by Simon Baxendale
The phenomenon of the TV and movie spoiler is nothing new – it’s essentially a byword for the ‘ruining’ of a story or series of fictional events by revealing information that lies ahead. Consider the famous examples of the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – and, more recently, a popular meme influenced by a critical moment in the last five minutes of Avengers: Infinity War could well have spoiled the whole movie. However, as the movie has been around for considerable time now – and as most people and their dogs seem to have been to see it – the sensitivity of such spoilers has decreased. At peak sensitivity, however, spoilers can be devastating for fans of certain franchises, characters and movies – there have been internet browser plugins developed for users to avoid reading up on spoilers for HBO’s Game of Thrones, for example – and it seems that Facebook may be taking the initiative to develop something fairly similar.
The social network has been testing a new feature in some markets this week called ‘Keyword Snooze’. Keyword Snooze will allow Facebook users to directly block or filter out certain words or phrases from appearing in their news feed, meaning that you could quite easily avoid chatter and potential spoiling of an upcoming movie while still enjoying using the service. While a temporary move which lasts for up to 30 days, this could well be the amount of time a spoiler takes to die down.
For example, if you wanted to avoid hearing about Game of Thrones, you could freeze the show’s name outright, or several of the characters – Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, the list goes on – or, to another end, you could even use the feature to block certain mentions of news events from appearing. For those in the UK sick and tired of hearing about the country leaving the EU – for example – you could just filter out the word ‘Brexit’! There’s a myriad of ways in which the feature could be put to regular use.
▶ Facebook Creates Tool To Block Movie Spoilers
The feature apparently won’t apply to advertising, but it will at least give users the opportunity to filter out what they read about – so that they can enjoy TV and movies without being spoiled. If successful, the feature could launch soon enough!