Information is everywhere with the Internet these days, but what if you don’t want to be exposed to some of that information while you’re online? It may seem like an odd problem, but this issue has affected many people. The most prominent example is encountering TV show or sports “spoilers” when people post a plot element or game outcome in your social media stream before you get a chance to see for yourself. Zack Shapiro has created a Google Chrome browser plugin that attempts to solve this problem. Named Silencer, Shapiro’s software actually blocks social media posts on websites like Twitter and Facebook that contain words or phrases that users want to filter out of their stream. For example, if you recorded the World Series game on your DVR because you missed it while at work but still wanted to go online without learning the outcome, you could block phrases like “World Series” or the names of the teams on your Facebook and Twitter feeds. This tool could possibly prove useful if one wanted to use social media without fear of ruining the outcome of a game or TV show.
When asked why he created the plugin, Shapiro said, “I wanted to give the user some control, especially over their social streams, as we have no control over what other people post.” Frustrated with this lack of control, Shapiro attempted to find a potential solution with Silencer. Users have the choice of Internet security software to control their privacy and data; so why not have control over what people expose us to via social networks as well?
One potential problem with how Silencer functions is that people speak about TV shows or events using many different phrases online. This is why Shapiro came up with the concept of “mute packs”. Mute packs are pre-collected groups of phrases commonly used on social media to discuss a specific show or event. Users can use these packs to block all those phrases with a single click. Shapiro created the first three mute packs that are available now himself. Shapiro informed Rescuecom that he intends to build many more mute packs, including ones for sports. Eventually, he said he would like to find a way for users to submit their own packs as well. If you have trouble installing Silencer or any mute packs, computer support is always an option.
If you’re sick of spoilers for sports and television shows in your social media, Silencer may be worth trying as a solution.
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