WTF: Social Networks Are Not for Spoilers!

In case you were wondering where the WTF column disappeared to for the last couple of weeks, I haven’t been sucked into the Church of Bay after not writing about Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I also haven’t joined another cult like Scientology, the Moonies or the Accolades of ShamWow.

I also didn’t disappear to an anger management seminar which caused me to leave my WTF attitude behind.

Nope. I was simply on vacation, thank you very much. And a week or so of relaxing by the Atlantic Ocean on Hilton Head Island has a calming effect on you. So, my rage was quelled for a couple weeks. But now that one of the biggest films of the summer is tearing through the box office, hopefully gunning for Transformers’ spot in the record books, I’ve found something else to bitch about.

About four months ago, I gave into the urge and set up a Facebook account, later followed by a Twitter account (and, in the spirit of shameless self-promotion, if you want to follow me on either, hit me up at Facebook.com/fatguysatthemovies and Twitter.com/kevincarr). But all the warm and fuzzy feelings about these social networking platforms came crashing down this week while I was waiting for the advanced screening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to start.

I sent out a braggadocious tweet about seeing the movie early, and I followed it up with a similar update on my Facebook status. Not five minutes later, one of the people on my friend list dropped the biggest spoiler imaginable in the comments section. And mind you, it was a big freaking spoiler, the equivalent of “Darth Vader is Luke’s father” being dropped two days before The Empire Strikes Back opened in 1980.

What the Facebook?

Fortunately, I had my trusty iPhone with me, and I was able to delete the comment and remove the guy from my friends list. I was also able to shoot an email flame to him, giving him a digital tongue-lashing about posting spoilers on my Facebook page.

The sad thing is that in a short four months of using Facebook and Twitter, this isn’t the first time I’ve dropped someone from my friends list for splattering my wall with spoilers.

I understand these sites are for social networking. I understand it’s a virtual way for people to chat with each other about topical things. But spoilers are simply unacceptable.

I suppose that some people don’t realize that anything posted on my Facebook wall propagates to the walls of everyone on my list (including the Warner Bros. rep in charge of the regional Harry Potter screenings). Others have told me that this is what the medium is meant for: people to talk about similar topics of interest.

The bottom line is that spoilers are unacceptable, whether you’re talking around the water cooler or twittering in cyberspace. I understand if something has become part of popular culture and is a spoiler for a movie released years ago. After all, if you haven’t seen Citizen Kane yet, don’t be pissed off if someone tells you the true meaning of Rosebud.

But when it comes to current movies, television shows and the like – even if it’s from a book that was published years ago – spoilers need to come with a warning.

The social networking universe is a wonderful thing, but let’s not be obnoxious to everyone following you on Twitter or reading your Facebook wall. Have some respect, people. And remember that spoilers are like spit in your food. Just because you don’t mind having someone’s saliva in your meal doesn’t mean that it makes it okay for everyone else.

So, come join me on Facebook or Twitter, and we’ll have fun. But be warned of my wrath if you drop a spoiler. I just may hunt you down and kill you (or at least take you off my friend list).

Kevin Carr crawled from the primordial ooze in the early 1970s. He grew up watching movies to the point of irritation for his friends and was a font of useless movie knowledge until he decided to put that knowledge to good use. Now, Kevin is a nationally syndicated critic, heard on dozens of radio stations around the country, and his reviews appear in a variety of online outlets. Kevin is also a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA).

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