The popular movie review conglomerate Rotten Tomatoes is finally making long-overdue changes to their Audience Score. Now the audience score will only reflect reviews from users who have verified with the site that they indeed bought a ticket to the movie they’re scoring.

The new verified ticket purchase system is a part of Rotten Tomatoes’ ongoing battle with internet trolls who have been coordinating “review bomb” attacks on films– largely before their release even– to make it appear as if more audience members are disliking a particular film than is true. RT explains the change as a result of “increased skepticism about online user ratings and reviews, and greater demand for transparency about how user scores are generated.”

The site goes more in depth:

“We believe an Audience Score made up of these Verified Ratings is the most trustworthy measure of user sentiment we can offer right now – one that gives entertainment fans a genuine audience assessment of a movie they’re considering watching, and one which puts significant roadblocks in front of bad actors who would seek to manipulate the Audience Score.”

Ticket buyers can verify their purchases and ultimately their reviews through Fandango; AMC Theaters, Regal Cinemas, and Cinemark, which have all agreed to be a part of the new system. Rotten Tomatoes plans on bringing aboard more ticket providers down the road.

The change marks the first in a rollout of enhancements planned for the Audience Score. The site did not provide details on what exactly those changes might entail.

What do you think about Rotten Tomatoes finally verifying audience reviews? Are you glad to see the change? I for one am glad to see the site take the next step in this ongoing battle with internet trolls. Not only does it help legitimize the Audience Score, but it also helps Rotten Tomatoes stay relevant in a changing review landscape. Sound off in the comments below and let me know what you think about this story!


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