On Tuesday, April 8, the United States Trademark and Patent Office gave Google a patent for an “app or program” that would block spoilers from Internet users. It would give people the option to choose whether they want to read second-hand accounts or stay in the dark until they have the opportunity to enjoy the entertainment first hand.
Currently, people, like those at Anastasia Date, must use search filters to alert them of spoilers. Writers and commenters must put a note, such as “Spoilers ahead,” on their content to make readers aware of the fact that they are going to learn something about TV shows, movies, books and other content that they may not yet know.
Google’s plan does not mention social networks or TV show and movie trailer spoilers or video spoilers at all. Google does plan to take into account forums and group settings.
Many critics wonder if Google should even have the right to patent this technology as the patent also gives Google the ability to increase its tracking of the activities and interests of Internet users. The types of content users like would be tracked, as well as their progress with any online content such as streaming videos and books, and then block spoilers according to that information.