Netflix and chill, just don't review Image: Thinkstock
How many of you go by user reviews? Well, if it's an online shopping site, most definitely yes. But what about video-on-demand services such as Netflix?
The truth is complex — for starters, yes, we do rely on user reviews, but more than random users, we'd probably go with what our friends have recommended. But then, ever so often, you do come across a show — thanks to the algorithm that shows you content based on the kind of stuff you've watched lately — that your friends haven't told you about. That's when the user reviews come in extremely handy.
But Netflix's decision to pull down the user review service from their site maims that possibility. The company, earlier this year, had done away with the star rating options, and now is about to do the same with the reviews. They have started intimating customers that come July 30, the feature will disappear, along with any previous reviews you might have added.
The reason behind the decision is the decrease in the use of this feature, says a company spokesperson. However, this could be because the review option was available only on the desktop version, even though the maximum content is consumed through the app on smartphones and tablets. Needless to say, Tweeple are not happy with this decision.
Interestingly, this comes right before Netflix's show with the Obamas and some feel the brand is trying to avoid the avalanche of hate comments. Turns out Netflix had killed the rating system after Amy Schumer's comedy special was targetted by 'review bombing' (where online trolls attempt to bring down a show's rating with negative reviews), and this move seems completely in line with that.
However, many feel this decision was triggered by The Last Jedi, added recently to Netflix's repertoire. Much like Amy's special, The last Jedi has been trolled nastily.
Hateful and nasty comments not only reflect badly on the brand, they are also difficult to moderate. Last year, IMDb shut down its user discussion boards because it seemed to not serve any purpose.
Can we just take a moment to acknowledge the damage online trolls are doing to our lives, even indirectly? Alas!