Beware Those Facebook (and Other) Olympic Spoilers

UPDATE: ABC News, CBS News and Huffington Post are all posting spoilers about the Olympics on Facebook.  (UPDATE #3: Of all orgs, U.S. Figure Skating FB page.) I've unfollowed all of them for now.  But then, there's that "trending" bs that Facebook has up that isn't helping.  And on top of that, if YOU leave a comment on the offending news page that they spoiled things, in all of Facebook's glory about making sure everyone sees what everyone else is doing, your own angry comment shows up in your friends feed on what you commented on, and thus, you inadvertently spoil it for your friends.  This new era sucks. #4: Add ISU Figure Skating to the list.


The 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi are here and as always, the actual events are taking place while we sleep or just as we're getting up.

There are several different ways to approach following this contest to try to avoid spoilers.  (And as I note later on down the article, this isn't just the Olympics that this issue sprouts from.)

Avoid all media and truly enjoy the show at night.  Cruise the web and find results before they're telecast here, which I know many entertainment consumers love doing.  Or just watch the damn things live.  (These options don't include the NBC web portal of all things Olympic.)

Here in the United States NBC has crazy levels of coverage, from live coverage to taped events of coverage, and it all culminates into their prime-time coverage that runs from 8pm to 11 or 11:30pm, weekdays.

As the Olympics started up, it would appear the NBC has their online shit together and are being very careful in how they present the news or opportunities for the news, out on Facebook.

They have been putting up posts that say, "if you want to know who won what, follow the link."  I think that's awesome that their core Facebook operators are doing that.  (At least as far as I can tell, they've been pretty good about it.)

But as with anyone's feed in Facebook, you probably follow several news organizations in there.  The term news could be used lightly.

Of course, this all depends on if Facebook as filtered your feed on you and you already aren't seeing half of what you've subscribed to.

But in my case, one example for me was as I was cruising my FB feed looking for updates from friends and family, and I was tripped up by ABC NEWS with their reporting live results as they were happening.

I was not looking for it, it just popped up in my face.  Frack!

So I unliked the page to avoid any more spoilers.

Then last night I was waiting for two things... to see how Shaun White did in the half-pipe, and to watch the luge competition.

I'll let you look up how Shaun did, but about an hour before the luge, as I was looking for updates from friends and family (again), BAM, there it was, a huge picture you could not miss, and the news result for the luge competition in Sochi.


So I unliked that page.  For now.

But heck, despite NBC's best efforts on FB, their national news programs, quoting the aspect that some result news has already been reported in other venues, are giving out results just before their own telecast.

Dudes, really?  Well, yes, really.

As far as I can tell, if you truly want to avoid spoilers and the unthinking actions of web admins running FB or other online social media accounts and news shows, I'd suggest turning everything off until your local coverage begins at 8pm. 

That's not being the most realistic answer, then my second best bet is to UNLIKE the offenders until after the events come to a close.  Then you can re-LIKE them again.

And hide your eyes and ears when some news telecasts chat about the games.


At this stage of the game, the entertainment reporting world is boiling down sensationalist or open-ended question titles, and not caring about launching spoilers.  It's becoming about who can get the content out there first.

Time and time again I've seen sites like TVLINE and EW recap show episodes from east coast airings before they air on the west coast.  It's just a fact of life and one that the entertainment consumer has to deal with and adjust their web surfing and TV watching practices with.

What's driving the move, aside from snagging web traffic first, or supplying their followers with the most up to date news there is, is that there's a large demographic of fan out there that loves knowing the information as soon as possible.  Or maybe even sooner than that, so they can be the ones to break the exciting information to their friends and family.

It is what it is.

But for the time being, I've sworn off ABC NEWS and the HUFFINGTON POST until it's safe for me once again.  I know I should swear off Facebook at key times, but there are things I do out there, like running my all-in-one Brusimm page or my competitive dog's page, Vader's World.  So I need to accept that somethings will be what they are.  And that, is the web of today.  News, now.

UPDATED 2-17 (original posting, 2-12)

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