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URLs are spoiling The Walking Dead

URLs are spoiling The Walking Dead

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Fans of The Walking Dead may have been shocked (shocked!) by someone's grisly death last night. Others who didn't are probably trying their hardest not to hear about it until they watch tonight. Now it's a rule online that spoilers are no laughing matter, and websites are doing what they can to stop ruining the news in their headlines. That's just not enough when the URLs are actively spoiling the news.

Huge Spoiler Alert!

I'm not kidding! Turn back if you don't want to know who died!

Don't say I didn't warn you!

Walking Dead

Ok, so, beloved character Glenn Rhee may be dead. I haven't even watched the show since season three, and I'm stunned. But I didn't have to read any copy from Variety or HitFix to figure that out. It's all in the URL. And too many websites are making the terrible mistake of assuming that normal readers won't just look up at their browser's address bar and put two and two together.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit Come On Now:

I understand. Etiquette for handling spoilers is a fraught, ever-evolving process. Fans are going to get hurt while we navigate this space together, and adding Glenn to slugs is probably great SEO. But it's time to see this problem with clear eyes. We officially need a new rule: no spoilers in URLs. (We promise to be careful!) Until then, no fan is safe.