Over the last day or so, one of the excuses people have been throwing around for Rotten Tomatoes’ recent change to disable the comments on unreleased movies was that the Warner Bros. and Comcast-owned site was being paid or forced by Disney to protect Captain Marvel. Today Rotten Tomatoes spoke out and confirmed it wasn’t done just for Captain Marvel.
The president of Fandango (which runs Rotten Tomatoes) told C|Net:
“(The changes) are not simply a reaction to, ‘Oh, gee, there’s some noise created around (certain movies)'”
This change didn’t just come after Captain Marvel was bombed with negative comments, hours before Rotten Tomatoes put in the change people noticed that the same thing was happening to Star Wars: Episode IX as well as Shazam following Zachary Levi calling out the Trolls the other night.
Fandango even addressed the conspiracy theory that they were forced to do it by Disney:
“None of (the site is) owned by Disney,” he said, noting that the idea that there was “some predestined arrangement between ourselves and Disney is completely untrue.”
But there’s will be more changes coming in the future, C|Net reports that Rotten Tomatoes may link up with Fandango for “verified” user reviews in the future:
Rotten Tomatoes may eventually tie in to the Fandango ticket-purchasing system, or other ticket systems, showing that a reviewer did indeed buy a ticket to that movie. It’s not unlike how Amazon notes when a book review is written by a verified purchaser of the book. And readers may be able to one day filter reviews as they choose. For example, a user who generally likes Marvel films may be able to choose to read write-ups from those who feel similarly.
Obviously this isn’t the end of the whole controversy. Disabling the comments after they were spammed is just going to cause those same people to spam negative comments on the movie once it’s been released, but it sounds like Rotten Tomatoes may be ready for that based on their comments today.