Speculation abuse is when guesses about what will happen in an upcoming movie, TV show, book or other story begins veering into false information. In general, this occurs when people watch a trailer or preview and inflate small details out of proportion to support their wild theories. Very often, these are contradicted when the movie comes out and it becomes evident exactly how wrong the people were in what they said.
A little bit of speculation is natural because we do not have all of the details about what will happen. We're given a little bit of information to help generate interest and we let our excitement take over with the anticipation.
Care must be taken not to let speculation become speculation abuse or twisting them into being evil or a hero and should not be added to the page for the character. Some speculation is permitted if it's in a blog or an article comment. When it's added to the character's page, it can become false information.
Editors that engage in false information, especially those that twist characters, are subject to being blocked, as defined in our block policy.
The following shows an example of how people started making guesses about what would happen, but did not take it further to twist the character into being evil.
It occurred with the character of Gavin from the movie Ice Age: Collision Course. As of May 2016, over two months prior to the release of the movie, the only thing that was known about Gavin was he is a Dromaeosaur and the father of two other dinosaurs. He did not appear in any of the trailers and was barely mentioned in any other context.
However, that did not stop people from saying the following about him, primarily by adding categories to the page:
- He would be the main antagonist.
- He would also be acting behind the scenes to control the events in the movie, which is sometimes not done by the main antagonist.
- He would spread hate and fear.
- He would be a killer, an assassin and a sadist.
- He would be a power-hungry leader, a criminal and a con artist, yet he will also be a friend to the hero, charismatic and a dimwit.
Until the movie premiered, no one outside of Blue Sky Studios and movie reviewers had any way of knowing what would happen in the movie. After ward, it was possible to do a comparison about what was predicted about him and the actions he actually took.
- He would be the main antagonist. — Confirmed. There are barely any antagonists in this movie and he is the father of two of them, making him the main antagonist.
- He would also be acting behind the scenes to control the events of the movie. — False. In order to do this, he would have had to have a plan that was running in the background that he came up with a long time ago and had set in motion. In the movie, he overhears the plan Buck comes up with and decides preventing it from succeeding is a better course of action for his family.
- He would spread hate and fear. — False for both. He does not actively engage in any kind of propaganda or hate campaign. He is simply a father trying to provide for his family.
- He would be a killer. — Technically true. His family steals the eggs of other dinosaurs in order to survive, so even though it's not shown on screen, he would be a killer of those dinosaurs. In the one attempt to steal an egg that is shown, the occupant inside the egg is just about ready to hatch, as opposed to a newly-laid egg where the animal has not begun developing yet.
- He would be an assassin. — False. As stated above, the only killing he commits is a side effect of his attempts to obtain food. The later attempts on Manny and the rest of the herd do not fit with an assassination attempt, and are not even carried out to completion.
- He would be a sadist. — False. At no point in the movie has he captured anybody and treated them in a sadistic manner.
- He would be a power-hungry leader. — Barely true, but only due to sensing an opportunity as part of his survival. By allowing the meteor to strike, he believes his family will survive because they can fly above the impact. In reality, nothing would have survived.
- He would be a criminal. — True. His family steals eggs for food. The degree of how much of a criminal he might be due to stealing to support his family will not be debated here.
- He would be a con artist. — False. He does not run a confidence game on any other character.
- He would be a friend to the hero. — He doesn't even meet Manny and the herd until almost the end of the movie, and temporarily stopping what you are doing to ensure your own survival does not make you a friend of the person you happen to help in doing so.
- He would be charismatic. — False. His own son doesn't really like him.
- He would be a dimwit. — False. He was able to evaluate a plan he overheard and formulate a different course of action to counteract it and help his family.
So of those 11 points, two were confirmed as definitely true, which is 18.2% of the speculation turning out to be correct. If this is extended to include the other two that are barely/technically true, that still only brings up the total to 36.4%. Two-thirds of the categories people added where they were certain he would have those characteristics turned out to be wrong, thus proving that they were actually speculation instead of facts.