Binge watching TV shows has become increasingly prevalent with content creators such as Netflix and others releasing full seasons of shows all at once. Some people will sit and watch a show from beginning to end as soon as it has been released, while others will take their time, watching an episode here or there. Our good friends at MOARGeek are trying to help people get through Daredevil at a more leisurely pace, but they aren’t the only ones trying to help. A patent recently awarded to Google shows that they too are concerned about keeping plot details secret. What exactly does this Google spoiler patent do though?
The patent, awarded to Google on 4/7/2015 outlines a system where users of a social network would log – either manually or automatically – their progress on a book, TV show, etc. If their friends do the same, the system would then compare any posts made by friends reading/watching the same books and TV shows as you are and obscure any posts that seem to contain spoilers.
When spoilers are found, the offending posts would be blocked, and a warning would be issued to the viewer. If for some reason you don’t care about spoilers and want to see what your friends are saying, you could theoretically ignore the warning and have your experience spoiled to your heart’s content. Others could simply heed the warning and move on to another post that isn’t trying to ruin your reading or viewing.
Some of the images included in the patent filing show examples of how this might work.
Books could obviously track using chapters when available. Seems like Alex just can’t resist reading ahead and telling everybody how the book ends…
The TV diagram is similar, and could be tracked by season and episode. Once again, Alex just can’t seem to help himself and feels the need to talk about the end of the season while his friends are only about halfway through the season. Google’s spoiler patent would prevent Alex from spilling any big secrets that his friends might have missed. The obvious easier path is to not be like Alex, and simply avoid posting spoilers, but since we know Alex cannot be trusted with this information, it’s good to see that Google is on the case.
We don’t know if or when this system might make its way into a social network near you. It’s also unknown what social networks might be willing to add this layer on top of their own site. Google+ is an obvious choice, but Facebook and Twitter are rife with spoilers that could be squashed too. It’s entirely possible that this idea will never see the light of day, and we’ll just have to put up with friends like Alex ruining things for the rest of us.
Do you have an “Alex” in your life? Are you “Alex” to your friends? Tell us your stories in the comments or on your favorite social networks. Try to avoid spoilers though, they aren’t being blocked… yet.