PBS Idea Channel’s Mike Rugnetta Tries to Wrangle Rules for Internet Spoiler Alerts

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By Shawn Paul Wood Comment

spoiler alert

Spoiler. Alert. Think about it.

If the Internet could receive a huge #PRFail, it would be because of spoiler alerts. (This means you too, social #$@*’n media.)

They are the worst, but it’s not the problem of the Internet to police your work schedule or the fact that you have to DVR a certain event. It’s your fault for trolling the Internet in the first place if you haven’t watched your recording anyway, right?

To that end, they do suck and the great Mike Rugnetta of PBS Idea Channel has tried to do the inconceivable: create rules for these dreaded appendages of the Internet that reach out and choke the very hope out of people everywhere.

And it’s compelling stuff too.

There are no rules or decorum for spoiler alerts. Go ahead, investigate. Bupkus.

It is really a cosmos of some nether-region on the Internet that forces people to release the teaser of a movie or the climax of a TV show before anyone has the chance to digest it for their own viewing pleasure.

It’s like that one dork invited to the birthday party that watches you unwrap your gift, and because of some prepubescent angst or medical condition, the kid can’t wait. And so, mid-unwrapping, the child blurts out what you are about to discover. (Oh, how I hated that kid but mom kept inviting the fool. Cousins…sigh!)

Because of these unspoken and unwritten rules of Internet ethics, Rugnetta has decided someone needed to tackle these things with authority, finality, and a great deal of video panache.

At this year’s VidCon (a national gathering of people who hope to become famous on YouTube or Vimeo so a real job doesn’t have to enter the picture), Rugnetta did a quick survey about preferences about spoiler alerts. Opinions varied. Thoughts bustled. Results entertained. If you have 15 minutes, use them now.