You’re idly browsing the internet when, suddenly, you spot “Game of Thrones shocker…” out of the corner of your eye. You quickly close the tab and breathe a sigh of relief – you’ve been saving the new series to chain-watch on a rainy weekend. That’s one way to avoid spoilers.
To celebrate the close escape, you open Facebook and start scrolling. But you hadn’t accounted for Dave “Big Mouth” Smith (who you haven’t seen since secondary school history classes, but are still inexplicably virtual friends with). Almost in slow motion, you automatically read his status: “Wow!! Didn’t see that coming! That bit when Nicolas Cage turned up on a mega-dragon! With a rocket launcher! Amazing!! #allhailkingcage”. You throw your laptop out of the window and start to cry. Nice one, Dave.
Luckily, The Big Tech Question is here to help. There are a couple of simple ways to avoid online spoilers, with both tools taking just a few clicks of the mouse to install.
Avoid spoilers with Unspoiler
Unspoiler is by far the most powerful Google Chrome extension for eliminating spoilers, pasting a huge red banner over anything that could potentially ruin your future viewing. It’s perfect if you want to go for the nuclear approach, but this means it lacks subtlety. For example, it will blast a warning over comparatively harmless sites such as the general Wikipedia page for the TV programme or film (see screenshot above).
To set Unspoiler up, head to the installation site and then add it to Chrome by pressing the big blue button. A “UN” icon will appear in the top-right corner of the window. Click on it, type the TV show or film you wish to block into the dropdown box and hit “Unspoil”. Sit back and relax – you’re safe now. If you’re a Firefox user, ProCon Latte Content Filter does the same job.
Usefully, Unspoiler also works on Twitter, with the alarming banner appearing at the top of a user’s profile…
… but you’ll need to install another tool to properly rid Facebook of spoilers.
Avoid spoilers in Facebook with Social Fixer
Optimised for Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera, Social Fixer for Facebook allows you to set filters that hide specific keywords from your Facebook timeline. To begin, download Social Fixer, log into Facebook, click the wrench icon in the top-right corner of the Facebook toolbar and select Social Fixer Options.
In the pop-up box that appears, navigate to the Filters tab and choose from a ready-made list of filters (such as blocking references to Game of Thrones on Sunday nights) or make your own by clicking the “Create A New Filter” button. You will be greeted by the following screen, where you can block any spoilers you like – from the latest plot twist in EastEnders to the ending of that obscure French arthouse film you keep meaning to finish…