Review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes is making changes after online trolls sabotaged movies like “Captain Marvel” with fake reviews – before the film has even hit theatres.
The website’s review policies gained major attention in 2016 with the release of the all-female “Ghostbusters”, the female-led “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, and again with Marvel’s latest release, in which predominantly white male users purposefully tank a movie’s score before it hits theatres.
Despite not opening in theatres until March 7, “Captain Marvel” has already received low audience scores after becoming the target of online trolls who take umbrage with the film’s Oscar-winning star, Brie Larson, calling her a “social justice warrior” and slamming her for “sexist and racist” attitudes towards “straight, white men.”
“Larson has made it clear: Men need not attend this movie,” one troll writes in the audience section of the site, which allows users to review and rate films that haven’t been released.
Now, Rotten Tomatoes is finally making changes to curb the toxic comments ahead of a film’s release date.
Audience users — those who are not critics for official entertainment review sites — will no longer be able to publish their comments or reviews until after the release of a movie. While the hate-filled comments can continue after a film’s release, it will put an end to pre-release rating sabotage.
“Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership. We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action. Don’t worry though, fans will still get to have their say: Once a movie is released, audiences can leave a user rating and comments as they always have,” an official statement on the site reads.