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IMDb eliminating its message boards


Richard Kimble
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Word. Dig, the Bishop b signifying back in the day, y'all.

 

HEY! You're pretty good at that, dude!

 

All ya need NOW is some kind'a hep..err..HIP nickname, oh I dunno, maybe somethin' like say "V-diddy", and I see big things for you in today's recording industry!

 

(...hey, if that dorky Canadian kid Bieber can make it big doin' this sort'a thing, why not YOU, right?!)

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But how many credit cards could they have? There's one notorious troll who has had over 600 accounts through the years. At any given time he has two dozen going simultaneously. If he's banned, he just creates a new email account and signs up again. If the IMDb user account is tied to a credit card, one user per card, the worst troll's options are limited. At present, a troll can have many accounts tied to the same email address. But if his account is banned, all accounts tied to that email address go with it.

 

 

 

A technique that I've seen get used on other forums is IP address banning.  The IP address is a location-specific access identifier issued by Internet regulation authorities.  Tracing activity through IP address is sometimes how they track down bad people who do bad things on the Internet. 

 

Troll banning could be as simple as the webmaster putting IP restrictions into the config file(s) associated with just the forum directory on the IMDb servers (ordinary IMDb web pages need not be blocked).  Just like with credit cards, IP addresses are specific.  In this case specific to user location, and everyone is already using them to access the site, so no need to convince the users they need to use credit cards.

 

Is your troll using temporary proxy servers and/or using public access points?  Ban those locations that they use too.  Is your troll on a service that uses a roaming range of IP addresses?  Ban that range.  Better that than the whole user base.  It could take a little while to tweak, but there are power tools for that.  It would get the message across. 

 

Don't like the terms of service?  Too bad.  Go out and start your own message board.  I suspect the good people at IMDb were not up to enforcing some real rules, so they just pulled the plug on the whole thing.

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A technique that I've seen get used on other forums is IP address banning.  The IP address is a location-specific access identifier issued by Internet regulation authorities.  Tracing activity through IP address is sometimes how they track down bad people who do bad things on the Internet. 

 

Troll banning could be as simple as the webmaster putting IP restrictions into the config file(s) associated with just the forum directory on the IMDb servers (ordinary IMDb web pages need not be blocked).  Just like with credit cards, IP addresses are specific.  In this case specific to user location, and everyone is already using them to access the site, so no need to convince the users they need to use credit cards.

 

Is your troll using temporary proxy servers and/or using public access points?  Ban those locations that they use too.  Is your troll on a service that uses a roaming range of IP addresses?  Ban that range.  Better that than the whole user base.  It could take a little while to tweak, but there are power tools for that.  It would get the message across. 

 

Don't like the terms of service?  Too bad.  Go out and start your own message board.  I suspect the good people at IMDb were not up to enforcing some real rules, so they just pulled the plug on the whole thing.

 

They've given various reasons as to why they won't ban IP addresses except in the worst cases but the same ones resurface. At one point years ago it was said that they don't like to ban IP addresses as it could mean members of a family would be affected who were innocent of whatever mischief another member was causing. So I responded better the family suffer than all of us do.

 

I think they figured for a long time that they didn't want to disturb anyone who might someday buy a movie from Amazon and because of their lazy T&C enforcement, I stopped buying from them in September 2014.

 

some of it is inadvertently my own fault. Back about 15 years ago, they solicited input on new features and already the troll problem was bad enough that I suggested an ignore feature - this was based on my experience with Hotmail's spam filter. Thus, no one could claim that their free speech rights were curtailed (and that's a separate issue anyway) and I could exercise my right not to listen to their free speech.

 

Yes, free speech is still determined by the site as you do not have the right to call someone else an a-hole, contrary to what many do believe.

 

Anyway, after it proved to be a success, the ignore button became the IMDb's primo excuse for why they did little to chase away the trolls - just ignore them. But they would just start a new account once they realized that the old one was being ignored.

 

 

But yes, the trolls bragged of using proxy IPs and other means. I'm hardly a systems whiz but i do know that just about anything that can be done can be undone when it comes to such things and if they wanted to, they could fix their own problems. Maybe they will in the next few months and this is all just a way to clean house for a spell.

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They've given various reasons as to why they won't ban IP addresses except in the worst cases but the same ones resurface. At one point years ago it was said that they don't like to ban IP addresses as it could mean members of a family would be affected who were innocent of whatever mischief another member was causing. So I responded better the family suffer than all of us do.

 

I think they figured for a long time that they didn't want to disturb anyone who might someday buy a movie from Amazon and because of their lazy T&C enforcement, I stopped buying from them in September 2014.

 

some of it is inadvertently my own fault. Back about 15 years ago, they solicited input on new features and already the troll problem was bad enough that I suggested an ignore feature - this was based on my experience with Hotmail's spam filter. Thus, no one could claim that their free speech rights were curtailed (and that's a separate issue anyway) and I could exercise my right not to listen to their free speech.

 

Yes, free speech is still determined by the site as you do not have the right to call someone else an a-hole, contrary to what many do believe.

 

Anyway, after it proved to be a success, the ignore button became the IMDb's primo excuse for why they did little to chase away the trolls - just ignore them. But they would just start a new account once they realized that the old one was being ignored.

 

 

But yes, the trolls bragged of using proxy IPs and other means. I'm hardly a systems whiz but i do know that just about anything that can be done can be undone when it comes to such things and if they wanted to, they could fix their own problems. Maybe they will in the next few months and this is all just a way to clean house for a spell.

 

 

Those all sound like lame excuses.  They could have brought on an IT consultant to help them with newer solutions to work out the finer details.  It sounds to me like they just didn't have the stomach to run it like a real business runs a forum [insert squishy motivation or excuse here].

 

P.S. I'm absolutely fine with that, as long as they keep the main website going.  That is the real draw, and their specialty that nobody else can touch.

 

PPS with a little front-end modification they could have kept the forums up for all to view, but just not for troll IPs to post.

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Speaking of trolls and deleted posts on the IMDb boards...

 

You folks have to check out this very clever thread someone started a few months back in that website's Message Board section for their CASABLANCA webpage titled "Delete your post Casablanca style"...

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034583/

 

(...well, I think there's a whole lot of clever responses in it anyway)

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HEY! You're pretty good at that, dude!

 

All ya need NOW is some kind'a hep..err..HIP nickname, oh I dunno, maybe somethin' like say "V-diddy", and I see big things for you in today's recording industry!

 

(...hey, if that dorky Canadian kid Bieber can make it big doin' this sort'a thing, why not YOU, right?!)

I'm too long in the gold tooth to get into rap. It's a young person's

game. If I still had asthma as I did as a child, I could call myself

Huff n Puff Daddy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/feb/17/why-imdb-should-rethink-the-decision-to-close-its-message-boards

 

Emma Thorpe is a social media administrator who regularly checks in with the boards for a particular film after viewing it. Once the boards have been disbanded, Thorpe wonders whether she’ll have a reason to use the site at all; citing IMDb’s insistence that conversations will, and already have, migrated to social media as disingenuous. “It won’t work. Comments will get lost in the noise.” Echoing others, Thorpe added: “There is a definite sense of community on the boards. You won’t be able to use the site in the same way.”

 

===

 

Dan L began an online petition to save the boards, currently at just under 10,000 signatures. He suspects the invocation of trolls is little more than a smokescreen. He believes the real reason is a combination of much lower user numbers than IMDb is publicising, and the way in which the boards and ratings are being exploited.

 

“They make bold claims such as 250 million monthly users worldwide. If IMDb really had 250 million users how come the movie with the most ratings, Shawshank Redemption, only has 1.7m votes? I don’t see how they can have 3.3% of the world’s population regularly using the site.”

 

There is also the issue of user ratings and boards being exploited to make a film seem as if it was more warmly received than it might have been, via ratings from false accounts. Dan uses the 2016 film Beta Test as an example of a fraudulently rated film in which half of the film’s apparent viewers have rated it a 9 or a 10, though the “top voters” (those with accounted for and regularly active accounts) have only rated it an average of 4.6.

 

“The message boards have become a liability in terms of their credibility, and this might lead to less companies wanting to advertise with them.”

 

One of the more disappointing aspects of the boards’ closure, he believes, is the lack of consultation of IMDb’s users, especially as the website relies so heavily on them providing the trivia and information.

 

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https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/feb/17/why-imdb-should-rethink-the-decision-to-close-its-message-boards

 

Emma Thorpe is a social media administrator who regularly checks in with the boards for a particular film after viewing it. Once the boards have been disbanded, Thorpe wonders whether she’ll have a reason to use the site at all; citing IMDb’s insistence that conversations will, and already have, migrated to social media as disingenuous. “It won’t work. Comments will get lost in the noise.” Echoing others, Thorpe added: “There is a definite sense of community on the boards. You won’t be able to use the site in the same way.”

 

===

 

Dan L began an online petition to save the boards, currently at just under 10,000 signatures. He suspects the invocation of trolls is little more than a smokescreen. He believes the real reason is a combination of much lower user numbers than IMDb is publicising, and the way in which the boards and ratings are being exploited.

 

“They make bold claims such as 250 million monthly users worldwide. If IMDb really had 250 million users how come the movie with the most ratings, Shawshank Redemption, only has 1.7m votes? I don’t see how they can have 3.3% of the world’s population regularly using the site.”

 

There is also the issue of user ratings and boards being exploited to make a film seem as if it was more warmly received than it might have been, via ratings from false accounts. Dan uses the 2016 film Beta Test as an example of a fraudulently rated film in which half of the film’s apparent viewers have rated it a 9 or a 10, though the “top voters” (those with accounted for and regularly active accounts) have only rated it an average of 4.6.

 

“The message boards have become a liability in terms of their credibility, and this might lead to less companies wanting to advertise with them.”

 

One of the more disappointing aspects of the boards’ closure, he believes, is the lack of consultation of IMDb’s users, especially as the website relies so heavily on them providing the trivia and information.

 

Huh? The IMDb messages boards had nothing to do with film reviews, ratings, cast credits or anything like that. They were for messages among users. While there were some interesting things on them, there was also a lot of abuse, stupid comments, sex and politics, and people selling bootleg videos. All gone.

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Huh? The IMDb messages boards had nothing to do with film reviews, ratings, cast credits or anything like that. They were for messages among users. While there were some interesting things on them, there was also a lot of abuse, stupid comments, sex and politics, and people selling bootleg videos. All gone.

 

It's evidently more about "what it could have been", or "what it used to be".  Not "what it was"..  As I posted elsewhere, I was kind of expecting something like this to happen ten years ago or more.  Maybe not the whole thing all at once, but that is their decision.  I could just feel myself getting dumbed down as I perused through those threads.  It wasn't a one-time thing.

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So the IMDb Message Boards are now ♦toast♦, eh?  No big deal.  Only 1 regret of all the things I typed out on the Msg. Boards:  I wrote a thorough description and opinion of what could've happened to the 1978 comedy 'THE CHEAP DETECTIVE' just before it's release.  There was obviously some pre-release cutting done (note the 2 editors credited in the opening and the fact you don't see 'Carole Wells' as 'The Hat Check Girl' + over the closing credits you'll see a number of other actor credits for people who do not appear in the film).  I think 'THE CHEAP DETECTIVE' runs 92 minutes.  Maybe it ran 100m. before those last-minute cuts?  Phil Silvers had 1 line at the end as 'Hoppy'.  I wonder if he originally had a few more lines? 

 

      I hadn't posted regularly on the IMDb Msg. Boards for years, but I did look up what I typed for "The Cheap Detective" last week before it kicked off. 

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So the IMDb Message Boards are now ♦toast♦, eh?  No big deal.  Only 1 regret of all the things I typed out on the Msg. Boards:  I wrote a thorough description and opinion of what could've happened to the 1978 comedy 'THE CHEAP DETECTIVE' just before it's release.  There was obviously some pre-release cutting done (note the 2 editors credited in the opening and the fact you don't see 'Carole Wells' as 'The Hat Check Girl' + over the closing credits you'll see a number of other actor credits for people who do not appear in the film).  I think 'THE CHEAP DETECTIVE' runs 92 minutes.  Maybe it ran 100m. before those last-minute cuts?  Phil Silvers had 1 line at the end as 'Hoppy'.  I wonder if he originally had a few more lines? 

 

      I hadn't posted regularly on the IMDb Msg. Boards for years, but I did look up what I typed for "The Cheap Detective" last week before it kicked off. 

 

 

I suppose that if you can remember most of it, you could always post your opinion as a "User Review".....   :unsure:

 

It really is irritating.  I never noticed trolls (Except the occaional person posting "is such and such gay") or people selling bootleg DVDs.  

 

I stick mostly to the classic movies.  And so many of those boards had posts from cast and crew of movies, many long gone.   There was one 80+ yo Italian actor who was only ever in a few movies, and he used to come to the board for his most famous movie and answer people's questions.  It was endearing.  It happened a lot.

 

History is just not important in the money-making scheme of things, I guess.  Sigh.

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I suppose that if you can remember most of it, you could always post your opinion as a "User Review".....   :unsure:

 

It really is irritating.  I never noticed trolls (Except the occaional person posting "is such and such gay") or people selling bootleg DVDs.  

 

I stick mostly to the classic movies.  And so many of those boards had posts from cast and crew of movies, many long gone.   There was one 80+ yo Italian actor who was only ever in a few movies, and he used to come to the board for his most famous movie and answer people's questions.  It was endearing.  It happened a lot.

 

History is just not important in the money-making scheme of things, I guess.  Sigh.

 

The IMDB charged users to use their website?    If not,  where is the money-making scheme?

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The IMDB charged users to use their website?    If not,  where is the money-making scheme?

 

James,

 

Like all things on the internet these days, I suspect the money for IMDB is likely in advertising (including links to buying tickets for new movies, etc.) and the ability to drive viewers to Amazon.com (owner of IMDB) for related movie products and streaming services, for example.

 

I too will miss the comments sections.  I must admit I didn't notice much spam and just ignored what I wasn't interested in.  Given how much spam the TCM message boards and others receive on a regular basis, I would think keeping IMDB relatively free of spam (both the obvious and more subtle) must have been a nightmare for all the movie pages that are contained there.

 

Perhaps it's because I'm not much of a Facebook user, but I also don't see how Facebook can be a substitute for a quick way to find interesting comments about a movie (for thousands of films), as IMDB's rationale for the removal seemed to suggest.

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James,

 

Like all things on the internet these days, I suspect the money for IMDB is likely in advertising (including links to buying tickets for new movies, etc.) and the ability to drive viewers to Amazon.com (owner of IMDB) for related movie products and streaming services, for example.

 

I too will miss the comments sections.  I must admit I didn't notice much spam and just ignored what I wasn't interested in.  Given how much spam the TCM message boards and others receive on a regular basis, I would think keeping IMDB relatively free of spam (both the obvious and more subtle) must have been a nightmare for all the movie pages that are contained there.

 

Perhaps it's because I'm not much of a Facebook user, but I also don't see how Facebook can be a substitute for a quick way to find interesting comments about a movie (for thousands of films), as IMDB's rationale for the removal seemed to suggest.

 

Thanks for the feedback.    Isn't the IMDB going to get less revenue from advertising from shutting down the site as well as maybe reduced sales by Amazon?   If that is the case I fail to see where shutting the site done as a money grapping stunt.

 

I don't know why their management made this corporate level decision but so far I don't see evidence it was done to milk the public.

 

As for me,  taking a line from Casablanca;  we will always have this TCM chat forum. :)

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