title you changed it to is much better, for what it's worth.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 9, 2016 at 15:40

2 Answers 2


Okay, so there's a few things on here, and I'll address them reach separately.

Spoilers in Titles

We have a meta here discussing spoilers in titles, and I think the answer by LessPop sums our policy up best:

There's no specific policy. Use common sense and good judgement, and don't tie your question into knots or leave it meaninglessly vague to avoid a spoiler and you'll be fine.

Basically, you want to avoid spoilers in titles if you can, but if the only spoiler free title you can come up with is crap then you should go with a title containing a spoiler. The title is pretty important for users trying to determine if a question is relevant to them, so a bunch of vague non-sense titles would make the site really hard to use.

Spoiler Markdown

We've got meta here, Spoiler Markdown, and like spoilers in titles there's no official policy. The community usually tries to avoid using spoiler markdown, though, since it makes posts harder to read.

For questions, use markdown when there's spoilers which go beyond the scope of what the title would suggest, or are necessary to answer the question. For example, if a question is asking "Explain the ending of the game", then you don't need markdown anywhere in the question, so just leave it out. On the other hand if your question is something like "How do I recover items that were equipped on a character when they died?", and in your question you include the name of a bunch of characters that die, then you should put a spoiler around. No one is going to expect you to list that, and it (might) not be needed to answer the question.

Answers are a bit more tricky, so I'll start with an example. If a user has a question of "How do I open this giant blue door in the magic star temple?", and the answer is "You can't open that door for a while. You need to keep playing until you reach the magic diamond temple, and kill Batman and take the giant blue door key from him", then you should put that "kill batman" part behind a spoiler markdown. So something like:

You can't open that door until further in the game.

! You need to get to the magic diamond temple and kill batman first.

The basic idea here is that you need to ask yourself "What's the scope of spoilers the asker is going to expect?", which is a lot more subjective nd open to interpretation than spoilers in questions. For my example, the asker assumes they can open that door up shortly after first coming across it (if not right away), so they're not going to expect someone to come along posting huge "Batman dies" spoilers in an answer. In other words, use your best judgement.

Game names in titles

Another relevant meta. once again, no official policy, but the community tries to avoiding putting game names into question titles since it can clutter up question titles, and make them seem less natural.


Soooooooo, in other words, whether or not your edits or the rollback is right is open to interpretation. That title seems like a major spoilers to me, so I'd try to come up with a solid spoiler free title, but if you can't do that, then I'd stick with Franks revision.

  • Sounds like the body change was largely unnecessary then, but the title should probably be changed to...something. It only concerned me in the first place because another user pointed out the spoiler-ing. Since I had beaten the game, it didn't stand out to me as much. Mar 8, 2016 at 16:32
  • @DangerZone Actually, some people will get just as mad about spoilers in the question body because you can see those from the search page, since it shows the first few sentences of a question.
    – Sterno
    Mar 8, 2016 at 17:20
  • @Sterno - Good point. Although in this particular question, it looks like the spoilery parts are far enough into the question to show, at least on my system. Not sure if it's the same for everyone though. Mar 8, 2016 at 17:25

RULE OF THUMB: if the only way you can think of to remove spoilers from a question title is by removing all of the nouns, it's not a good question title, and you should probably leave the 'spoiler.'

  • Are you saying you think that this applies to the title in question? "this character" is just as much a noun as "Ciri", while also less spoilery.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 9, 2016 at 15:39
  • @DCShannon I do think it applies, yes. "This character" is an evasion, an overblown pronoun - it informs the reader not a whit about what the question is about. Mar 9, 2016 at 15:41
  • Well yeah, that's kind of the point. The topic of the question is a spoiler. If they want to know which character, and therefore get spoiled, they can read the question. Like we all agree though, this is pretty subjective. Also, pronouns are nouns.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 9, 2016 at 15:46
  • "This character" is the very definition of 'meaninglessly vague'. Mar 9, 2016 at 15:47
  • That's not meaningless at all, it means the question is asking about whether a particular character in the game can be saved, which tells you 90% of what the question is about. The last detail about which character is something you can find out about in the question body. Leaving out that detail barely affects understanding at all, but entirely removes the spoiler.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 9, 2016 at 15:48
  • @DCShannon come on now. This is a Witcher game. At least 50% of what Geralt does is run around saving people by some definition. The question is meaningless without a a name. Mar 9, 2016 at 15:49
  • I've only played a few hours of one Witcher game (Witcher 2), and was not remotely impressed, so that doesn't really mean much to me. I'm going to have to return your "come on now". I'm sure there are plenty of Witcher questions asking things other than whether a particular person can be saved or not. This isn't really a useful discussion, though. It's up to the question asker to determine if that's too meaningless or not. I just wanted to make sure I understood what you were saying. I now do, and find that I disagree.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 9, 2016 at 15:51
  • @DCShannon sure there are. And they all have clear and specific titles! Mar 9, 2016 at 15:52
  • 1
    Perhaps we could call it "changing Ciri's fate" instead of "saving Ciri". Saving automatically implys potential death, for me
    – user106385
    Mar 9, 2016 at 22:20
  • 1
    Some alternates I could think of: "Can I change Ciri's fate-?" "Can I change the Ciri's outcome-" "Can I change Ciri's ending-" "Is Ciri's ending fixed". Fate might imply the same as saving, to others, but outcome and ending seem to fit, considering the event appears to take place during the games ending.
    – user106385
    Mar 9, 2016 at 22:29
  • @Timelord64 All of those are massively less ambiguous than "this character". I'm personally not a fan, but I'm also not about to roll back an edit like that for reasons of clarity. Mar 9, 2016 at 22:41
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz, I'm not sure what you mean. If you mean you are not a fan of "this character", it appears you have already manually rolled it back, and changed the question back to "Ciri". As for my suggestions, I would have thought they would need work, but the suggested duplicate of this question appears to have an answer from yourself suggesting "can we change Thane's fate" to be a more appropriate title for an alternate question with the same implication.
    – user106385
    Mar 9, 2016 at 23:06
  • @Timelord64 I mean I'm not a fan of the alternate constructions you've proposed - personally, I don't feel the spoiler is particularly problematic - but if you're insistent on trying to work around it, what you've proposed is probably as good as it's going to get. And yes, we have the precedent. I just don't like it. Mar 9, 2016 at 23:22

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