“Gentlemen . . . Welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not TWEET about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: You do not POST about Fight Club.”
– Tyler Durden (portrayed by Brad Pitt), Fight Club
In 2013, Tyler Durden’s “Rules of Fight Club” would look very different from when he originally proclaimed them circa 1999 in the bowels of a dimly lit bar basement. The original two rules forbidding members from “talking” about the underground organization would likely have gone viral present-day before Durden ever finished outlining the remaining. That is, assuming the basement did not obstruct everyone’s cell reception.
The viral nature of social media in today’s society has presented impediments to keeping almost anything confidential, especially in the realm of television. HBO’s epic fantasy drama Game of Thrones was the latest victim of crucial leaks as fans revealed spoilers on Facebook and Twitter to the most “game”- changing episode to date, notoriously dubbed “The Red Wedding”.
Based on an earlier MyOpinionNow.com poll, “How long after a new episode airs is it appropriate to post spoilers on social media”, two polarizing philosophies emerged; those who felt you should NEVER give away plot points versus a group who believed you should not hesitate to share your reactions as events unfold. The latter school of thought has been enabled by social media and even encouraged by television marketers. For example, Home Box Office’s HBOGO content streaming platform encourages fans to share their thoughts on Facebook and Twitter. Furthermore, most networks champion their programs’ hashtags during commercials in an effort to facilitate online discussions in real-time.
To assist individuals that prefer to avoid “spoilers”, new tools are popping up to suppress the social buzz surrounding shows. 17-year-old Jen Lamere created Twivo, an app for Google Chrome which uses keywords to purge mentions relevant to any program during certain time periods on Twitter. Silencer, a Chrome plugin, goes a step further allowing users to also filter content out of their Facebook Newsfeeds.
As social media evolves, we wonder, who really bares the responsibility of protecting viewers from crucial plot points that make the shows we all love so compelling? Is it upon the individual to sidestep potential breaches? Should social networks incorporate technology to assist those who wish to remain in the dark? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.