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Netflix To Shut Down User Review Feature, Delete All Existing Reviews

Your opinions will soon matter less on Netflix. 

The streaming giant, currently in the middle of significantly increasing its investment into original TV shows and movies, will shut down its user review feature over the course of this summer, according to CNET.

The review feature, which has only ever been usable by accessing the website on a computer, will begin to be shut down on July 30, when users will no longer be able to add new reviews. After that, in mid-August, Netflix will also remove all previously-existing reviews from its platform.

Prior to the change, users were able to review any movie or TV show the service had to offer, with any reviews between 80 and 1,999 characters being allowed.

Netflix has been stripping away the functionality of its user review system since early 2017, when it changed its scale-of-five-stars rating system into a thumbs up/thumbs down one. 

That decision proved mildly controversial, as far as these things go, with the binary system drawing criticism for being, some felt, over-simplified and useless.

Weirdly, Netflix has never really promoted its text-based user review system, with the reviews only being available to read or write via the website. While the Netflix site is still well-trafficked, it likely serves fewer people on a regular basis now than it used to, considering myriad apps across many devices that many people have grown accustomed to using the service through.

Users will still be able to review movies via the up/down system following the change. But if you happened to weave some real flowery prose into your text review of the Mitt Romney documentary, you might want to go back those quips up before they're gone.

As pointed out by Variety, the mere existence of the user review system probably hasn't been doing Netflix any favors, helpful as it may have been to some subset of customers. A good review for a series wouldn't necessarily draw a viewer into a given show or movie, but a streak of bad ones for a program a viewer was on the fence about could likely help push people away. 

Considering how many Netflix originals the company is determined to keep pumping out, it follows that the company wouldn't want to give its users any mechanism that could potentially drive away a viewer — not when they own the content, and have got skin in the game.

All told, it's just one more step on your long journey toward becoming one with the algorithm, inshallah. Soon, you and your Netflix account will be a closed circuit of content recommendation and experience, unsullied by the opinions of the rabble in the outside world. It's gonna be just you and Anne with an E, coming of age on pastoral Prince Edward Island from now unto eternity. Just keep your lips sealed about it. Thumbs up or thumbs down?