After trolls targeted 'Captain Marvel,' the movie-review site wants to ensure users have actually seen the movies they're reviewing.
14 Mar, 2019FORTUNE.COM
Rotten Tomatoes is considering some fresh guidelines to help combat its growing troll problem.
The influential movie-grading site, which compiles reviews from critics and movie fans, has been plagued by negative user-scores for movies like the recent Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson. Sometimes, the pile-ons appear on the site before a film has even opened, indicating the site is being targeted by trolls hoping to sink its score.
In response, the company is thinking about changing its verification program, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the future, users might be asked to verify they’ve seen the movie they’re grading before being allowed to submit their rating. “We are in the middle of evolving the audience score,” Rotten Tomatoes VP of communications Dana Benson told the Reporter. “We want to ensure its credibility.”
There are no specifics on how such an attendance-verification program might work, though the verification efforts of other sites might show a way forward. The ticketing service MoviePass sometimes requires users to take pictures of their stubs, to verify their purchases. And the New York Times‘ successful Cooking site has a moderator who keeps a close eye on comments, to ensure users have actually attempted to make the recipe they’re opining about.
Though Rotten Tomatoes has experienced troll problems in the past, the release of Captain Marvel has been especially tricky for the site: On the day after the film’s release last week, there were already 10,000 negative reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, despite the fact that it hadn’t even been in wide release for 24 hours. That didn’t stop the Disney-released movie from soaring at the box office, earning $455 million worldwide in its opening weekend.