Captain Marvel was recently the target of “review bombing” on Rotten Tomatoes – and now, the popular review website has made some changes to their website. Some fans were initially mad (some are still upset) about comments made by Brie Larson about the film’s upcoming press tour and decided to trash the user reviews section of the site. Well, Rotten Tomatoes has apparently had enough of the fake reviews – which isn’t a bad thing. The system definitely needs some work.
The website released this statement:
Starting this week, Rotten Tomatoes will launch the first of several phases of updates that will refresh and modernize our Audience Rating System. We’re doing it to more accurately and authentically represent the voice of fans, while protecting our data and public forums from bad actors.
As of February 25, we will no longer show the ‘Want to See’ percentage score for a movie during its pre-release period. Why you might ask? We’ve found that the ‘Want to See’ percentage score is often times confused with the ‘Audience Score’ percentage number. (The ‘Audience Score’ percentage, for those who haven’t been following, is the percentage of all users who have rated the movie or TV show positively – that is, given it a star rating of 3.5 or higher – and is only shown once the movie or TV show is released.)
What else are we doing? We are disabling the comment function prior to a movie’s release date. 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.
Some took this as RT trying to protect Captain Marvel, prompting the site to release yet another statement saying that this isn’t the case. Fandango president Paul Yanover said in an interview:
“(The changes) are not simply a reaction to, ‘Oh, gee, there’s some noise created around (certain movies),'” Yanover told me. Yes, some adjustments are aimed as what he calls “noise reduction,” when high-profile films such as Captain Marvel or Star Wars movies attract trolls with agendas. But as a whole, these changes are part of a long-term site strategy, he said.
Like I said at the beginning of the article, the system definitely needs some work. I’ve always wondered why comments on a movie that hadn’t yet been released to the general public were allowed on such a big site anyway. It happened with Black Panther, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and now Captain Marvel. I guess it’s pointless to analyze now, as it’s been changed – most likely for good.
Captain Marvel hits theaters on March 8th.
What do you think of this controversy? Be sure to tell us in the comments!