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YouTube is a hotbed for spoilers, but there are a few helpful tricks

This isn’t entirely foolproof

Spider-Man hangs upside down in Marvel’s Spider-Man
Insomniac Games/Sony

Avoiding spoilers on YouTube is an exhausting affair.

Opening YouTube is a risky game when it comes to spoilers, which can pop up in YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, clickbait thumbnails and even search results. This is especially true during the summer blockbuster season, when movies like Deadpool 2, Solo: A Star Wars Story and Avengers: Infinity War are hitting theaters. Watching a trailer suddenly becomes a tedious effort to avoid any type of spoiler that can spring up in the sidebar.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any foolproof ways to avoid spoilers. YouTube’s ongoing scale issues — more than 450 hours of video are uploaded to the platform every minute — mean that the likelihood of someone posting a spoiler-filled video with an equally spoilery thumbnail is pretty high. Some people deal with YouTube’s etiquette problem by waving it off as another symptom of spoiler culture; this is, after all, the same problem affecting Twitter, Reddit and Tumblr. It’s a bit easier to avoid spoilers on Tumblr and Reddit, though. YouTube is a constant in our day-to-day existence. Still, people can take a few steps to try and keep their YouTube browsing experience as spoiler-free as possible.

The key? Blockers. No, not John Cena’s new movie about high schoolers partying. You can install browser extensions and apps to fend off spoiler-riddled videos. We’ve compiled a few blockers that other YouTubers use, but like anything, a couple of videos are bound to slip through.

Video Blockers (Google Chrome extension)

Video Blockers is one of the highest-rated extensions in the Chrome marketplace that avid YouTube users employ as a defense against spoilers.

Video Blocker screenshot
Video Blocker in action.
Chrome Web Store

It’s a simple concept. The blocker allows people to filter “videos with certain keywords in their title,” according to Video Blocker’s description. Mute the term Avengers: Infinity War, and the blocker will work to ensure you don’t see anything about the film on YouTube. The tool also allows people to hide entire channels, in case there’s a repeat offender.

NewPipe (Android)

NewPipe is an interesting filtering tool that gives people the option to display videos only from subscribed channels. The app is exclusive to Android devices.

NewPipe screenshots.

It’s not a perfect tool. There’s a good chance that a spoiler-filled video with damning title or thumbnail will slip through, but NewPipe does allow users to also disable YouTube’s Recommended feature. This means that even if you watch a trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story, you won’t be bogged down with recommended videos offered up afterward. You can simply watch the trailer and move on with your day.

uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin is mainly known for its ad-blocking properties, but there are a couple of helpful tips to customize it to avoid spoilers.

Reddit user IonizedBassoon wrote down steps to filter out some offending videos:

  • Use Element Picker Mode (the medicine dropper icon)
  • Click on the Recommendation Lists.
  • Block the entire recommended lists.
  • Repeat as necessary for Trending, etc.

Again, this isn’t a perfect solution, but it might just help you get through browsing YouTube without having to worry about spoiling God of War or Deadpool 2 in the process.

Are there other tools we’ve missed? List them in the comments below!

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