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Tempest
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:13 pm Reply with quote
***** SPOILER WARNING *****

Please note that while I have no intention to spoil One Piece in any way, I will include some information that I do not consider spoilerific, but others may consider to be a minor spoiler.

Additionally, the article and discussion thread that I will be linking to do contain information that is definitely a minor spoiler











***** End Warning *****

Before I continue, please let me make my position at ANN clear. I am no longer ANN's editor in chief. I am the CEO, and Publisher. A publisher is an individual that is allowed to have both business and editorial involvement. At ANN we have decided to restrict my editorial involvement to policy and "direction." I set our copyright policies, I tell the team that I want more coverage of topic X, and less coverage of topic Y (ex: more manga, less video games), etc... This means that I am not involved with daily editorial and news coverage in any way, and in fact, due to fact that I directly handle many of our business relationships, I am actually forbidden from interfering with any story or article (I often submit/recommend article ideas to ANN that I think is worthy, but it is up to the editors to decide if they want to cover them. They often ignore my submissions). The one exception are legal issues. If there is an article that creates a legal liability for ANN, I will involve myself, going to far as to remove the article from the site until the editors can address the problem.

I would also like to apologize for the quality of my writing below. Due to the nature of this issue, I felt it best to reply immediately. Unfortunately I also have other important matters that I should be attending to right now, so I will write this once and post it.

Today's One Piece issue is a bit of a policy issue, so I will explain our policies as they relate directly to that article.

*** The sort-of-spoilery things start here ***

An article posted earlier today published the full name of a major One Piece character, a name that had not been revealed before in any of One Piece's 700+ (800?) chapters.

The name was revealed in the current issue of Shone Jump, which was released earlier today in Japan.

ANN Received a number of different criticisms regarding this, some in the forum talkback thread, and some by e-mail. I will address each one below.

Don't Publish Spoilers... Ever.
ANN has no policy not to publish spoilers. On the editorial side, our policy is to consider the impact of each spoiler and decide how to treat it. On the news side, we feel that it is irresponsible of us to withhold news simply because it may contain a spoiler. However we do work to make sure that spoilers can't be read by accident.

The article should have contained a spoiler warning
It did. Spoiler warnings don't have to be labelled "SPOILER WARNING." If you read an article part way through, and it says, "...suggests some tantalizing facts about Sanji's past," that is an implicit notice that said information will be revealed in this article. Admittedly, the article could have contained a more explicit warning (ie: SPOLIER WARNING, The article below...). My recommendation to the editors is that they keep this in mind in the future.

You should black out spoilers
We do this in the forum, but I believe we've looked into this for articles and found that the standard method is unacceptable for an article. Black on black text isn't hidden on some browsers (they make it visible without the requirement to highlight) and on other browsers highlighting the text doesn't work to reveal the spoiler. So in some cases it isn't effective, and in others it is too effective. This is something we should look into on the dev side.

The article should not have included a full panel image
If we are writing a news article about an image, we will, without exception, try to include that image in the article. That is our policy. Legally, this is one of the solidest examples of fair use you can find.

You shouldn't be using scanlations as a source for your news
Please note that this article was published after the chapter was officially released in Japan. That said, we will not wait for an "official release" before reporting on something, and we will not limit ourselves exclusively to "official releases" for obtaining information. Regardless of whether the journalist is covering entertainment media, consumer products, politics, the economy, international relations, or any other topic it is completely unrealistic, and even unethical to expect them to wait for "official releases." Regardless of how information is obtained, journalists have (with very few exceptions) not only a right, but a duty to report it.

Scanlations and Raws are Unethical
They are illegal. ANN itself has no opinion on ethical matters. Each of our staff is entitled to their own opinion, and many of them disagree with each other on this topic.

The front page blurb was too spoilery
We endeavor to never post spoilers on the front page. It's been suggested that we should re-write the title of the article to something along the lines of "Major One Piece Detail Revealed." Of course, if we did that, people would complain that we were posting a click-bait title, and I'd agree with them. The title of an article, along with the blurb that follows, needs to be indicative of the article, it needs to provide information about what detail will be revealed in the article, without revealing that detail itself. Personally, this title was perfect.

You Should Not have posted the full image on the front page
Normally I would disagree, but in this case we failed to take into account that the Japanese writing itself contained spoilers for anyone that can read Japanese. ANN made a mistake on this, we've since changed the image to a more generic image, cropping the image would have been acceptable as well.

If you have any concerns that I have not addressed above, please feel free to post them below. Likewise, if you feel that one of our policies is wrong, and you can explain why, we're always in the process of re-evaluating our policies based on reader feedback, industry (reporting) norms, etc... Of course, please understand that we will never be able to come up with a set of policies that satisfy everyone.

Christopher Macdonald
CEO & Publisher
Anime News Network
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Revolutionary



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:29 pm Reply with quote
My concern is that, since this is a news site for Western anime fans, and the WSJ magazine has a US same-day release, the article could have at least been held until the release of it.

Sure, I was able to avoid seeing the actual name, but the article title spoiled to me that it was going to be revealed, and I think it would have just been easy to hold the article until it was released a number of hours later.
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Tempest
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:36 pm Reply with quote
Revolutionary wrote:
My concern is that, since this is a news site for Western anime fans.


Although just over half our staff is based in North America and we do a much better job of covering North American news, our Japanese news is not intended for a western audience. It's intended for all our readers worldwide, more than half of whom are not based in "the west" (I assume you mean USA + Canada).

I had actually meant to include this in the initial reply, but forgot.
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Revolutionary



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:28 pm Reply with quote
Tempest wrote:
Revolutionary wrote:
My concern is that, since this is a news site for Western anime fans.


Although just over half our staff is based in North America and we do a much better job of covering North American news, our Japanese news is not intended for a western audience. It's intended for all our readers worldwide, more than half of whom are not based in "the west" (I assume you mean USA + Canada).

I had actually meant to include this in the initial reply, but forgot.


The thing is - exactly how important was it to post this, that it had to be posted before same-day release in the US? It is not really news, persay. It is events within the story of a manga.

Perhaps I'm just not understand why it was made news at all. I understand making Oda's statement at Jump Festa regarding 2016 being "the year of Sanji" news, because it was. However, this is just spoilers from the manga itself. It's not even particularly important to non-One Piece fans. It just doesn't feel appropriate, then, to announce this before same-day release North American fans even have a legal chance to read it.
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octopodpie
ANN Executive Editor


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:09 pm Reply with quote
Some small input that may explain why this article was considered newsworthy for the interest section.

This reveal was considered for the same reason that an article last year, finally revealing Kakashi's face from Naruto was posted. (Link: http://4NN.cx/.87519)

This image and article were posted to the site the same day the booklet with Kakashi's face was revealed in Japan. Note that this booklet manga, as far as my knowledge, has not been released in North America at all. We still posted it.

The reveal of Sanji's name was actually leaked in Japan as early as Thursday. I made the editorial decision not to post the article until after the chapter was out in Japan despite the information already disseminating in English sources. For example, Sanji's character page on the One Piece wikia had already updated with his new last name in the first paragraph by Friday.

The above is an example in how this information quickly spreads on the internet and if ANN adhered to some of the suggestions that Chris was pointing out in his post (and explaining why we don't) we would cease being relevant.

Interest is rarely a leak-heavy section, so I don't foresee these kind of articles becoming common.
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Indekkusu



Joined: 22 Dec 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:10 pm Reply with quote
Tempest wrote:
Revolutionary wrote:
My concern is that, since this is a news site for Western anime fans.


Although just over half our staff is based in North America and we do a much better job of covering North American news, our Japanese news is not intended for a western audience. It's intended for all our readers worldwide, more than half of whom are not based in "the west" (I assume you mean USA + Canada).

I had actually meant to include this in the initial reply, but forgot.


English WSJ is released at the same time in UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and others with a subscription living abroad.
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Tempest
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:53 pm Reply with quote
Revolutionary wrote:
It just doesn't feel appropriate, then, to announce this before same-day release North American fans even have a legal chance to read it.


To repeat what I said before, North America is not our only market. We are not going to delay articles to wait for the US release of the related content. If we do that, then we should start delaying articles for South East Asia (our second biggest Market), or Latin America...

If we chose to delay certain coverage to wait for the official release (this has happened, but it's rare), the only date/time we will consider will be the original release date. In this case, the Japanese release. As Lynzee mentioned above, she chose to delay the Sanji article.

Had we seen things the way you do and withheld publishing the news until after English WSJ, we still would have pissed off people who feel like you but live in countries where OP is serialized after a delay (or only released in tankobon).

-t


Last edited by Tempest on Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Wandering Samurai



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:24 pm Reply with quote
I have no problem with the fact that the article went up Monday Japan time because that's when the official release of the chapter went up in the first place. The way the internet is now, you get your news or whatever information to the second, so it is very hard to contain information for as long as you can, especially when it comes to spoilers for media. Anime and manga are not the only mediums affected by this. And I'm confident that a lot of people on this forum read scanlations. Whether they are ANN staff or just readers, that choice is up to them. The thing I found most funny was how a lot of people seem to be butthurt when they had the choice of NOT reading the article in the first place. That's how I avoided being spoiled at all when you saw twenty different articles on a daily basis about what was going to come up in Star Wars The Force Awakens before it came out in theaters. If you don't want to be spoiled DON'T GO CLICKING on articles! Problem solved.
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Anthony.P



Joined: 16 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:38 pm Reply with quote
Wandering Samurai wrote:
The thing I found most funny was how a lot of people seem to be butthurt when they had the choice of NOT reading the article in the first place. That's how I avoided being spoiled at all when you saw twenty different articles on a daily basis about what was going to come up in Star Wars The Force Awakens before it came out in theaters. If you don't want to be spoiled DON'T GO CLICKING on articles! Problem solved.


As mentioned in the original topic again and again, the title and initial featured image respectively implied/revealed the ending of the chapter. This argument is also assuming that all those spoiled decided to read the article; while I can't speak for everyone, I certainly didn't and was still upset with the aforementioned factors.

I understand ANN has its journalism duties to adhere to, but while Lynzee stated this sort of article won't be common, I'd rather not consider it a risk to venture to my primary source for anime/manga news when I already make efforts to avoid early leaks on forums and social media.
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octopodpie
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:14 am Reply with quote
Edited to add some more, since I realize I drew two dots (this article and the Kakashi article) but did not actually draw the line between the two.

It would be an understatement to say the Kakashi article last year was received positively by our readers. It got an overwhelmingly great response.

As editor of the Interest section, I see it as my primary goal to bring that kind of discussion and information to our readers. The reason the Kakashi reveal was so popular is for a number of reasons, primarily because it involves a fan-favorite character in a long-running franchise. Anyone who has read or watched Naruto is familiar with the character and whether they've kept up with each individual chapter or not, there's a reader interest to (in that case) finally see his face.

Sanji's last name reveal falls into the same category which is why it was posted. Individual arc plot points aren't going to be posted here as they're revealed or anything like that.

Other hypothetical examples of Interest articles that would include spoilers would also be if there was an overwhelming fan reaction to a particular plot twist. So if a major character in One Piece died and fans in Japan were burning tankobon in the street or sales suddenly plummeted because Nami got married, I would consider that newsworthy. It's really a case by case basis and the criteria is pretty stringent, so you can trust that Interest isn't going to be leaking plot spoilers each week from Shonen Jump.

I hope that better illustrates the point I was trying to make earlier today.
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mewpudding101
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:16 am Reply with quote
Tempest wrote:
As Lynzee mentioned, she chose to delay the above Kakashi article.

-t


Hey Chris,
We actually didn't delay the Kakashi article, because we (aka me) took a picture of the pamphlet on the day of its official release in Japan. This article was posted the day of, which I remember because I helped edit it while I was in the goods line for the Naruto exhibit for 2 hours, and it was posted by the time I got out of the store. It still hasn't been released abroad, so there's no point in delaying something that's never coming anyway. I think what Lynzee's trying to say is that despite it not being released abroad yet, it would lose relevance had we not posted at that time. Same with the Mizuki character profile that was revealed in the same booklet.


Also, replying to another concern, while it might have been spoilerish to have the cover image be the manga panel, it was just his face and not anything else. The Japanese text was teeny. I guess people had problems with the title...? But honestly, there's no way to sugarcoat the title for that.
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Tempest
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:37 am Reply with quote
mewpudding101 wrote:

We actually didn't delay the Kakashi article,
Sorry, I meant the Sanji article.
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Gigikun



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:06 am Reply with quote
Wandering Samurai wrote:
I have no problem with the fact that the article went up Monday Japan time because that's when the official release of the chapter went up in the first place. The way the internet is now, you get your news or whatever information to the second, so it is very hard to contain information for as long as you can, especially when it comes to spoilers for media. Anime and manga are not the only mediums affected by this. And I'm confident that a lot of people on this forum read scanlations. Whether they are ANN staff or just readers, that choice is up to them. The thing I found most funny was how a lot of people seem to be butthurt when they had the choice of NOT reading the article in the first place. That's how I avoided being spoiled at all when you saw twenty different articles on a daily basis about what was going to come up in Star Wars The Force Awakens before it came out in theaters. If you don't want to be spoiled DON'T GO CLICKING on articles! Problem solved.


Actually, without even clicking on the article, by going on the homepage the brief description already spoiled you two major details (basically the entire catch of that week's chapter put in place to make people want to read the next one.

http://i.imgur.com/yt1eYgf.jpg

Even without actually wanting to read the article, by glancing over the homepage I could have been spoiled had I not already read the manga chapter (note: this has meanwhile already been fixed but I am sure this had still reached a big number of people among which I'm sure people who don't condone scanlations and were waiting for the English release to come out a few hours later, because as octopodpie suggests, waiting even 12 hours for the official english release (that I believe happens all over the world at the same time for the countries with access to the official English Weekly Shonen Jump, unlike what Tempest seems to be thinking) would have apparently made them irrelevant, so in order to get the necessary interest (i.e. clicks) it was absolutely necessary to post it then and there suggesting that articles like these apparently would lose any relevance (i.e. diminish greatly in amount of clicks) the more they'd wait. So while a lot of people might not be as vocal as others, it is not unreasonable to think that there's a lot of people who got spoiled even though that amount doesn't seem to be very big based on the forum posts here and the relevant One Piece forum thread.

Lastly, comparing the reveal of Kakashi's face with this is stretching it. Kakashi's face reveal, while also under the category of "things that had not yet been revealed since the character's first presentation in the manga", it doesn't spoil anything about the character's backstory nor does it influence the manga's story. Furthermore, Kakashi's face reveal was something revealed OUTSIDE of the manga chapters, was NOT even revealed in the manga itself NOR was it something that would have come out in English. Much less the same day. This, I agree is newsworthy because it would inherently be information left out for naruto fans outside of Japan (were it not for the fact that there's always someone who'd leak the picture online as mentioned by octopodpie).

In the case of Sanji, the reveal would have been made 12 hours post the article's release in the official English release of Jump and not only did it impact the official/legal manga readers' reading experience by spoiling both the name's reveal (and actual name) and the other big event in the chapter(depending on whether they first saw the article on twitter or the homepage), but it also puts a bad precedent for future stories that might be posted on ANN. While it is true that it had already been revealed at Jump Festa that this would be the year of Sanji and that we would be hearing about his backstory, one year is 48 issues of Jump, so any time during the year would have been a possible chapter related to this preview of things to come. Ultimately we don't know when or in what effect it would happen. But here you completely took away the surprise of THIS week's chapter.

The use of the leaked image as the source for the image, the use of that specific panel with the Japanese text (which would also have been a way to spoil the events for One Piece fans who might happened to only see the image while glossing over ANN's website) as the feature image, and the blatant disregard of the fact that the English release would come out later that day (for Europeans) only add more bad habits to a market that is already being plaqued by people who 1) don't know that the scans they read online aren't supposed to be out before the following week, 2) don't care and read scans anyway, 3) people who want to only read the official release and 4) those who want to but revert to reading scans because it's the only way to avoid getting spoiled and the, I'm sure, rare group of people that both support the official release but read scans anyway. If a site like ANN doesn't even want to bother waiting for the official English release that has, I'm sure, taken years of preparation to make happen, it just gives that much smaller group of people who avoid fancommunities and Social Media to avoid getting spoiled and read the official release another incentive to give in and read scans anyway, in the long-term ruining their experience while also helping the illegal market that is scanlation and possibly hurting the official releases too (it's not implausible to think that some people would give up on the official subscription if they read the scans anyway). If the English release schedule was still set at a delay of two weeks like it used to be years ago for whatever silly reason, this would be an entirely different story, but that's not the case since technically the Japanese and English releases happen on the SAME DAY with a few hour difference due to different time-zones. Sure, if Sanji's name reveal would have consisted in fans in Japan to riot or do something else, it would have been worth talking about immediately, but the newsworthiness of that wouldn't lie in Sanji's name reveal but in the events surrounding it and the title and content of the article would most likely not have been the same making the spoiler-ific impact a lot smaller, which is a completely different kind of scenario, and again, not one comparable to this one.
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Anthony.P



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:52 am Reply with quote
octopodpie wrote:
Edited to add some more, since I realize I drew two dots (this article and the Kakashi article) but did not actually draw the line between the two.

It would be an understatement to say the Kakashi article last year was received positively by our readers. It got an overwhelmingly great response.

As editor of the Interest section, I see it as my primary goal to bring that kind of discussion and information to our readers. The reason the Kakashi reveal was so popular is for a number of reasons, primarily because it involves a fan-favorite character in a long-running franchise. Anyone who has read or watched Naruto is familiar with the character and whether they've kept up with each individual chapter or not, there's a reader interest to (in that case) finally see his face.

Sanji's last name reveal falls into the same category which is why it was posted. Individual arc plot points aren't going to be posted here as they're revealed or anything like that.

Other hypothetical examples of Interest articles that would include spoilers would also be if there was an overwhelming fan reaction to a particular plot twist. So if a major character in One Piece died and fans in Japan were burning tankobon in the street or sales suddenly plummeted because Nami got married, I would consider that newsworthy. It's really a case by case basis and the criteria is pretty stringent, so you can trust that Interest isn't going to be leaking plot spoilers each week from Shonen Jump.

I hope that better illustrates the point I was trying to make earlier today.


Thank you for elaborating! It means a lot Smile
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GrayArchon



Joined: 28 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:43 pm Reply with quote
In this case, the complaints about using leaked scans for the spoilers are irrelevant and immaterial.

Weekly Shounen Jump officially released at approximately 7:00PM EST January 17th (9:00AM JST January 18th).

The article in question, was posted at 1:45AM EST January 18th (3:45PM JST January 18th).

Viz released their edition of Weekly Shounen Jump at about 1:30PM EST January 18th (3:30AM JST January 19th).

There was ample time for anyone in Japan to have purchased a copy of WSJ off of store shelves, photographed the panel in question, and posted it only or tweeted it or just sent it directly to ANN, before Viz released the official English edition. As far as anyone who doesn't check the timestamps on the sources that ANN references is concerned, that's exactly what happened. I suspect comparatively few people follow the link to ANN's sources.

So this essentially isn't spoilers from scanlations or leaked scans. It's spoilers from the Japanese edition. All talk about scanlations and leaks is just an attempt to make it seem like people have a more serious complaint than simply being spoiled, and mask the issues inherent in the fact that Viz does not post their edition of WSJ until over 18 hours after the Japanese edition of WSJ is published.
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