Spoiler-blocking tools for sports, new TV | What the Tech?

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WHAT THE TECH? — Not everyone holds college and pro football sacred. Some friends might decide to get married on a crisp fall Saturday and others may plan a birthday party when your favorite pro team is playing on a November Sunday.

Many fans choose to record a game they’ll miss to watch it later and some of those fans will do everything they can to avoid hearing the final score until they can finally sit down to watch. If you’ve ever done that, you know how difficult it can be to avoid hearing details about the game. The internet and social media make it only more difficult.

Are there ways to block seeing scores on your phone until you’re ready to read articles and watch highlights? Yes and no.

When it comes to blocking spoilers online there are a few spoiler-blocking browser extensions available for the Chrome and Firefox browsers.

“Spoiler Protection 2.0” gets good reviews from sports fans and those who want to avoid hearing how the latest episode of “House of the Dragon”. Search for the extension in the browser app store and install it. The extension will place an icon near the top right of the browser bar. When you want to block certain keywords, tap the icon and enter them.

For example, if I want to block seeing the score of the Georgia-Oregon football game this weekend, I entered both “Oregon” and “Georgia” and turned on the extension. It’s fairly easy to set up. When I went to the ESPN website, everything that includes one of those keywords was blocked by red boxes.

The problem with this solution though is while it might block the keywords, it won’t block the score from being displayed. But seriously, if you don’t want to see the score, you shouldn’t be visiting ESPN.com.

“Spoiler Protection 2.0” does block the keywords on social media. I posted a score prediction of that game and when I turned on the extension, my entire post was covered with a red box. Sadly though, this extension only works with the desktop Chrome browser. Posts and stories about the game will appear if you’re scrolling through social media or the internet.

Twitter has a tool that allows users to mute certain keywords. You’ll find it in settings, privacy, and “mute”. You can mute as many keywords as you want and if you want them muted on the Twitter feed and/or notifications. No need to remember to turn it back off as you can set the time from 24 hours to a week, to forever.

Facebook once introduced a spoiler-blocking feature but never rolled it out to all of its users. If you’re using the Facebook smartphone app, there is no way to keep spoilers from being posted. Though you can mute friends that may post updates and scores.

I searched both app stores for spoiler blocks but the only ones I found haven’t been updated in at least 5 years so I wouldn’t recommend installing them. If you are trying to avoid hearing the scores or what Prince Daemon Targaryen did in the latest episode of “House of the Dragon”, it’s probably best to turn off all notifications, stay away from your phone and maybe put your fingers in your ears when you’re around other fans.