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Chrome extension blocks every mention of Star Wars

Tue 15 Dec 2015

Star Wars Spoiler Blocker

With reviews and hype flying around the internet as J.J. Abram’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens starts screening in cinemas this week, a Chrome extension has surfaced to save those dodging desperately to avoid any spoilers, and equally those who would rather not have anything to do with the franchise.

Force Block, posted to Product Hunt, allows users to block any page containing spoiler content about the latest film in the Star Wars saga, which premiered in Los Angeles last night. The technology uses a smart pattern detection system, along with a ‘white list’ setting to filter false alarms. Once a spoiler has been detected – the movie title, or any mention of the series – the blocker displays a Star Wars-inspired warning message (below). An option to ‘Proceed Anyway’ is offered, at your own risk.

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 11.45.54

As the blocker, developed by jitbit, is trained to pick up mere mentions of Star Wars-specific terms, this could prove an annoying overkill for those browsers attempting to read any news site – pages from The Guardian, Mashable and CNN.com all blocked by the extension.

A second pull-back is that the gimmick takes a while to kick in. In the few seconds that it takes to engage with the page content, a user could have scanned the headlines, potentially stumbling upon a spoiler.

Spoiler blockers, such as Spoiler Shield and Unspoiler, have also enjoyed surges in popularity with the release of highly-anticipated episodes from TV series such as Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, House of Cards and Mad Men, which seek to protect the experience of suspense and thrill associated with a surprise ending. Major sports titles like the Super Bowl and the Olympics, have too encouraged users to scramble for ways to banish spoilers from their browsers and social media accounts.

By typing “unspoil <show name>” into their chrome address bar, Unspoiler users can define any shows or references they would rather avert. The app also allows users to ‘blind bookmark’ headlines to read at a later date.

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