After silencing users from leaving negative feedback about the upcoming Captain Marvel movie, Rotten Tomatoes may already be taking steps to ensure that negative reviews of the film are harder to post and see on the site.
Paul Yanover, president of Fandango, which owns Rotten Tomatoes spoke to CNET to convince people that the recent decision to remove the audiences ability to tell the site they are not interested in upcoming films was not directly related to the Captain Marvel movie starring Brie Larson. At least 74% of people said they were not interested in watching the film leading to massive changes to how the entire site is run and managed. However, Yanover reveals that general audiences will also have a much harder time leaving reviews of popular movies going forward.
The interview warns that the site is not done making big changes with the way it operates its audience feedback. Rotten Tomatoes may eventually tie into the Fandango ticket-purchasing system showing that a reviewer did indeed buy a ticket to that movie before they can review it. Readers may also be able to filter ‘bad’ reviews if they choose. For example, a user who generally likes Marvel films may be able to choose to only read write-ups from those who feel similarly to them, or in other words filter negative reviews of certain films.
Last March, We covered a noticeable split between critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes when it comes to many major releases such as The Last Jedi, which enjoys a 91% certified fresh rating with critics but only a 44% score with audiences. By smearing audience members as trolls, the media makes the case that their voices should not be counted in the general consensus and it appears that Rotten Tomatoes is actively complying with media demands. These changes would essentially turn the Rotten Tomatoes into a ‘safe-space’ for movie reviews.
Yanover knows these possible changes won’t please everyone either, but the updates are a work in progress. Some adjustments are aimed at what Yanover calls “noise reduction,” when high-profile films such as Captain Marvel or Star Wars movies attract ‘trolls’ with agendas. “This is not the end, this is the beginning. We know that (Rotten Tomatoes) is a highly visible product, and we’re committed to being really good stewards.”
Last February, We asked the question “Are We Close To Thought Policing Movie Reviews?” Well, the days of policing opinion are here.