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Netflix now testing ‘Privacy Mode’ to rid your recommendations of bad films

Above: The new Netflix logo

Image Credit: Logo via Netflix, background by Eric Blattberg

Did you sit down to watch the umpteenth episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians last night, thinking it’d be ironically “so good it’s bad,” only to find it was just plain bad? Hate to be reminded of that unfortunate viewing choice upon waking the next morning? Netflix has a fix for your pain.

The company is testing a new feature across all markets that will allow you to hide your most unsavory viewing selections from yourself and others. The feature is called “Privacy Mode” and it removes all evidence that you ever watched that particular movie or TV show. This will be particularly helpful for those who share a Netflix account with an entire household and for those who tend to annoy their friends with their latest viewings via automatic Facebook updates.

What I think stands to be the most useful — besides hiding your shame — is the ability to prevent the films and shows you mark as private from influencing your future Netflix recommendations. That would mean better quality recommendations and an improved overall Netflix experience. Plus, your roommate won’t be annoyed when they load up Netflix to find nothing but bad reality TV in the recommendations because you decided to watch five episodes of Call of the Wild Man last night.

Testing is anticipated to last for a couple of months, though access to the feature will be limited in that time. According to Netflix’s director of corporate communications and technology, Cliff Edwards, the feature might not ever be offered to the general public if it doesn’t do well in these tests.

Totally related: Netflix announced last month that it would be launching a talk show with Chelsea Handler as the host.

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With more than 25 million members in the United States, Canada and Latin America, Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] is the world's leading Internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV shows. For US$7.99 a month, Netflix members ... read more »

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