I honestly can’t believe it’s 2019 and we still get surprised when companies realize, as if for the first time, that trolls exist. There have been at least a handful of movies in the past several years that have been victims of online trolls, and it’s about time something is done to combat it. More specifically, I’m talking about Rotten Tomatoes, a service whose audience score has been gamed multiple times by online users looking to tank a film (Captain Marvel, for example).
But how could Rotten Tomatoes possibly vet the audience scores to ensure they aren’t gamed? After all, they can’t verify them like they do with critics, who have to go through an extensive vetting process first, can they? Well, not exactly, but in the age of online ticketing, it is possible to give at least some barrier of entry. Enter the Verified Audience rating.
In addition to the standard All Audience rating, which can be utilized by anyone regardless of whether or not they’ve seen the film, we have the “Verified Audience” rating, which will be the default audience rating shown to online users. But how do they verify them? Basically, starting today, if you’ve purchased your tickets through their parent site, Fandango, and you bought tickets to see the movie, you will be allowed to leave a rating.
But what if you bought tickets through AMC Theaters, Regal, or Cinemark? Well, they will be getting in on the action as well later this year, though it’s unclear how that will work.
Obviously, the hope here is to give more weight to users who have actually purchased tickets, rather than allow a film’s politics to tarnish the score.
“We think this was the next place to add more credibility to our scores,” says Fandango cmo Lori Pantel. “One of the added values of verified is that is could dissuade what we call ‘bad actors’ from commenting on a film that they may not have even seen.”
While this isn’t perfect — people who didn’t buy their tickets online will be able to have their reviews “verified,” it does seem like a step in the right direction, in my opinion. I’m way more interested in what people who’ve actually seen the movie have to say, and adding this layer to the site will actually make that metric useful to me for the first time.
But what do you think? Are you happy Rotten Tomatoes is adding in this extra bit of security? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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