Rotten Tomatoes is switching up the site’s strategy to combat review bombing and uneducated appraisals. While the site still hopes that movie reviews continue to pour in from all walks of life, the company now shows ‘verified’ badges from accounts that proved they bought a ticket to the movie. The system works the same as Amazon’s ‘verified purchase’ badges, and it’s already available.
It probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that the world of online criticism is plagued with biased, sexist, and racists trolls. From franchise movies with female leads to comedies featuring female stars or persons of color, too many films are dragged through the mud before they even premiere. This behavior, while pointless and terrible, also effects the authenticity of review sites, and companies like Rotten Tomatoes are changing their rules to help combat the scum of the universe.
In the announcement this week, RottenTomatoes outlined how the new badge will work within the popular Audience Rating System and Reviews.
In the new system, eligible movies’ Audience Scores will be made up of ratings from fans who are confirmed to have purchased tickets to those movies. Those fans’ written reviews will also display a “verified” badge.
“We know from our research that fans consult Rotten Tomatoes’ Audience Score along with the Tomatometer, when making decisions on what to watch,” said Paul Yanover, Fandango President. “Having an Audience Score and reviews from fans who are confirmed ticket purchasers, will add even more usefulness to our product and increase consumer confidence.”
Users on the site can opt-in to get their rating and review “verified” if they purchased their movie ticket through Fandango. The company also stated that AMC Theatres, Regal and Cinemark Theatres plan to participate as ticket purchase authenticators later this year.
We should mention that no one is getting locked out entirely, and every visitor to Rotten Tomatoes will still be invited to rate and review movies regardless of whether or not they are confirmed ticket purchasers. Reviews (both verified and unverified) will still be listed, with those that are verified marked with a “verified” badge, so that readers will know that the reviewer purchased a ticket to that movie.
On Fandango’s site and mobile apps, Rotten Tomatoes will begin powering Fandango’s fan rating system, replacing its previous 5-star fan rating. Once their ticket purchases are confirmed through their Fandango user account, Fandango ticket buyers’ ratings and reviews will now count towards the Verified Audience Score displayed on Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes, as well as on other platforms that syndicate Rotten Tomatoes scores.
The launch of Verified Ratings and Reviews is part of the Rotten Tomatoes’ overall plan to modernize its Audience Rating System over the next year, making it even more helpful to fans as they make their entertainment viewing decisions.
In addition to enhancing its Audience Rating System, Rotten Tomatoes has been working over the past eighteen months to increase the diversity of the critical voices that make up its Tomatometer, which aggregates the collective opinions of thousands of Tomatometer-approved critics for movies and TV shows. Last August, Rotten Tomatoes made enhancements to its critic’s community, by debuting revamped Tomatometer critics criteria.
With an increased focus on the critic’s individual qualifications versus the publications that they write for, Rotten Tomatoes’ goal is to enable a wider and more diverse pool of critics’ perspectives to be included in the Tomatometer. Since launch, more than 500 new Tomatometer-approved critics and publications have been added, with plans to add even more critics in the future.
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