Teenage coder’s hackathon project could put a stop to spoilers on Twitter

9 May 2013

Photo of Jennie Lamere via @jenniee_l on Twitter

In the age of on-demand viewing and social media saturation, spoilers are a persistent danger – but 17-year-old coder Jennie Lamere is working on a solution to save us.

If you’ve ever missed the latest episode of a TV show – or if you’re on the wrong side of the Atlantic to see it first – you might find out details you don’t want to know when you log into social networks.

Thankfully, the winning project from a Boston hackathon might be the answer. Lamere created Twivo in just 10 hours at the TVnext Hack event on 27 April. The Google Chrome browser extension lets users type in keywords – such as a TV show and characters’ names – and subsequently block these from their Twitter feeds for a set period.

Users can still see that tweets have been posted, but any content referencing the keywords is obscured until the determined spoiler-free period has passed.

According to Mother Jones, high school student Lamere was the only woman participating in the hackathon that submitted a completed project and was also the only competitor flying solo. She first took the top prize from the Best Sync-to-Broadcast category and then went on to beat more than 80 competitors – including professional developers – to take home Best in Show.

Ashley Swartz, CEO and founder of tech company Furious Minds, was one of the judges at the TVnext event and her company has reportedly approached Lamere to help market the final product. The software is now in demo mode but Lamere expects to have a completed version ready in two to three weeks.

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.