Rotten Tomatoes Introduces ‘Verified’ Audience Score For Confirmed Ticket Buyers
There are fresh changes coming to Rotten Tomatoes’ audience score. In the wake of several controversies involving trolls trying to deliberately rank the audience’s ratings on the movie movie review site, Rotten Tomatoes will now have two audience scores: One for all audiences and one for “verified” users who, according to a press release, “are confirmed to have purchased tickets.” Those verified fans’ written reviews will also “display a “verified” badge.”
Rotten Tomatoes users who buy tickets through Fandango (the site that just so happens to own Rotten Tomatoes) will be able to confirm their tickets, while “AMC Theatres, Regal and Cinemark Theatres plan to participate as ticket purchase authenticators later this year.” You won’t have to buy a ticket to rate or review a movie — but just the verified reviews will count towards the “Verified Audience” score, which will be the default one at the top of every movie’s Rotten Tomatoes’ page.
The new system looks similar to the way professional reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are divided into “all critics” and “top critics” for those who are deemed respected or authoritative enough to make that smaller list. And just as you can switch back and forth between those two sets of critics, you’ll be able to toggle between two sets of audiences; those who definitely saw the movie before they reviewed it and those who might just harbor an obsession for (or vendetta against) a certain movie.
Rotten Tomatoes provided me with this image of what the new system looks like:
I will be curious what the disparity between this new “Verified Audience” score and the “All Audience” score becomes, particularly on movies that touch on hot-button issues. Will casual users be educated enough to understand the difference? A division of all critics and top critics is pretty self-explanatory. Hopefully Rotten Tomatoes works to educate their readers what the difference between these two audience scores will mean.
Of course, I still don’t understand why a website devoted to collecting movie reviews really needs an audience score at all. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t include one. But it’s not! And so now there isn’t just one audience score. There is two. We’ll see how trolls react to this news soon enough; a new Star Wars movies hits theaters this Christmas.
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