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Rotten Tomatoes Wants You to Stop Review Bombing Movies

Dave Parrack 01-03-2019

Rotten Tomatoes is making changes to prevent people from review bombing movies. Review bombing is the best term for it, but, thanks to Rotten Tomatoes’ “Want to See” feature, this is actually affecting movies that haven’t even been released yet.


What Is Review Bombing?

Review bombing describes a coordinated effort to lower a review score Steam Tries to Stop Haters Review-Bombing Games Valve is attempting to make Steam's user reviews of games more useful by trying to lessen the effect review-bombing has on certain titles. And it's all PewDiePie's fault. Read More . This has been used on movies and video games for different reasons. Some are because of something in the piece of content itself, but oftentimes it will be something else altogether.

In the latest example, the new Captain Marvel movie has been subjected to intense criticism. Not because of the film itself (which hasn’t even been released yet) but because of comments made by Brie Larson, the actress playing the titular Captain Marvel.

The comments themselves aren’t important. All that matters is that because of these comments, certain individuals have expressed their dislike of the film using Rotten Tomatoes as its as platform. And Rotten Tomatoes has had enough.

Rotten Tomatoes Disables the Haters

As explained on the Rotten Tomatoes Product Blog, Rotten Tomatoes “will no longer show the ‘Want to See’ percentage score for a movie during its pre-release period.” Because this is often filled with haters, and confused with the actual ‘Audience Score’.


Rotten Tomatoes is also “disabling the comment function prior to a movie’s release date” due to “an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling”. Comments will be enabled again once a movie has actually been released in theaters.

You’re Still Free to Express Opinions

There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to see a movie, whatever your reasoning. There’s also nothing wrong with expressing an opinion about an upcoming movie, even if that opinion is negative. And you’re still free to do any and all of that.

However, Rotten Tomatoes is under no obligation to allow its platform to be used in such a way. Especially as certain releases are being condemned before anyone has even seen them. Which proves films are being judged for reasons other than their artistic merit.

Judging something before you’ve even seen it or played it is patently ridiculous. Especially if this desire to knock something is being done with the intention of persuading other people not to see it or play it. And no, this doesn’t impact your right to free speech 3 Popular Online Services to Avoid If You Value Free Speech Free speech is under attack by some of today's most popular services. Here are three companies you should avoid and why. Read More .

Related topics: Movie Review, Rotten Tomatoes.

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  1. dragonmouth
    March 1, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    "Especially if this desire to knock something is being done with the intention of persuading other people not to see it or play it."
    Isn't that the entire idea of reviews? To influence those that haven't seen it to act one way or another? I'm sure that neither Rotten Tomatoes not the studio would mind if there was a positive groundswell. R.T. is acting like the hotel/motel chains that do not allow negative reviews.

  2. Tob
    March 1, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    Although I somewhat agree with this, remember, what she said would, in fact, be racist if she were any other color. By definition. Plus, her negative commentary or approach only serves to lift her group at the expense of another, white men. You stated "The comments themselves aren’t important." YES, they are. This is not a story without them. I intended on going to see this movie right up until THIS moment. Let's call this the "solo" effect. Yes, kind of like the halo effect.

    To be certain, Rotten Tomatoes (R.T.) is managing through an situation they did not create much like the bipolar reviews of another famous franchise. In the movie industry refunds are not an option. What do you expect customers to do here? They need to have a voice and they can or will decide not to go. If nothing else, the business impact needs to be assessed not ignored. Your customers are telling you something. Pay attention.

    Although R.T. and Marvel may not like what they hear, the customers voice still matters and if it's not communicated through that (R.T.) mechanism it will be somewhere else. It will not always be sunshine and roses. Again, pay attention. This ship is taking on water. Whether it completely Titanic's or not is entirely up to you.

    • dragonmouth
      March 1, 2019 at 8:57 pm

      In today's Politically Correct society, it is not only OK, but also required, to dump on white males because, by definition, they are sexist, racist and misogynist. IOW, the scum of the earth.