Last night, Rotten Tomatoes users noticed something different about the site: user-generated "Want to See" scores - the metric by which moviegoers were able to express their interest in upcoming film releases - had disappeared. The change was of particular note to anyone visiting Captain Marvel's RT page, which had suffered a "review bombing" campaign over the past few weeks (note: this was not the first time such a thing had occurred)
This morning, Rotten Tomatoes rolled out an official statement confirming several new updates, all of which are geared towards "protecting [their] data and public forums from bad actors". For starters, yes, "Want to See" scores are now officially retired, and will henceforth be replaced with a zeroed-out "Audience Score", which RT users will be free to weigh in on after a film arrives in theaters.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, this was mostly a housekeeping thing, as the site had noticed "that the ‘Want to See’ percentage score is often times confused with the ‘Audience Score’ percentage number." Then there's this:
"We are disabling the comment function prior to a movie’s release date. 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."
Of course Rotten Tomatoes has plenty of other options for combating "non-constructive input" and "bad actors" (some of which you can read about here, in a post written in the wake of Black Panther's review bombing campaign), but these moves are certainly a step in the right direction. And, hey, they're also making some cosmetic changes to the site, with the aim of providing "a cleaner, less cluttered presentation of the Tomatometer and Audience Score." That's great news, as well.
But what do you think? Happy about the steps Rotten Tomatoes has taken? Not so much? Sound off in the comments below, and do remember to keep things civil.
Whether you like it or not, Captain Marvel opens on March 8th.