With the "Breaking Bad" series finale coming this weekend, it's certain that a flurry of spoilers are going to be plastered across Facebook and Twitter.
But there is a way to avoid seeing them without having to spend Sunday night under a rock.
A free iPhone and iPad app that launched this week called Spoiler Shield claims to be able to block spoilers from "Breaking Bad" while still giving users access to other content on their Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Besides "Breaking Bad," Spoiler Shield can also block spoilers from about 30 other TV shows as well as NFL and Major League Baseball results.
After installing the app, first-time users will be guided through set-up, and once that's done they'll be prompted to connect the app with their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Then users can tap the Shields tab to tell the app which spoilers it should block. Users who want to block "Breaking Bad" spoilers, for example, can tap on "Television and on the next page they can turn the show's toggle to "on." There are also blockers for other shows, the NFL and MLB.
Users can then use the Spoiler Shield app Sunday evening to access their Facebook and Twitter feeds instead of using the social networks' apps. By looking at their feeds through the Spoiler Shield app, they will not be exposed to any spoilers their friends might post.
Spoiler Shield will show all the posts users would normally see, but if there is a post that contains a spoiler the app will instead show a blue rectangle that says "'Breaking Bad' shield." Curious users can tap the shield to reveal its spoiler or simply continue going through their feeds without ruining the surprise.
The app blocks spoilers using an algorithm that detects subject matter that may be related to the show a user is trying to block. Spoiler Shield co-founder Matthew Loew said the algorithm allows the app to block posts that are obviously about "Breaking Bad" as well as those that are more specific to a character or actor.
"We've spent a lot of time and effort in developing a series of algorithms that allow us to try to determine the intent and the context of an individual post," he said.
Co-founder Josh Solt said he and Loew tried to time the release of the app to coincide with the start of the NFL season as well as the finale of "Breaking Bad." The two began working on the app earlier this year following the Red Wedding episode of "Game of Thrones." After users posts on social media spoiled that episode for others, Solt and Loew decided to make the app.
"We're huge sports fans and television enthusiasts who hate having our favorite shows spoiled," Solt said. "We decided that this app needed to happen."
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