Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oddly, New York Times Movies page now has Battle for Brooklyn at 1.5 stars. But all the written reviews are positive.

Updated with explanation from film's Facebook page and elimination of speculation about anyone gaming the system.

How could it be that the Atlantic Yards documentary Battle for Brooklyn, which got 14 unanimously positive written reader reviews on the New York Times movies page, end up with a 1.5 rating (up to 5) from with 35 votes, as indicated in the document posted at bottom?

It doesn't make sense to me, nor to the filmmakers, who tweeted about it on October 11, generating an acknowledgement of a yet-uncorrected computer glitch.


A system breakdown

Something's wrong with the Times's system. Of the 14 written reviews, all (including mine) of which originally had four- and five-star ratings, only two now have star ratings associated with them.

In other words, the system stripped out those positive votes. That allows the aggregate weight of votes not associated with written reviews to take precedence. And votes not associated with written reviews don't deserve more weight, as they require less thought.

According to the film's Facebook page, the Times acknowledged an error with the data, but has not yet fixed the problem.

As with news coverage of Atlantic Yards, I'll repeat my formulation: because of the parent company's business relationship with project developer Forest City Ratner, the Times has an obligation to be exacting in its coverage of Atlantic Yards, and it has not met that obligation.
Battle for Brooklyn - Reader Reviews - NYTimes

1 comment:

  1. That's o.k., I've revised my opinion of The Times's coverage of Atlantic Yards from "benign neglect" to "knowingly bulls**t."

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