If you find yourself getting frustrated at the amount of spoilers you read on social networks, particularly about shows you haven't yet seen, Google might have a solution in the works. According to a filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office, the company has just patented an automated spoiler prevention system.
The patent, which covers a system designed for "processing content spoilers", describes a method for collecting data on how far a user has gone through a particular TV show, movie or book series. The system could either get users to input this data themselves, or input it from a service like Netflix that already has a pretty good idea of their viewing habits.
The system then automatically detects when content in a user's social network feed contains a spoiler, with spoilers being flagged based upon what the user has and hasn't seen. Offending content would be blocked by default, and a user would have to click through a warning message before the content is displayed.
Google also suggests in their patent that the system could be used to create fan pages for TV shows and books, and for each member of a fan page, their personal progress meter is displayed. This could then peer pressure and encourage users to keep up with the current schedule.
Unfortunately, as with most patents of this kind, it's unlikely we'll see an automated spoiler prevention system any time soon, if ever. However the idea is certainly quite clever, and something we wish was actually implemented when major TV shows like Game of Thrones are airing.