After more than a decade, the era of user-submitted reviews on Netflix has come to a close. The streaming giant has now 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.
According to the company’s help page, “Netflix customers were able to leave reviews on Netflix.com until mid-2018, when reviews were removed due to declining use.” It may also be the case that negative reviews of movies, TV shows, and stand-up specials did more to dissuade potential viewers than positive reviews did them to draw in; as with most of life’s mysteries, we may never know the true answer.
According to Variety, Netflix said in a statement that “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 decision hasn’t been met with the same backlash that such changes often are, perhaps because user reviews were only ever viewable on Netflix’s website and not on mobile and TV apps.
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