The Olympics are officially underway, and so are the spoilers. Social networking has made the world an infinitely smaller place, for better and for worse. And as the tournament unfolds, the power of the Internet has gone ahead and killed plenty of the surprise. Event administrators are trying to control the use of applications like Twitter and Facebook — but they are no match for the perfect storm of smartphone users and their love of all things real time.
It’s put NBC in a difficult position. The network is trying to stick to old media strategies in its airing of the Olympics, and this is not only being challenged by audience and athlete use of apps like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, but by the viral backlash being spawned by these networks as well. It’s easier than ever before for users to rise up and take control of the situation, demanding that the bigger powers that be listen up and respond. And now NBC is attempting to air the Olympics without overly suppressing social media usage or spilling results, while simultaneously working to quell the outrage the Internet has given life to.
This is yet another way new technology and old media are causing some friction, and it’s just a growing pain we’ll have to endure for the London Olympics. But we, the fans, are caught in the crosshairs. Luckily, there are a few plugins and tools you can take advantage of that will act as spoiler alerts.
This is a toolbar extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari that blocks the word “Olympics” from Web content. Simple solution, sure, and it’s not going to hide anything deeper than that word. But it can help alert you to look away.
This remarkable user tool turns the Internet into a well-oiled piece of machinery, doing your bidding for you without any effort on your part. There are a handful of recipes available that attempt to prevent Olympics news from reaching your eyes by depositing it into a read-it-later queue.
These two extensions require you to go a bit deeper into censoring Twitter, so you can block hashtags and keywords. Clearly this isn’t a Web-wide solution, but if you’re reeling from the Twitter Olympics coverage, than it’s a safe bet.