Jennie Lamere Solo Codes a Spoiler Blocker for Twitter in 10 Hours, Wins Prizes and Our Hearts
A browser extension or other feature that can blank out or choose not to display tweets that contain certain words is not a new invention. It’s already a basic feature on many Twitter desktop applications and browser extensions to alter Twitter’s native site abound. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to know your stuff in order to make one from scratch, which is how seventeen-year-old Jennie Lamere won the Boston Hackathon last month.
Lamere’s program is an extension for Google Chrome. Let it know what phrases you want it to block (in Lamere’s case, it’s anything relevant to Dance Moms, one of her favorite shows) and how long you want it to hide that phrase, and off it goes, protecting you from spoilers until you’ve gotten a chance to sit down and watch. Her program, which she named Twivo, won’t be available to the public for a few months, but she’s already been approached by a company that wants to help her market it. Why all the buzz? Because Twivo won the Boston Hackathon in not just one but two categories, “best use of sync-to-broadcast” and “best in show.”
Lamere was the only competitor in the Hackathon, a competition to create innovative new programs in a short amount of time, who was not working as part of a team. She wrote Twivo in a mere ten hours. Lamere was also, so far as Mother Jones was able to ascertain, the only woman who submitted a program in the Hackathon. She told them she did find the gender imbalance weird, “but it’s something that I’m used to at these things.”
“We marketed the hackathon to the entire developer community, and the demographics of the participants mirror the demographics of the community itself,” said Mike Proulx, event spokesman “We had a diverse demographic, but obviously the majority of the people were male.” Maybe next year they can use this year’s winner in their marketing. Never underestimate the power of a good role model!
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