Is it okay to answer a question in a spoiler block? I am curious since almost no answers use it.

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    $\begingroup$ It's maybe worth noting that the only stack exchange site I know of that uses spoilers consistently is Puzzling - where they assume people might not want to see answers and go out of their way to prevent people from doing so accidentally. We definitely make no such assumptions here - we generally want it to be easy for people to see the answers, so spoilers are used more occasionally and only for parts of answers rather than entire answers. $\endgroup$ Feb 27, 2021 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ Your post here on meta Math.SE is very terse. Would you have some circumstance in which you would prefer your Answer to be inside a spoiler block? I may have put some information inside a spoiler in a few cases, with the intent that it would form a kind of socratic dialog, but apart from that I cannot think of what purpose it would serve. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Feb 28, 2021 at 5:47
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    $\begingroup$ Hint, then answer, I think. I believe this can help as the OP can first use the hint(s), and if the attempt is made, they can check the answer. They can make a solution without actually looking at the solution, if possible. $\endgroup$
    – soupless
    Feb 28, 2021 at 8:36
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    $\begingroup$ In my very humble opinion, most answers, if good for anything, are spoiler blocks, and maybe the entire site is a spoiler block. So I don't often see the purpose. But if there are no accessibility issues (I'm not sure of this, maybe others will weigh in) I do not mind them. I find them a bit fun, actually. $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2021 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ While I am certainly not a very prolific poster, this is the only answer out of more than 50, where I felt that use of spoilers was useful. So, I would ay that it is okay to answer using them, but questions where they are actually useful in answering are quite rare. $\endgroup$
    – user0
    Mar 6, 2021 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


Yes. It's okay, but why would you use it? Some people use it to complement hints. But it's not always a suitable way to approach answering.

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    $\begingroup$ So this can be used "properly" if hints are used first? $\endgroup$
    – soupless
    Feb 27, 2021 at 8:54
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    $\begingroup$ It makes sense to use it, where it makes sense to use it. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Feb 27, 2021 at 8:55
  • $\begingroup$ @soupless I recall that somebody mentioned to me that spoilers are a bit more difficult to user for users who read the posts on mobile devices. Perhaps somebody can tell whether the situation is better now. $\endgroup$ Feb 27, 2021 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ Why did you answer with only a grey rectangle, @Asaf? :P $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Feb 27, 2021 at 22:23
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak: at least I have no difficulty with spoilers on Firefox, Android. $\endgroup$
    – Paramanand Singh Mod
    Feb 28, 2021 at 6:02
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak: I use Samsung Internet, Chrome, Firefox, and spoilers are fine to me. I still have no idea about the others. $\endgroup$
    – soupless
    Feb 28, 2021 at 8:34
  • $\begingroup$ @soupless I have copied the comment I got about this (long time ago) here in chat: chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/19138/2021/2/28 I cannot really check it myself, since I do not own any mobile device where I could access internet. (I could display the mobile site on my desktop - but I suppose the experience is still different.) $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2021 at 9:39
  • $\begingroup$ How do you make a spoiler @AsafKaragila $\endgroup$
    – Some Guy
    Feb 28, 2021 at 21:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Someguy Just begin your "spoiler" with >! or > ! $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Feb 28, 2021 at 23:29
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak spoiler used to be annoying on mobile, but that's significantly improved since Aug 2020 after New post formatting. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Mar 2, 2021 at 16:35

I've used spoiler blocks fairly often, always after providing some hints.

A bit more often, I'll provide hints and say something like: "Can you take it home from here?"

I don't recall getting any direct pushback, or even any downvotes, from other users when I've done so.

I have no idea how many OPs have taken me up on my hints before heading to the spoiler, but people visiting the question in the future may do so, even if the OP doesn't.

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    $\begingroup$ Your posts, especially those which contain outlines, are very nice! +1 The suspense created from blocks is very exciting. I once went through a paper of Erdos on the site, where I had the key parts of his argument shown, and the details in spoilers for those who were interested. This seemed to work for me. $\endgroup$ Mar 1, 2021 at 12:37

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