There has been a lot of discussion, controversy, and research about comments, and it’s becoming quite clear that intelligent and respectful comments are a huge advantage for a site, while an overly negative community affects readers’ perception of the entire site and its articles. For most sites, that means moderation is necessary.
With that in mind, our policy would like to encourage two things in comments:
Please be respectful. Whoever you’re responding to–article authors, fellow commenters, authors (no matter what speed they write at), or even cast and crew on the show–are people, and treating them respectfully helps ensure a better community for everyone.
Try to add new and interesting ideas to the discussion. For example, one of the best ways to foster intelligent conversation is to be specific about the things you liked, didn’t like, reminded you of a link, or found especially fascinating.
And two rules:
No sexism, racism, or other forms of bigotry will be tolerated. This is self-evident, I think, but I’d like to highlight one specific form that I’d like to see disappear, which is creepy objectification. For example, Game Of Thrones depicts a lot of attractive people, many of whom are sometimes naked, and the difference between appreciating human beauty and creepy objectification can be a fine line. But comments like “HBO, please make [actress] get naked!” are nowhere near that fine line and will be deleted.
No website wars. Please don’t use the comments simply to denigrate one site and build up another.
Since this show is based on an existing book series, the risk of spoilers is very high. We do our best to keep the new viewers shielded from having the story spoiled from them. On certain posts we may discuss specifics of upcoming events, but in these cases we will always warn the reader that spoilers are coming and you will have to click through to read the spoileriffic stuff.
However, what was once a fairly simple proposition where readers knew what would happen while viewers didn’t got much more complicated in Season 4. There are also major structural reasons why Season 5 will be extremely difficult to handle in the same way. We’ll still do our best to avoid spoilers while accurately reporting the news.
In the comments, any spoilers from future books must be blacked out using the “spoiler” tag. This can be applied by highlighting the section of your comment that is a spoiler and clicking the “spoiler” button. Alternatively you can surround that section of text with the tags <spoiler> and </spoiler> (without spaces). We must warn new viewers that although most of our commenters are good with tagging their spoilers, sometimes stuff slips out. We try to keep a close eye for spoiler slip-ups and fix them as soon as possible, but we can’t guarantee that the comments will be completely spoiler-free. So if you haven’t read all the books, be aware that when reading the comments you run the risk of being spoiled.