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Olympics Spoilers Are Frustrating. Here's How You Can Avoid Them

Zhang Yufei of China swims toward an Olympic record and gold medal in the women's 200-meter butterfly final at the Tokyo Olympics.
Zhang Yufei of China swims toward an Olympic record and gold medal in the women's 200-meter butterfly final at the Tokyo Olympics.

Let's face it: Nobody likes spoilers.

Whether it's with sports, reality TV, Jeopardyor that series you've been watching since season one, something so simple as a tweet or a Facebook post from a family member can ruin it for you in less than 30 seconds.

We've been trying our best to avoid spoilers about (spoiler alert:) the Olympics. But, despite the numerous attempts to duck and dodge, there are many ways to learn the results — even before you see them on TV.

With Tokyo being 13 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast, it's a bit difficult to catch the games live unless you're staying up and pulling an all-nighter.

"It's so hard. It's almost impossible to avoid spoilers — especially with the Olympics," says Tang Tang, a media professor at Kent State University. "There's social media and all types of media platforms reporting on it, including international media, so it's almost impossible to stay away."

So, how can you avoid spoilers during the Olympic Games? Simple. Here are a few tips and tricks.

Limit your timeline on Twitter

... or at least, try to. While this may be easy for some, it may be a challenge for others.

Twitter is a huge source for spoilers, and not just for sporting events. However, the social media platform has some cool features on how you can avoid the risk of spoilers.

Using the platform's muting feature allows you to mute or hide certain phrases or hashtags from your timeline. Try using the following phrases as a head start to avoid the risk:

  • Gold
  • Olympics
  • Tokyo
  • Tokyo Olympics
  • To access the feature, it's simple: Go to more > Settings and Privacy > Privacy and Safety tab > then click Mute and Block.

    Limit those Facebook accounts, too

    Yes, you also have to finesse your settings on here, as well.

    Good news: In terms of Facebook, you can target those specific accounts that may be the source of spoiling the games for you.

    To limit on Facebook, click on the three dots on a post and you'll come across the option to snooze that account for 30 days. (Side note: You can also use this feature for any official pages you follow or even for someone you're friends with that you know is always posting about the Olympics.)

    Modifying your push notifications

    OK, so with this trick it may be a tad bit difficult.

    Depending on the news organization, some apps have specific categories in which you can get certain alerts to your phone.

    The best trick would be to open up the specific app that's driving you crazy with spoilers and check to see if there's a sports or breaking news tab that you can easily turn off temporarily until the games are over.

    But be sure to turn them back on later so you won't miss any important breaking or sports news.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Jonathan Franklin is a digital reporter on the News desk covering general assignment and breaking national news.