Netflix has wiped all of its users’ movie reviews from at least the past decade from its platform. The company announced it would scrap reviews in 2017 following a wave of one-star reviews left on actress Amy Schumer’s The Leather Special.
According to IndieWire, Netflix has finally “removed every customer critique ever written, a move that comes a little more than a year after it did away with its five-star rating system in favor of a simple thumbs up/thumbs down approach.”
The Netflix help page provides the company’s explanation of the move. “You can no longer post reviews on Netflix. Netflix customers were able to leave reviews on Netflix.com until mid-2018, when reviews were removed due to declining use.”
In a statement provided to Variety, Netflix claimed that negative written reviews did not contribute to whether or not a movie would be suggested to other people. The company said: “the reviews and our redesigned ratings system (thumbs up/down) never contributed to how we approach personalizing recommendations for members and writing a ‘bad’ review never had any bearing to whether a title was recommended to another viewer or not.”
The new system will tailor suggestions to users based on whether they vote up or vote down a title. The company claims, “The more you use Netflix, the more relevant your suggested content will be.”
“Five stars feels very yesterday now,” declared the streaming giant’s Vice President of Product, Todd Yellin, last year. “We’re spending many billions of dollars on the titles we’re producing and licensing, and with these big catalogs, that just adds a challenge.”
Netflix faced controversy last year after Amy Schumer’s Netflix special The Leather Special received a wave of negative one-star reviews, which the comedian blamed on the “alt right.”
“The alt right organized trolls attack everything I do,” Schumer proclaimed. “They organize to get my ratings down. Meeting in sub Reddit rooms. They tried on my book and movies and tv show.”