Rotten Tomatoes Unveils ‘Verified’ Reviews To Improve Rating System

A booth attendant plays a video game on a smartphone during the Tokyo Game Show 2018 on September 20, 2018 in Chiba, Japan.
Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty Images

Movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes unveiled a new “verified” rating system that will help users make better movie viewing options as well as fight trolls.

In a statement on Thursday, Rotten Tomatoes said the site will feature an “audience score” that will be complied of ratings from moviegoers the company can confirm bought tickets to movies. The site will display a check mark with “verified” beside it next to the user’s rating.

The company said that verified reviews will be the default display on a movie’s landing page, and users who want to view movie scores compiled from all ratings could find them under the “All Audience” tab.

Beginning May 23, users can get their rating and review verified if they purchase their movie tickets through Fandango, parent company of Rotten Tomatoes. After users purchase tickets, they will receive a push notification from the Fandango app after the movie ends asking them to review the movie. Users must have a Rotten Tomatoes account to leave a review, which will also be used to help verify the ticket purchase. Once verified, the review will appear on the website.

Moviegoers who purchase tickets at a theater’s box office will hopefully be able to participate in the verified review system in the future. Greg Ferris, Rotten Tomatoes vice president of product said the goal of the rating system was “to make the tool as “ubiquitous as possible,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Fandango chief marketing officer Lori Pantel said the move would add more credibility to movie scores.

“One of the added values of verified is that it could dissuade what we call ‘bad actors’ from commenting on a film that they may not have even seen,” she said.

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The company also said on its website that the verified ratings were the “most trustworthy measure of user sentiment” it could offer right now, adding that verified reviews give a “genuine audience assessment of a movie” while they put “significant roadblocks in front of bad actors who would seek to manipulate the Audience Score.”

Rotten Tomatoes said that AMC Theaters, Regal Cinemas, and Cinemark have also signed up to participate in the verification program later in the year, adding that it planned to include other ticket providers in the future.

The tightening of guidelines comes after an avalanche of negative reviews were posted to Captain Marvel before the movie hit the box office. As a result, Rotten Tomatoes closed comment sections on movies until they open in theaters. The company said the change was in response to an “uptick in nonconstructive input.”