Figure 6D up there is a simplified image for a patent that Google just secured in the modern fight against spoilers. According to Quartz, the concept for the program would be to track shows and movies you’re interested in and block out potential spoilers in social network posts. You’d get a blurred post with a warning , which makes this hopefully forthcoming product the scalpel version of what most people do now: apply blunt-force blocks, mute specific users or simply end friendships because caring interaction just isn’t worth the risk that you’ll hear who dies on Game of Thrones before you get caught up.
To be clear, Google hasn’t confirmed whether this anti-spoiler app will get made or not. It’s merely one concept of many, and because it’s in the earliest phases of development, there’s no word on how or where it would be deployed. If it’s only available on Google+, it won’t be all that useful since people naturally avoid spoilers on Google+ by avoiding Google+ altogether.
It would be welcomed with ticker tape on Twitter and Facebook, though. There are monsters out there who take joy in spoiling stories for other people, and there are soulless types who don’t mind being spoiled (heathens!), but for those of us who overthink the worth of purity in the act of consuming a story, the internet poses the greatest minefield conceivable.
Unfortunately, it’s also hard to imagine exactly how something like this would function. At least the challenges to the developers are real.
For example, if I’m having a lengthy conversation with several people on Twitter, and one of them makes a reference to Jon Snow being Luke’s father, will a vague warning pop up? Will it explain that it’s for Game of Thrones or leave me wondering what’s being spoiled? How will it know that I care about Game of Thrones? Will my entire feed be a giant blur covered in spoiler warnings?
And even if it works, imagine how synchronized you’d have to be on all the shows you like. Not to mention the ones that you’re merely potentially interested in. I’m guessing the only way to make this work well is to have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Plus and an independent Google list connected to your Spoil Blocker account so that it knows when you’ve watched the third episode of the fourth season of LOST.
But those hurdles are for the programmers to jump. The ultimate goal of creating a seamless tool that lets us unthinkingly sidestep premature information is a worthy one. Please, Google, save us from spoiler hell and muted friendships.
Related Topics: Spoilers