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Netflix is removing subscribers’ ability to leave movie reviews

Company cites declining use

Laura Dern is Amilyn Holdo in THE LAST JEDI. David James /Lucasfilm Ltd.

User reviews are the latest feature Netflix is removing from its streaming platform, citing a decline in use “over time.”

Netflix will no longer allow users to write reviews directly on the platform for desktop users, and any previous user reviews will be removed entirely by mid-August, a rep told CNET. Declining usage isn’t too surprising considering how challenging it can be to even find the review section. It isn’t exactly in plain sight; it’s hidden, and there are multiple steps to actually tracking down the reviews. Let’s lay them out quickly:

  • Hover over the down arrow on the movie you want to watch
  • Click on details
  • Click on the side arrow to the right of the details page
  • Click on “see all reviews”
  • Choose “write a review

The quality of reviews left on movies differ from title to title. Take Star Wars: The Last Jedi for example. Most of the reviews provide one-star ratings, and feature some colorful language as to why they’re not fans of Rian Johnson’s film. Here’s an example.

Star Wars Netflix
Star Wars: The Last Jedi review on Netflix.

According to Netflix’s statement, the on-site reviews aren’t a feature that many people are using anymore. Most of the films we looked into for this story garnered anywhere between 150 and 1,000 reviews. That’s a decent number of people wanting to jot their thoughts down, but Netflix has more than 100 million subscribers worldwide. it’s a tiny portion of the company’s audience leaving reviews on movies.

The issue is how subscribers see the company’s decision to remove the feature entirely. it’s part of an ongoing tug-of-war among Netflix subscribers. Subscribers have previously said the company is providing fewer opportunities to provide feedback and enhance their experience — like dropping the older rating system and replacing it with a detested thumbs up/thumbs down method.

“This is absolutely ridiculous,” one person wrote on Reddit. “Not sure what the aim to achieve with this but it is definitely not going to stop people from saying negative thing about their shows.”

Others are suspicious that Netflix is removing the system in order to avoid negative reviews of Netflix Original projects on the platform. But Netflix hasn’t commented on that.

“Fucking dreadful,” another Reddit user said. “It really just means that people are going to shit on their shows on some other site. Either way, if people don’t like it, they won’t like it.”

The fact remains that Netflix’s review system, very hard to find today, will disappear by the end of the summer. Subscribers will no longer be allowed to post reviews by the end of July, and older reviews will disappear from the site mid-August.