imdb should not delete message board posts

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imdb deleting posts is unacceptable for several reasons. first off, this isn't a news site with dated subjective opinion posts about stories that have long passed, and even those retain importance, but movies stand the test of time, and new and old viewers alike maintain the same thoughts and questions about films, and those ideas get discussed and addressed on the message boards, often times with great thought, insight, and most importantly effort. to simply purge these boards is outright disrespectful to the community on this site that goes to those lengths to contribute. worst of all, when you do so, it is inevitable that people will come to the site with the same questions and thoughts as previous users have, and those answers and discussions will all be gone. I find this totally unacceptable and believe it to be your responsibility as the top site for movie and film resource to not do this to the community's vibrant social exchange. i may sound demanding, but it is because basically everything else about imdb is great, and i don't want to be upset about anything on the site, but this would be a deal breaker for me using this site. thank you for your time
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Joe Brusch

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  • frustrated

Posted 7 years ago

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DrakeStraw

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You can't do too much about IMDb policy, but you can keep individual threads alive with activity. I believe editing counts as well. I have gone back to threads over a year old and added to them so they would not die. On very active boards you need to revisit those old posts more often. Looking at the date on the earliest thread will give you an idea of the purge rate for that particular board.
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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Information about films that comes up on message board posts, that is worth saving, should be submitted into the appropriate page of the database. That way it can be searched and be seen by all users. Most visitors to the site never use the message boards and the boards are not searchable. So, stumbling onto something you've written there is a longshot. Further, the majority of posts they'd be saving are useless chatroom type conversations. The administrator that built the message boards had the idea, also, that expiry would keep conversations fresh and keep resources available for the site's mission of being a film information database.

You should consider, when putting time and effort into writing about a film, submitting it as reviews or into the trivia area, etc. That way, other users might actually see and read it.

With millions of boards on the site, the majority being used as chat rooms, there really is no good reason to save everything.

http://www.imdb.com/help/search?domai...
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Kinsayder

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To say that the boards are of limited value because they're not searchable is surely an argument for adding a search function. Would that really have been harder than adding the purge "feature"?

In my experience, the most interesting and enlightening message board threads are not facts that can be submitted and filed to the trivia pages of the database, or reviews that can be posted in the reviews section, but discussions where people exchange theories about some aspect of a movie that's intrigued them. This is not chat room twittering. It's intelligent conservation, sometimes conducted over many months, and to tip it all in the trash just because it's passed an expiry date is, as Joe Brusch said, disrespectful.

I do accept that there's also a lot of dross in the boards. If IMDb really need to auto-purge to preserve resources, maybe some kind of upvote system would be the way to separate the wheat from the chaff: threads which achieve a certain threshold of upvotes would have a preservation order placed on them.
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thebluraypenguin

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I like your idea. It makes the most sense, and important threads stick around but nonsense gets purged. I get tired of replying to 4 year old threads from not noticing the previous post dates. Your suggestion would eliminate most of that but the ones that remain would at least be considered worth keeping.
(Edited)
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Joe Brusch

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i disagree to some extent, i will say that when i have questions or am wondering something about a particular movie i go straight to the message boards and there is GREAT content there, generally addressing what I'm concerned about, because there is a high likelihood that many other people will be concerned about it as well. I also know this because i contribute content as well including answers to other people's questions particularly in cases where I have read an original script or something and many others haven't. I don't buy that movie message boards need to be purged in order to stay fresh, its not like a sports team's website where there's a new season every year and holding onto conversations about the past 3 yrs makes little sense. the movie comes out once, discussion about it now will be the same 10 yrs from now as it will be 20 yrs from now. The national treasure message board has 6 threads on it, that is ridiculous, its an insanely popular movie and is only 8 yrs old. there is no discussion there at all, they've completely killed it, there aren't any posts older than like 1 yr.
your suggestions as to keeping it fresh are noted and much appreciated.
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Oops

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Hello Joe B. I love your idea.
An hour ago, I watched Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) and visited the board... there are fewer than five threads, only four to be exact. The oldest thread was started on August 11, 2012... last reply was posted on November 11, 2012.
IMDb should consider new users... old threads aren't old to new board visitors... like old movies aren't old to new audiences. Of course, new visitors may read reviews which never expire, but board discussions are informal.
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Emperor, Champion

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I agree with this, deleting threads just means people end up starting the same threads over and over again.

I'll often go to a film's message board with a question and find someone has asked it and answered it. So there is no need for me to start a thread.

The argument for purging threads is to stop the bloat, but leaving the messages there would tend to see the number of threads created plateau off, as all the obvious bases have been covered.

I could see that applying to the main forum's messages but a decent search and a willingness to merge threads might keep the numbers down - often you'll see the same discussion come up once a week (often about a hot topic) and it'd be better to merge them together. That is the way to stop the bloat and would do away with the need to purge.
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Oops

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Hello Emperor. I agree with your first and second points.
For the third and fourth...
IMDb/Amazon would need to hire dozens of people to manage/maintain the Main Boards.
I'd hate to be the employee who has to merge threads for an entire shift or when the Main Boards are the most active.

As for the bloat... should threads with zero replies expire before threads with replies?
I have personally gotten into the habit of reading threads with no replies first...
but then I find out why no one else replied.
So should "old" (3 months?) threads with zero replies be purged?
And if an "old" thread is bumped by one user, should it also be purged?

That idea seems easier than merging threads.
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Emperor, Champion

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Yeah the main forum thread feature would require some oversight but it also might be possible to automate some merges. On the horror forum, which is the most active genre board, you can get a couple of threads a week about A Serbian Film or Lords of Salem. If you allowed users to request a merge of threads with the same films in the subject line then the software could check and merge if the fit was good enough (so you'd end up with one main thread for a film).

However, as you say, that'd involve extra hassle and there is less need on the main forums where you get a lot of churn, but on a film's message board it'd be worth adjusting the purging so it is fine-grained and I don't think you'd see infinite bloat:

* Set purge to 2 years

* Purge threads with 0 replies

* Purge threads with > 50% of their posts deleted - which would show the discussion was less than productive.

If you look at something like the Cabin in the Woods forum, most of the key topics are covered so all that deleting most threads would do is force someone who saw it on DVD or TV to start a new thread asking a question that has been covered at least once:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1259521/b...

Giving people the ability to search through a board would also be a great way to stop the bloat.
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Oops

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So basically, IMDb needs to upgrade it's message board system.
Search bar, FAQ, Sticky threads, Polls, Archives, mark threads as favorites, etc...

Do you know when was the last time they implemented something new?
I've only used the boards since 2012.
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Emperor, Champion

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"So basically, IMDb needs to upgrade it's message board system."

Wellllllllll that'd be my long term choice but just tweaking the purging system on a film's message board would be a start.

" Do you know when was the last time they implemented something new? "

Well they are always implementing new things - most recently a completely revamped search engine. It wasn't well received, but they do seem to be taking some of the feedback onboard so hopefully there will be an update that addresses the major complaints.

Before that removing the built-in comments system in favour of the Facebook pluin, which didn't go down well. Not having an FB account, it was rather a step backwards, as far as I'm concerned.

Before that... lists was a big one. When I first started using them they were difficult to use and the current versions are far superior. There are further tweaks I'd like to see but that was one of the best recent (ish) updates.

We've also had check-ins implemented, although I am unsure how useful it'll be, I already have a private list to track what I watch, but this is more of a social media type thing so it might not be my cup of tea but I have started using it.
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Oops

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Sorry, I should have been specific... I meant new message board implementations.
These ideas here aren't new, are they?
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tt

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Yeah, they shouldn't delete the comments so more people could read them. Or reply to them.
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p.xyz

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Just further information:
As I understand it, a deleted thread can still be viewed if you have the URL for it, such as:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0139809/b...

When IMDb deletes threads it must be keeping them on the database, or archival DB, and only deleting the entry in that message board's listing. I'm not sure what the benefit of that is, tighter message board thread listings, or moving threads to an archival DB or what.
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tatoul1001

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IMDB should not purge Message Boards.  Period.  The incremental cost to store all this data is now insignificant but the benefits would be useful every day of the year to new and longtime IMDB users.  Adding a search function to the Message Boards is a no-brainer.  Auto-merging threads is a great idea to streamline.  C'mon IMDB!
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(closed account)

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the search function is still there.
But it cannot search the message boards.
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waldenpond88

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Was it previously possible to search the message boards? I'm using the imdb since summer of 1998, but never noticed a search function in the message boards.
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(closed account)

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waldenpond88 wrote:
Was it previously possible to search the message boards? I'm using the imdb since summer of 1998, but never noticed a search function in the message boards.
BluesmanSF previously wrote:
They added a search function twice and tested it. Both times it was decided it was not worth keeping because of the lack of use of the feature.
BluesmanSF, do you remember how long ago was the last time they had a search function on the boards?
(Edited)
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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About two and a half years ago, I'd estimate. It was before they started using Get satisfaction, but not too, too far before that.
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Vincent, Champion

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Its an automated system, no ones making the decisions on a movie by movie basis, theres just set criteria and the system follows it

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