Holy Backlash, Batman! Dark Knight Rises Commenting Suspended on Rotten Tomatoes

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BatmanRises

The Dark Knight Rises has already made history.

For the first time since its inception, review-aggregating site Rotten Tomatoes has blocked users from making comments on reviews of the final chapter of Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy after the responses to the few negative reviews it has received got way out of hand.

At publication time, the film had an 87 percent approval rating. But apparently that just isn’t good enough for some people.

Two reviews in particular got fans’ collective goat: Hollywood and Fine‘s “grandiose not grand” appraisal, and the Associated Press’ assertion that The Dark Knight Rises was an “epic letdown.”

You’d think Bane was in charge of the anarchic response.

“It’s probably safe to say that The Dark Knight Rises is the most anticipated film of the year. More than The Hobbit. More than The Avengers,” Rotten Tomatoes editor-in-chief Matt Atchity wrote in an open letter after he reportedly spent hours removing degrading and threatening comments.

“And,” he wrote, “my staff and I knew full well that when the first negative review came in, the reviewer would get pasted in the comments. That dubious honor goes to Marshall Fine. He’s a critic we’ve included on our site—he’s got a respectable background in criticism, and we think he should be included on our site.”

They removed the link to Fine’s review because Hollywood and Fine was crashing under the weight of the angry traffic, but his review still factored in to the film’s Tomatometer rating, Atchison explained.

“As expected, we saw a mountain of comments come in about his review, and we’re policing them to make sure they’re in line with our TOS,” his letter continued. “Broadly speaking, threats and hate speech will get your commenting privileges revoked. But Marshall has the right to not like the movie, and people have the right to express their disagreement with him (although if you haven’t seen the movie, your arguments may be on shaky ground). And we have the right to pull your comment down and ban you if we think you’re acting inappropriately.”

Atchity told the New York Times that Rotten Tomatoes would likely restore commenter privileges on the film’s reviews by Thursday or Friday, but that he’s strongly considering changing the site’s commenting system to a sign-in format, so as to stop folks from abusing the forum anonymously.

 

 

by Natalie Finn

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