Rotten Tomatoes is making more changes behind-the-scenes. As of today, only users who confirm movie ticket purchases can leave verified reviews. The site started over 20 years ago to provide movie and TV fans a place to see a collection of aggregated reviews to better suit their viewing habits and guide their choices. Over the years, the site has been infiltrated by trolls who either don't like a particular movie, franchise, or studio. So, Rotten Tomatoes has been trying new things and implementing changes this year.
The verified reviews is going along with previous changes Rotten Tomatoes has made recently. Earlier this year, it was announced that users would not be able to review a movie before it hits theaters in an effort to take power away from trolls who were polluting the reviews without seeing a movie. Now, the site works more like social media in terms of the "Want to See" function. Paul Yanover, Fandango President, shared a statement about the new verified system.
"We know from our research that fans consult Rotten Tomatoes' Audience Score along with the Tomatometer, when making decisions on what to watch. 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."
Rotten Tomatoes features an Audience Score, which is made up of ratings from users who have been confirmed to have bought tickets to a particular movie. The site is now calling them "Verified Ratings." Paul Yanover says, "We're also tagging written reviews from users we can confirm purchased tickets to a movie as 'Verified' reviews." These are some pretty big changes, but in the end, they should bring the site back to what it originated as.
There are still going to be trolls who are upset over the fact they won't be able to review bomb Lucasfilm's The Rise of Skywalker later this year, but they'll have to go find another place to do so now. Captain Marvel, Black Panther, The Last Jedi, and Solo: A Star Wars Story have all fallen victim to the review bombing on Rotten Tomatoes in the past. With the newest changes, it's going to be a lot harder than just making multiple accounts to trash a movie.
Rotten Tomatoes is going to keep trying new practices in an effort to make the site as good as it can be. While some users may not be into the newest changes, there will be more down the line, which may streamline the process even more. For the time being, it looks like the site has been going out of its way to kill the toxic trolls who have been dominating the audience reviews for the last handful of years. You can read the entire statement about the latest updates over at Rotten Tomatoes.