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‘Alt-right’ detractor claiming credit for tanking The Last Jedi’s Rotten Tomatoes score with bots

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Dec 17, 2018, 4:00 PM EST (Updated)

Over at Rotten Tomatoes, The Last Jedi has been enjoying an aggregated film critics’ score that hovers well above 90 percent on the Tomatometer — a measure of the percentage of critics who’ve reviewed a movie favorably. In marked contrast, though, the site’s fan Tomatometer score is low — startlingly so.

While there’s often notable disparity between critic and fan opinions, it’s rare, to say the least, for one of those numbers to be nearly twice the other. And while there’s been plenty of legitimate fan pushback over everything from the film’s goofball comedy to backstories for characters like Phasma and Snoke, one angry fan is claiming credit for driving The Last Jedi’s Tomatometer score artificially low.

A person who’s allegedly an administrator for a politically tinged Facebook page called “Down With Disney's Treatment of Franchises and Its Fanboys” spoke with HuffPost and claims to be responsible for using bots to spam The Last Jedi’s Tomatometer score as a way to protest what one post on the Facebook page describes as “pandering to liberals.”

Emasculation and bringing strength to marginalized groups apparently rank high on the list of supposed offenses that motivated the alleged bot attack.

HuffPost sent a direct message to the site, and reported this interaction:

“Throughout the course of our conversation, the self-identified member of the ‘alt-right’ claimed that Poe Dameron (played by Oscar Isaac) is a ‘victim of the anti-mansplaining movement,’ that Poe and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) are in danger of being ‘turn[ed]’ gay, and that men should be reinstated as rulers of ‘society.’ ”

So, in protest, the moderator claims, bots were deployed. “Thanks to friends of mine who taught me a thing or two about Bot Accounts, I used them to create this audience score through Facebook accounts created that subsequently logged into Rotten Tomatoes who rigged this score and still keep it dropping,” the moderator posted to the Facebook account.

It’s not just Star Wars that has the alleged bot-spammer upset. Other posts to the Facebook account reveal an overall discontentment with social-justice themes popping up in other Disney franchises, and with Marvel films in particular, which the moderator believes have “ruined superhero movies forever.”