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Vote brigading (Known in Entertainment as Review Bombing) refers to the practice of leaving large amounts of votes in an attempt to influence the scores or performance of products or businesses either positively or negatively.
Examples of Vote Brigading
- Businesses that are featured in the news for reasons that may be considered controversial to some are often subjected to vote brigading from people sharing their opinions on what the business did, even if they have never been there. For example, after a video showing an employee at a Georgia vape shop yelling at a customer who was wearing a Make America Great Again hat was released, the business was flooded with one-star reviews and users flooded their Yelp page's photo gallery of images pertaining to Donald Trump and other memes about the incident just for the employee's actions, even though the employee was fired for his actions and the vape shop apologized for the employee's behavior. Thankfully, Yelp cleared the business of almost all reviews that pertained to the incident and removed all of the photos that had to do with the incident.
- Some people will vote brigade movies on sites like IMDb in order to make a movie look good or bad. One especially notorious example was the sudden appearance of multiple new accounts with suspiciously similar name formats giving The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, which was proving to be a box office and critical failure, ten-star reviews. This went on for some time until IMDb invalidated all ten-star reviews on the title. Although it is not known who was responsible for the vote brigade, some have theorized that it may have been someone who was involved with the movie who was responsible for doing it.
- Examples of this happening in a video game titles include Mortal Kombat 11, where it's Metacritic audience score is set to rather low. Most of these poor reviews revolved around the controversially muted character designs for the female characters and it's use of in-game microtransaction. While the complaint of microtransaction is somewhat justified, the part criticizing the the muted female character design is more of review bombing overreacton, due to radical character design for the female characters showed to be very covered up compared to previous installments, yet the male characters are unaffected by the design decision, which cries out an uneccessary pandering to political correctness. Thanks to this, the controversy prevents Mortal Kombat 11 from being added in both Crappy Games Wiki and Awesome Games Wiki. Another Game, Borderlands, was review bombed on Steam from the annonucement of Borderlands 3 seeing marketplace exclusive release on the critically panned and controversial Epic Store, a PC digital marketplace developed by Epic Games.
- Rotten Tomatoes announced that the "Want to See" score would no longer be visible during a movie's pre-release period and users would not be able to comment on a film's page until it releases due to repeated review bombs on titles like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (known as Star Wars: Episode IX at the time of Review Bombing) and Captain Marvel, with the Captain Marvel review bombs starting around the time when Brie Larson made a comment in an interview with Marie Claire where she had asked for a more diverse press room, along with bitter Star Wars fan attempted sabotage on the "Want to see" score on a Star Wars movie that wasn't even revealed at the time.
Why This Practice is Rotten
- Participating in vote brigading is rather immature, in general, especially if a movie being brigaded is not even out yet or if people have not been to the business.
- In cases where the business is getting vote brigaded for one incident or a staff member's actions, it can be detrimental to their future performance and reputation.
- Although somewhat rare, some trolls will leave reviews containing false information about a business, which can be considered defamation and can even result in legal punishment.
- In the case of the Rotten Tomatoes and Captain Marvel controversy, it can lead to features being taken away from everybody, which is highly unfair for those who did not participate in any vote brigading. It's essentially the equivalent of an entire class of students getting punished just because someone in the class did something stupid or bad.
- When review bombing happens, some websites can be slow in taking action to stop it and/or remove the offending reviews. Some cases, website like Metacritic take no action to mitigating the review bombing.
- For cases of entertainment (Movies, Video Games, Etc.), it harms general credibility of audience reviews, especially in video games, where critic reviews have lost credibility due to corruption.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- Although not the best method of doing so, it can bring attention to scummy practices of a business or organization.