Rotten Tomatoes adopts new policy to stop sabotage of movie ratings


This weekend the actor made a decision to confront trolls who are posting fake reviews for Marvel Studios' upcoming Captain Marvel film and making-up posts about star Brie Larson. The reactions apparently were sparked by the actress' recent remarks about wanting more inclusivity among those interviewing her about the film.

Despite mostly rave reviews from critics, the film's "Want to See" score dropped to just 47 percent over a few days. Why? However, we don't know the full extent of Rotten Tomatoes' additional security features, so perhaps they could implement changes that could thwart mass-coordinated "review bombs" that have taken over toxic fandoms recently.

Rotten Tomatoes Rotten Tomatoes screenshot from February 25.

In addition to providing a destination for fans to share their movie and TV show opinions on the Rotten Tomatoes website and social platforms, fans will also be able to participate in Rotten Tomatoes' marquee live event "Your Opinion Sucks: Fans vs. Critics" at various festivals like at SXSW in Austin this March and other regional festivals and conferences during the year.

"The site is part of NBCUniversal's Fandango, which acquired the movie-ranking site in 2016 from Warner Bros. - and negative comments and lower "Want to See" scores, whether those are from trolls or anyone else, may depress pre-release ticket sales", Variety explained.

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"We are disabling the comment function prior to a movie's release date". The changes involve removing users' ability to rate upcoming films based on how interested they are in seeing the movie. We've found that the "Want to See" percentage score is often times confused with the "Audience Score" percentage number. Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership.

Throughout the roll out of new audience rating features, Rotten Tomatoes will call out enhancements on the site and link to a product update blog, where users can find explanations.

Of course, trolling doesn't magically stop after a movie is released. And, hey, they're also making some cosmetic changes to the site, with the aim of providing "a cleaner, less cluttered presentation of the Tomatometer and Audience Score".

Rotten Tomatoes Rotten Tomatoes screenshot after changes.

"Star Wars: Episode IX" faced the same problem this week. The drastic difference that emerged between the critics' score and the audience score on that page spurred rumors of bot attacks from alt-right groups, which Rotten Tomatoes previously denied was going on in a statement to HuffPost.