On November 30, 2014, the midseason finale for the 5th season of “The Walking Dead” aired. However, the people managing the show’s facebook account made a fatal error; after the East coast airing, AMC posted a #RIP picture showing a major character death, enraging fans who had accidentally seen it before the airing for them even began. The post was quickly taken down and put back up once the west coast airing had finished.
However, this did not satisfy huge fans of the show, or people who despise spoilers. They responded to the post with disappointment, an example being, “Spoiler. Thanks.” Others were more vulgar and typed out their rage into the comments. Either way, people were furious over the mistake.
The next day, AMC posted an apology to their fans on the facebook page. The post stated, “We heard your feedback to last night’s post, and we’re sorry. With zero negative intent, we jumped the gun and put up a spoiler. Please know we’re going to work to ensure that, in the future, possible spoilers by official AMC social feeds are killed before they can infect, certainly before the West Coast (U.S.) broadcast of The Walking Dead. As always, thank you for watching, and keep the comments coming. We appreciate all of your support. #RIPSpoiler”
Although some were outraged, others forgave, posting comments stating that they do not need to apologize, and that it was an honest mistake. Some hope that AMC could make up for this mistake by possibly teasing the second part of Season 5 with a trailer. However, even the apology was filled with controversy; people in the comments argued that a facebook page for a TV show should not have to apologize over a simple spoiler, and stated that the people angry about the post were just overreacting and should not have made a big deal of it.
In the end, however, the accident did not affect the ratings and views of the episode negatively at all. The episode had 14.8 million viewers; a 23% increase from last season, and was the most viewed midseason finale of the whole series. According to Forbes, “The Walking Dead” conquered social media with a 238% increase in mentions over the prior week. Forbes reported, “The RIP hashtag specific to the episode was used by nine percent of people engaging on social media (Sunday) night, and three percent admitted that they cried because a character on the show cried… ‘The Walking Dead’ has officially made the zombie genre emotional.”