Major Chinese media review platform rectifies rating system of movies and TV shows to prevent unhealthy ratings
Published: Dec 16, 2021 01:42 AM
Douban Photo: VCG

Douban Photo: VCG

Douban, a major Chinese media review platform popular among youngsters, announced on Tuesday that it has cleaned up 10,707,256 abnormal ratings and dealt with 199,667 illegal accounts in 2021. Additionally, the platform's rating system has continuously been updated to tackle behaviors that impact fairness in the rating of movies and TV shows.

Douban has become one of the most reliable media review platforms in the Chinese mainland among young people who have been used to searching reviews and comments on the platform before going to the cinema or watching a TV series.

The platform has claimed that its rating system of movies and TV shows has nothing to do with commercial interests to maintain the fairness of its ratings. However, its fairness has been questioned by netizens repeatedly.

The official Sina Weibo account of Douban Movie Ratings said on Tuesday that the platform also caught an abnormal rating behavior on two newly released TV series, Luoyang and Who is The Murderer.

Luoyang was rated by many users even one hour before it was released online on December 1 which made many viewers question the veracity of ratings and reviews on Douban.

The announcement by Douban came after the platform discovered the problem and cleaned up all comments and ratings that were given by users before the series was released.

The ratings and reviews on Who is The Murderer were also reported as some actors of the series received comments and reviews even before the characters appeared. The platform removed 3,209 abnormal ratings of the series.

"Our algorithm recognition program has been updating and evolving to judge 'abnormal users' and 'abnormal ratings' in real time to ensure the normal rating system. In view of the behavior that tries to destroy the fairness of ratings and disrupt the normal order of the platform, we will also claim responsibility through legal channels," the platform said.

Some unhealthy behaviors by "fans clubs" have also interfered in Douban's rating system. Fans gave high marks to TV shows with their idols and rated poorly the shows with celebrities they disliked.

Xiao Fuqiu, a film critic based in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Wednesday that it is difficult for Douban to control the unfair rating by removing the content.

Rotten Tomatoes is the US platform similar to Douban but there are other media review platforms like IMDb, Metacritic and Cinema Score, which can reduce reliance on Rotten Tomatoes.

Xiao suggested that besides Douban, more authoritative and popular Chinese media platforms should be created to meet the needs of the audience.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) ordered Douban to immediately rectify and deal with the serious situation at the beginning of December after the company repeatedly failed to conduct proper scrutiny over its content. 

The orders were given in a meeting after the CAC summoned the platform on Wednesday. A fine of 1.5 million yuan ($235,000) was also handed down by Beijing's cyberspace administration to the company.