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Rotten Tomatoes Is Taking On Fake Reviews With A Clever New 'Verified' Audience System

Rotten Tomatoes Is Taking On Fake Reviews With A Clever New 'Verified' Audience System
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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.

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 Saintscan 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?

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.

So, there are upsides and drawbacks to the process.

We hope it will be used more for good than for more corporate Hollywood domination.