For those blissfully unaware, review bombing is the practice whereby large groups of bitter dorks decide to leave bad reviews en masse for a piece of entertainment after one of them finds out it's doing a multiculturalism. Since the phenomenon took off, websites have struggled to successfully quarantine it. But now, Rotten Tomatoes thinks it has found a way to push trolls out of review sites -- and maybe accidentally push them into your movie theater.
Fandango, the ticket sales company which owns RT, has announced that people will now only be able to post score-affecting reviews if they can prove they've actually seen the movie, in order to contain the cowherds of 4channers trying to crater a film's grade on Day 1. And for trolls wanting to fire off one last bile volley, sorry. The policy is already implemented, meaning the first three movies getting the "You break it, you buy it" treatment are Aladdin, Book Smart, and Brightburn, which all open this weekend. So a movie with predominantly brown people, a movie for women directed by a woman, and a critique of a DC superhero produced by Marvel darling James Gunn? Good timing.
Of course, there are some major teething issues in this attempt to defang trolls. For now, the only way to review a movie is by buying tickets through Fandango and its select theaters, meaning the movie opinions of the entire world will temporarily be decided by a few hundred New Yorkers and Midwestern parents who have to see The Angry Birds Movie 2 ten times in a row. Meanwhile, this system does absolutely nothing to shield TV shows, which don't have a proof of purchase, meaning they'll likely become the victim of trolls redirecting all of their impotent rage onto the next season of Dr. Who, or making The Mandalorian suffer for the sins of the Skywalker.
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