Google patent could kill TV spoilers on social media

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10 April 2015 | 0

There’s nothing worse than planning to stream the season finale of your favourite show only to have the ending given away before you have a chance to see it.

Thankfully, Google is toying with technology that would make it so that won’t happen anymore, at least on social media. The company just had a US patent approved for a method to block spoilers from ambushing you on your social feeds.

The basic idea is that you would let the spoiler-blocking service know about a particular TV show, book, or movie you’re interested in. Then you’d let the service know how far into the content you are, such as the last TV episode you watched or the last book chapter you finished. This data could also potentially be pulled from video sites like Amazon or Netflix.

Once that’s done, the system can then scan for potential spoilers coming across your feeds. If it finds one, the offending content is blurred out by default. Should curiosity get the better of you, however, you’ll be able to click through and ruin the ending by your own hand.

Google may have the patent, but there are spoiler blockers you can try right now such as Unspoiler for Google Chrome and Spoiler Shield for Android and iOS.

Spoilers on social networks have been a hazard of online life for some time. But with on-demand streaming servihigher than evermore common. A system that blocks spoilers is also great for early binge-watchers who want to talk about the show on Facebook without ruining it for everyone else.

Don’t get too excited just yet. Even though Google has a patent there’s no guarantee this idea will ever turn into a real product. There’s also the problem of how it would be implemented. Having spoiler blockers on Facebook and Twitter would make sense, but would those companies be interested in integrating something like this if it’s encumbered by a patent from Google?

PC World & TechCentral Reporters

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