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When reading groups like rec.arts.sf.written and alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer, people frequently don't
want to have their enjoyment of works they haven't seen/read yet "spoiled" by finding out what
is going to happen in advance. To help them avoid it, posters are encouraged to insert the "spoiler char"
(aka form-feed, 0x0C, control-L) -- when newsreaders encounter this character they take various steps to
prevent the reader from seeing the rest of the message. Here's pictures and descriptions of what
some of those programs do.
sees the spoiler char, it calculates how many lines tall the article window
currently is and replaces it with that many newlines to ensure that the text
after it (the spoiler char) will be hidden below the bottom of the window until
the user scrolls.
Misc. Spoiler protection:
Mozilla has spoiler support in Build ID 2004031605 and above. When it encounters the spoiler char, it turns it into an empty page.