IMDB deletes your lists without questioning you.

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I have recently been subjected to two lists being deleted by IMDB staff. They DID NOT say why. I have questioned them and they refuse to answer.

Beware your lists are in danger of being deleted by IMDB staff for no reason. As a daily user of this site and someone who has made hundreds of page edits is this a fair way to repay me.
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Keester

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Posted 6 years ago

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What were the lists about?

It is rare but I am aware of a couple of lists that have been deleted, but they are controversial or even legally actionable, so were going to attract reports (rightly or wrongly).

I'm afraid that IMDB staff tend not to discuss deletions (of lists or forum threads/posts).
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Keester

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Lists of male actors who were 18 years old or under at the time of starring in some movie or TV show. I.E. child actors past and present. There are many lists of that kind today. Why delete mine?
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Keester

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staff tend not to discuss

dictators and lynch mobs are guilty of the same
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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They don't tend to offer features then go around deleting them for no reason. I would guess compiling a list of children caused some sort of issues itself or in the comments area, prompting reports of abuse.

Dictators is right. It's their site. They absolutely dictate policy. It's their company they have to protect. They do not need to question any of us.
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Lists of male actors who were 18 years old or under at the time of starring in some movie or TV show. I.E. child actors past and present. There are many lists of that kind today. Why delete mine?


It's impossible to say without being able to see it, a bit of a Catch 22 I know but still....

Can you find a cached version through Google or the Internet Archive?
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Keester

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The best I could do:

http://web.archive.org/web/2013031004...

&

http://web.archive.org/web/2012092213...

Lists are based on facts...facts presented by IMDB themselves. Take date of movie and date of birth and you can work out how old they were. If facts warrant deletion then delete the whole of IMDB.

Many many other lists exist on imdb of this nature. e.g. http://www.imdb.com/lists/nm2624602

notice some of the list titles.......why are none of these deleted? A lot of those lists contain personal comments like "hottest", "I'd marry". VERY OFFENSIVE...

Where in my lists is there anything said that could be seen as offensive? It is all facts as presented by IMDB themselves.

Dictators......OK it is their site but it only exists because of users like me. No users no site. Users tell them when we see something wrong so they can fix it. In fact we are encouraged to do so with "edit page" all over the place. They see something wrong with a list that is based solely upon facts presented by them and they don't reciprocate so that whatever it is that is wrong can be fixed. That's tyranny.
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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It existed, made by a group of film fans, before users joined. I would guess it still would, either way. Edit page is because the site is contributed to by users who are also fans of film, who'd do so regardless of users too. But, as I said, things created by users, reported as problematic, by users, get deleted often. Tyranny? Really? I can't make something the way I like it without it being tyranny? Ok then. Sounds totally loony to me.

I am still going to guess the problem might have been in the comments. But, just so you know, a user made a list of actors with inflated starmeter ratings. Many were children. Concerned citizens reported it as abusive, saying the list maker was stalking/harassing children. These things happen. If you make a list that will make people feel creeped out, slightly, it could get reported. Reported items frequently, to err on the side of safety, get deleted.

With a site containing billions of fact, to say that because one got deleted, the whole site should, is pretty silly. Don't you think? Besides, the "facts" were just your search criteria. No one deleted all those facts. Right?
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Keester

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All that is getting a bit off topic and I'll not continue except to say that I find it loony that simple courtesy in notifying a user that something may be wrong cannot be done. They encourage user to site communication on errors but fail miserably the other way round.
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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But if it was pulled by the automated process and is being looked into, there's not much else they can say. I am still guessing it was user complaint(s) and you'll either see it returned, or not see it returned. They don't ever (I can only recall one instance they discussed it on forums) discuss deletions due to reports of abuse (which the lists are now a part of).
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Keester

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"not much else they can say"...They haven't said anything...that's the point. They just delete without recourse.

"see it returned, or not see it returned" duh! What other options are there?

"guessing it was user complaint(s)" about FACTS and they agree. Double duh!
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Thanks for those - I can't see a problem with them, so the reason for their deletion is a mystery. Luckily, you have the original list IDs there too so staff can look into this - if you are lucky then the list has only been suspended (which I believe can happen following complaints while they investigate the situation) but no guarantees.
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Keester

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Thank you Emperor. How do I get staff to look into it? I have tried emailing them but they refuse to answer with anything other than "off the shelf" machine emails which of course say nothing useful.

I'd really like the lists back and if I could be told what it was that caused the deletion in the first place I'd fix it if I could.
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Yes. you are likely to get a boilerplate reply (although that doesn't mean they aren't looking into it) but you've done what you can to attract their attention by starting this thread and giving the Internet Archive links above.

I'd really like the lists back and if I could be told what it was that caused the deletion in the first place I'd fix it if I could.


If they have been deleted I don't think there is a way back from that, but if they have just suspended it they might be able to bring it back depending on the complaints (also they might not tell you what they are about, as it might reveal who made the complaint or something...).
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Keester

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I'd take a guess that the lists are in suspension as the export functions still work.

http://www.imdb.com/list/export?list_...
http://www.imdb.com/list/export?list_...

But that is no guarantee that the matter is under investigation. Their refusal to communicate so far leaves me in little doubt that they they will continue to ignore this matter as they seem to have little regard for their users.
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I'd take a guess that the lists are in suspension as the export functions still work.


It might do, it is a rare situation so I've not seen that angle checked. If the export works, can't you save a copy off to another list?

But that is no guarantee that the matter is under investigation.


No they don't discuss deletions r speak to the parties involved, as it can hose away a lot of time with "he said, she said" (as I know from experience running many a forum), but if the staff here do look into it, then they'll chip in on this thread (although perhaps not in the detail you might like). As lists are more important than a forum post (they help funnel a lot of traffic into the site) then it'd be nice to get more input from them when a list is being examined, especially as it'll be rarer than deleting a thread or post, but then again most of the cases will be quite clear cut (libel, unpleasantness, etc.) and you case is an exception (if I had to guess you may have, for example, have had a dispute with someone who is taking it out on your lists in a rather passive-aggressive way or someone with a similar list decided to try and get rid of competitors - neither of which should be enough to get a list deleted, you'd hope, and they do seem to investigate the situation, rather than instantly deleting reported threads and posts, so there is a chance they're not gone for good).
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Keester

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If the export works, can't you save a copy off to another list?


Don't know how to do that without the list being shown. An import function would of course be nice but that is a whole different subject. I bookmarked the export URLs, but not "copy to" or "move to" URLs as they are form functions and much more complicated.


"he said, she said"


Not interested in that just want the list back or a valid reason given for deleting them. I think I'm owed a detailed reason. Without that being given what surety does anybody have that any list will not be deleted on a whim.


dispute with someone


Comments are disabled. Lists are based on fact and contain no opinions. How can that create dispute?


get rid of competitors


You could be right and if so I find it rather childish. IMDB should be able to pick up on that and ignore it.
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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Actually, most lists are just opinions. You wouldn't need to make a list if it's just facts as IMDb is a searchable database of facts. If you can create the list with a few clicks, there is no reason to make a list. It's redundant and wasteful.

Note that staff has marked this thread as "answered." Though you feel you need more detail, it looks as if you won't get it. As stated above, staff does not discuss reports of abuse much.
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Keester

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There are hundreds if not thousands of lists based on facts and not opinions. Who acted with who? Who directed what? What was shown on TV on such a date? Those facts may also be obtained using the advanced search functions. But those do not show up against an actors name or a movie title. I myself have found such factual lists very useful. Far more useful than the advanced search function that fails so many times and IMDB staff seem incapable of fixing.

They may have marked it answered but in my opinion it is not until I, the thread starter, consider it so. Again their arbitrary, dictatorial, attitude shows the little regard they have for their users.

I'd take a guess that they know they have acted inappropriately but rather than admit it they are trying to avoid it.
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You said, "Lists are based on fact and contain no opinion."

My answer to you was about that inaccurate statement.
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Keester

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You said "Actually, most lists are just opinions"

My answer to you was about that statement.

Where I said "Lists are based on fact and contain no opinion." was referring to MY OWN lists. That is NOT inaccurate and is 100% TRUE.
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But, I answered to what you actually typed out. I am not psychic. What I said was accurate. Most lists are simply opinions. A common complaint I see is when a "list" is created, which is simply a search result. Sure, yours was not that easily compiled, but we weren't, by what you typed, talking about your lists, but lists in general. No need for histrionics here, though. You can't really have expected me to know that what you typed is not what you meant to say, right? Your comment, as typed, was inaccurate. You even mentioned, in another post, that you're offended by lists of those the maker thought were "hot," etc. Opinions. So to say "lists contain no opinion," is inaccurate, even by your own post history.
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Keester

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Not if read in context. And you are the only one not to do so. I think it pretty obvious that I was referring to my own list when I stated "Comments are disabled". That can only be done by the OWNER of a list. So the comment was indeed correct. It is you who did not read it properly. Therefore to say (my - and that is put there for YOU) lists contain no opinion is 100% correct. I know what my own list contain even if you don't.

But again you are going totally off topic. End of discussion on this matter.
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How do staff consider this topic answered?

In the original question I stated:

I have questioned them and they refuse to answer.

They have still refused to answer.

THIS TOPIC IS NOT ANSWERED
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Well I suppose it is an amalgam of the answers:

* The list might not have been deleted, a list can disappear after reports while the staff look into it.

* If it was deleted then it must have been for a reason.

* Staff tend not to discuss deletions as it'd increase the time they spend on this already time-consuming issue by an order of magnitude.

I'm afraid a thread can be marked as answered even if someone isn't satisfied by the answer they get.

However, as I've said, it would be nice to get some feedback from staff on list deletions when the case isn't clearcut like this but that doesn't mean they will.
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That would be nice on lists and message board posts as well. The system here is good. It gets listed in the change log and staff can even add a message of explanation. I would guess the IMDb version (should they create one) would simply have an automated system, showing what reason the reporter used...but that would be an improvement over nothing at all.
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Yeah I could definitely get behind this - it might not help people who feel they've been unjustly treated (and in some cases they definitely have been, as some people use the report system to settle scores, especially as it is at least partly automated) but a bit more clarity would also stop this being quite so mysterious as posts can just disappear and you've no idea what happened. Perhaps also an automated message would work too, perhaps with a short description.

On lists: they do suspend them (I believe the Starmeter one disappeared for a while, reappeared and was then deleted - presumably because of all the reports from people on the list) and so some kind of message would help explain what is going on - again things disappearing mysteriously can be confusing and frustrating (especially when you don't think that you've done anything wrong),

It shouldn't greatly increase the time staff spend dealing with this issue and might help people understand what is actually going on.

Might be worth a suggestion.
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I'll throw a suggestion up there and see how she flies!
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Cheers.
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Keester

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Agree with you Emperor. I most definitely feel confused, frustrated and don't think that I've done anything wrong. Yet I've been punished without a trail or even knowing what I've been charged with. With a system like that what incentive is there for people to create lists knowing that they may be deleted on a whim and no reason given. It is no inducement for people to spend time creating those lists which benefit IMDB.
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Suggestion is now live here:
https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...
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Keester

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You got my vote. Beginning to think you're the only person with any sense around here.
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Thanks for the vote and compliment, though you're tossing it in the wrong direction.
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I'm pretty sure he was talking to me (at least the description fits ;) ).
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In general a better audit trail for changes (also known as a change history) on IMDb would be beneficial, so that a user at least has a reason for why posts and lists may have been deleted. Audit trails for changes to name and title pages would also be useful. See Emperor's suggestion "Visible edit history" [https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...] for details.

Wikipedia has demonstrated both the value and the downsides of audit trails. The primary value of audit trails is the users can understand what has changed and why it has change. A major downside is that controversial changes can lead to edit wars.

However, these audit trails need to be implemented carefully so as not to compromise personal and other sensitive information.
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Official Response
As per the answer that was given by our staff when you inquired about this issue, lists are removed if they are reported by users as being in violation of our content guidelines, and/or at the discretion of our editors.

I'm afraid we are not going to be able to go into details because, as remarked by other users, we have a strict policy of not commenting on the reasons why user-posted content is removed from our boards or elsewhere.

I realize this may sound unfair and one-sided, especially when seen out of context, but we don't suppress content at random or based on a whim. However, we do reserve the right to remove content from our site at our discretion, and these removals are not subject to appeal.

I do apologize for any inconvenience caused by this, and I'm happy to see that you have saved/exported your lists so you'll be able to repost them elsewhere, if you want.
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Keester

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It is unfair and one-sided. I don't think I'm seeing it out of context either. I create lists based upon facts obtainable from IMDB site. They contain no opinions and comments are disabled to avoid controversy. I.E. they are left as the facts alone. So how can these lists be in violation of content guidelines? They are based upon IMDB content. If the lists are in violation then so is IMDB and the whole site should be deleted. A silly suggestion but I'm sure you see the logic. If the list deletion was at the discretion of an editor then he/she must be working on a whim even if you say not. Only on a whim could a list containing facts obtained from your own site be deleted.

Your apology is not accepted.
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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Did it ever occur to you that this is not the site for you? You're clearly unhappy. Why would you keep yourself in such a state? You could create your own site and do things just how you like to do them. It's better than going somewhere where nothing makes sense and upsets you and trying to make others think the way you do. If the "editor" you're talking about was handling the report of abuse, whim has nothing to do with anything. He/she found out that the list upsets users enough to get them to report it. Enough said. It's gone. You can take the suggestion Giancarlo gave you and go take it elsewhere. That would be better than spending two days here trying to make people believe that you're right and the rest of the world is wrong. Right?
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Keester

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And you're clearly on the side of IMDB and that they can do no wrong. That is your prerogative as it is mine to post as I feel fit. I suggest you go and take your psycho-analysis elsewhere.
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I haven't stated my opinion on the matter. You couldn't possibly know what I think is right or wrong. I only have stated what they tend to do. Further, if I thought they were right and you're wrong, why would I offer a suggestion that they change what they do? That makes no sense. I don't, actually, think they should delete things without explanation. I do, however, know they don't discuss deletions or actions to accounts...because I've seen them say so a couple hundred times over the last 12 or 13 years. So, I can answer what the policy is without making an opinionated statement. It's your imagination that has led you to your mistaken assumptions about how I think the site should operate. That's kind of your problem. Maybe you should not assume you know so much. Again, if you ask, "what color is the sky," and I know staff thinks it's blue, but I see green, I'd say, "blue," and they'd mark it answered. If you think staff is mistaken and that I agree with them, you'd be wrong. But, my answer as it pertains to the site, policy and terms and conditions, is completely right, regardless of your (and my) opinion.
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Keester

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So I no nothing while you know everything.......you're so full of yourself.
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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That's how you read that? Wow, dude...just...wow.

All I said I "know" is the policy, which Giancarlo, a staff member, verified. And, I said I know what my opinion is. I also said, you wouldn't know my opinion, because I haven't stated one (other than, in another thread, implying they should tell us the reason for deletions...which you thought was a good idea, though you thought someone else posted it).

And from that you get, you no (sic) nothing, and I know everything? Amazing. I don't know whether to laugh or cry...Just amazing.
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Keester

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There is only one word suitable here as an answer......but I'd better not say it.
I would like to say that I find you posts unhelpful and argumentative.
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Keester

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There is just one last thing I'd like to say here and this is directed at IMDB staff.

If IMDB staff had bothered to contact me about my lists stating what it was that was making them consider deleting them I may have been able to take some action to comply with their wishes. All of that could have been done politely and quietly through personal email. There would have been no need for me to write to IMDB asking "what happened to my list?" They would not have had to reply with unacceptable generalized replies. This thread would not have been created showing that IMDB act without regard for their users. All in all a much simpler, cleaner and satisfying solution to all parties could have been reached if IMDB had informed me of their wishes.

As it is I was not offered such courtesy. Lists were deleted without warning. As I also see many similar lists I can only think that IMDB will delete those too. If not then it is obvious that I have been subjected to some kind of personal attack.

Now to all users of IMDB. Beware your lists are in danger of deletion with no recourse from the dictators who call themselves IMDB staff. Please consider this before you create any lists. You are a member, contributor, editor, yet have absolutely NO RIGHTS.
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There are few websites where you actually have rights other than the right to post at the whim of whoever runs the site. You agree to the terms and conditions when you sign up and they usually say something like: you give us permission to display the content you add, unless we decided to remove it for whatever reason. People often throw up the defence of freedom of speech, but if you are in someone else's house and they don't like what you are saying they can just throw you out.

I'm resigned to the fact that if I piss off some random troll, they might decide to take it out on me by reporting one of my posts and possibly getting my posting history scrubbed, which is relatively easy. I'd hope my lists were safer, as I've put some time and effort into them, but I don't rely on that and occasionally export them (In fact, this prompted me to go and do it again). I can't import them back on here again (yet - there is a suggestion for that) but if something happens (and you never know if there is a nasty accident and the data gets corrupted), not all is lost - I can stick them up on Google Docs and/or find another list site to put them on.
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Keester

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When I said rights I really mean the right to be informed when I make a mistake so I can correct it, apologize for it, and learn from it. IMDB gives you NONE of those.

On a second point I notice that staff have promoted two replies giving their one-sided biased point of view. New viewers to this thread may not get past that point and therefore do not see the whole picture. This promoting biased replies smacks again of their dictatorial attitude and only goes to prove, to me at least, that they are trying to avoid any confrontation of this matter as they really know they have acted inappropriately. The more they act like this the deeper s**t they are digging themselves into.
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Staff don't promote posts, it is automatic and happens when a post gets 3 stars, i.e. at least three people concur with the statement.
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(What happened to one last thing???) New viewers need not go past those messages which contain the best answers to see the answers. That's the reason we all vote them up there. Staff, as mentioned above, does not do that.
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Keester

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The one last thing referred to a reply not a comment. I was mistaken about the promotion system. Forgive me, I'm new here.
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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No worries...we're here to explain these things. And, by the way, we're all relatively new to this forum, which works a little differently from the site boards. So, we're learning too.
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Keester

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And it s***s There's no way I got any satisfaction.
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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I know how you feel. The other day Inwas searching on a site for a good banana nut bread recipe...never got Googled even once! Later, I visited Facebook. I saw faces...NOT ONE BOOK!

It's almost as if these site names are not meant to be taken literally!

You'd really expect to get whatever you want here! Maybe you should complain.

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