Technology

Spoiler alert! Or how to avoid them

Daenerys Targaryen, portrayed by Emilia Clarke, appears in a scene from season four of "Game of Thrones." Image copyright HBO
Image caption Don't read the comments, Daenerys...

I still remember my first spoiler.

It was the movie Sixth Sense, a supernatural thriller from the late 1990s with a clever, brilliantly executed, plot-defining final twist - which I already knew by the time I saw the film because of two over-excited friends and one very loud chat in my local pub.

I was unlucky - wrong place, wrong time - but now as the internet regularly erupts with spoiler chat, pictures and videos, it can be very difficult to hide if you don't want to know everything there is to know about the best films, games and TV shows before you have seen them.

Especially, it seems, if you're a fan of Game of Thrones, the most pirated TV show on the net, with a leak from the new series already online a day before its official release.

So, short of pulling the plug on your broadband connection and retreating to a dark cave here are a few suggestions...

Google told the BBC it didn't have any "official" spoiler-blocker extensions for its web browser Chrome, but there are a few third-party ones on its Chrome Store that allow you to filter social media - with mixed reviews.

Last week, the tech giant was granted a patent in the US for a "system and method for processing content spoilers", but a Google representative pointed out that not all patented ideas ended up as products.

US-based Chrome extension Spoiler Shield, also available as a smartphone app, enables users to filter Facebook and Twitter feeds by selecting shows they wish to "mute", including American sporting fixtures such as the Super Bowl.

Tumblr Savior enables you to set up a "blacklist" and a "whitelist" of key words, which, as the titles suggest, you either always or never want to see on the Tumblr micro-blogging site.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Not such an effective technique online

Although the "mute button" offered by Twitter itself only enables you to tune out a particular user, not hashtags or keywords, social-media dashboard Tweetdeck, owned by Twitter, has mute settings that enable you to block specific words or phrases from your Twitter timeline.

Pick your movie review sites carefully - Den of Geek, for example, clearly signposts its reviews as "spoiler-free" in the headline if that's what they are. Chat forums and message boards, however, do not tend to stick to this etiquette.

Even the most careful of reviews can be spoiled by the comments section underneath. CommentBlocker works on both Firefox and Chrome and will block the comments from view on the sites you choose.

For some film-lovers, however, the spoilers are all part of the fun.

"If I love a show, I'll Google it, I'll want a little peek into what's coming up, and then I'll end up watching a clip on YouTube, then another, then another," said film-maker Reece de Ville.

"Even if I'm 'spoiled', I want to keep up with everyone else. We'll always love spoilers - it's gossip and we all want to be part of that."

Related Topics

More on this story