Now, I love spoilers, even to the point of reading script excerpts for my fandom shows before the episodes air. ;) I've been on LJ for four and a half years, and I remember seeing lots of posts from spoiler-free friends complaining that others on their flists would cheerfully talk about recent episodes without cut-tags, or use very revealing icons. Fortunately, people have gotten really courteous about using eljay-cut and such. I'm curious where things stand now, especially given how many people don't watch episodes as they air. I have quite a few friends who TiVo eps to watch the next day, and even more (both in the US and abroad) who download episodes because they can't watch them live. My personal rule of thumb is to use a cut-tag for anything beyond what I'd see in a promo clip or a TV Guide summary, and I try to wait a week or so to use icons that reveal significant plot points. But I also have friends who don't even want to see the "Coming next week" clips after an ep airs. Obviously, I'm not about to make a value judgment here -- I love spoilers, but I totally understand why folks don't want to know anything before they watch the episodes themselves... which, these days, could be a week or more after the original airing. It's all so complicated!
Plus, there's the issue of replies. I do try to be courteous, but I'm sure I've accidentally given stuff away when I reply to my comments or those on someone else's posts, even if that person used a cut-tag. And I feel bad for friends who read others' spoiler-free posts and see comments (either in replies or in the post itself) that reveal a bit too much, like, "Things are only going to get worse for our OTP next week!" If I were a spoiler virgin, that sort of thing would set me on edge, even if I didn't know the details. Ultimately, I guess we all take our chances when we choose to read our friends lists, and finding a consensus about what is/isn't a spoiler is damn near impossible on such a fluid community as LJ. I really don't want to dictate how people should post to their LJs. I'm just genuinely curious where to draw the line, especially since I'm approaching this as someone who doesn't mind spoilers, but who has tons of friends who prefer to know nothing in advance.
So, I'll indulge my addiction to LJ polls! Please feel free to elaborate in comments, though I probably won't have anything to add beyond what I've already said. ;)
How long after an episode's initial airtime should people use a ( Spoilers ) cut-tag?
How long after an episode's initial airtime should people avoid using icons that reveal significant plot points?
What's your threshold on what you consider to be a "spoiler"?
Do you avoid your flist until you can see the most recent episode of your favorite show?
How long do you wait before watching episodes of your favorite shows?