Report: YouTube Alters Search Algorithm to Deter ‘Captain Marvel’ Critics

Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios

In an attempt to deter critics of Marvel’s latest superhero blockbuster film Captain Marvel, YouTube has reportedly tweaked it’s search algorithm to rank “authoritative sources” higher in results.

CNET reports that following the release of Marvel’s latest superhero blockbuster film Captain Marvel, YouTube tweaked its algorithm to dissuade critics of the film. Over the weekend, searches for the film’s star Brie Larson were marked as “news,” which ranked “authoritative sources” higher in search rankings.

The change was noted by Twitter user Julia Alexander who questions if the algorithm alteration may have been made to push critical videos further down in search rankings:

Marvel’s Captain Marvel has faced a number of online controversies since its release, notably on the review site On March 8, Breitbart News reporter Justin Caruso wrote:

Rotten Tomatoes displays two scores for Captain Marvel–one aggregated from reviews of movies critics in different publications, and another from general user ratings.

The list of approved critics handed the new film a high 81 percent mark, but average viewers were less impressed, clocking in at only 36 percent liking the movie.

The film has already faced some controversy on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie-reviewing site shut down audience reviews until the film actually came out, citing their concern that trolls would rig the numbers.

Captain Marvel features the first female-led Marvel superhero, and the film is full of social justice themes.

Star Brie Larson claims her acting in the movie is her “activism” and declared the movie to be about “intersectional feminism.” Larson also kicked off promotion by complaining about movie critics being “overwhelmingly white male .”

But now, just a few days later, the film sits at an audience review score of 58 percent. Some have noted that the audience review score for the film has jumped up and down dramatically, as has the number of reviews that have been submitted. Comic news website Comicbook News noted this in an article, providing date stamps of the change between the two audience review figures:

However, regardless of whether or not review scores are being manipulated, even some film critics have noted that the latest superhero flick is mediocre at best.

Indiewire summed up their review of the film, saying, “Neither a blast from the past, nor an inspiring glimpse into the future, at the end of the day it’s just another Marvel movie. And not a particularly good one, at that.”

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at


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