When Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out a few years ago, I was lucky enough to see it with a group of friends. After the movie, we all went our separate ways, but we still wanted to talk about it. Constantly.

But heaven forbid: Some of our friends hadn't seen the movie yet. We didn't want to exclude them from the conversations we were having, but we also didn't want to spoil large chunks of the film for those folks. Now that The Last Jedi is out and similar issues are abounding, I figured I'd write a quick post on what we came up with.

There are a few ways to have spoiler-riffic conversations in this manner, including group chats and Slack groups, but we didn't want to leave Twitter. Instead, we turned to an old puzzler favorite: ROT-13.

A variation on Caesar substitution cipher, ROT-13 takes your existing text and moves each letter forward ("rotating" it) 13 spots in the alphabet. For instance, "Luke, I am your father" would become "Yhxr, V nz lbhe sngure".

To the average Twitter user, this looks like gibberish, and thus, can easily hide potential movie or TV spoilers from those who don't wish to see them. Once they've seen the film, however, decoding these threads is relatively simple.

How to encode ROT-13

  1. Visit decode.org or another similar service.
  2. Type in your message.
  3. Press Encrypt/Decrypt.

  4. Copy the converted text.
  5. Paste it into your Twitter or social media client of choice.

How to easily decode ROT-13 spoilers on Twitter

While you can bookmark decode.org and swap between apps when decoding ROT-13, the easier solution is to use Apple's Workflow.

Set up the ROT-13 workflow

  1. Download the Workflow app to your iPhone or iPad if you don't already have it.
  2. Launch the ROT-13 workflow (special credit to Michael Bond and Matthew Cassinelli for the workflow).

    Is the workflow above not working? Try this ROT-13 workflow instead — though you'll need to copy the text you want to translate before running it in the steps below.

  3. Press the Get Workflow button on your iPhone or iPad.

  4. Open the Share sheet in the Twitter client of your choice.
  5. Press the More button.
  6. Enable the Run Workflow toggle.
  7. Move it to the top of the Share Sheet.
  8. Press Done.

Use the ROT-13 workflow to decode spoilers

In the Tweetbot app:

  1. Visit the tweet of your choice.
  2. Press the Share button.
  3. Press Run Workflow.
  4. Tap the ROT13 Decoder button.

    If it's your first time running the workflow after downloading it, you may have to press OK and run it a second time before it works properly.

  5. After reading the translation, press OK to return to your Twitter client.

In the Twitter app:

  1. Visit the tweet of your choice.
  2. Tap on the More button (looks like a down arrow).
  3. Tap Share Tweet via…
  4. Press Run Workflow.
  5. Tap the ROT13 Decoder button.

    If it's your first time running the workflow after downloading it, you may have to press OK and run it a second time before it works properly.

  6. After reading the translation, press OK to return to your Twitter client.

How do you deal with spoilers?

Let us know in the comments. (No spoilers on The Last Jedi or any other media, please, unless they're encoded.)

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.