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Note: I'm asking about spoiler markup on answers, not questions.

I would like to start a discussion on this due to the recent number of spoiler answers on plot-related questions that ask for spoiler info in .

Since it is not sure what the policy on this is (some answers in those questions have spoiler markup, others don't), it would be nice to have policy that can be applied to all spoiler answers.

Some examples:

Note: SPOILERS AHEAD. Answers may contain spoilers. BioShock Infinite spoilers.

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    Use of spoiler markup is, fundamentally, a courtesy. There is no policy, other than "Don't put your whole goddamned post in spoiler markup", and I'd object to any attempt to codify something stronger than that. In general, as a rule of thumb, spoiler markup should be reserved for spoilers that may further elaborate upon or elucidate an answer, but which are not fundamental to the answer itself. An answer should be coherent without mousing over the spoiler text. – LessPop_MoreFizz Apr 9 '13 at 5:02
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz That's why I would like to see a policy about that. "Don't put your whole goddamned post in spoiler markup" is the opposite of what happened on all the answers here: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/110625/… and some other [bioshock-infinite] answers. I also had an answer that I purposely didn't spoiler markup in, but was then edited to have spoiler markup, despite the question asking for spoiler information. – galacticninja Apr 9 '13 at 5:11
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    The guideline is, if you ask for it it shouldn't be spoiler protected. – badp Apr 9 '13 at 8:44
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    Spoiler markup on answers is really annoying when viewing the site (logged in) through an iPad. I have to hit the "edit" button on the post so I can actually read it. – Sterno Apr 9 '13 at 12:19
  • Related: Of spoilers, plot twists and our mission – galacticninja Apr 14 '13 at 14:14
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The main argument for spoilering such an answer which is aleady asking for spoilers would be if the answer necessarily is a much bigger spoiler than one might expect from the question. In the case of Bioshock Infinite, this would mean e.g. any answer that relies on giving away the endgame twist, in any question that does not indicate that the user has already played through.

But there are no really hard rules here, and if you want to avoid spoilers you'll have to ignore the whole tag anyway to be sure. I'd say that we should e.g. avoid putting the endgame Bioshock infinite twist into a title of the question, but one should not be too surprised to find it unspoilered in an answer to a plot question.

  • Saying there is an endgame twist is a huge spoiler, I didn't expect a spoiler on meta. – Resorath Apr 9 '13 at 17:59
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    @Resorath Not sure if kidding, but if this answer is applied here, then that shouldn't be an issue: "...one should not be too surprised to find it unspoilered in an answer to a plot question" This question asks for a discussion about spoilers. =) – galacticninja Apr 10 '13 at 5:05

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