You've heard of fake news, but have you heard of fake reviews?
Well, unfortunately, Rotten Tomatoes, the popular movie review site which scores movies based on "fresh" or "rotten" ratings, has seen some reviews from "audience" trying to skew the scores of films in the more positive or negative directions.
Targeted attacks were made before several female driven films and several Star Wars related films before the movies even premiered.
To combat this, Rotten Tomatoes is going to "verify" reviews by audience members to ensure these people actually saw the films.
Rotten Tomatoes said they will confirm whether or not a reviewer bought tickets to the movie, and that they would be "tagging written reviews from users [they] can confirm purchased tickets to a movie as 'Verified' reviews."
"We know from our research that fans consult Rotten Tomatoes' Audience Score along with the Tomatometer, when making decisions on what to watch," said Fandango president Paul Yanover, whose service will now partner with Rotten Tomatoes to provide information for ticket buyers, replacing Fandango's former 5-star independent rating system.
"Having an Audience Score and reviews from fans who are confirmed ticket purchasers, will add even more usefulness to our product and increase consumer confidence."
Fans aren't actually too keen on this change.
@IGN It’s the dumbest thing they could do, they literally are deplatforming all of the fan reviewers and putting th… https://t.co/zezff4BrXf— SULRoY da boi (@SULRoY da boi)1558663832.0
@IGN Awesome. Now every unverified persons opinion means a HELL of a lot more to me. I can pick out who the garbage… https://t.co/zzzosU6ANP— Kajan Petit (@Kajan Petit)1558648813.0
@IGN But you can throw a rotten tomato at a theatre anonymously, in fact it's recommended to be anonymous.— Ryan G. (@Ryan G.)1558647393.0
@IGN Somehow I don't trust them. 🤔— Mike (@Mike)1558647594.0
@IGN Ironically making me trust the reviews even less. Well done Rotten Tomatoes, your spiral into obscurity is well underway. 🍿— Andy Buchanan (@Andy Buchanan)1558662406.0
One of the draws of the site as it stands is that everybody's review counts towards the total score, so fans can really make or break a film.
Films such as The Boondock Saints can have a terribly low critic rating and an extremely high fan rating, something which may not exist until the film is released on video later on.
By introducing a verified feature, Rotten Tomatoes would effectively negate the effect of a developing cult following for a film no longer in theaters.
And small independent, mostly rural theaters are rarely associated with services like Fandango. How will their audiences be verified?
@IGN Can I review this new review rating system? ,🧐— 🇹🇹wahhhahaha🇹🇹 (@🇹🇹wahhhahaha🇹🇹)1558647668.0
@IGN Throw the whole site away! https://t.co/VOSrWe5sS9— B4 I Disappear.. (@B4 I Disappear..)1558717227.0
@IGN @ItchyBacca So there's a fear to downvote a score.... what about upvote? That doesn't exist, right?— Viktor Forgacs (@Viktor Forgacs)1558650954.0
@IGN I’ll just stick to my trusted Youtube reviewers, screw RT— Saint Parallax (@Saint Parallax)1558653523.0
@IGN What they don't know is that the trolls would always find a way..— tazerface (@tazerface)1558648636.0
@IGN GOT Influenced this, am sure bout it— MfugaMajini (@MfugaMajini)1558654051.0
However, it will stop things like the Captain Marvel incident, wherein a bunch of ostensibly sexist jerks who hadn't seen the film were trying to lower the score.
@Valiuz @RottenTomatoes It's not Captain Marvel, It's Black Panther what made the decide to do this. https://t.co/jRoY8G94R0— Zack Brangen 2 (@Zack Brangen 2)1558789807.0
@sal_boy2917 @ErikDavis @RottenTomatoes Oh. I’m aware of that. I wrote a blog piece on the false Venom reviews. I c… https://t.co/HEzouS7ym1— Random Nerd (@Random Nerd)1558814472.0
@PopCrave @RottenTomatoes @verge Captain Marvel remains unbothered with 1 billion on box office Trolls thought— 💨 (@💨)1558656706.0
it’s still fucking hilarious to me that countless neckbeards, incels, and cave-dwellers crashed Rotten Tomatoes rat… https://t.co/sfMf9856w8— 𝓫𝓾𝓽𝓽𝓮𝓻𝓷𝓾𝓽 𝓼𝓺𝓾𝓪𝓼𝓱 (@𝓫𝓾𝓽𝓽𝓮𝓻𝓷𝓾𝓽 𝓼𝓺𝓾𝓪𝓼𝓱)1558741779.0
So, there are upsides and drawbacks to the process.
We hope it will be used more for good than for more corporate Hollywood domination.