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Amazon’s putting a three-day pause on reviews for The Rings of Power

The Verge logo The Verge 9/4/2022 Emma Roth
© Image: Amazon Studios

Amazon is reportedly putting a three-day delay on user reviews for all of its content on Prime Video, including the newly-released The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. According to reports from Variety and Deadline, the delay is supposed to help stave off review bombing, or the act of flooding a particular show, movie, game, or book with negative remarks.

An Amazon representative told Variety that it put the policy in place to give the service time to evaluate whether a user review comes from an actual viewer — not a bot or troll looking to hijack the reviews section. Amazon introduced the policy earlier this summer, starting with its reboot of A League of Their Own, which contended with review bombers who opposed the show’s political stance.

The Rings of Power is, unfortunately, dealing with a similar influx of negative reviews, with some users targeting its inclusion of actors from underrepresented backgrounds. The series offers a different take on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings universe, and is set during Middle-earth’s Second Age. Amazon says the series raked in 25 million global viewers the day it premiered, making it the biggest debut for Amazon Prime Video to date.

But despite Amazon’s efforts to hold back a wave of bad reviews on its platform, this still doesn’t stop The Rings of Power from getting review bombed on other websites, like Rotten Tomatoes and the Amazon-owned IMDb. The series currently has a general audience rating of 34 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, while 24.7 percent of reviewers on IMDb gave it one star.

In 2019, Rotten Tomatoes attempted to address this issue by deploying verified reviews that let users show proof that they purchased tickets to the film they’re reviewing. It also started blocking users from posting reviews about movies that haven’t even been released yet. This obviously doesn’t help much when it comes to TV reviews, but came in response to users who bombarded Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi with bad faith reviews at the time.

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