In question and answer posts there is a spoiler alert feature:

To hide a certain piece of text and have it only be visible when a user clicks it, use the blockquote syntax with an additional exclamation point

Below the question What is the maximum force a deep space spacecraft experiences after launch? there is an extended conversation in comments about detailed plot aspects in Larry Niven's Known Space books that focus on details you should not be told if you would like to actually enjoy these stories.

However, to my knowledge there is no way to implement the hide/reveal spoiler tool in comments, so there they sit in plain sight.

How do people feel about story-spoiling of Niven's wonderful stories in comments here in Space Exploration SE? Should we at least try to refrain from doing so?

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    $\begingroup$ Of this question it has been said that People are too paranoid and/or too OCD about spoilers but I think this kind of consideration for others is reasonable. Keene and Peel though comedy geniuses, aren't the new Amy Vanderbilt $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 6, 2021 at 5:57
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble the idea is to minimize that rather than to find out. I'm not asking for a new feature like this post does and where I did ask about the frequency though nobody else did. This just asks if we should have a position on it or not. For common sense things that don't require changing anything, we don't need to be as rigorous as a request for a modification of how the site works does. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 16:10
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    $\begingroup$ I think the best way to handle this is by flagging the comments as "no longer needed". They do not request clarification or provide information relevant to the Q&A, and thus can be nuked without hesitation. Other than that, I don't think this is a widespread enough problem to start policing it. The question introduced the book, so people somewhat naturally started talking about it. That is how conversation goes. Comments aren't for conversation, though, so nuke em. $\endgroup$
    – Polygnome
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 10:04
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    $\begingroup$ People shouldn't be having extended discussion about stories in the comments. Those discussions need to be taken to chat. Like Polygnome said, just flag those as no longer needed. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 14:33

1 Answer 1


Should we have a policy for excessive story-spoiling in comments?

This seems unnecessary.

As has been pointed out in comments under the question by @Polygnome and @called2voyage, these comments are a discussion unrelated to the post, and though this site does allow for some space-related discussion in comments that are associated with posts as a way to foster community building (community is essential for a great SE site) this one in particular may have diverged beyond the scope of the post so much that it is no longer needed.

Keeping with the sentiment in this answer we have existing tools for overly chatty and/or no-longer-needed comment cleanup, so no need to focus on this in particular.

However I'll add that spoilers in posts (not asked about here) should avail themselves of the spoiler alert feature provided by SE using the >! modified block quote feature.


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