It seemed all but inevitable, but spoilers for Marvel's Avengers: Endgame are beginning to creep online more that a week before the premiere. Despite pleas from filmmaker and fans who once again embrace the mantra “Thanos demands your silence," plot details are infiltrating your favorite social-media platforms. That means it's time to figure out how best to avoid spoilers until April 26 arrives.
Obviously, the simplest solution is to log off of social media for the duration, but that’s not particularly helpful in this day and age. We rely on social media more than ever, not only to share and create content, but to connect with family and friends. So we’ve put together this list of some of the best ways to make sure you aren’t seeing those Endgame spoilers before you settle into a theater seat.
HOW DO I DECIDE WHAT TO BLOCK?
We’re looking at the most effective method of blocking these spoilers: keyword filtering. Many social media platforms allow you to hide posts by indicating which words you don’t wish to see; those posts then vanish from your timeline. In cases where keywords aren't available, we’ll explain how to temporarily unfollow an account you think may post spoilers.
You’ll want to input a number of keywords, and while the spelling and punctuation are important, capitalization typically isn’t. Consider not only titles ("Avengers: Endgame," "Avengers 4," "Avengers Endgame," etc.) but also the names of characters, so as to avoid seeing more specific spoilers pop up in your feed (a hero's death, for example). Blocking related terms, such as Avengers: Infinity War, may help as well. Also more generic keywords, like Marvel Cinematic Universe and MCU, can help, but may also cast too wide of a net, and result in blocking content you actually wish to see.
We’re more interested in explaining how these platforms allow you to block keywords or posts so that everyone has access to them. Therefore, don’t look for a lot of third-party suggestions here. That said, there are plenty of third-party apps and browser extensions that can block keywords and posts, but also carry with them the risk of malware or rendering your browser unusable, so please be careful.
Twitter is surprisingly one of the easiest platforms for protecting yourself from spoilers. That's great, seeing as how the rapid-fire, micro-blogging nature means spoilers can cross your feed before you realize it.
The function is called Muted Words. You’ll access it on your desktop from the Twitter website by clicking your profile picture in the top right, and then clicking on Settings. You’ll see the Muted Words option listed in the sidebar. Select that and click Add, then add any number of terms; tweets that include that term will be removed from your timeline.
You can find this on your Twitter mobile app as well, by clicking the Settings gear icon and then selecting Muted Words. Other third-party Twitter clients may have their own way of doing so, but muted words on your Twitter account should carry over regardless of where you are. After you've watched Endgame, just return to this screen and delete the keywords to see those posts again.
Despite reports in 2018 that the social-media giant was testing a Keyword Snooze feature, Facebook has yet to release a meaningful way to prevent you from seeing spoilers. If you suspect which of your friends is most likely to post spoilers, you can temporarily hide them from your feed, which may help to limit how many times you read about what happens in Endgame.
For your friends, you can click the three dots (...) icon in the header of any of their Facebook posts in your timeline. Choose Snooze for 30 Days to hide their posts, and they’ll reappear after the 30-day period ends. For something a little more permanent, you can choose to Unfollow; you’ll remain friends but stop seeing their posts on your timeline. When you’re ready to see their posts again, just go to their profile page and click the Follow button.
Much like Twitter, Tumblr’s rapid-fire posting and reblogging means spoilers are coming at you fast and furious. Tumblr doesn’t offer keyword blocking but it does have Tag Filtering. You’re counting on community members tagging their posts correctly in order to make use of keyword blocking. Fortunately, Tumblr’s content creators are pretty good about tagging posts correctly.
To filter by tags on Tumblr, you’ll click your Account icon (it’s the generic body icon at the top right), and you’ll see the Filtering option on the first screen. Add a keyword, click Add Tag, and posts using those tags will no longer appear in your timeline. You can come back to this screen after Endgame and remove the tags you filtered to start seeing them again.
Instagram, by its very nature, is a little more difficult to block content on, given spoilers may appear in images. If you’re following an account you think may post spoilers, your best bet may be unfollowing or muting.
You can Mute a user on your mobile device by long pressing on that user’s profile icon, or tapping the three vertical dots on the top left of their profile page, and selecting Mute. Then choose to mute their Stories (the short video clips that expire after 24 hours), their posts or both. Their posts won’t show up on your timeline, and Instagram never tells them they’ve been muted. To unmute, just go to their profile, where you’ll see a notification beneath their name that a page is muted, along with the option to unmute.
Reddit has a lot of the same features as other social media websites, but keyword filtering remains on the roadmap, and has yet to be implemented. You can block or unfollow pages and accounts, but there’s no way to block specific keywords.
Reddit, however, has one of the few widely accepted and commonly used unofficial browser extensions. Reddit Enhancement Suite possesses a lot of really cool features, Keyword Filtering among them. If you choose to install RES on your browser, you can filter keywords by clicking the Settings gear icon in the top right-hand corner to open the Reddit Enhancement Suite settings page. From there, click Subreddits on the left, and you’ll find a variety of filter options, including filter by keywords, by domain, or only blocking keywords within a specific subreddit. Much like other networks, you can come back to this page later and remove the keywords.
SO WHAT NEXT?
Next, you’ll just use social media as normal. None of these steps are foolproof, and keyword filtering won’t stop a post from getting through if you don't have the exact right word filtered. But they’ll help to reduce the possibility you’ll see some of the spoilers, or maybe give you a chance to react before you read one.
Spoilers are a possibility with any film, especially one as massive as Avengers: Endgame. But you can avoid this with some careful decisions about what accounts you allow to populate your feed, and by not posting any yourself we can all see the movie without being ruined by spoilers.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Jon Favreau and Bradley Cooper, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Josh Brolin. The film arrives April 26.