Rotten Tomatoes has taken a step in battling movie trolling by removing audience score and comments before a movie's release. This move comes after the site got inundated by negative reviews for Captain Marvel, a film that has not yet premiered. Rotten Tomatoes users responded negatively to comments made by Captain Marvel star Brie Larson, who asked for more diversity on her press tour, as well as spoke about feminism in the movie. In response, those angry fans review bombed the film.
Since then, the trolling has continued. Most recently, some disgruntled Star Wars fans took to the site to begin review bombing Star Wars: Episode IX, a movie that won't come out until the end of 2019. Even more ridiculous is that Episode IX has not even yet released a trailer for the film, suggesting that these so-called fans are acting out in response to their continued anger over Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which released way back in 2017. It's become such a problem that many Rotten Tomatoes users have felt that the site has become irrelevant, as the pre-release reviews tend to be skewed by those trolling these films.
The site has finally responded to the problems with trolls on its site. Rotten Tomatoes announced that it would make some drastic changes in how audiences interact with its ratings. The "Want To See" option and percentage for each film will no longer be available before a movie's release date. Rotten Tomatoes admitted that this percentage was often confused with the actual Audience Score percentage, which is the number of users who have rated a movie or TV show positively. The company will also remove comments from each movie's page until its release date. This is what users will now see after a film's release:
"Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership. We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action. Don’t worry though, fans will still get to have their say: Once a movie is released, audiences can leave a user rating and comments as they always have."
Rotten Tomatoes hopes that this will prevent the kind of review bombing that some users have indulged in. This problem has been an ongoing one on the site for a while. In 2018, a group of angry DC fans tried to organize a group to review bomb Black Panther a month before the film came out. Unfortunately, toxic fandom has become a trend, so much that some Star Wars actors even left social media after being harassed by The Last Jedi haters.
It's good that Rotten Tomatoes is trying to make positive changes to keep itself relevant. Last year, it changed the way it chose reviewers for the site to include more diverse viewpoints. Here's hoping that these latest round of changes to the site will keep the trolls at bay.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes