Speculation of Fake Reviews on a title I directed

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  • Updated 2 weeks ago
  • Answered
  • (Edited)
I am the director of the film COSMOS https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4477292/?ref_=tt_urv (a no-budget UK sci-fi movie made by a crew of 3 over 5 years) and I'm being accused of creating fake accounts to boost my film's rating.

I have zero issue with anyone who feels Cosmos is bad, dreadful or the worst film ever made and I cannot stress that genuinely enough. Truly, the subjectivity of film is something I value above most things - my entire ethos about filmmaking is that "to make a film some will love, you have to make a film some will hate". But the idea that someone who might love my film and rates it a 10, MUST be a fake/bought review by myself is not only speculation, it's deformation of professional character and slander. Of course, objectively speaking Cosmos is not even close to being a 10 (few films are!), but again, art is subjective and it's entirely possible Cosmos may talk to someone even more than it talks to me.

People are objecting to the volume of 9 and 10 star reviews for this film because some of them are coming from new accounts with only 1 review - this however is easily accountable - Cosmos has a strong social media following of supporters who've tracked the film's production for several years. The film has released, many of these followers are pleased and satisfied with the result and many are feeling inclined to create IMDb accounts to show their support in the way they think is best for Cosmos. These ratings are indeed biased from invested viewers, but this is no different to any eagerly awaiting audience member finally getting the chance to see a film they're excited for and then being satisfied with expectations met or surpassed (after all, expectations for a no-budget indie are understandably low, and not hard to surpass).

I was under the impression that IMDb's weighted algorithm specifically counters this bias and reflects the "wisdom of the crowd", so Cosmos has a rating that is accurate to the mass opinion of the film - I therefore see no need for anyone to be slanderous towards myself or my crew because they can't fathom how someone enjoyed a film they may dislike and then resort to deformation of character. Hypocritically, some of these hateful reviews are coming from new accounts with only one written review to their name:
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109821379/?ref_=tt_urv

I wish IMDb would patrol more rigorously the guidelines they state about reviews, requesting restraint on "Profanity, obscenities, or spiteful remarks".

There is no rule that prevents a movie-goer creating an account and reviewing a film that means something to them, or are we to ignore such opinions, dismiss and discredit them and the filmmakers, and ignore the wisdom of the crowd for the favored few?

Included are images below as an example of such fake review claims:







Photo of Elliot Weaver

Elliot Weaver

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  • frustrated

Posted 3 weeks ago

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Photo of ACT_1

ACT_1

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Cosmos (2019)
Release Info
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4477292/releaseinfo
UK   - 14 July 2019 (UK premiere)
USA -  7 November 2019 - (Los Angeles, California) (premiere)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4477292/reviews - 130 Reviews
- - -
 
jeffmarines
IMDb Member New user!
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur110145138/reviews - 1 Review
10/10 - great movie - 18 November 2019
 
bobbiegeorges
IMDb Member 2 days
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur110079854/reviews - 1 Review
10/10 - Brilliant - 17 November 2019
 
yh-00584
IMDb Member 2 days
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur110093363/reviews - 1 Review
9/10 - Watch this film! - 17 November 2019
 
wonderson-74642
IMDb Member 4 days
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109999800/reviews - 1 Review
10/10 - Great movie - 15 November 2019
 
paulfp-innobellamedia
IMDb Member 5 days
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109957804/reviews - 1 Review
9/10 - A Beautiful Triumph Born Out of a Labour of Love - 14 November 2019
 
pipilottadelicatessa
IMDb Member 5 days
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109963244/reviews - 1 Review
9/10 - Gobsmacked. - 14 November 2019
  
securitana
IMDb Member 6 days
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109908640/reviews - 1 Review
8/10 - Excellent Movie - 14 November 2019

dreamtalk
IMDb Member 6 days
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109930352/reviews - 1 Review
10/10 - This movie is a gem! - 13 November 2019
    
simondashby
IMDb Member 6 days
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109918390/reviews - 1 Review
8/10  - Fantastical debut shows great promise - 13 November 2019
   
lentegdenshne
IMDb Member 1 week
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109889561/reviews - 1 Review
It just gets better - 12 November 2019
 
joeldcbeach
IMDb Member 1 week
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109881031/reviews - 1 Review
1/10 - I've had bowel movements that were more enjoyable than this turd - 12 November 2019
 
purewalfamily
IMDb Member 1 week
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109842584/reviews - 1 Review
10/10 - COSMOS: literally out of this world! - 11 November 2019
 
rahulnimje
IMDb Member 1 week
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109840228/reviews - 1 Review
7/10 - Definitely worth your time!! - 11 November 2019
 
damienlong
IMDb Member 1 week
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109831181/reviews - 1 Review
10/10 - A charming instant indie classic! - 10 November 2019
 
chris-40612
IMDb Member 1 week
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109827727/reviews - 1 Review
8/10 - Ever wondered what's out there? They did too. A journey of friends. - 10 November 2019

alleyb-49869
IMDb Member 1 week
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109821379/reviews - 1 Review
Can you PLEASE STOP creating new fake accounts to rate Cosmos with 10/10's?! - 19 November 2019
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(Edited)
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Elliot Weaver

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Thanks ACT_1 but For the purposes of fairness and objectivity - I've included, in a new response below, a selection of 10 star reviews, ordered by date, from people who've been imdb members for considerable amounts of time.
(Edited)
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ACT_1

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Hi! Elliot Weaver
  
I just added some of the new reviews by the new reviewers
WE can look at these reviewers later and see what else they reviewed
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
.


Photo of Elliot Weaver

Elliot Weaver

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Great idea. Thanks for leaving a breadcrumb trail. Although, it's also quite probable that some of these user won't go on to review anything else later down the line - we know from our interaction with our followers that many viewers are being compelled to sign up to imdb to leave a review because they enjoyed it and want to help spread the word.
Photo of ACT_1

ACT_1

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? ?
 
Social media:
Anyone posting Twitter messages or Facebook
YouTube video 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b95XIREFJwo
309,620 views
Add a link there to IMDb 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmos_(disambiguation)
.
(Edited)
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ACT_1

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Nov 20 2019
  
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4477292/ratings
IMDb Users
677 IMDb users have given a weighted average vote of 5.1 / 10
Rating        Votes
10     18.9%  128
  9       9.6%     65
  8     12.0%     81
  7     11.4%     77
  6       9.5%     64
  5       9.7%     66
  4       4.9%     33
  3       4.6%     31
  2       5.2%     35
  1     14.3%     97
Arithmetic mean = 6.1   Median = 7
.
(Edited)
Photo of ACT_1

ACT_1

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Nov 20 2019
  
alleyb-49869
IMDb Member 1 week
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109821379/reviews - 0 Reviews
Can you PLEASE STOP creating new fake accounts to rate Cosmos with 10/10's?! - 19 November 2019 - GONE
- - -
  
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur109821379/ratings - 22 titles
15. Cosmos (2019)
* 5.2  * 1
Rated on 13 Nov 2019
.
(Edited)
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ACT_1

  • 3802 Posts
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Cosmos @ Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/0O733OO100E7LZW2A7RFDN2YZG/
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
Rent HD  $4.99 - Rent SD $4.99
Buy  HD $12.99 - Buy  SD $9.99
- - -
 
Customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars
21 customer ratings
5 star   67%
4 star    7%
3 star    0%
2 star   15%
1 star   11%
  
19 customer reviews ...
.

Photo of Elliot Weaver

Elliot Weaver

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Thanks ACT_1 - For the purposes of fairness and objectivity - here are a selection of 10 star reviews, ordered by date, from people who've been imdb members for considerable amounts of time. Wanted these here to act as useful data and help disprove the claims against us.

henrikringbert
IMDb Member 1 year, 7 months
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur87092130/?ref_=tt_urv - 1 Review
10/10 - This film deserves a 10 - 18 November 2019

philem17
IMDb Member 1 year, 10 months
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur84329409/?ref_=tt_urv - 1 Review
10/10 - Very Good for a Low Budget Movie - 17 November 2019

macielricardo
IMDb Member 4 years
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur63585754/?ref_=tt_urv - 1 Review
10/10 - Great movie - 17 November 2019

celt007
IMDb Member 12 years
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur16126010/?ref_=tt_urv - 25 Reviews
10/10 - Love this film- 16 November 2019

makulet
IMDb Member 10 years
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur20820768/?ref_=tt_urv - 1 Review
10/10 - Another great sci-fi movie - 16 November 2019

akayumr
IMDb Member 1 month
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur108415453/?ref_=tt_urv - 2 Reviews
10/10 - Normally anything under the rating of 6 but the rating this movie got is so far from the truth - 15 November 2019

charlieedmnond
IMDb Member 4 years, 4 months
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur61076618/?ref_=tt_urv - 26 Reviews
10/10 - Ignore the reviews, Just watch it if you like astronomy. -  12 November 2019

callumoconnor2012
IMDb Member 5 years
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur52325580/?ref_=tt_urv - 244 Reviews
10/10 - A Cosmic Phenomenon - 11 November 2019

shivamshivam
IMDb Member 9 years
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur22994955/?ref_=tt_urv - 1 Review
10/10 - Beautiful feature film that fully shot on Super 16 Original BlackMagic pocket cinema camera - 11 November 2019

tune345
IMDb Member 5 years
https://www.imdb.com/user/ur56329804/?ref_=tt_urv - 5+ Reviews
10/10 - WOW - 11 November 2019

(Edited)
Photo of Meredith

Meredith, Employee

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Hi Elliot,

If you've found a review on the website which you believe to be a breach of our guidelines listed here:

https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/contribution-information/user-review-guidelines/GABTWSNLDNFLPRRH#

Please click "Report This" at the bottom of the review and select the appropriate reason from the list then click submit. However, please note that we will not remove a review unless it violates our guidelines.

Thanks
Meredith
Photo of Elliot Weaver

Elliot Weaver

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Hi Meredith, 

Thank you so much for your reply. Really appreciate your time on this and the info.

I checked the IMDb guidelines before reporting and submitting this post as I thought they were in breach - and I'm pleased to say the slanderous reviews have been removed by IMDb, so thank you. 

As stated above, the subjectivity of art is not something I take objection to, I just don't want to be called a liar when I'm not one. Especially having worked in the Film & TV industry for over 13 years now, such accusations, no matter how false, will damage my professional reputation. So I truly appreciate the support of IMDb which is obviously also a hub of professional representation as well as a database of movies.

Once again, thank you.
I feel even greater confidence in the IMDb brand than before.

Regards,
Elliot
Photo of Elliot Weaver

Elliot Weaver

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Hi Meredith,

Once again I've been targeted by TheTopDogCritic, for the 3rd time in 2 weeks (gave us a 4 star, now a 1 star) - they keep writing reviews and deleting them and then resubmitting in an attempt to smear my professional reputation.

Their comments are slanderous and speculation. Please remove their review.

I have no objection to an impartial fair review of the film - statements like "the scenes were way too long/extended, and the slow pacing made this feel like a 3+ hours long snoozefest" and "This screenplay should have had 80% edited and chopped to the cutting room floor" are fine by me, that's the opinion of the user and entirely subjective.

But, I do object to character attacks and abuse such as "It goes to show you the desperation these filmmakers have to fool their audience."

https://www.imdb.com/user/ur64798417/?ref_=tt_urv



Elliot

(Edited)
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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I don't think I can be of any additional help, Elliot, but I can say that I've definitely been in similar situations and as a fellow filmmaker I feel your pain. I've seen people trying (with varying results) to literally review-bomb and boost someone's titles and then accuse the directors of both. 

If that helps, I am actually really interested in the movie now and it seems very much down my alley. :)