Additional Netflix changes elicit more subscriber fury

A "minor update" to Netflix's member reviews section has caused a new round of criticism and venom aimed at the video streaming giant and its executives this week.

The tweak, announced on Thursday at the Netflix blog, cut three features originally offered to subscribers: avatars, nicknames and the user bios that accompanied reviews.

Tom Willerer, the product team member who likely drew the shortest straw in a contest to see who had to break the news, cited lack of use as the main reason for the removal. "We're constantly working to improve the Netflix experience, and by removing these little-used features we are simplifying the review process," Willerer said.

However, judging from comments so far, subscribers are not happy.

"Pardon us while we continue to remove all functionality from our website," quipped DeathShrike, alluding to the company's ill-received user interface change last week. That announcement drew ire across the internet as angry Netflix members quickly filled its comment section to the 5,000 limit.

Another member, Abbie, predicted that history will soon repeat itself. "This thread is going to fill up to 5,000 pretty darn quick. We're still angry. Ignoring us won't make it go away," she said. "I've been a Netflix subscriber for over five years and have had no complaints until now."

Some announced they would be canceling their subscriptions, while others urged their fellow disgruntled members to contact Netflix execs Reed Hastings and Michael Spiegelman with their thoughts. One commenter - Tom E. - offered a reprieve to those still frustrated with last week's UI change: a link that reverts Netflix's new website back to its old self.

Steve Swasey, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Netflix, downplayed the negative reactions following the initial outcry. "We made it and tested it and researched it and tried it out and everywhere we tried it, it had a better reception," he said. No official statement regarding the new changes has been offered at press time.

In other news, Netflix has just confirmed the removal of Sony movies through StarzPlay. Pauline Fischer, Vice President of Content Acquisition, cited "a temporary contract issue between Sony and Starz" as the culprit.

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