If you haven’t heard the news, Netflix is removing user reviews from it’s site and I’m Grr… angry about it. No more stars and no more comments on the movie and I for one am going to miss it. There are numerous reviews on my site in which I checked the user reviews to get a general consensus on what the general reception of the film and maybe even read a couple reviews to get a rough understanding before or after on why people are having that opinion on the film.
I honestly can’t blame Netflix on this decision, I understand how the internet breeds negativity and I mean would you really but the manufacture cost on a price tag would you. This however kind of sends the message of “we know we make crap, and that crappy things are on here and we don’t care”. I mean the strange thing is that I don’t necessarily believe in you ratings. You won’t find stars or number ratings on this site because I don’t want to streamline the review and that be the central focus. I don’t want you to scroll down to the end and decide the above a 7/10 means I liked and recommend that you should see it. I kind of hope to actually present analysis and give thought to the production and narratives in film and hope you’ll weigh these preferences to your own liking and be able come away with your own judgement.
I don’t knock on anyone who uses ratings as some of my favorite reviewers on WordPress and other places use rating systems and I understand the usefulness but ultimately feels that it spurs a lot of comparing apples to oranges problem and devalues what is said beside that number. I wish Netflix would have rather opted to improve the rating systems than discard it. I know Steam which is used for PC games has included in the ratings of games the “amount of hours played” which is useful in determining the validity of the reviewer whether the watched the entire film or not at all could be a way to steer clear of this “trolls” defense Netflix is using.
Netflix is using this whole excuse that the internet trolls are ruining ratings by bombarding them with negative reviews but let’s be honest we all know that that’s not what’s happening. Now let’s not be naive of course internet trolling is a thing and I’m sure that they can do some real damage and as irrational as they can be 1) It’s still an opinion even if it’s highly irrational or extreme and 2) this is a lame way the content creators or producers can just put there fingers in their ears and go “LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU”. I mean I’ve noticed the blaming of the trolls on many things and while comments made by those who are emotionally inarticulate who drench their comments in misogyny and racism are vile and uncalled for, is it possible that before you dismiss every and all negative critic that maybe your: I killed an entire cow for a lame gag comedy special, A drinkle of wine, Ghoul Blockers, or Star Wars: The Last Jedi actually had flaws and (GASP) not appeal to a lot of people.
Again I think rating systems or inherently flawed, I take them with a grain of salt because I do kind of agree with the idea of the Silent Majority. The people moved to take action and actually take the time to write a review are going to be the people on the two ends of the spectrum of liking or hating it. While the majority people don’t care as much and don’t hold as extreme opinions as the ones being expressed. Netflix is reinforcing that the ratings don’t serve much in recommendations but that the algorithm will be the be all end all in you deciding what to watch… and I think that’s awful. I mean let’s be honest algorithms are biased. We all like to believe that all computer is an impartial and complex decision making that will make the best calls but… that’s B.S. because someone has to make the algorithm of course. Essentially Netflix has the power to assign the values I mean to over simplify it: Type of movie recommended= Certain Genre of Movie X + Certain Movie Studio Y in this case what you what is influenced by both these factors but the algorithm can easily look like: Recommendation = 2X + 4Y Now Netflix has decided that studio content is a heavier factor to recommend then genre you watch. I know YouTube suffers from frustration over the favoritism in its algorithm deciding homepage, trending, a sidebar recommended videos and I’ve found the netflix percent compatibility thing to be horrendously uneffective.
I’m actually not that angry and am very understanding of why Netflix would come to this conclusion but I’m actually going to be a little disappointed in watching it go. Some of my favorite experiences watching Netflix were influenced by taking a peek at the the reviews. I wouldn’t maybe not have watched fun TV shows like The UnBreakable Kimmy Schmidt if the generally positive reviews didn’t sway me to give it a try, I maybe wouldn’t have watch some of the awful horror films if I didn’t get curious by seeing how bad and funny some of these 1 star movies are, and I maybe wouldn’t have watched Dig Two Graves and other mixed reviews films that I wanted to assure that I could come to my own conclusions on whether a film was good or not.
I mean I can’t be too disappointed as this might mean that more people will just have to find me to know what’s up. What do you all think, be sure to leave your number rating or a thumbs up/down to let me know what you think of my little rant or the news of Netflix ditching user reviews. Thanks for stopping by and as always I will see you at the movies.