Nothing ruins watching the latest Great British Bake Off 2018 on catch-up more than finding that your favourite baker’s been given the boot before you press play. You can’t even trust Prue Leith to keep the secret.
The good news is that you don’t have to abandon Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google searches until the winner is declared - the social networks now have tools to help you block unwelcome spoilers. Find out more below.
Facebook: Snooze the spoilsports
Some friends just don’t know when to keep the news to themselves, and that’s even more true with Facebook friends. The solution? Snooze them.
Click the three dots in the top right ⋯ of any post by your blabbermouth mate, and select Snooze [your friend] for 30 days.
You might also have access to a new feature called Keyword Snooze, which lets you snooze any post with words like 'GBBO' or 'Bake Off' for 30 days.
It will appear in the same menu as Snooze, but it’s still being tested so only a few Facebook users can currently see it.
Twitter: Mute words and phrases
Careless tweeters and rampant retweeting make Twitter a hard place to avoid the week when Rahul discovers his self-confidence, but you can turn down that words that will give it away.
Step 1: Log in to your Twitter account, click on your profile picture in the top right, and select Settings and privacy.
Step 2: Click Muted Words in the left-hand menu, click Add, then enter a word or phrase that you don’t want to see. You can also mute hashtags and user names.
Step 3: You can choose to mute words and phrases from your timeline and from notifications, and you can do it forever, or for 24 hours, 7 days or 30 days. Words can be unmuted at any time.
Instagram: Block comment keywords
Instagram has more pictures of cakes than a patisserie menu, but what if one of those keen bakers gives it away the week Dan gets the drop?
You can’t block keywords from other people’s Insta posts, although you can stop following them or block them from commenting, and you can block comments from your followers that might contain a spoiler keyword.
Step1 (below left): Find the Instagram settings menu (three lines in the top right, then look to the bottom right).
Step 2 (below centre): Scroll down to Comment controls in the Privacy and security section.
Step 3 (below right): Turn on the Manual filter and start entering keywords, separated by commas.
YouTube: Silence spoiler keywords
You can’t officially block spoiler videos and comments from appearing in your Youtube feed, but the great community of the internet has created video blockers for the Google Chrome and Firefox browsers.
Once you’ve used the links above to install a blocker extension for your browser, you can add keywords. The extension will block videos, channels and comments containing the keywords until you turn it off.
Google search: Turn off auto-complete
If you’ve set Google as your default search engine, then you’ll be used to it finishing your searches as you type them. Auto-complete is very useful most of the time, but it’s a dangerous way to find out early that Manon has been dispatched for a sub-par creme pat.
To turn off auto-complete in Google Search, just click or copy and paste this line into your browser: https://www.google.com/webhp?complete=0.
To turn auto-complete for Google Search back on again, use this link: https://www.google.com/webhp?complete=1.
On rare occasions, auto-complete won’t turn off. Make sure you check this by searching for something innocuous after you’ve used the link.
Chrome: Defend yourself with spoiler blockers
If you use a wide range of social media, then you might find it hard to avoid Ruby’s exit week before you watch Bake Off. You need a full spoiler shield to keep your mobile browser clean of unwelcome news.
All three will replace social media posts, headlines and search results with a warning label. If you want to find out what it's hiding, you can click the label to reveal the contents.
Smartphones: How can I keep Bake Off spoilers out of my mobile life?
It’s all very well securing your desktop browser, only to open your phone apps and find out that Kim-Joy has won the final of Great British Bake Off 2018.
The good news is that your keyword filters for Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook are effective on mobile as well as desktop.
The bad news is that Chrome desktop extensions won’t be effective on mobile, so you’ll have to surf carefully on your phone.