Netflix has removed all the user reviews submitted for TV shows, movies from its website as a part of the company's decision.
The company began notifying its subscribers of the move last month. The users could only post reviews up until July 30. The company also added that it would remove all existing reviews by mid-August, reported Variety.
Netflix indicated that they decided to do away with the feature in response to a drop in the number of users submitting reviews. But removing reviews will no doubt impact users, who rely on members' opinions to find new shows to watch. Popular original series Stranger Things had obtained 4,000 reviews on Netflix's site before it removed the feature.
Netflix may have zapped user-submitted reviews to prevent users from tanking their original programming. It may have helped drive down user's overall perception of the quality of the service.
Another case could be that Netflix users tried to sabotage titles they didn't like with a coordinated barrage of acrimony although it is not a new phenomenon on the internet. An entire conspiracy theory came out that Netflix killed the five-star content rating system in favour of the binary thumbs up/ thumbs down after Amy Schumer's comedy special was hit with one-star ratings.
"The reviews and our redesigned rating system (thumbs up/down) never contributed to how we approach personalising recommendations for members and writing a 'bad' review never had any bearing to whether a title was recommended to another viewer or not," Netflix's company representative added.
However, user ratings and reviews remain an integral part of other streaming services like Amazon, Apple's iTunes and App Store, Google Play, and Rotten Tomatoes. Multiple reviewers of the Netflix app for iOS and Android still continue to complain about Netflix's removing the five-star system.
One could only access Netflix's user reviews on the company's official website via computers; the feature was never extended to mobile or connected TV platforms. It allowed the viewers to rate series and movies using the five-star scale which is now unavailable.
Netflix's announcement has received minimal reaction and backlash. They weren't really integral to the experience. But if the users now want to talk or praise about anything on Netflix, they'll have to use some other platform for doing so.