An Open Letter to Entertainment Companies

Dear Journalists and Companies That Crave Clicks,

I know you have a job to do.  I know and I understand.  You want people to see your headline, be intrigued, and read the article further.  Especially if you write for the World Wide Web and you can now (gasp!) track how many people click on your headline.

It’s addicting.  I get it.  When you get more clicks, you get more prestige, more attention, and who knows?  Maybe you’ll even be responsible for a viral post.  And a viral post is like winning the Superbowl of the internet…for about a week until something else takes it’s place.

But can’t you write a headline that gets attention without spoilers?

See – this is my problem: I recently read a headline about Episode VII where you gave away a major plot twist of the movie.  Your headline actually read: “EPISODE VII– Han, Luke, and Leia… – SPOILER”.

Imogen_i_hate_spoilers

 

I am really, REALLY trying to stay spoiler-free for Episode VII.  It’s become near impossible given the way that we live in a social online world where news is shared faster than ever.  In order to keep myself spoiler-free, I:

  1. Have unsubscribed from any sci-fi, entertainment, or Star Wars blogs that might possibly give me information on Episode VII.
  2. Rarely check my personal twitter account. It’s sad because I love twitter and I love interacting with other Star Wars fans on the platform.  But I had unwittingly read spoilers and rumors before I even knew what they were.
  3. Have unsubscribed from my daily “Star Wars News” alert email from Google. (This killed me.  There are always cool tidbits in there like heartwarming stories regarding make-a-wish, children getting their own stormtrooper armor due to being bullied, kooky robberies involving a Darth Maul mask, and much more.  But lately, these stories are becoming fewer and instead I’m bombarded with Episode VII news that 6/10 times includes a spoiler.)

I can’t leave the internet; that is impossible.  But why should I be subjected to spoilers on a daily browse of entertainment sites?  Or geek sites?  I’m not specifically looking for Episode VII news.  It’s like running and high-fiving your whole team and then running into someone’s closed fist on your face.  You didn’t mean to run into the punch; I guess you could say you had time to stop, but you were enjoying the moment and high-fiving so many people that you couldn’t stop yourself in time to avoid it.

nerd rage 30 rock

I thought we lived in a country that values choice and free will.

By putting a spoiler in your headlines, I am no longer free to choose if I want to know what is going to happen or if I want to go into the theaters with a blank slate.  I am forced to know what happens just because you want people to click and read your article.

Episode VII has created a lot of excitement in my life.  And now the excitement is dwindling away to create resentment, over-cautiousness, and fear of logging in to the internet and reading something I don’t want to know.

You have taken away my freedom of choice and I’m asking that you correct this.  It isn’t hard.  Let me give you examples of some headlines you could utilize:

  • Episode VII character spoiler! John Boyega’s character revealed!
  • Episode VII spoiler: Find out which planet the characters visit!
  • EPISODE VII SPOILER ALERT: Major plot point leaked!

See?  Not that hard.  You can still get people to click on it by saying “Episode VII” and “Spoiler” somewhere in the headline.  Then you add a small second half about what it involves and people will be clicking away like mad.

And the best part?  Those of us who do not want to know said spoiler are none the wiser.

Let ME decide if I want to know what happens in Episode VII and let others decide if they want to be spoiled.  That way you can still do your job and I can still be happy.    So please, I’m begging you, give me back my freedom of choice.

spoiler alert

Come back to the light side of the Force,

Your next door Star Wars geek

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2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Entertainment Companies

  1. I’m mostly trying to avoid spoilers for EpVII, but I enjoy reading Morning Spoilers by io9 every day, so a few things are going to slip through, no matter how much I try to skip the SW headings, and I’m ok with that. I just really don’t want to know the whole plot of the movie before I go in the theater. Even Morning Spoilers tries to do vague headlines, as you suggest, because blatant spoilers in a headline is definitely obnoxious.

    • I have read 3 spoilers so far from the headlines. And it just makes me SO angry. Because, like I said, they aren’t really giving me a choice. One of them was something I really didn’t want to know too. It’s just getting frustrating.

      I realized when the news of VII broke that it would be a lot harder this time around to avoid spoilers than with the Prequels, but I didn’t expect to get to the point where I’d have to unsubscribe from Star Wars news alert because headlines are spoiling it for me.

      I’m just so mad about it. It’s so hard to stay spoiler free (it’s getting hard here on WP too!) but I feel like it could be a lot easier if they created vaguer headlines. GRRR.

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