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Teenager comes up with a way to block Twitter TV spoilers

May 08, 2013|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • Twiwo, a browser plug-in for Chrome and Firefox, blocks tweets that contain TV spoilers.
Twiwo, a browser plug-in for Chrome and Firefox, blocks tweets that contain… (Jennie Lamere )

We would like to nominate Jennie Lamere for the Nobel TV prize if there were one.

Lamere is a 17-year-old high schooler who has developed a browser plug-in that will block tweets with TV spoilers.

Twivo, a plug-in for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browsers that will be available to everyone in a few weeks, blocks tweets if it detects keywords that may reveal important details about a show users may want to watch.

After installing Twivo, users activate the plugin whenever one of their shows is going to come on. They also designate keywords, or tags, to tell Twivo which tweets to block. For example, a user could decide to block tweets that include a show's name, characters' names or even the names of the actors.

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Lamere said she developed the app after growing tired of having her friends spoil the shows "Dance Moms" and "Pretty Little Liars." Because she has only basic channels, Lamere said she doesn't watch shows until they become available on Hulu, which typically happens one day after shows are first broadcast on TV.

“I was just getting kind of annoyed how on Tuesday, when a lot of my favorite shows were on, I could never go on Twitter because it was filled with spoilers,” Lamere told The Times on Wednesday.

Lamere is still working out the details on Twivo, but she and her friends are already using an early version of the program. After she fixes an issue that is currently causing tweets to come in delayed, she'll release a version of Twivo that all users will be able to download. She expects to be finished in a few weeks.

When asked if a Facebook version of Twivo might also be made, Lamere said she thinks it could be easily done, but for now, she is focused on finishing the Twitter version.

The teen developer rose to prominence after Twivo won "best in show" at TVnext Hack, a competition in Boston last month for software developers. Lamere was then featured by Mother Jones, which wrote about her being the only female to enter the competition.

“I do think that it's good for females to get a good reputation in tech, so I'm glad to help,” Lamere said.

However, she said a bigger obstacle was her age and lack of experience, but Lamere, who is from Nashua, N.H., has just finished high school and she'll be off to the Rochester Institute of Technology next fall. There, she'll be studying software engineering and hopes to one day work for Google.

But until then, she'll be working out the final kinks on Twivo so we can stop having our shows ruined.

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