Game of Thrones: Residents warned against watching leaked episode
August 17, 2017 | 8:07 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan, [email protected]
Photo: Screenshot/YouTube/HBO

Muscat: Residents in Oman have been warned not to download or watch the latest episode of HBO’s "Game of Thrones", after the overwhelmingly popular show’s sixth episode was leaked online on Wednesday.

The episode, which officially airs on Sunday, the 20th of August, was leaked onto the internet after HBO’s Spanish and Nordic divisions accidentally aired the sixth episode of the seventh season, which is titled "Beyond the Wall".

Although it was taken off the channel’s online movie-on-demand services an hour it was aired, that was all the time needed for online uploaders to illegally capture and then upload the video onto torrent and streaming sites.

And while it might compel many to watch this show before its official airdate, experts in Oman have asked residents not to watch these illegally, as it may cause harm to their computer, or worse.

“A lot of these streaming sites have links to spurious advertisements that offer false products or lead to scams,” said Shiv Gupta, CEO of Cirkle IT Solutions, a computer company in Muscat. “Many people may not know this and may unwittingly enter their personal details, which could lead to them being in an unfortunate situation in the future.

“In addition, using a torrent site is also illegal, and it is very difficult to know which uploads are genuine, because many of them may have malware, spyware and viruses which are very dangerous to one’s computer,” he added. “The safety of your machine is paramount, so I strongly advise people to wait for a few days and watch this episode legally.”

Though many of these illegal links have been taken down, people are now able to watch the episode via multiple sources, including Facebook, Google Drive, torrents sites and online hosting services, enticing many people to download the episode, causing others to give in to peer pressure, in the wake of many people revealing spoilers of the show online.

But Dr. Fabian Sarloos, a psychologist at Al Harub Medical Centre, has advised people to think of the consequences of these actions.

“I personally love 'Game of Thrones', but I will not watch it before it airs officially, because while the overriding feeling is to watch it and feed the craving for the show, this could harm my computer in a very bad way, and I will end up regretting it later,” he said. “I would advise everyone to think of the consequences of doing this, because you never know how a questionable website could affect your system.

“There are obviously those who will feel the urge to cave in to peer pressure, because many of their friends will post spoilers online or talk about the episode, but don’t do that,” he added. “Those who feel an increasing urge to fit in might do so, because they might feel left out that their friends are watching it so they must too, but then the craving for the show only increases further, because now you have got a week and a half before you watch the next episode of the show.”

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