IMDb Artificially Boosts Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' User Score After Detecting 'Unusual User Voting'
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IMDb has claimed to have detected “unusual user voting” for Disney’s new live-action remake of The Little Mermaid and as a result, has switched to an “alternate weighting calculation” in order to artificially boost the movie’s user score.

The Little Mermaid‘s IMDb page currently shows a user rating of 7.0, even though the majority of users gave it a score of 3 or lower out of a possible ten. More than 40 percent of users gave it a score of 1, which is the lowest possible rating.


“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,” IMDb said.

IMDb, which is owned by Amazon, typically uses some sort of weighted average  to calculate a movie’s displayed user rating, but the site keeps that formula under lock and key. “To ensure that our rating mechanism remains effective, we do not disclose the exact method used to generate the rating,” the site states.

It appears that The Little Mermaid‘s weighted average is even more “weighted” than usual.

IMDb does display an “unweighted mean” for every title, which is simply the statistical mean of every user vote.



The Little Mermaid remake’s “unweighted mean” is a 4.6, which represents a large discrepancy with the displayed weighted user rating of 7.0.

By comparison, The Super Mario Bros. Movie has an unweighted mean of 7.6 versus its displayed weighted rating of 7.2.

Last year’s Top Gun: Maverick has an unweighted mean of 8.5 versus its displayed weighted rating of 8.3.

Some mainstream news publications have suggested that The Little Mermaid has become a victim of “review bombing” — a coordinated online attempt to ruin a movie’s reputation. They claim that racists have targeted the movie because of Disney’s decision to cast a black actress as Ariel, who was white in the original 1989 animated movie.

But there has been no evidence to prove that racism is behind the movie’s low score.

As Breitbart News reported, the movie’s first full trailer was also massively unpopular, garnering more than 1 million “dislikes” on YouTube less than a week after its unveiling during the Oscars in March.

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at

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