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IMDb eliminating its message boards


Richard Kimble
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http://www.imdb.com/board/announcement

 

IMDb is the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content. As part of our ongoing effort to continually evaluate and enhance the customer experience on IMDb, we have decided to disable IMDb’s message boards on February 20, 2017. This includes the Private Message system. After in-depth discussion and examination, we have concluded that IMDb’s message boards are no longer providing a positive, useful experience for the vast majority of our more than 250 million monthly users worldwide. The decision to retire a long-standing feature was made only after careful consideration and was based on data and traffic.

 

Increasingly, IMDb customers have migrated to IMDb’s social media accounts as the primary place they choose to post comments and communicate with IMDb’s editors and one another. IMDb’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/imdb) and official Twitter account (https://twitter.com/imdb) have an audience of more than 10 million engaged fans. IMDb also maintains official accounts on Snapchat (https://www.snapchat.com/add/imdblive), Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/imdbofficial/), YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/imdb), and Tumblr (http://imdb.tumblr.com/).

 

Because IMDb’s message boards continue to be utilized by a small but passionate community of IMDb users, we announced our decision to disable our message boards on February 3, 2017 but will leave them open for two additional weeks so that users will have ample time to archive any message board content they’d like to keep for personal use. During this two-week transition period, which concludes on February 19, 2017, IMDb message board users can exchange contact information with any other board users they would like to remain in communication with (since once we shut down the IMDb message boards, users will no longer be able to send personal messages to one another). We regret any disappointment or frustration IMDb message board users may experience as a result of this decision.

 

IMDb is passionately committed to providing innovative ways for our hundreds of millions of users to engage and communicate with one another. We will continue to enhance our current offerings and launch new features in 2017 and beyond that will help our customers communicate and express themselves in meaningful ways while leveraging emerging technologies and opportunities.

 

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I assume this means all of the messaging, including for individual movies and TV series, and not just the General Message board section? I never used the General sections, but I would occasionally read the sections for a specific movie, and there was some thoughtful analysis and posts to be found among the usual "WORST MOVIE EVAR!!1!" type posts found on nearly every movie. The inability to ask questions about a specific program will be annoying, I suspect. 

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I've never posted anything on IMDB, but I like to read some of the comments left by people about a movie or an actor or actress.  It's probably the type of movie or people I'm into reading about, but I notice a lot of the posts are very, very old...like at least 3 or 4 years old and sometimes even older than that.  Many sports websites I frequent are bypassing direct posting on their sites from a PC by its members too.  For instance, comments on ESPN can only be made via Facebook.  Comments at CBS Sports come from direct posting, Facebook, and Twitter.  Makes you wonder how soon this site might follow suit.

 

I often wonder about the number of accounts on this TCM website, and how it correlates to 'active posters' here.  I'm guessing a vast majority of people who have accounts here tend to read various threads at TCM.com, rather than comment on them.  If not, then age will catch up to us all, and the last poster(s) will be faced with the sad prospect of being forced out of the bar, even though they're not blitzed--it's just that it's time to go!

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Because of the many trolls that infest IMDb's message boards, its administration has decided to close all message boards by the 20th of February.

This is an outrage!; you cannot cure abuses of freedom of expression by curtailing freedom of expression. Please: if you are subscribers to IMDb. com, go now to that website and express your disapproval of such an abusive antidemocratic edict.

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Probably not a bad idea.  For me the real value in user contributions is in the "User Reviews" section which contains a wealth of relevant info.  I do like the fact that those get vetted before they are posted.  Hopefully they will leave the User Reviews feature intact.  The message board, on the other hand, was fairly predictable and guaranteed to have immature tat-for-tat types of threads.  More of a liability to their brand than an asset.  I don't blame them one bit.  Posters can and will still crap all over the place, but they will just need to go to someone else's better managed platform to do it.

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I assume this means all of the messaging, including for individual movies and TV series, and not just the General Message board section? I never used the General sections, but I would occasionally read the sections for a specific movie, and there was some thoughtful analysis and posts to be found among the usual "WORST MOVIE EVAR!!1!" type posts found on nearly every movie. The inability to ask questions about a specific program will be annoying, I suspect. 

 

The IMDb message boards pretty much have the same problem as YouTube Comments, in that the more democratic, universal and unregulated a comments section can be to attract discussion from any anonymous passerby, the more likely probability it will have to attract the same troll crowd that Usenet used to back in the 90's.  (And that was pretty much Dodge City.)

Also, unlike regulated topic forums, since the movies stayed up forever, the conversations could stay up forever, with topics dating back to the 00's and beyond.  Not where you would go if you wanted current conversation, never mind the "intimacy" that your fellow conversationalist would still be following it and respond.  

IMDb and YouTube's attempt at social-media discussion are basically graffiti boards, and attracted graffiti.  But then, both date back to the beginning of the Internet, when we thought MySpace would change the world.

 

Didn't you also have to have a membership to post?  IMDb always seemed like more of a Wikipedia-style instant-reference site, and not the sort of thing you would go around making longterm commitments to.

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There is a lot of really stupid arguing going on in those message boards - sometimes I think the average user must be about 15 - but I have benefited from time to time when I've asked a question about best dvd versions or running times or availability and such.

 

That's too bad. It's a loss - maybe not a huge loss, but a loss.

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Didn't you also have to have a membership to post?  IMDb always seemed like more of a Wikipedia-style instant-reference site, and not the sort of thing you would go around making longterm commitments to.

 

Yes.  An IMDB membership is (or at one time was) required to do anything there.  It has better integrity than Wikipedia, as all the factual data (minus the keywords and reviews, and perhaps a couple other elements) is passed through their editing staff.  In other words, there is no direct channel for an outside poster to go in and edit the IMDB pages, as there is with Wikipedia.

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Didn't you also have to have a membership to post?  IMDb always seemed like more of a Wikipedia-style instant-reference site, and not the sort of thing you would go around making longterm commitments to.

 

I don't think I ever posted there, to be honest, although I've been a member for over a decade. I created a member profile simply to keep track of the movies that I've seen, via the star rating system. I read the comments on movies from time to time, and more often on TV series, as they served as a decent one-stop source for TV news for the specific program you're interested in. And like darkblue mentioned, finding out which DVD edition was superior.

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I don't think I ever posted there, to be honest, although I've been a member for over a decade. I created a member profile simply to keep track of the movies that I've seen, via the star rating system. I read the comments on movies from time to time, and more often on TV series, as they served as a decent one-stop source for TV news for the specific program you're interested in. And like darkblue mentioned, finding out which DVD edition was superior.

 

I have always found sufficient answers to my DVD questions in the products comments on Amazon, oddly enough the parent company of IMDB. (i.e. "I like this movie but this DVD is crap, go to this URL and get this DVD instead.")

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I've never posted anything on IMDB, but I like to read some of the comments left by people about a movie or an actor or actress.  It's probably the type of movie or people I'm into reading about, but I notice a lot of the posts are very, very old...like at least 3 or 4 years old and sometimes even older than that.  Many sports websites I frequent are bypassing direct posting on their sites from a PC by its members too.  For instance, comments on ESPN can only be made via Facebook.  Comments at CBS Sports come from direct posting, Facebook, and Twitter.  Makes you wonder how soon this site might follow suit.

 

I often wonder about the number of accounts on this TCM website, and how it correlates to 'active posters' here.  I'm guessing a vast majority of people who have accounts here tend to read various threads at TCM.com, rather than comment on them.  If not, then age will catch up to us all, and the last poster(s) will be faced with the sad prospect of being forced out of the bar, even though they're not blitzed--it's just that it's time to go!

Facebook is devouring everything in its path.

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I did not know that last part! But yeah, same here, Amazon user reviews are quite useful.

 

To this day they are two very different websites, although integrated with Amazon redirects.  IMDB was started at least in thought back in the early to mid 1980s by Col Needham, a British movie enthusiast.  A bit later it existed as an email group between some friends and contributors.  IMDB was founded in 1990 as technology allowed.  He has always had full credit for the direction and development of the IMDB website.  He is still running it today.  Amazon purchased IMDB after it had been online for a while in 1998, mainly to help sell movies.  Other than the Amazon product placement integration, it is still essentially the same website it always was.

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What trolls?

 

The Classic Film Board is filled with them. The reason I post here so much is b/c I banned from IMDb for trying to stop political trolls. They kept posting, and I was banned.

 

There are some very good posters on the CFB -- our own clore is a regular there. I hope he'll start posting here more often, and some of the better CFB regulars will migrate here.

 

This is bad news for movie lovers -- the CFB and boards for individual films/actors/etc were great sources of info. I've learned quite a bit from the IMDb boards

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Nipkow, I think scsu isn't referring to long-ago riotous activity at Berkeley, but instead to the modern concept of "trigger events" and "microaggression" that pretty much limit anyone at a university from saying anything about anybody for fear of creating offense. But, back to imdb ...

 

For many years now, I've been following up virtually every TCM viewing by reading what was said about the movie I watched on the imdb message boards, usually within 24 hours. I'm going to miss this feedback. There were definitely some smart people on there who had interesting things to say that might make me reflect on the just-viewed movie in previously unconsidered lights. I actually liked the fact that old posts could potentially stay on there forever (which wasn't actually true in reality - I read many comments indicating that vast quantities of old posts were routinely "disappeared" by the administrators), because no one might be posting immediately about the movie I just watched, but if it was a movie from 1963 or whenever, to my mind, a post about it in 2000 was just as relevant as a post from 2017.

 

I don't know the specific reason for the message board elimination. The message at the site is vague, probably intentionally so. Certainly one factor may be the desire for all messages to be posted via some major social media site as Facebook. I find this prospect a bit chilling. It may not bode well for this message board, either, if that's the trend American society is taking. The Internet has been around long enough now that traditional message boards may be becoming an antiquated, old people concept at which hip youngsters are sneering and rejecting. Sort of astonishing to me to consider the Internet has been around so long that there are now Internet applications that are generally only used by old, out-of-touch people, things like AOL, email and message boards.

 

However, the comments from imdb that the message boards "are no longer providing a positive experience" seems to me to possibly be alluding to all the ugliness I have encountered on the boards, ugliness that frankly, has intensified, ever since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency. Don't really want this to turn into a Trump discussion, but I think it's undeniable his presence on the political scene has emboldened thousands of anonymous Internet racists, homophobes and/or misogynists to attack online at each and every opportunity any idea that anyone who isn't a white male should ever be treated with dignity, positivity and/or respect. They instead want to belittle, demean and wound said people and restrict them to the roles they had to suffer through when the world was a less enlightened place. It's hard to find any movie on there that features strong female, minority, gay or transgender characters in which you won't find dozens or hundreds of message board comments excoriating those films for promoting a liberal Hollywood ideology.

 

A couple of examples:

 

The Star Wars revival film The Force Awakens engendered hundreds of hateful comments simply because it features a strong, competent female central character. This type of character is by the haters called a "Mary Sue", a term that possibly originated on imdb. 

 

The remake of The Magnificent Seven generated hundreds of hateful comments that blasted the movie for featuring a black hero who walked around an Old West town without being beaten or arrested or called the N-word. There are many hundreds of presumably white posters who decried a black character in the Old West being treated with dignity and respect as "historically inaccurate".

 

The distaff Ghostbusters remake generated so much hatred on imdb, it made national news. Many, many people hated it, just because the heroes were women (strangely, the actual quality of the film wasn't much of an issue, just the fact that women were playing the lead roles).

 

Palmerin is arguing this a repression of free speech, but I suppose a website run by a private corporation can do what it wants.

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However, the comments from imdb that the message boards "are no longer providing a positive experience" seems to me to possibly be alluding to all the ugliness I have encountered on the boards, ugliness that frankly, has intensified, ever since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency. Don't really want this to turn into a Trump discussion, but I think it's undeniable his presence on the political scene has emboldened thousands of anonymous Internet racists, homophobes and/or misogynists to attack online at each and every opportunity any idea that anyone who isn't a white male should ever be treated with dignity, positivity and/or respect. They instead want to belittle, demean and wound said people and restrict them to the roles they had to suffer through when the world was a less enlightened place. It's hard to find any movie on there that features strong female, minority, gay or transgender characters in which you won't find dozens or hundreds of message board comments excoriating those films for promoting a liberal Hollywood ideology.

 

A couple of examples:

 

The Star Wars revival film The Force Awakens engendered hundreds of hateful comments simply because it features a strong, competent female central character. This type of character is by the haters called a "Mary Sue", a term that possibly originated on imdb. 

 

The remake of The Magnificent Seven generated hundreds of hateful comments that blasted the movie for featuring a black hero who walked around an Old West town without being beaten or arrested or called the N-word. There are many hundreds of presumably white posters who decried a black character in the Old West being treated with dignity and respect as "historically inaccurate".

 

The distaff Ghostbusters remake generated so much hatred on imdb, it made national news. Many, many people hated it, just because the heroes were women (strangely, the actual quality of the film wasn't much of an issue, just the fact that women were playing the lead roles).

 

Palmerin is arguing this a repression of free speech, but I suppose a website run by a private corporation can do what it wants.

 

It's funny you say this, and I don't know if you were reading the General message boards over at IMDb today, but the majority of the complaints about the message boards closing were placing the blame on "liberal snowflakes" that were upset over the "conservative voices" attacking "liberal Holly-weird icons like Meryl Streep." The right-wing vitriol was extremely toxic, filled with expletives and juvenile name-calling, posted at such a rate that I'm sure it would tax the most vigilant moderation teams. The more popular the movie or TV show, the more of these kinds of posts you'd find on those message boards. The Walking Dead, currently the #1 show on TV, has an IMDb message board filled with openly racist posts and polls on which female character should be raped first. It was really disturbing, the unleashed id of America, free to spew anonymously the most vile garbage in an attempt to out-shock the fellow posters. 

 

As others may have posted, most of these types of posters are kids, teenagers trying to outdo each other and see what they can get away with. But there is so much of it that it's hard to sift through that much rot to find anything worthwhile. It's much nicer on older programs, since less people traffic those pages and you're more likely to find something worthwhile. But the troll activity is so intense that I'm not surprised that they're figuratively throwing in the towel out of frustration.

 

And saving money by not having as much to maintain.

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...And saving money by not having as much to maintain.

 

Yep, Lawrence. Besides the possibility of this all being a result of increased troll activity due to recent events, since I read this thread, one of my thoughts also went to that line Hal Holbrook says to Hoffman and Redford in that flick about Watergate..."Follow the money!".

 

(...or in this case, the lack of such that the IMDb decision makers might feel isn't sufficiently flowing their way or maybe sense could be better directed)

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The Star Wars revival film The Force Awakens engendered hundreds of hateful comments simply because it features a strong, competent female central character. This type of character is by the haters called a "Mary Sue", a term that possibly originated on imdb. 

 

 

The term originated in 1970s.

 

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue

 

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MarySue

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I used to post there and I used to post here more often. But with classic films there seems to be a point of diminishing returns. Topics are repeated frequently and there is a smal audience that participates. Then there's the problem of people losing interest for a variety of reasons. But I will miss the imdb board like I'd miss this one if they decided to discontinue it. Even with infighting and the cliques.

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I have a different take on things.  It seems the I.Q. level on their message board had fallen so low that they could no longer consider it to be an asset to their brand.  This was running through my head about 10 years ago (not "if" but "when" might they get around to shutting it down).  Haven't really had the inclination or morbid curiosity to look through it in the last few years, so I guess I missed the latest wave of luminaries and high-I.Q. posters, and their fascinations with the absurd.

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