Netflix Comments

6 Minutes

It’s always something that can be tingling after watching a Netflix show to read the comments, to see what people thing. If you’re a fan of YouTube videos, of Instagram and Facebook posts, or even of websites like Reddit and Tumblr, then you’re no stranger to comment threads. To break it down, a comment is a message or a response that you can leave underneath a specific piece of content. This can range from videos to blogposts to articles, interviews, or anything in between. It’s a way for the reader to interact with that specific content – either to voice a specific point, or to start a conversation. Comments can also lead to comment threads – a feature where commenters can reply to other comments, and thereby start conversations within the comments section. Comment threads can be extremely useful, and conversations can spiral into various directions from the original post, with each comment thread covering a new point. Comment threads are handled by different platforms in different manners. For example, e-mails and early messaging systems will always include the original message in the reply, making each e-mail (or response) into its own copy of the thread. Newer e-mail systems can arrange messages within specific lists, either hierarchically, or in a nested list. Another order would just be in a flat line, displaying conversations chronologically. Imaging watching an episode on the office and wondering how other thought about the episode, and you look for comments. 

Netflix Comments gone

Netflix reviews were removed after mid 2018 after observing a declining usage.

Online forums and comments under posts

Reddit, the forum that’s popular for its communities and for its anonymity, thrives on comments. There are many YouTube channels, blogs, and articles devoted to Reddit comments from posts in specific communities. One example is r/AskReddit, where a user can theoretically ask the Reddit userbase any question – from very specific questions that are about particular scenarios like “You get to choose a skill at which you will be best at. But instead of you getting better, everyone else just gest worse. What skill do you choose?” to far more basic questions, like “to those who have friends: how?”. The responses on popular r/askreddit threads range from helpful, useful advice, to sarcastic answers, to actual memes, and channels and blogposts comb threads to compile the best answers for their audience. Likewise, other communities in Reddit, too, thrive on the commenting system – it’s what allows Reddit to thrive as a forum where everyone is able to share their opinion freely. Comments are typically arranged from ‘most popular’ to ‘controversial’, with comments getting the most likes, or ‘upvotes’, being seen at the very top, and comments with the most dislikes, or ‘downvotes’, being sent to the very bottom.  

Another platform that works very well with comments and comment threads is Twitter – Twitter helped build conversation threads where experts, authors, activists, celebrities, and others could post essays through tweets, using Twitter’s thread system to post long ‘essays’ as numbered tweets. This means that their audience could interact with these essays and choose which tweet to respond to, or to respond to the thread as a whole. Twitter’s character limit, too, necessitates serialized tweets, as many opinions simply can’t fit in such a short character limit.

Comments are an integral part of most websites – even most website builders, like WordPress or SquareSpace, include options for users to include comment sections on pages, so viewers can leave comments about the website, the page, or the content displayed on the page. 

Comments under Videos

When it comes to videos, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook use the comment system very well, and comments are vital in terms of promoting a video and making sure it hits the platform’s ‘front page’, so to speak. On TikTok and Instagram, for example, you can respond to comments or ‘like’ them, and the comments with the most likes are featured on the top of the comments page. This means that there will be comments praising the video on top for more popular posts, and comments calling out the creator for more inflammatory, or misinformative posts. There are many YouTube channels that discuss goings-on and ‘drama’ between popular TikTok creators, and a key part of their videos includes combing through TikTok videos and their comments for information. For YouTube in particular, comments can help promote specific videos by showing other viewers that the video is worth watching, or to encourage viewers to see other videos made by the same creator or are on the same channel. Comments are integral to a video reaching a larger audience and play a more important role in promotion than likes do. Of course, a YouTube video’s likes and dislikes are an indication of whether the video is appealing, informative, or entertaining to the viewers, but comments can help paint a much clearer picture. In fact, comments can help establish a sense of feedback, providing constructive criticism, any flaws in your editing, or even praise where praise is due. For viewers, comments can help heighten the experience of watching a video, and provides a shared platform to engage with others who’ve watched the video. 

Of course, one thing to keep in mind with regards to videos on these platforms is trolling. An internet troll is someone who intentionally antagonizes others on the Internet, by posting offensive or irrelevant comments. Internet trolls deliberately spark hateful, vitriolic conversations in an attempt to goad others into the conversation. This can mean that some comments online are hateful, offensive, or derogatory – and may not be related to the video at all. Since comment threads are publicly accessible, it’s important to note that some commenters may write offensive, false statements – simply because they can. However, internet trolls make up a small percentage of commenters online, so trolling is something that you may not often come across. Besides, a key component of trolling comes from interaction – the point is to goad a response. This means that simply ignoring a troll is the best course of action. 

Air Comments by Trift

What’s odd to realize is despite the popularity and longevity of comment threads, streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or Disney+ don’t have comment sections. Having a comments section, as we’ve seen, can definitely heighten a viewer’s experience, and can help with the decision-making process of watching a new show – personally speaking, I know I would be able to make better decisions if there are comments left by other viewers on particular shows. Currently, Netflix’s algorithm works on likes/dislikes only – this means that you can rate a show, or movie, with a ‘thumbs up’ or a ‘thumbs down’, and Netflix provides recommendations based on your response, tailoring recommendations based on what you’ve watched, you like, and what you dislike. However, there may be times when what you’ve watched may not be to your tastes, but gets logged in the algorithm Netflix uses to recommend shows, which can skew your recommendations. Comments can mean you’re able to leave a more detailed review as well – you may have liked the show, but not enough to re-watch it, or found a show mediocre, but not bad enough to warrant a ‘thumbs down’. 

Netflix Comments screenshot on a browser

Air Comments is a new approach designed to fill a gap in most entertainment websites. The program is a simple browser extension, that runs on entertainment websites, and allows viewers and users to leave comments on particular shows – regardless of which streaming platform they use. Air Comments is pretty easy to use, too – it takes just a few clicks to run, and works like most comment platforms out there. The ability to ‘like’ other comments, and reply to other comments, also exists, making it easier to engage in conversation with other viewers. Since it runs on most entertainment websites, it’s a great way to interact with episodes and movies without looking up entire reviews from media houses or blogs and run the risk of seeing spoilers before you’ve gotten a chance to watch it. Comments will be saved onto the platform (like comments on other websites), so it’ll be possible to interact with older comments, and renew older conversations. Of course, since it’s a commenting platform, there are a few moderators to ensure that internet trolls don’t use the platform to spread hate, or to ensure that the platform doesn’t get spammed with irrelevant comments. However, moderation is meant to ensure the platform doesn’t get derailed – like most other platforms with comment sections, moderators exist to ensure that the conversation flows smoothly, and not to control the conversations themselves. 

Leaving comments is an integral part of the Internet – it’s a key way for audiences to react to videos, articles, posts, blogs, and any other type of content. Simply having likes or dislikes – and with Amazon Prime, the rating system from viewers isn’t well implemented – can only take you so far, in terms of recommendations and finding similar shows to watch. With Air Comments, it is far easier to leave comments on beloved shows, or on movies that you feel deserve a comment to warn other potential viewers. It’s a new way of interacting with media that you love, like, and hate – all on the same website.

This disclaimer informs readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual. We take no liability for the accuracy of the information and cannot be held liable for any third-party claims or losses of any damages.

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