It's happened to everyone at some point. You jump on a social network to talk about your lunch, and then BAM - spoiler for Game of Thrones right in the face. Day ruined. perhaps even month ruined. In some rare cases, life ruined.
Interestingly, Google has come up with a solution, and it doesn't involve staying offline until you've had a chance to watch the Lost season finale - which was pre-spoiled in the first season by everyone knowing what the twist was.
Google's plan is to monitor social networks and the like for any sign of spoilers, then blur them out, offering a way to see them if you choose. In the patent you can see it mentions a way of tracking what point you're up to in a show, so that you're not exposed to anything that hasn't happened for you yet.
Quartz suggests that the technology would be able to track your progress via social networks. Think about how Netflix or Spotify can share details about what you're watching or listening to. Using that, it would be able to understand your friend group and stop spoilers.
Or, everyone could just shut up, perhaps?
Of course, there's a powerful argument that everyone just keeps their damn mouths shut. After all, with Netflix the first people will have seen the whole of House of Cards within 24 hours. There will, however, still be people watching that show for the first time in years to come.
Most people understand that revealing plot points just makes them a selfish jerk, and really gains them nothing. Yes, we get it, you've seen a thing and you're going to show how cool and current you are by saying specific things about that thing when you could instead just be more general. Now stop it.
Netflix has previously run a service like this where you view tweets through its own system, removing any that seem to spoil things. That only worked on Twitter though, and sadly there are morons all over the place who want to show off their TV or movie knowledge.
By the way, to prove the point about how people can't shut the hell up, that Quartz post starts with three spoilers that you might want to avoid. COME ON, this is super simple stuff guys.