By Gemma White
Last week was the season five finale of the television series, Game of Thrones – and don’t worry, if you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t spoil it for you. As a Game of Thrones fan myself, I know all too well how frustrating it is when spoilers ruin the big reveal or twist. It was just hours before last week’s final episode when I scrolled past an article on Google news that gave the game away.
One of the main problems with Game of Thrones is that it airs in the US the day before it hits our TV screens in the UK, so you spend the whole day avoiding Game of Thrones-related news and social media posts (which is harder than it sounds, especially when you work in PR and monitoring the news is part of your job). Take a look at this BuzzFeed article on the “23 faces everyone avoiding ‘Game of Thrones’ spoilers has pulled.”
Spoilers are everywhere and the internet is a breeding ground for them. Unless you’re planning on avoiding the internet altogether, you will always come across a spoiler. It used to be netiquette (a portmanteau of ‘net’ and ‘etiquette’) to avoid writing about spoilers online. Today you can get away with including a ‘spoiler alert’ warning in the title so that readers can avoid the article if they wish. In my opinion, though, these warnings are not always effective, as you can still catch a glimpse of the rest of the title that always gives away too much information.
One company that’s trying to change all of this is the tech giant, Google, which recently launched its new app called Spoiler Shield, where you can filter out certain words and phrases from your Facebook or Twitter feeds. With Spoiler Shield revealing that more than 7,000,000 tweets are posted per season of Game of Thrones and 170,000 spoilers are posted on Facebook and Twitter every episode, this app could be the answer to our problems, not least because speculation around season six is starting to circulate on the internet.
But what’s to say that one of your friends or colleagues won’t tell you what happened in Game of Thrones last week? There’s always one that accidently lets it slip. The question is will we ever rid ourselves of spoilers? Technology will certainly help us to filter them out online, but I’m not convinced they will ever go away entirely.