Amazon Is Delaying The Rings Of Power Reviews On Prime Video To Combat Trolls

Review-bombing has been a practice employed by trolls and bigots for years, and it sounds like one streaming service is finally taking a major step to combat it. According to Variety, Amazon is employing a new method of review filtering for its shows, one that began with "A League of Their Own" last month but is likely going to gain notice as viewers start to check out "Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power."

The plan, according to Variety, is for Amazon to delay user reviews from posting for 72 hours, during which time critiques will be evaluated to figure out if they're authentic or if they're coming from a bot or troll. This means a more accurate audience response to "Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" will be available beginning Sunday, when the system has weeded out bad actors. While some will surely decry this system as a way to skew or censor reviews, the system so far appears to keep genuine viewer feedback intact regardless of star count — as seen by the small portion of "A League of Their Own" viewers who gave the romantic baseball dramedy one star reviews.

A solution to the review bomb problem

If you're unfamiliar with the concept of review-bombing, first of all, I'm jealous. Second, it's a trolling method that involves people who decide they hate a series or film (before they've even seen it) showing up en masse to give the project one star on any website that lets them, in hopes of scaring people away from watching. More often than not, this happens to major franchise projects that center on — or even just include — women, people of color, or LGBTQ people. In the case of "Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," the backlash, which began months ago, seems to be coming from a faction of Tolkein fans who hate that this fantasy series that also features dragons, orcs, and elves dares to imagine a world that isn't just white people.

While industry insiders typically know to be wary of audience scores on sites like IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes in case of potential review bombing, it's not a practice everyone knows about, which means it unfortunately can deter potential viewers. I've seen it in action, when people say they've heard a movie was bad, only to realize on further questioning that they just looked at its misleadingly low IMDb rating. Variety's report doesn't include exact details about the system Amazon is using to filter reviews, but if it's helpful, hopefully it could also be employed on other audience score sites to help give potential viewers a more accurate portrait of genuine viewer feedback.

"Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" has new episodes streaming on Fridays on Prime Video.