I hope Col Needham is able to review these thoughts, as I believe they echo many sentiments of the community at large.
As a filmmaker in 2009, I attempted to get a project listed on IMDB that I was passionate about and in the process of submitting to festivals, etc. At the time, I remember reading that until accepted to an accredited festival, the title could NOT be listed. I felt that this barrier, although challenging, affirmed IMDB as a legitimate and credible source for movies of importance and achievement. If you were listed on IMDB, it meant that you were "the real deal", and thus, garnered a reputation as a trustworthy website amongst professionals and fans alike.
Over the course of the past few years, I've seen many posts here on Get Satisfaction from both non-filmmakers and serious filmmakers pleading for their name to be removed from throwaway projects, student films, and nonsense internet uploads that have been entered into the database with zero resistance to an overwhelming degree. In many cases, the projects never played for an audience, weren't screened outside of an educational or private setting, or exist on the internet with insignificant views or relevance.
IMDB's current policy that anything "factual" must be listed is terrific policy if it existed in concert with the original framework of being a database for legitimate filmmaking.
My question is this: When did "factual" become more important than "noteworthy"?
Is IMDB's current and future mission to be a "factual" storehouse of anything visual with or without sound that has credits attached to it? In the contemporary age of digital media creation (and if the internet at large is considered an audience), then Instagram or Snapchat videos, for example, can and will be entered into the database with the same ease as YouTube and Vimeo videos. Anything can be argued to be art.
What is most troubling, is IMDB's stubborn determination to display information on the site and therefore at the top of Google search results, against a creator's will. I've noticed that many times, a producer, director, etc. will petition the forum in agreement that a project does not belong on IMDB and a forum member simply pastes a prewritten statement pointing back to the information being "factual". Yes, it exists. Is it a legitimate film? No.
There should be flexibility that encompasses the truth that not every title belongs on IMDB, especially when voiced from the creators. This undermines actual titles that deserve to be in the database and only adds confusion.
The same manpower that is utilized to comb for whether or not a title is "factual" simply because it exists, should instead go towards deciphering whether or not it belongs.
IMDB rose to prominence as a reliable collection of information documenting aired television and films that had played in theaters and festivals. I fear that it has become a dustbin for anything that's touched the web.
Does IMDB foresee a change in policy in the near or distant future regarding what information "must" be preserved?
Thank you for reading and I look forward to upcoming improvements.