The Dark Knight Rises is coming out in just a scant few days, and it’s kind of hard to miss the frothy, rabid fandom it’s been stirring up all over the web. So much so that when poor hapless critic, Marshall Fine, had the outright gall to personally not like something, the net basically exploded all over him like a grenade of blind, self-righteous fury. Because how dare he have an opinion that doesn’t match up to your own! Rotten Tomatoes reports:
Since the referral traffic seems to have crashed his server, we’ve temporarily removed the review link at Fine’s request, so his site can go back up. But the score will not be affected. His Rotten review still applies to the score, even if the link isn’t active at the moment.
A second negative review came in, and we’ll be policing those comments, too.
We have disabled comments on The Dark Knight Rises reviews for a few days.
As expected, we saw a mountain of comments come in about his review, and we’re policing them to make sure they’re in line with our TOS. Broadly speaking, threats and hate speech will get your commenting privileges revoked. But Marshall has the right to not like the movie, and people have the right to express their disagreement with him (although if you haven’t seen the movie, your arguments may be on shaky ground). And we have the right to pull your comment down and ban you if we think you’re acting inappropriately.
And normally, that would hopefully be the end of the this, because reminding nerds that they can’t try and murder a guy for not liking the same movies as them is an exercise in stupid futility. Except then Eric D. Snider, a normally astute and respected critic, went ahead and posted a fake negative review on the site and the fan ate a second helping of shit.
Which leads me to Eric D. Snider. He thought it would be funny to post a negative review link on Rotten Tomatoes that links to his own site. He misrepresented his review link. (In case you didn’t know, some critics post their own reviews, and my staff posts some — it’s about 50/50). By attributing the link to Film.com, he misrepresented that organization. This is not the first time he’s done this, nor is it the first time his journalistic ethics have been brought into question. In our opinion, by knowingly posting a link that isn’t a review (and he hadn’t seen the movie), Snider has abused our trust, and therefore, his reviews will no longer apply to the Tomatometer.
Look, admittedly I don’t agree with what Snider did — I’m not overly fond of talented writers resorting to cheap publicity stunts for the sake of page views — but straight-up removing his voice from Rotten Tomatoes over a joke is a bit of an over-step in my opinion. Yes, using someone else’s website for the sake of grabbing some attention is a bit tasteless, but still, it’s just a harmless joke, and Snider is usually a reasonable and intelligent writer and his review are spot-on most of the time. All I’m saying is, this got really stupid really fast, and removing intelligent voices from the discussion isn’t going to make things any less dumb.
Please Note: Late Thursday evening, PopBytes will be posting a review of The Dark Knight Rises from our guy NineDaves!