Angry men are review-bombing Captain Marvel ahead of release, and Rotten Tomatoes is taking action

Today in entitled fans trying to drag everyone into their toxic mess on the internet, we’re taking a rare trip away from the world of video games and visiting movies, where angry-that-women-exist reviewers are review-bombing Captain Marvel ahead of its release.

Review bombing, for those of you lucky enough to have avoided it thus far, is a coordinated effort by a group of people to negative review something so that it both looks like a bad product, but is also treated as a bad product by a sites algorithm. We see it frequently in the video games space, and the Brie Larson fronted superhero flick is just the latest part of pop culture to be found wanting by angry sexists on the internet. 

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Thing is, the movie might actually suck. It’s just hard for anyone to know because the review embargo isn’t down yet and, whisper it, none of the people negatively reviewing it on movie site Rotten Tomatoes has seen the movie yet. Early responses on Twitter seem positive, and personally I’m definitely here to watch Brie Larson super-punch some folk, but we’ll have to wait until the movie comes out on March 8 to know for sure. 

Still, this story has a surprisingly happy ending, as Rotten Tomatoes released a blog post yesterday explaining that they’d be moving forward on a number of different ideas that should “more accurately and authentically represent the voice of fans” while also limiting the effect that trolls can have.

Starting this week, Rotten Tomatoes will launch the first of several phases of updates that will refresh and modernize our Audience Rating System. We’re doing it to more accurately and authentically represent the voice of fans, while protecting our data and public forums from bad actors,” starts the blog.

This involves some UI changes, but most important the team are also disabling the comment function ahead of a movie’s release.

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“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.”

While it’s good to see Rotten Tomatoes waving middle fingers at those who would try to use the platform for nefarious purposes, this is the second review bombing story I’ve had to write this week, and it’s just a bit exhausting.

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