The Last of Us 2 leak: How to avoid spoilers online

The Last of Us 2
(Image credit: Sony)

The Last of Us 2 was supposed to come out in May, but coronavirus-related issues pushed the game back to June 12. As such, the game is almost completely finished — as we learned when someone apparently close to Naughty Dog leaked a number of seemingly authentic cutscenes from the final game on YouTube. These weren’t small teasers, either; they spoiled some of the game’s most important plot points.

Of course, uncovering the story in a narrative-driven game like The Last of Us 2 is at least half the fun, so we won’t be discussing any of the potential spoilers in this piece. (If you absolutely, positively must read them, there’s a thread on Resetera, which is about all that’s left of the original YouTube videos. Sony clamped down on them almost immediately.) 

In fact, I’d wager that most would rather keep the game completely unspoiled until it actually comes out, the writer of this piece among them. So I’ve compiled some handy tips for keeping the game under wraps until it launches, whenever that might be.

How to avoid The Last of Us 2 leaked spoilers

Some good keywords to block might be “The Last of Us”, “The Last of Us Part II”, “The Last of Us 2”, “Joel” and “Ellie”. Of course, this won’t stop a creative troll, and Twitter can’t recognize unexpected variations, but it’s a good start. Furthermore, this will also block any legitimate news pieces about the game. But anything really important, like the release date, will be all over the Internet, so you probably won’t miss a big piece of news from a legitimate source.

First, a little background. On April 26, the clips — almost certainly real, given the level of accuracy and polish — showed up on a burner YouTube channel. It’s not clear whether someone in Naughty Dog leaked them, or whether someone got access to Naughty Dog materials illicitly. 

Either way, the videos contained major details about the game’s plot, gameplay, menus and more. Sony took down the channel almost immediately, but not before a lot of fans — some trolls, some who simply couldn’t wait — recorded every detail of gleaned from the leaks.

The fans who simply want to discuss the videos among themselves aren’t necessarily a problem, but it seems that malicious viewers are now eager to share spoilers on social media, sometimes jumping into unrelated threads just to ruin a stranger’s day.

So, let’s get the bad news out of the way first: there’s no great way to mute keywords on Facebook. The best you can do is to mute a specific page for up to 30 days — and no reputable page is going to spoil the game without considerable warning first. Still, if you belong to any Last of Us 2 fan groups, it’s probably wise to either unfollow them now, or start muting them. (Remember: You’ll have to re-up the mute every 30 days, which is why unfollowing might be the smarter ideas.) Even if you think everyone in the group has a sterling reputation, all it takes is one Johnny-Come-Lately troll to ruin it for everyone else.

To mute a page temporarily, click or tap on one of its recent posts, then bring up the drop-down menu. One option will be “Snooze [page name] for 30 days.” Select that, and you’re done. If you prefer to unfollow, go to a page’s main menu and look just under the banner at the top. There will be a gray button that reads Following. Simply click it and select Unfollow. (If you’re very paranoid, get a friend or family member to help you with this, since the first or most popular story on the page might contain spoilers.)

For Twitter users, the process is much easier. Twitter allows you to mute individual keywords or phrases, meaning that you won’t have to hear a word about The Last of Us 2 from anyone except your friends until the game actually comes out. (If you don’t trust your friends, you can mute the keywords coming from them, too.)

To mute Twitter keywords, access your profile, then Settings. Under Privacy and Safety, there is an option for Muted keywords. Select it, then click Muted words and the “plus” symbol. Here, you can add the offending word or phrase, then select some privacy options to go along with it. You can mute keywords from anyone, from strangers or specifically in your notifications, for starters.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.