"The Little Mermaid" gets review-bombed by racists

The IMDb website was compelled to adjust its published average viewer rating of Disney's new live-action version of The Little Mermaid when it discovered "unusual voting activity." Link to AV Club article here.

Review bombing is a strange aspect of the state of cinema in the Internet age. The term refers specifically to the phenomenon of users posting negative reviews of a film in order to lower its average rating. Review bombers often haven't seen the film that they're negatively reviewing, or are reacting to an aspect of the film unrelated to that film's actual content. For example, racists might review bomb The Little Mermaid live action adaptation because they don't like that a Black actor was cast as Ariel.

As of this writing, the IMDb adjusted "user rating" for The Little Mermaid (2023) was 7.0/10, on 40k votes.

IMDb posted a warning note on its review page for The Little Mermaid.

"Our rating mechanism has detected unusual voting activity on this title. To preserve the reliability of our rating system, an alternate weighting calculation has been applied," the note reads. On its FAQ page, the site explains, "Although we accept and consider all votes received by users, not all votes have the same impact (or 'weight') on the final rating. When unusual voting activity is detected, an alternate weighting calculation may be applied in order to preserve the reliability of our system."

It's unclear exactly how IMDb determines there is unusual voting activity and what kind of alternative weighting calculation it applies to correct for that.