As survivors relive in their nightmares and CNN reports, Sunday night AMC prematurely tweeted a photo of a cast member from The Walking Dead accompanied with the hashtag #RIP. The tweet was posted following the East Coast broadcast of the finale, but before other time zones had seen the episode, infecting entire populations with advance information.

Like a band of post-apocalyptic survivors thrown together, AMC was forced to find refuge from the snapping protestations of a legion of shambling fans who took to social media to express their frustration. So, with the same caution used to board up every window and door of an abandoned pet store besieged by the undead, the AMC social media team carefully created a defensive perimeter by issuing a full apology for the oversight. “We heard your feedback to last night’s post, and we’re sorry,” AMC posted to Facebook, promising to be more diligent about how and when they post potential spoilers.

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AMC’s handling of spoilers didn’t hurt ratings or overall social media engagement, however, as Forbes reports the finale received 238 percent more mentions than the penultimate episode, and viewership was up 23 percent over last year’s finale.