Sometimes life gets in the way and you can’t watch your favorite movie or TV show the moment it’s available, meaning the hours, if not days, until you do have the time are spent desperately trying to avoid spoilers. While of course spoilers aren’t important in the grand scheme of things, it is nice to not have the ending of something you’ve been watching for a decade be ruined. It’s a dangerous time to be a fan right now, with Avengers: Endgame already out pretty much everywhere except the US, not to mention the weekly episodes of Game of Thrones.
The obvious solution is to stay off the internet, but for most of us, that simply isn’t an option. Luckily, there are ways to mitigate your exposure to spoilers, according to WIRED. Sadly these methods don’t stop people in your office or on the bus from ruining major plot points, but there are always headphones for that.
First, Twitter, the home of spoilers. The Mute option is your best friend, found under Settings and Privacy, then Muted Words, then Add. It allows you to hide any tweets that contain a hashtag, word, or name that you choose. Make sure to list any key words you can think of, to cover all bases. You can also set a time limit for the muting, which is convenient if you know exactly when you will be immune to spoilers. If you use TweetDeck, you’ll need to do it all over again.
As for Facebook, there’s an extension for that. Social Fixer works in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. To remain spoiler-free you want to add those keywords to the filter to stop them showing up in your News Feed. You can also snooze people, pages, or groups who are likely to post spoilers, under News Feed Preferences in Settings.
Speaking of Chrome extensions, you can use Spoiler Protection 2.0 or Unspoiler, which also work on keywords. Finally, there’s Video Blocker for YouTube, and Shut Up, which blocks comments. The latter is also available as an iOS app, which will be of some help when you’re on mobile. The rest of the extensions listed will only work in a desktop browser, so be extra careful on mobile or in apps, especially Instagram. The only protection there is to mute or unfollow certain accounts or hashtags that might contain spoilers.
With these tools at your disposal, you should be mostly protected from spoilers. Of course, some things can slip through, like images or misspelled words, so the best solution is to try watch your special thing as soon as possible, and to remember that it’s only pop culture in the end.