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On spoilers

I reviewed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for the Macleans.ca website today. After some discussion with my editor, we decided to run a spoiler-filled piece. There was a lot of debate about this in the office before and after we published. Arguments in favor of the spoiler review: We gave fair warning; no one will decide to read or not read the book based on my opinion of it; readers who haven’t finished the book aren’t reading reviews yet; and reviewing the book without revealing major plot points misses an opportunity to engage with readers who have reached the end. Arguments against: a review without spoilers can say just as much as a review with; people may go to the page and accidentally see something they don’t want to; spreading word about what happens allows jerks the opportunity to ruin it for friends.

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