If you feel like you can barely wade through social media sites without stepping into a spoiler-filled land mine, you’re not alone. Google wants to ease the pain of anybody who checks friends’ feeds before getting home to watch DVR’d episodes of shows like Better Call Saul and Game of Thrones—as evidenced by a filing approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday for Google’s “processing content spoilers” system.
The patent listing, discovered by tech-biz outlet Quartz, describes a system that requires input from the person who doesn’t want content spoiled. That input can include the user’s own answers about how far they’ve gotten in a TV or book series, or it can include imported statistics from a third-party video service like Netflix—including, for example, how many episodes of a series you’ve watched or whether a film was paused before it ended.
With that data in hand, the respective social network could then automatically flag any content that might pop up on a spoiler-sensitive user’s feed. That content would be obscured by default, requiring a click-through of a “possible spoiler” warning before it appeared in full.
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