Rotten Tomatoes announced on Tuesday that it’s making major changes to the site. Following a series of instances in which trolls took to the film and TV reviews site to criticize unreleased films like Ghostbusters, Star Wars Episode VIII and most recently, Captain Marvel, the Rotten Tomatoes staff has decided to remove certain components of the site to limit further bad-faith usage.
As of yesterday, Rotten Tomatoes will no longer show the ‘Want to See’ percentage score during pre-release. In a statement, the staff explained that the ‘Want to See’ score is frequently confused with the ‘Audience Score’; the latter tracks the percentage of all users who have rated a film or TV show positively. Users can only see this score after release.
Additionally, Rotten Tomatoes will disable comments during pre-release. This will hopefully cut back on the number of comments left by trolls, who frequently take to the comments to air grievances having nothing to do with the films themselves.
“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 staff explained. “We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action.”
Don’t worry: fans can still leave reviews and comments after release. Thus, these changes won’t stop bad-faith actors entirely, but will limit trolling in the pre-release period.
According to several outlets, including Alternative Press, the most recent instance of this involves Captain Marvel, which doesn’t hit theaters until March 8.
Despite mostly rave reviews from critics, the film’s ‘Want to See’ score dropped to just 47 percent over a few days. Why? Because commenters were angry at something Brie Larson said in an interview with Marie Claire.
“About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing movies, and noticed it appeared to be overwhelmingly white male,” Larson told the magazine in her February cover interview. “So, I spoke to Dr. Stacy Smith at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who put together a study to confirm that. Moving forward, I decided to make sure my press days were more inclusive.”
Several white men took these comments to mean that Captain Marvel “isn’t for them to see” and expressed their anger via the Rotten Tomatoes comment section on the film. As mentioned above, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Hopefully, Rotten Tomatoes’ new changes will eliminate future incidents.