Screencap of the logo for the Black Panther film from the official trailer, February 4, 2018 – Marvel Entertainment/Youtube
CAIRO – 4 February 2018: Facebook has taken measures to fight back against online trolls threatening to flood popular films with negative reviews by shutting down a group that aimed to target the upcoming Marvel film “Black Panther”.
Directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o and Forest Whitaker, “Black Panther” adapts another Marvel hero for the big screen. This time, bringing to life the titular superhero, who is King of the fictional, high-tech African city of Wakanda. After the death of his father, T’Challa (Boseman) must take his place as the king of Wakanda and don the mask of Black Panther to challenge those who want his throne, which could lead the peaceful city to war.
“Black Panther” will release in U.S. cinemas on February 16, 2018.
The Facebook group planning to bombard the film with negative reviews was called “Down with Disney's Treatment of Franchises and its Fanboys” as it was originally founded to combat Disney’s revival of Star Wars. Upon hosting an event called “Give Black Panther a Rotten Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes,” which saw 3,700 people sign up to give the film false negative reviews in order to help it fail, and was set to begin on February 15 until February 24, the first week of the film’s release.
A statement released from Rotten Tomatoes to CNN wrote that their security network would work to ensure these false reviewers would be banned, according to The Verge. Shortly after their statement was released, Facebook took action and deleted the group. Facebook also released a statement decrying what they saw as an act of “hate speech and bullying.”
The upcoming “Black Panther” film is estimated to become a blockbuster hit, and is already having a positive influence on black communities, particularly with the youth. The film portrays an Africa city as a place of great technological progress, with a predominately African cast. According to Fandango, “Black Panther” has already outsold every other superhero movie in pre-order ticket sales, and broke the record for the website’s pre-sale tickets for a Marvel Cinematic Universe films.