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In 1907, Francis Galton wandered by a weight-guessing competition at a county fair. He became curious at how good the public would do, so he asked for the tickets, sorted, and averaged them. He figured the results would be awful, but in fact the crowd got it right to within 1%.[1][2]

In 2016, Ghostbusters was released.

Ghostbusters (2016): 78% on Rotton Tomatoes, 62% on MetaCritic, 38% on IMDB.That’s a bit strange, IMDB ratings are usually pegged somewhere between 6 and 7, no matter what the Rotten Tomatoes rating is.

Critic scores for remakes of The Thing, Evil Dead, Robocop, and Ghostbusters. Three have IMDB rankings between 6.2 and 6.5, despite different Rotten Tomatoes rankings; Ghostbusters is a clear outlier.Something’s definitely up. IMDB keeps excellent statistics on its scores, so let’s bring them up for the remakes of The Thing, Evil Dead, RoboCop, and Ghostbusters.

Demographic data from IMDB voting, for remakes of The Thing, Evil Dead, Robocop, and Ghostbusters. There's a clear gender-based pattern here.Three of the four remakes have a rough binomial distribution going on, with minor spikes in 10 and 1 star reviews, and the views of those identified as men and women line up well. For Ghostbusters, though, the sexes differ radically in how they voted, and 55% of all votes were for the lowest possible score. Look carefully, in fact, and you’ll see Ghostbusters picked up more 1-star reviews in a matter of days than the other three did in years.

It smells like vote-rigging, especially when you consider that, as of when I’m writing this, Ghostbusters has been released for one day since July 11th, and even then only in Britain and Ireland. So what movie did all these reviewers see?

Despite what you hear from a few Movie “Critics” that are notorious for selling (payolla) their reviews to the highest Studio bidder, the new Ghostbusters staring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Saturday Night Live standouts Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones is HORRIBLE!! We had a media showing last night and I thought I was going to be sick. The pace of the film is like molasses, the editing is amateur choppy, the acting is slapstick and the comedy is extra soft-porn SNL (Saturday Night Live). Yes I went in with considerable apprehension, but came out with a severe case of stomach cramps. As I said, the acting is abysmal, except marginally for Kristen Wiig, but that doesn’t save this yawner. Melissa McCarthy has clearly become the female Adam Sandler / Mike Myers / David Spade (at his most obnoxious) and we can only hope that McCarthy fade into obscurity like the 3 aforementioned SOON! For a “reboot” of a classic, this film is pathetic. Ghostbuster Tampons is not worth your hard earned money for the price of the theater ticket.

I was unfortunate enough to see an early screening with a friend and… man, this movie isn’t bad; it’s TERRIBLE. BEYOND TERRIBLE.

It’s getting mixed to positive reviews, but the people liking this movie are the same people who jumped on-board the feminist “everyone who hates this film is a misogynist” train and they don’t even mention anything beyond the parts they cherry-picked to like in the movie.

This review will have some spoilers you have been warned. Ghostbusters 2016 makes Fantastic Four look like the Dark Knight. Instead of getting a 3rd film with the original actors before Harold Ramis passed away we get a horrible i say horrible reboot and don’t start with this whole sexist thing we saw the trailers and both the cgi and the laughs were awful. I respect strong women or women in general like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens or Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 or even Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. Except McCarthy and Wiig the other 2 actress are unknown who the hell are they? also the black woman is just annoying as hell and the jokes aren’t funny, the action is boring and the film is just awful at every aspect the only good thing about the movie is Chris Hemsworth honestly the even more crazy thing is that this movie so far has a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes a bigger rating than both Gladiator and Predator what the hell RT?

Now, keep in mind that I’m going to try to make this as least-hostile as possible. But when a movie is this hypocritical, bigoted, and ignorant, there is nothing good that can be said about it. Except for the people who were literally bribed into writing positive reviews.

1: This movie was stolen. Everything in this movie was stolen from the first two. All they did was literally take the first movie, and remove the action parts and the horror parts.

2: The sexism. This movie is probably the most sexist movie since Doomsday Machine. They replaced the entire main cast with only women to appeal to the radical Feminists. When your ideology discriminates against who you can cast in a role, that is called Fascism, and it’s not a good thing.

This unoriginal piece of sh*t is the Rebecca Black “Friday” version of Ghostbusters! This unoriginal piece of sh*t is the Rebecca Black “Friday” version of Ghostbusters!This unoriginal piece of sh*t is the Rebecca Black “Friday” version of Ghostbusters!

there is this thing called early premier.

that youtbe reviewers and other people see it before it premiers.

but dumb people like you don’t even know that.

and come here and look like idiots like you.

from their own stupidity.

the movie is garbage get over it.

reboots like this will always flop.

only feminist and social justice warrios will love this piece of crap.

and like Milo Yiannopoulos.

feminist/ SJW are cancer.

There’s a lot more like that, including one hilariously titled “Barely watchable, and no, I am not a Trump supporter.” But I think you get the point: relying on the wisdom of the crowd can be dangerous, because the crowd can be systematically biased or astroturf’d by a bigoted few. In contrast, reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes are drawn from a white-list of people who’ve met a minimum standard. A little bit of curation can go a very long way to providing quality results.

This also has grave implications for Big Data, which entirely depends on massive numbers to pick up subtle details.

While massive datasets may feel very abstract, they are intricately linked to physical place and human culture. And places, like people, have their own individual character and grain. For example, Boston has a problem with potholes, patching approximately 20,000 every year. To help allocate its resources efficiently, the City of Boston released the excellent StreetBump smartphone app, which draws on accelerometer and GPS data to help passively detect potholes, instantly reporting them to the city. While certainly a clever approach, StreetBump has a signal problem. People in lower income groups in the US are less likely to have smartphones, and this is particularly true of older residents, where smartphone penetration can be as low as 16%. For cities like Boston, this means that smartphone data sets are missing inputs from significant parts of the population — often those who have the fewest resources.

Fortunately Boston’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is aware of this problem, and works with a range of academics to take into account issues of equitable access and digital divides. But as we increasingly rely on big data’s numbers to speak for themselves, we risk misunderstanding the results and in turn misallocating important public resources.

Always double-check your datasets, especially when the patterns you’ve spotted are weak and subtle. Curation is just as vital as before, if not more so; look carefully for signs of bias in the crowd.

Incidentally, keep an eye on the Ghostbusters rankings: its had 8,000 reviews, while other remakes have had 94,000 to 180,000. That highly-bigoted minority might get drowned out by the greater public in the next week, or they might get replaced by a larger but less-bigoted subset of the public. The statistics will tell.

[1] Galton, Francis. “Vox Populi (the Wisdom of Crowds).” Nature 75, no. 7 (1907): 450–451.

[2] “The Wisdom of Crowds: Introduction, Part I.”