One of the greatest annoyances of the social networking age is the dreaded Spoiler. Time after time a casual browse on Facebook or Instagram has ruined top telly like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, blowing the cover of secrecy surrounding a massive plot twist or character demise when some smug b*****d in the States had seen it hours earlier and rewrites the entire plot in unavoidable status updates that draws ours eyes like moths to a flame. But thankfully Google is looking to do something about this..

No, it doesn’t involve a fate worse than Ned Stark for the offenders (we expect you to be past that plot point by now) nor does it mean a massive *SPOILER ALERT* label attached to every potential life-ruining Facebook post. But it does mean a new idea recently filed by Google and granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office could see posts filtered so we won’t stumble across any social commentaries about a favourite show, movie, sports event or even books if we haven’t yet watched or read them.

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Specifics are vague at present and we’re not sure how it’ll be employed into social networking sites (possibly some kind of app or add-on?) but Google’s patented idea would somehow track our progress on a TV series, for example the amount of episodes we’re into it, and scan social posts for potential spoilers relating to any episodes after that point.

Despite not removing the post entirely it will advise us that it’s content could contain spoilers about stuff and things we’re looking forward to seeing soon but that that we’d probably rather avoid right now. The option will be there to view the post at your own discretion if you wish to.

Google confirms that as with all patents its spoiler-free future is still just an idea that could be filed away for a long time, so we won’t get too excited just yet and will continue to be vigilant when browsing the social web after a season finale.