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YouTube Reportedly Changes Algorithm To Combat Captain Marvel Trolls

Brie Larson firing energy blast on a train in Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel may have a serious Skrull problem on the big screen, but here in reality the Captain's big antagonist is a horde of different creatures, internet trolls. The newest Marvel movie was dealing was a large group of internet trolls who began review bombing Captain Marvel before the movie ever actually hit theaters. At the same time it was happening, Rotten Tomatoes made some changes to its site, and now it looks like YouTube might have made a slight tweak to its algorithm to avoid the same problem.

An eagle-eyed fan on Twitter discovered, and it was confirmed by CNET, that if you enter either Captain Marvel on Brie Larson in the search bar of YouTube, the resulting list defaults to the "News" heading rather than just giving you a random list of popular videos. Searching for Brie Larson will give you interviews she has done recently or other more factual based videos. Here's what you get if you search for Larson...

Brie Larson YouTube search results page

On the other hand, here's what you get if you just do a search for Avengers: Endgame. Notice, there's no news header at the top and the videos that appear are theory and opinion videos rather than interviews about the film.

Avengers: Endgame YouTube search results.

It certainly appears that a switch got flipped somewhere at YouTube, as the videos are quite different for Captain Marvel related searches. While YouTube hasn't currently commented on the situation, many are wondering if the site made the change to push the trolling and review bombing posts further down the page to make them harder for people to find.

This comes after Rotten Tomatoes made changes to the way the audience score for movies is handled on the site. While RT claims Captain Marvel was not the reason the change was made, the fact is the movie was certainly being hit by a deluge of negative reviews that came before any of those commenting could have seen the film, which showed the movie was clearly a victim of the practice. YouTube would have a hard time claiming this was a Captain Marvel issue, as it's the only movie seemingly effected.

The campaign of negative criticism did not appear to have much impact on Captain Marvel. The movie did massive business over its opening weekend and, while the critical reviews haven't been quite as glowing as previous MCU entries, the majority of people, both critic and general fan, seem to like the movie.

Of course, this decision doesn't simply hurt the trolls. It will also have an impact on Captain Marvel content that isn't trying to be inflammatory, that might actually be complementary. It's all going to get pushed to the bottom, which could be a larger issue for YouTube in general.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.