Rotten Tomatoes Is Changing User Reviews To Combat Online Trolls
In the lead-up to the release of 'Captain Marvel', the review aggregator has overhauled their audience scoring.
In a blog titled "Hello, we're making some changes" Rotten Tomatoes announced that they would be adjusting how the Audience Score works. Many of these changes are in an effort to combat online trolls.
Ahead of a film's release, Rotten Tomatoes would show a "Want to See" score, which was an indication of how many RT users would vote that they want to see the film. This was different from the Tomatometer (critic ratings) and Audience Score (audience ratings) which are both displayed after a film's release and indicated how much of the public were keen to see a particular film.
Not surprisingly, the blog explained that they believed the Want to See score was being confused with the Audience Score percentage, so they decided to stop displaying the number before a film's release.
That wasn't the only change.
"We are disabling the comment function prior to a movie’s release date," the blog added, "Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership."
An example of this trolling could already be seen on the page of the upcoming Captain Marvel with the comments section littered with the likes of, "Terrible movie hate it already" and "Not interested in seeing another SJW propaganda film".
Similarly, a little under a year before the film is even released in cinemas, before the title is even confirmed, Star Wars 9 was "review bombed" on the site. Review bombing is another term for negative comments or trolling in the "Want to See" section of Rotten Tomatoes.
Even the few positive reviews were occasionally backhanded trolling the Star Wars franchise.
Films in the Star Wars universe have become easy targets for trolls since Disney took command and introduced several prominent female characters and non-white actors.
Captain Marvel, played by Brie Larson, has similarly been deemed "SJW propaganda" as the lead character is a woman. The film is the first in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's decade of releases to have a female lead character.
Meanwhile, Rotten Tomatoes has long had a strange relationship with these "fans", who attack films they purportedly hold so dear, in that often they also attack critics who pan films they deem to be getting unfairly criticised.
Most notably fans of director Zach Snyder believed there was some kind of conspiracy against his Justice League film, a feature messier than Rotten Tomatoes' comments sections, to which they mobilised and reverse-trolled in an attempt to inflate both the Want to See and Audience Scores.
Despite claims that the site is censoring the voices of some, Rotten Tomatoes was adamant that audiences would still be able to weigh in on films.
"Once a movie is released, audiences can leave a user rating and comments as they always have," they explained. So don't worry, this isn't an end to trolling, it's just a delay.
In the words of one commenter:
Featured image: Marvel / Rotten Tomatoes.