Trolls Force Rotten Tomatoes to Limit Comments on New Movies
Movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes is disabling comments for films that have not yet been released.
The Fandango-owned site is also killing off the "Want to See" score, which let people click to log their anticipation or disinterest in a new movie and allowed Rotten Tomatoes to monitor enthusiasm about upcoming films.
Internet users, however, have been abusing the feature to complain about the upcoming comic book film, Captain Marvel. The Want to See score on the movie, which features a female superhero, had plummeted to 27 percent with 46,000 votes before Rotten Tomatoes dropped the function.
"Tired of all this SJW [Social Justice Warrior] nonsense," read one user comment for the movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"Strong Wamen [sic] more Hollywood BS - no thanks," reportedly read another review. (You can find more of the comments here.)
In a Monday post, Rotten Tomatoes said it killed off the Want to See score because too many people were confusing it with the "Audience Score," which represents actual user reviews for a film. Indeed, several media outlets reported last week that online trolls were "review bombing" Captain Marvel, when the negative feedback was actually targeting the Want to See score.
Going forward, the review site will only show how many users are interested in an upcoming film, and nothing more. For instance, the Rotten Tomatoes page for Captain Marvel now shows that 16,571 users want to see the film, but offers no option to express disinterest in the film.
Rotten Tomatoes also addressed why it was disabling the comment section. "Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership," the site said. "We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action."
Fans will eventually get their say on new films. "Once a movie is released, audiences can leave a user rating and comments as they always have," the review site added.