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Stack Overflow allows spoilers in the form:

>! SPOILER

Example:

SPOILER

Why doesn't chat support them? They would be quite useful, especially for rooms that are frequently off topic and often have dicussions about movies etc.

Many other sites, like Arqade, would make even better use of spoilers.

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Maybe add some examples of where they would be useful? –  JNK Jul 24 '12 at 13:56
    
...or where they are useful in SO proper? I don't believe I've ever seen these used outside of the sci-fi/movie realm. –  Aaron Bertrand Jul 24 '12 at 13:58
    
@AaronBertrand I think sometimes that they would be more useful in chat than anywhere else. I really haven't seen them much, but I would use them if they were available in chat. –  Kendall Frey Jul 24 '12 at 14:00
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I don't know, while it may be very telling of my age, this smells a lot like <blink> or <marquee> to me. –  Aaron Bertrand Jul 24 '12 at 14:03
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I haven't had a chance to finish Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs yet. Do not tell me how it ends! Seriously though, I do think this would be useful in chat rooms for the sites that have spoiler markup. –  Bill the Lizard Jul 24 '12 at 14:09
    
agree with kendall –  Hans Rudel Jul 25 '12 at 15:24
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@JNK There are sites other than SO, you know. I barely believed it myself when I found myself on SciFi, but apparently they have chatrooms too! Spoilers in chat would be useful in these rooms where they discuss things that'd be more apt to spoilering (like twists, big reveals, etc.). –  Yawus Aug 3 '12 at 16:10
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1 Answer 1

This seems to make even less sense in Chat than it does on the normal site.

The rationale for having it on Q&A is that readers who aren't asking or answering the question might stumble across it and have their lives ruined by exposure to surprise events in the topic of discussion.

In chat, there's a list of people viewing the discussion at any given point in time. If you're discussing a topic that several of them don't want to see details on, they have three choices:

  • Ignore your messages (using the "ignore" feature).
  • Leave the room.
  • Ask you to take your discussion into a separate room.

Note that only one of these requires action on your part as the author of the spoiler-laden messages. If there was support for marked spoilers in chat, that would also require action on your part - other users can't force your posts to be spoilered (although this would be an interesting variation on "ignore").

If you're conscientious enough to mark your spoilers, why not be conscientious enough to just spin off a separate room where you can talk freely without trying to guess before posting each message if it reveals something the others won't want to see?

This goes for any sensitive topic, not just plot details. If the topic of your discussion is making the folks in a room uncomfortable, take it elsewhere.

Disclaimer: I pretty much loathe the idea of hidden spoilers in general.

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Spoiler: Dumbledore dies –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Aug 6 '12 at 15:53
    
"Ignore the user" - Even if you ignore the user, you'll be able to see other's responses. "Leave the room" - But when you come back, there's no guarantee that enough messages have been posted to scroll the offending message out of view. "Ask them to leave" - The user might be courteous enough to use a spoiler feature in the chat room, but not interested in leaving / creating a new room for the discussion. –  jadarnel27 Aug 6 '12 at 16:04
    
@jdarnel: even if they use a spoiler tag, you'll see responses. Returning to the room has the same danger as simply entering the room - you weren't there to object, so folks may have packed it with spoilers without realizing they were spoiling anything. Taken to its logical conclusion, this would result in parallel conversations, some visible, some hidden - which is really a mess. If you can't convince folks to use a separate room, either accept that you'll see spoilers, or go somewhere else. –  Shog9 Aug 6 '12 at 16:09
    
@Shog9 We actually had an instance where this would have been great. We had a potentially dicy situation with actual code that was looking for adult oriented words, and we could have used it to bypass the NSFW rule that everyone abides by while still having the code be visible to people willing to help despite that issue. –  Spencer Cole Sep 21 '12 at 20:01
    
@Spencer: keep in mind, spoilers are a purely visual effect - the text still shows up in search results, is still indexed by Google and its ilk, etc. –  Shog9 Sep 21 '12 at 22:53
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