Google has received a patent designed to ease the pain of a modern malady: the spoiler. As Quartz reports, the system would sniff out potentially painful posts from people in your social network and warn you about them. You could then block those posts if you so choose. For it to work, you'd have to plug in information about what you're watching or reading—or perhaps import it from third-party sites such as Netflix. If someone is ahead of you on House of Cards, their offending tweet about Frank Underwood would then raise red flags.
It's just a patent at this point, and it's not clear whether Google would consider launching this as its own entity or teaming up with the likes of Facebook or Twitter. It's also possible the idea might just die before seeing the light of day. As a spokesperson puts it to Ars Technica, "Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents." (Another proposed remedy: Think TV marathons, not binges.)