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“No Spoilers” App

I don’t watch many sports, but I am a huge fan of the UFC. I can’t always watch it live, and thus I end up watching a recording on TiVo. Even if I’m only watching it on a delay, there’s nothing worse than getting spoilers. Whether watching it on a ten minute delay, or a day later, I’m always nervous to check social media, or read text messages, for fear of spoilers. Sometimes you can’t even help it – your phone buzzes, you instinctively look at it, and the screen displays a summary of the incoming text message. It’s your buddy, spoiling the big fight: “Wow, what a crazy KO!…”

Spoilers aren’t just an issue with sporting events, but movies and TV shows as well, and since most people probably watch their favorite shows on TiVo, spoilers can be a major issue.

Enter my prospective new “NO SPOILERS” app. The app essentially warns you if the text on your screen contains any of the keywords you’ve asked it to keep an eye out for. The app could possibly block and quarantine incoming notifications and messages that contained these keywords, or simply censor them on your screen. For example, let’s say you didn’t want to know the ending of a movie you weren’t able to see on opening night. You create a new case on the app, and enter a list of keywords including the name of the film, the names of the lead actors, and the names of the primary characters. The app scans all notifications, texts, and text-on-screen for these keywords, censors them, and warns you.

Downloadable content for the app could include massive, pre-written lists of these keywords for large sporting events, TV shows, or movies. Don’t want Super Bowl spoilers? Don’t want to type in EVERY player’s name for both teams? Download the app’s official Super Bowl list (sponsored by such and such), and it auto-blocks all related spoilers until such time as you’re able to view the game, and then unblock/un-quarantine related spoilers.

Somebody make this. Give me credit (and a small percentage).

Update/Clarification: If the app can’t be granted access to the actual text messages and notifications, to block and quarantine them, it can simply take control of the screen – running in the background – and visibly obscure the text groups that contain the keywords (possibly with a classic censor-square that says SPOILERS across it). Yes, it would either require you to manually input the keywords you think would adequately block the spoilers for your given show/movie/event (which would be a learning process), or the app itself could offer massive pre-written lists of keywords for popular movies and events. For example, “This list sponsored by Budweiser. Download this list to block all spoilers for the upcoming season of The Walking Dead”. Or, people could post their own lists on, ironically, social media, and others could cut and past those lists into their own cases (by “case” I mean a given keywords list for a given event) in the app. Cases could then by turned on or off, individually, depending on what spoilers you’re trying to avoid.

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