1. ITV Report

Your guide to avoiding spoilers online

Streaming site Netflix helped Breaking Bad fans avoid key plot details ahead of this morning's streaming being made available. Photo:

Dedicated Breaking Bad fans in the UK have been forced to wait just under five hours since the final episode of the hit TV show aired in the US and it being made available to stream on website Netflix.

Engaging in online and social media while trying to avoid details of what happened to the show's protagonist Walter White can be fraught with danger.

The tale of Bryan Cranston's teacher-turned-drug cook Walter White has gripped online audiences over five series. Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Five hours is a long time in the digital world - though many fans will have to wait a lot longer before viewing the finale of a show whose appeal spread rapidly thanks to social media.

Netflix helpfully created a Twitter app called Spoiler Foiler to block references to the hit series in tweets.

And there is other help to avoid having your favourite show - or indeed any key interest - ruined by errant online chatter:

Here's a list of the various ways to keep web spoilers at bay:

  • 1. A "Silencer" extension for Google Chrome blocks tweets and Facebook posts. You supply a list of words and phrases to mute and they will be blocked from online feeds. So fans of Breaking Bad could have posted the show's title, main character "Walter White", "Alberqueue", etc. to keep spoilers out.
  • 2. Blogging and image-sharing site Tumblr similarly allows users to create a "Blacklist", which will be banned from the feed.
  • 3. Twitter users who track a wide variety of social conversations on Tweetdeck can access a blocking feature - "Global Filters". Words, phrases and hastags can all be contained, though - Spoiler Warning! - it will take no effect on a traditional Twitter browser.
  • 4. Wikipedia offers a "Spoiler Hider" add-on through Firefox that will block plot details from any entry about a TV show, film, book or short story.
  • 5. There is even a solution for those that want to share in the online conversation about a show or topic, but only when they are ready. A Google Chrome extension, Twivo, will "Record" any tweets that include any blocked words and phrases, which the user can "Play" once they have caught up on the must-see event.

Unfortunately tech inventors are still to come up with a solution for avoiding overhearing a revealing plot detail on the bus - though ear plugs remain available from all good chemists.