Published: Wed, February 27, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Rotten Tomatoes Makes Changes After ‘Captain Marvel’ And ‘Star Wars’ Trolls Attack

Rotten Tomatoes Makes Changes After ‘Captain Marvel’ And ‘Star Wars’ Trolls Attack

Following a series of instances in which trolls took to the film and TV reviews site to criticize unreleased films like Ghostbusters, Star Wars Episode VIII and most recently, Captain Marvel, the Rotten Tomatoes staff has made a decision to remove certain components of the site to limit further bad-faith usage. Now, instead of a percentage score, the site displays a raw number of users who have indicated that they intend to see the movie (for "Captain Marvel", that's 16,571 as of this writing). In addition, Rotten Tomatoes has disabled the ability for users to post comments prior to a movie's release date. The main one is an aggregated percentage of reviews from published critics, while the second, the "audience score" is decided by Rotten Tomatoes users.

The Fandago-owned site announced today changes that are aimed at "elevating the voice of fans" and "increasing data relevance", but also to combat trolls after what they call "an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling".

Rotten Tomatoes Rotten Tomatoes screenshot before changes.

Previously, users were able to express their interest in seeing a movie, such as Captain Marvel, and that would generate a number that indicated the percentage of people interested in seeing that movie. To date, Rotten Tomatoes has donated $25,000 a piece to the press inclusion initiatives at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, 2019 Sundance Film Festival and the upcoming SXSW Film Festival and Conference this March.

This is just the "first of several phases of updates that will refresh and modernize [the] Audience Rating System". We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action.

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"As of February 25, we will no longer show the 'Want to See' percentage score for a movie during its pre-release period".

Don't worry: fans can still leave reviews and comments after release.

Rotten Tomatoes has become the go-to site for movie reviews. 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". When used correctly, it's a great resource, so to protect itself from trolls and those who try to use the service to perpetuate a personal vendetta against a movie, Rotten Tomatoes has announced a few changes.

Of course, trolling doesn't magically stop after a movie is released. The new logo and icons can be seen on Rotten Tomatoes' online, mobile, social and video platforms as well as on partner platforms.

You can read the entire Rotten Tomatoes editorial here.

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