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IMDb's 'cache" in our business and the World, is that we feel we can trust what is posted at IMDb as accurate. I highly recommend the following suggestions in regard to the "Known For" section:
1. Give us the ability to turn it on or off from within our profile.
2. Give us the ability to list more projects as "known for"... up to 10
3. Give a choice of different algorithms, as one might work better for one person than another.
4. Or else... Delete it until you find a better way...
Everything on the "works" section is verifiable & therefore changeable, and everything in the "profile" section is programable by the person. But your "Known for" section is coming across as some computer's weird erratic opinion..., which in some cases might be considered hurtful to the person's identity or career..., and it undermines the legitimacy of the rest of the information on the page. In some cases it is almost comical. Further, your FAQ's which say... "Please don't ask us to edit "Known For" titles for you -- we can't" - is highly offensive when you are dealing with people's careers, and livelihoods.
Thanks for giving us this place to speak out...
Turning it off would make some functions of the site hard to use. For instance, adding names into a search or using collaborations. The function offers title from filmography so you can choose the correct name. For that matter, submitting data in general might become less accurate.
It's not meant to distinguish the "best" work, which would be impossible anyway because that would be based on opinion.
Like the Roman numeral after names, people seem to want to attach a significance to the function that isn't there. And, again, getting rid of it or turning it off makes necessary and core functions of the site, searches primarily, work less efficiently.
known for FAQ's http://www.imdb.com/help/search?domai...
See also http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?kn...
With 5 1/2 million people listed and peoples' filmography changing constantly, they'd need a large crew working around the clock Fielding requests for changes (then requests to change again as filmographies get added to). No one means to offend you by stating what is common sense...add to that, that there really is no reason other than pride or simply differing opinion for switching known for titles back and forth. Afterall, it's "Known For," not "best work."
It's not meant to pick the 'best' title of a person's career, or the credit that is most worthy of being in the spotlight (although in some cases the choice will match those two criteria). It's not a promotional tool -- it's a device used to help users identify/distinguish names. As such, popularity weighs very heavily among the factors used to pick these titles.
When users search for the name 'John Carpenter' they need a way to tell at a glance whether the John Carpenter entry in search results is the guy who directed Halloween and Escape From New York or the actor who appeared in Network and Tootsie; when users land on a page for a John Williams, they need an easy way to tell whether this is the American composer who scored Star Wars and Jurassic Park or the British actor who appeared in Dial M For Murder and To Catch a Thief.
This also explains why we don't allow (and don't plan to allow) opting out of having a 'known for' title selected for a name: since this information is used when displaying search results, there'd be no way to tell names apart if it were missing.
The system is automated for several reasons:
- It would be impossible to manually select these credits for each of the 5.4 million names in the database.
- The selection of which titles/credits are more representative of a person's career is often very subjective. An older person familiar with Julie Christie's career in the 1960s would pick Dr. Zhivago or Darling as her best/most famous roles, but a young guy is more likely to have seen her and associate her name only with recent films like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban or Finding Neverland. Put these two people together in a room and they'll violently disagree with our choice of 'known for' credit for her, no matter which one we pick.
- Someone's need or desire to be associated with a certain credit doesn't necessarily imply that their choice is the best for the purpose of easy identification. As stated above, the 'known for' credit is not designed to be a promotional tool -- an actor who has recently changed careers and directed his first film might want his directing debut to be the credit next to his name, but although that desire is perfectly understandable, the vast majority of users would still identify/recognize/associate him with one of his past acting roles. Some people are unhappy to be identified with a specific title because of typecasting concerns or because they consider other work to be better/more representative of their abilities, or because they want a more recent title next to their name. But the main criteria used to determine the 'known for' title is popularity/recognition. It's the title/credit that is more likely to get people to say "oh, that John Williams" when you mention it after their name.
For all these reasons, we will never have a mechanism able to pick titles/credits in a way that will be considered to be 100% accurate/satisfactory by all of our users -- there are just too many conflicting needs and opinions about what is the 'best' title for any given individual. We think that the system currently used works well for the vast majority of cases, and we periodically tweak it to make it even more relevant/accurate. Obviously there are and will always be edge cases and exceptions and situations where someone disagrees with the automated choice;
and when these anomalies are brought to our attention, we use them to improve the system.
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