Captain Marvel Has Landed and so Have the Trolls, but Sites Are Fighting Back
Sad internet men have launched a coordinated attack on various outlets.
Captain Marvel hits theaters this weekend, and audiences are flocking to the latest chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After all, what’s not to love: a kickass female lead, a rocking 90s soundtrack, and an orange tabby that steals the show. But like all good things in this world, Captain Marvel is beset by a small but vocal group of trolls intent on dragging the film down to their level.
The chief complaints about the film (from folks who haven’t seen it) seems to be misogynist rage at a female superhero and bad faith hate towards some comments star Brie Larson made about inclusivity, namely that film reviewers should be more diverse.
We’ve already reported on the audience interest bombing on Rotten Tomatoes, which resulted in the site changing its policies to remove the “want to see” audience option. In a statement by the RT staff, they said,
“We are disabling the comment function prior to a movie’s release date. Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership. We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action. Don’t worry though, fans will still get to have their say: Once a movie is released, audiences can leave a user rating and comments as they always have.”
But while the pre-release comments have been shut down, it didn’t stop trolls from flooding the opening day audience score with negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes is fighting back against the bad faith commentators by purging over 50,000 bogus reviews from folks who clearly haven’t seen the film. But how did they know so many reviews were trolling attempts? Simple math.
After just one day, Captain Marvel had 58,000 audience reviews. If that number seems unusually high, well, that’s because it is. According to a post on ComicBook.com, Avengers: Infinity War garnered 53,000 reviews … over its entire run.
Directors like Rian Johnson and Paul Feig, who have seen their movies review bombed (The Last Jedi and Ghostbusters, respectively) took to Twitter in support of Captain Marvel.
What a sad sad pathetic group of people are who organize to do things like this. I mean, seriously. In the immortal words of William Shatner, “Get a life.” Good lord. https://t.co/mtcc32Upa2
— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) March 8, 2019
Pretty much the new “Certified Fresh” badge https://t.co/uCia16jzaD
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) March 8, 2019
Meanwhile, other platforms are doing their part to strip the trolls of any influence. YouTube, which is home to a variety of trolls and ComicsGaters, has changed their algorithms regarding Captain Marvel. According to The Verge, YouTube has recategorized “Brie Larson” as a “news-worthy search item.” this subtle change means that when users type the star’s name into the search bar, they are shown videos from news outlets first. The difference is striking:
This is kind of a fascinating discovery: YouTube seems to have changed the immediate "Brie Larson" search results to News. That pushes up authoritative sources and, in turn, pushes troll or MRA-style video rants pretty far down the page. Here's what it was versus now. pic.twitter.com/ifw9JjXQie
— julia 🤔 alexander (@loudmouthjulia) March 7, 2019
While it’s refreshing to see these companies put anti-trolling measures in place, the sad fact is that it won’t stop the trolls. These sad little men are not only coming after the film, but after any female journalist on social media who dares to express a positive opinion about the film.
In the meantime, it’s nice to know that while trolls suck, they ultimately have zero impact on the success of Captain Marvel. As of today, the film is projected to gross $140-150 million this weekend, and that’s just domestically. Sorry boys, but it looks like you are no match for the Captain.
(via The Hollywood Reporter, image: Marvel)
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