Last August, after having a critical Breaking Bad plot point spoiled for me on Twitter, I pleaded for a way to prevent it from happening again. What Twitter needs, I wrote, is a spoiler tag that users can add, allowing them to openly discuss TV shows, movies and games without guilt.
Twitter hasn’t listened, but thankfully Scott Luptowski has. He’s created a simple website, dubbed spoil.rs, that lets you post on Twitter with hidden spoiler messages attached.
Tweets written through spoil.rs include a link at the end, which sends readers to the spoil.rs website. There, the spoiler text is covered up until the reader hovers over it with the mouse cursor. Spoil.rs also has Twitter Card integration, so you can see the spoiler text without leaving the Twitter app or website, just by clicking on the tweet itself.
To me, this isn’t the ideal solution, at least not unless it becomes widely known and heavily used. A better solution would be some kind of tag built directly into Twitter itself. (I still like Ewan Spence’s suggestion of a “$” tag or something similar, kind of like the now-pervasive hashtags and @ replies.) That won’t happen unless Twitter intervenes.
Still, this is better than expecting everyone else to set up their own filters in apps like TweetDeck and Tweetbot, as some commenters in my previous post suggested. Filters aren’t an officially-supported feature in Twitter, and they’re inherently messy, because they require you to anticipate any potential keywords for things you might not want to see, both presently and in the future.
It’s much better to let the original poster hide unwanted content from those who’d rather not see it. Now that I’m all caught up on Breaking Bad–having still enjoyed it despite what I already knew–I’ll certainly keep spoil.rs in mind as the last half of season five kicks off.