Game of Thrones is serious business. There was a fair amount of fan outcry, shock and horror following a recent episode aired from season three called ‘Red Wedding’. Twitter was ablaze with comments dissecting what happened and how the show compared to the original novel.
Like many other fans, I don’t want to know what happened before watching the episode myself. I’m sensible though. I don’t click on a link that has anything to do with the episode, nor do I engage in conversations with people who are keen to discuss it.
Twitter and Facebook, however, is a minefield. Someone fires off a reactive tweet and oftentimes, I can’t help but read it while scrolling through my timeline. The plot is revealed. Everything is spoiled. Better luck next time, eh?
Users simply install the tool for Chrome – a problem for those using Firefox, Safari or any other browser – and then hit up the new icon that appears in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
From here, users can type in any keyword – it could be a show, news story or debate – and sit back as Silencer removes every tweet and Facebook status that refers to it.
There’s a trick to ensuring that every reference is hidden on Twitter, but it’s fairly easy to pick up and monitor. Silencing ‘Game of Thrones’, for example, is a good start but will still display tweets that include the hashtag #gameofthrones, as well as any other tweets that are published without referencing the show’s title.
It’s worth noting, however, that Shapiro has also created mute ‘packs’ for Arrested Development, Mad Men and Game of Thrones, silencing common terms used to describe each show.
“In the last five years or so we’ve gotten really, really good at pushing out content to people, but we haven’t really figured out how to dial some of that back,” Shapiro told TNW. “I really enjoy following certain people on Twitter, for example, but maybe one of them has a hobby that they love, but I’m not too excited about. And they happen to post about that hobby a lot. I wanted to create a way for people to take back their Internet experience.”
The TaskRabbit engineer says Silencer was designed from the ground-up to give users greater control over the content that their favorite publications, sources and friends choose to publish.
“There’s also a social stigma if you want to unfollow certain people,” Shapiro added. “People tend to create stories about the unknown and maybe they think that because you don’t enjoy their pictures on Facebook and you unfriend them, that you’re no long friends in the real world. What’s beautiful about muting is that it’s deeply personal for me and the muted person is none the wiser.”
The bottom line
Silencer is a brilliant tool for filtering the deluge of updates that come through Twitter and Facebook. It’s incredibly simple to set up and delivers instant, perceivable results.
So if you’re keen to keep the Game of Thrones finale spoiler-free this week, or just want to avoid the hordes of Justin Bieber fans on Twitter, this is an invaluable Chrome extension to have in your arsenal.
Top Image Credit: HBO