The days of posting and reading user reviews on Netflix are over. As of Friday, the streaming service has removed all of its customer reviews for TV shows, movies, and other programming from its website.
The removal of the user-submitted reviews isn't exactly a surprise. According to Variety, Netflix notified customers last month that it would be removing the feature and as of July 30, fans were no longer allowed to post new reviews. The notice to users also stated that the streaming giant would purge all of the existing reviews by mid-August, a move that effectively wiped away over a decade worth of reviews. Stranger Things alone had around 4,000 reviews for the series before they were removed.
So why did Netflix choose to eliminate and purge user reviews? The official position is that there has been a steady drop in usage of the feature, which is what the service sites on their help page when one searches for how to post a review.
"Netflix customers were able to leave reviews on Netflix.com until mid-2018, when reviews were removed due to declining use," the statement says. However, some fans think that the user reviews were terminated due to a combination of reasons, including negative reviews on some of the service's original programming.
The loss of user reviews comes on the heels of another development with Netflix's service that has users talking as well: the incorporation of ads and commercials. Earlier this week, a Reddit user by the name of WhyAllTheTrains posted about their experience, noting that they had finished an episode of Rick and Morty on Netflix and, instead of airing the next episode, the service played a trailer for Better Call Saul. They also noted a timer in the corner of the commercial, but there was no option to skip. The user noted that they had to sit through the whole ad before the next episode of Rick and Morty would play.
Netflix users weren't particularly happy about either development took to social media about them, though at least in the case of the reviews it's a change that is likely here to stay. Netflix told Variety that the reviews had no effect on recommendation algorithms.
"The reviews and our redesigned ratings system (thumbs up/down) n ever 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," a rep told Variety.
You can check out some of the user reactions to Netflix's termination of user reviews below and be sure to let us know what you think about the change in our comments section below.
Pouring one out for user reviews
pouring one out for netflix user reviews and another terrible loss in the Free Marketplace of Ideas™ pic.twitter.com/ZPRgo7AgB7— Jeneral Kenobi! (@Niwannabe) August 18, 2018
Blame the algorithm
@Netflix removes user reviews and then adds playing ads for their stuff during your binges. Maybe if the interface was designed to help find stuff you wanted instead of "magic algorithms", we wouldn't need ads to know about the content we want.— Jordan Gammey (@jordanclock) August 18, 2018
...did netflix remove all user reviews? so if i'm on the fence about a movie i have to go to another website and search for reviews myself?? WHY REMOVE THAT FEATURE??— kat o'keeffe (@kat_tastic) August 15, 2018
Absolutely ridiculous @netflix got rid of user reviews. What horse shit. Now Amazon is better, and they have shittier content.— Dank Democracy (@Dank_Democracy) August 16, 2018
Covering up for poorly-reviewed shows?
Heyyy Netflix no longer shows user reviews! A few days ago, I noticed they had been hidden for its new show Insatiable, presumably because they were all so negative, and now there is nary a scrap of praise or criticism to be heard anywhere—just the drone of the autoplay promos ?— Robin Sloan (@robinsloan) August 16, 2018
Bad for business
Oh dear. I guess if there is a possibility that people may say exactly what they think about what they watch, then it could be bad for Netflix business.— PulpKult (@PulpKult) August 17, 2018
Netflix Kills User Reviews https://t.co/oDDsgQg1Pb
There's always IMDb
Netflix user reviews might be gone, but at least we still have user submitted IMDB keywords.— Harry (@LACordCutter) August 17, 2018