The Lord of the Rings - The Rings of Power

Amazon has come up with a new way of fighting online trolls. The company has introduced a 72-hour delay for user reviews on Prime Video. The change comes amid the many negative reviews bombarding “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” where hate has poured over the choice of the cast playing different roles, such as elves, dwarfs, and hobbits.

Amazon delays Rings of Power reviews by three days

Amazon has chosen delays as the latest weapon it will use to fight against hate on Amazon Prime Video. The company has launched a 72-hour delay for all user reviews on Prime Video.

A report by Variety cited a representative of the company who said that every negative review would be evaluated to determine whether it is authentic or a fake one created by a troll or a bot.

The 72-hour delay comes amid the release of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” The fantasy series premiering on Prime Video has been the victim of review bombing. Review bombing happens when online trolls bombard a show with negative reviews.

For instance, on Rotten Tomatoes, the show has an 84% rating from genuine critics. However, the same show is rated 37% on the site going by user-submitted reviews. On IMDb, which Amazon also owns, Rings of Power has 17,500 one-star ratings, with 25% of the reviews being for the title. However, most of the reviews have been ignored by IMDb’s “weighted average” ratings.”

The show has been under criticism for months because of the decision to have people of color play different roles, such as elves, dwarves, hobbits, and other mythical beings in a fictional Middle-earth.

The new initiative by Amazon to evaluate reviews is aimed at removing the reviews posted by trolls to ensure they do not impact the show’s success. Interestingly, it is not the first time that Prime Video is taking such action to weed out online trolls.

In “A League of Their Own,” Amazon introduced a similar delay, which seems to have worked. The show has a 4.3-star rating out of 5 on Prime Video. Only 14% of users gave the show a one-star rating, while 80% gave it a five-star rating.

The menace of review bombing

Review bombing has become a significant challenge for large media production companies with a large fanbase. Sites such as Rotten Tomatoes can be used to leave bulky messages of negative reviews, which brings down show ratings. Troll ratings also pose a negative effect on the commercial triumph of the production.

Some shows that have been previously review-bombed include a 2016 Ghostbusters prequel that was trolled for having all-female stars. Chinese players in the “Life is Strange: True Colours” video game review bombed it for depicting a Tibetan flag.

However, large production companies such as Amazon could face a lot of backlash for censoring reviews. While the company is policing reviews on Prime Video, there are significant weaknesses in the review system on the company’s e-commerce site. Fake ratings and reviews on Amazon have left shoppers at risk of buying fake products that have been given fake five-star ratings.