Updates to User Reviews

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  • Announcement
  • Updated 3 days ago
  • (Edited)
Today we are announcing changes to User Reviews as part of the broader site update announcement (https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/upcoming-changes-to-several-imdb-features-du6man1opd5q0). After in-depth discussion and examination, we have decided to simplify the features and functionality for reviews as follows:

  • “Your Reviews” are now ordered by Date and reviews on each Title sub page are ordered by Helpfulness.We will continue to update functionality in the new year, starting by bringing back the ability to sort reviews from newest to oldest/oldest to newest. We appreciate your patience as we continue to improve the overall experience.
  • We have removed the Index view. 
  • We updated the way that reviews with spoilers are displayed.
Additionally, on our iOS and Android apps, you can now browse all reviews for a movie or show, as well as see which reviews were voted most helpful. In the next few days we’ll be updating the Review contribution experience, which will be the foundation to enabling mobile users to write and post reviews in the near future. For more information about Reviews, see the IMDbHelp Center.

Karen
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Karen, Official Rep

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Posted 11 months ago

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Peter Webber

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I now get that Col Needham is planning a re-introduction of some kind of review sorting tool. That will be very nice. I'm not a programmer and have little knowledge of the process, but I'd have thought that e.g. once you have a drop-down sorting menu, the extra work to include more criteria would be minimal.

So how about sorting by good/bad, date, etc as before and could we possibly have:

...sort by number of reviews reviewer has made (most prolific first, etc)

...ability to set upper and lower rating limits (as is possible with titles in advanced search) e.g. choose to see only reviews between 3 and 8 stars

...include a search engine to find a word or a phrase in all reviews of a title or all reviews across IMDb (for references to an actor, another title etc)

And another thing, I understand the number of reviews per "load more" is moving upward (now 20) but could I express my disappointment at the whole "load more" system using one web page? It's great on a phone, but it's not needed om a desktop which has plenty of screen space. 

This system has a major flaw, apart from not knowing where you are in the list of possibly hundreds of reviews. If you click "load more" 10 times you will be around the 200th review. If you click the back button to check some fact then click forward again, you lose the place at review no.200 and are back where you started, i.e. reviews 1-20. So 10 more scrolls and clicks to get to no. 200 again, that's if you don't miss it. That's not good at all. 

So please can we get rid of the "load more" system on the website? I thought the pages were fine. I knew where I was, my forward/back buttons always took me to where I was previously.

I haven't read much about the "load more" system here, does anyone agree it ought to go back to normal pages?
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Frazer Caird

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Well said.

The 'load more' pages system is the real bugbear for me too. It is this which has ultimately made me cease review contributions here. 10 at a time or 25 at a time, it makes little difference when you try to navigate through your reviews when you have, like me, been foolish enough to contribute 1,700 to this databse. If you do 'load more' to the point that you have several hundred reviews, trust me, your browser doesn't like it and it slows to a trickle and you cannot access reviews effectively in the least. This same issue would occur for popular films with hundreds of reviews.

In effect, the prolific reviewers have been shafted by IMDb here. As we are left unable to access our work from a single easily accessible location. We had this over a month ago with the previous set-up but now, we have nothing. The day this system was introduced I did 'paginate' through all of my reviews and copied and pasted them from the website en mass onto a Word document - it took over an hour just to get to the end, and it was slow as hell in the latter stages. The word count for my reviews was 650,000. This is 650,000 words that IMDb do not seem to be appreciating too much these days. But at least one good thing has come of this though, in the sense that at least it has made me finally take charge of my own work and have it in my possession for the first time.

In 2010 when the last big set of changes came in, there was a lot of complaints. But there was a difference. For one thing, some people could see the positives, so it was by no means the vast chorus of disapproval we have seen for these recent changes; and secondly, most of the complaints were basically down to the fact that the new system had been implemented with loads of bugs, so it did not actually work. These are pretty different reasons to the ones we have regarding the recent changes to various features, where I effectively see no one but the admins saying anything positive. The reason is that the 2010 changes - for all their initial bugs - were clearly and obviously progressive, where the recent changes we have experienced are regressive. In 2010, we had the introduction of many new features, where in 2017 we have seen the removal of chunks of functionality and accessibiltiy. The lists, ratings and reviews have all been dowgraded in a myriad of ways. The changes that have been implemented are of the style over substance variety. When the focus of a database should be precisely the other way around. With this type of thinking, IMDb is in danger of turning into a shop-front, which is a depressing thought.

The changes 'under consideration' for Q1 this year, mainly seem to be for the benefit of review readers, which is fine and all well and good (if they actually come in) but really nothing I have seen suggests any concessions have been given to the actual review writers, specifically those in the prolific variety. What is particularly annoying, is that we ask for so little, yet are still ignored. If a place doesn't respect you, you know what you need to do.
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gromit82, Champion

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I agree with Peter, except that I would rather have a paginated system rather than a "load more" system on the mobile site, too. 
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cartman_1337

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Agreed. It's a lot more effective to navigate through pages, rather than using the "load more" option, on all devices. When you know something is closer to the end of a list, than the beginning, it is easy to navigate there through pages, but next to hopeless using "load more", getting a longer and longer, ultimately unmanageable (for the browser) page on long lists. This not only applies to User Reviews, though, but also to News and any other feature that uses "load more" currently.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Thanks for the useful feedback in this sub-thread.  We have directed the IMDb design team to review and act upon the points made. Some of these are not easy / immediate changes but they are being considered. 
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Dan

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Glad to see I’m not the only one who positively loathes infinite-scrolling webpages
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fung0

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"Increase default view of reviews shown before “Load more” from 10 to 25..."
You have got to be kidding. As long as you restrict viewing of reviews to the "Load More" method, your site will remain utterly useless. Lots of movies on IMDb have thousands of reviews, and unless users can access those reviews directly (e.g. by page number), no one-page-at-a-time 'sort order' will ever show more than a handful of them to human eyes. This is not rocket science - just simple logic.

Mr. Needham, you've helped destroy one of the most useful sites on the Internet, and your posts merely show your continuing abysmal lack of understanding of the damage that's been done.

Until (or unless) the site is fixed - properly fixed! - my reviews are being posted elsewhere, my movie information will be coming from elsewhere and my recommendation to others will be to look elsewhere.
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Dinelka Balasuriya

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Will we ever get back the option to look at our reviews in 'index' mode?.

I know that it's in the past now but IMDb have literally removed all the features that I (and seemingly many others) loved about the site. The user's index of reviews, the top rated episodes page, the ability to view custom lists in 'index/list' mode and the format of the review page itself. 

I for one loved how the index page for personal reviews clustered all the reviews for episodes of a certain show based on the title of said show. Now I'm missing that. I'm also missing the ability to conveniently scope out all my reviews.

Will this feature and any others return in the near future? I just cannot understand how getting rid of so many great features helps the site going forward. I know it's old news but still...
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XweAponX

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I found one other thing that is most irritating: it used to be that if I had already written a review of something, and I tried to write a new one, I would get a warning that I had already written one. But now I don't, and I don't necessarily want to completely rewrite all of my reviews. With no way of searching through my reviews now I can't search for a duplicate review. And without a warning that I am actually writing a review that I had previously written already, I really don't know when I am doing this. Of course we have some kind of sorting on individual reviews within the Apple and android apps, but we still don't have sorting on our own reviews. It's virtually impossible to look through to find out if we are writing a review about something we have already written. It's been over two weeks hasn't it? How long is it going to take until we have sorting in our own reviews area?
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Margareta Faust

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Hi! I find it a pity that you're no longer showing the country of origin of the reviewer.It was extremely interesting to see how a movie is received in a certain country or culture. I also miss the  search option of "hated it", because the nastiest reviews are the funnest to read, even therapeutic! Please improve.
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Karen, Official Rep

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Official Response
Hi everyone. Here is the progress update for the week ending Feb 2.
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Dan Avenell

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We have made it clear that we want the return of 'hated it/loved it' - please explain why there seem to be no plans to bring back this popular feature.

Cannot believe this has taken you two months so far.
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi Dan. This is on our list of features to bring back in the near future.
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi everyone. The update to support filtering out spoilers, and sorting by date (not just helpfulness) is now live.  
(Edited)
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XweAponX

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I have worked on my share of websites and I know sometimes it can take a long time to create or re-create a feature that used to exist on new software from totally scratch. In fact it was about time that the IMDb site got a software upgrade it had existed in the form that it was for over 12 years, and there has been a lot of improvements with code platforms since then, I just hope that by the end of this year we will have our sorting back not just in the user reviews but in our personal review section. And maybe a messaging feature where we can contact the other IMDb users that we used to communicate with but have not been able to since the removal of the message boards.
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Dan

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Odds are Imdb could care less about user interactivity. It will end up being a trailer showcase and gossip news aggregator. User content is probably just a nuisance to them, hence closing the boards and making the user review function unusable.

And one other thing: Why the hell do I have to sign up for a third party site in order to give feedback?? Goddamn annoying.
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XweAponX

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3rd party site? Because that's how it's done, I suppose you don't use Quicken. But if you're suggesting that "resistance doesn't work" I have to diffidently remind you of what happened last summer when the whole nation responded to the threat of FakeACA. Basically what you are saying is that when people gathered together for a common goal it's useless. I beg to differ.
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Jeorj Euler

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Well, I know that I certainly would not allow people to discuss ways to "go against" me in my house. I wouldn't expect anything different from most site operators in the world. The liability is typically unbearable.
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XweAponX

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That's why most places set up a third-party site like this and then they have representatives who come in. But I used to moderate a huge Bulletin board that was attached to the original MP3 com. We held it on site and the management actually encouraged ideas from the user base and general public. The reason why companies use get satisfaction, it's because it's a resource that already exists and they don't have to create a bulletin board on their own web space. I toured the MP3c storage area before it was taken apart and sold to C-Net, it was thousands of terabytes and yet there was always issues with running out of space. Needless to say, I wasn't happy after MP3 went down and my music started showing up, without my permission, on places like garageband, and they were suddenly asking me for $100 to access it. So I told them to delete it but still a few of the tracks show up here and there on butt music sites.

Now the storage of our reviews is a huge use of storage space, and I'm glad that they kept our work intact, but in doing so a lot of the features that we depended on vanished, it's going to take their programmers a while to re-create that all from scratch. But I have faith that they will do it, because we want it. But as it is the whole reviewing system is unworkable except if you are viewing them on the mobile app.

A lot of the complaints are against Amazon as well, but if you look at Amazon, they have sorting in place for reviews of products. But the problem is Amazon is Amazon and IMDb is IMDb, two different entities with completely different programming.
(Edited)
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bderoes, Champion

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Sorry if this is already covered elsewhere.

Will we get the ability to have a URL for each review, some sort of permalink?

I would like to reference one particular review, and cannot assume it will always be number n on page p.
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bderoes, Champion

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The idea of providing a URL for a specific review has been posted here:
https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/reviews-interface-improvement-idea?utm_source=notification&a...

Please vote/comment there.
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi everyone. The update to support filtering out spoilers, and sorting by DATE (not just helpfulness) is now live.
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ACT_1

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Hi everyone. The update to support filtering out spoilers, and sorting by DATE (not just helpfulness) is now live

by Karen, Official Rep

- - -

    

(Edited)
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XweAponX

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Excellent, I'll take a look when I get home thanks.

Actually I can see it in mobile Safari , I take it you are a eventually going to add more filters, correct? At least I can sort by date in my own review section, now we need alphabetical sorting .

Good, this is good you've got the mechanism in place, now you just need to get the rest of the filters created. Thanks a lot
(Edited)
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi @XweAponX. Yes, we will continue to make updates.
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Psy-Ko Smiley

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Still hoping for loved it/hated it sorting but at least it's a start. Lets us at least know someones listening to us. Thank you
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi @Psy-Ko Smiley. Watch for future announcements -- love/hate will return. 
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Horst

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Thanks Karen, nice to see this feature back. Any plans on reincluding the prolific authors parameter?
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi @Horst. Yes --
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XweAponX

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Definitely need Prolific Authors, it helps with the validity
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classicsoncall

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Having complained enough about the changes made to the reviews pages, I appreciate the recent fix that added reviews by helpfulness on the individual user pages. That's a good start. I have noticed however that at least one title that was in my Top 10 reviews by helpfulness on the old platform does not even show up after scrolling through multiple 'Load More' pages. If it helps, that title is "The Big Sleep". It used to be my number #2 right after "Between Two Worlds" which remains at the top of my reviews. I can't remember some of the others right off hand, though my reviews for "Red House" and "Cheyenne" definitely placed below "The Big Sleep". So maybe the algorithm changed for sorting? My user name is 'classicsoncall'.

In any event, I look forward to additional fixes that brings the reviewer/user experience closer to what it was before. One thing that's a must is the Index view, almost can't live without that one.
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XweAponX

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Index view is absolutely essential
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Karen, Official Rep

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Official Response
Hi everyone. I don't have any new functionality releases to announce today but am posting to keep the Friday announcement cadence consistent. We have additional sorts in-progress and I'll announce those as soon as they are available.
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Brett Harrison

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Glad to see that some of the filtering options are back. Reintroduce the 'Prolific Authors' filter and the ability to view reviews in index and alphabetical modes and we'll be sorted!
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Edgar Soberón Torchia

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I miss the alphabetical order of my reivews. I don't even try to find any when I need it.
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Elshikh4

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Couldn't agree more :(
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Karen, Official Rep

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Both 'prolific' and alphabetical will return soon. I'll announce once they're available.
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Edgar Soberón Torchia

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Gracias, Karen! I hope the alphabetic option will lead to the list of reviews, as it used to be. Thanks for your reply.
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Elshikh4

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Thank you @Karen. Since I knew this from you, I want to delete my recent sad post. But I really don't know how !

Great news anyway :) 
(Edited)
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Manoj B

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I see the ability to sort reviews from newest to oldest/oldest to newest is back again for user reviews. A BIG thank you for that!
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Edgar Soberón Torchia

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A fine addition, but I still would like the alphabetical list of titles (without the text) linked to the reviews. In this way, we can find each text very fast.
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Maria T Ciaccia

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I tried to find one of my reviews today but couldn't.  I am still hoping the prolific authors tab comes back, as well as an alphabetical list without the text.
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi everyone. Here is the update announcement for this week (the week ending Feb 23):
  • We have added "Total Votes" to the sort option drop down on title/review pages.
(Edited)
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Horst

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Thanks Karen. Can you (or anybody else) explain what total votes means in this context?
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi @Horst. It is the total number of votes given -- both up votes & down votes. 
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Horst

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Thank you Karen.
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi @Sparse. You can change the public/private setting that controls whether ratings are shown for your reviews from this page: https://www.imdb.com/preferences/reviews  Note that changing the setting will impact all of your reviews (ratings will show for all of them or will not show for all of them--you can't set this per-review).

As for multiple reviews, currently you can write multiple for a single title. The 2nd won't delete the 1st. 
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Sparse

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I thought I read somewhere that we weren't supposed to write more than one per title. Maybe I was wrong, but hopefully an edit feature is in the works, just in case.

I've now run into a bug preventing me from accessing my preferences, but I'll investigate and start a new thread if no one has brought it up yet.
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XweAponX

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Hm, it used to be you were only allowed one review per user per title, any new review would delete the old. I've noticed people have been taking advantage of this to write multiple verbatim dupe reviews. I always report those.
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi again @Sparse -- curious -- what bug are you running into around preferences?
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Prismark10

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As I have written several thousand reviews, sometimes you need IMDB to tell you that you have already reviewed a title. A nice safety function.
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XweAponX

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Agreed, and with no index function or alphabetical sort, or even mechanism to warn you that you are making a duplicate review, it is very difficult, I have over 700 myself, and it used to be if we were writing a duplicate there would be a huge red flag warning that we would get. now, it lets us even DO it, so that we could possibly have two, three, even for different reviews per item. We should be allowed one review and one review only . Lately when I am entering new reviews I see several duplicates by the same person so I just report them all. And I also noticed that my reports queue up to those reviews for deletion. I don't know what reviewing tools the moderators have over there but judging from the lack of any proper indexing or sorting functions, that site maintenance would be difficult as well. The reviewing section is a huge mess right now, and trolls are taking advantage of this to SPAMbomb certain shows that they like to target.
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi everyone. No updates to Reviews today (Mar 2) as we're prepping for Oscars.

Spoiler for next week though -- we are currently testing the sort functionality for prolific reviewers. I'll post an announcement as soon as it's available.
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Brett Harrison

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When will you be reinstating the ability to list a person's reviews in index view, alphabetically or in date order?
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XweAponX

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I am at an impasse with my own reviews until this is given back to us. I routinely go all of my reviews and clean them up or edit them on a weekly basis, or I used to, I have not been able to do this ever since alphabetical Index view has been removed. And I am loathe to review any older items for the fear that I may have already reviewed them and there is no system right now to tell us whether or not we are making duplicate reviews.
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Karen, Official Rep

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We will bring alphabetical back soon. I'll announce as soon as it's available.
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Brett Harrison

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Will there be an A-Z menu so that the user can click to a desired letter? I don't want to have to scroll through all of my reviews to get to the letter Z.
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi everyone. I'm happy to announce that the 'prolific reviewer' sort is now live (Mar 7). To try it out, go to any title/user reviews page and use the dropdown which now contains: Helpfulness, Date, Total Votes, Prolific Reviewer.
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Elshikh4

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Hi Karen, I hope you're doing well.

So happy for the return of the prolific reviewer' sort. Though, something is bothering me..

Lately, and after the recent modifications, I have a hard time editing any of my old reviews. For instance, I edited my review about Batman Forever (1995) 3 days ago, and after 72 hours nothing happened at all. So does the time of publishing a new version become more than 72 hours ? (it used to be done immediately !), or is it a kind of temporary disorder ?
(Edited)
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Please see https://help.imdb.com/article/contrib... and in particular note the section on tracking your contribution.

In the case of reviews, see https://help.imdb.com/article/contrib... which explains how to use the link in the email receipt for an update on the specific processing time.
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Elshikh4

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Thanks Mr. Needham.
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Horst

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Excellent. Thanks for that Karen.
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi everyone. I'm posting the weekly Friday update for completeness (Mar 9). No additional updates today since we launched Prolific Reviewers earlier this week. We are currently working on Love/Hate.
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Peter Webber

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Hi Karen,

Thanks for the update on Love/Hate. Look forward to it as it was my main sorting tool.

Can you say if there are plans to revert to pagination from infinite scroll? Infinite scrolling takes away all control and knowledge of whereabouts. Clicking a link leads off the review page, which loses its place when returned to. When there are hundreds of reviews this isn't acceptable. I know this view is shared by many.

The search box has a dropdown for Titles, TV episodes, Names, Companies, Keywords. I propose you add Reviews to the dropdown. This would allow the finding of mentions of particular films in reviews of different films, mentions of particular actors and so on. I for one would find it incredibly useful. It would probably double my IMDB screen time and significantly improve my film knowledge. Would you please consider this?

Peter
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XweAponX

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Hi Karen I just thought about something. Every day, our reviews are accosted by dozens of fake IMDb accounts whose sole job is to down vote every positive review and up vote every negative review. They've been doing this especially to Star Trek discovery.

IMDB ain't REDDIT. I just thought about something, let's make a bold proposal: totally remove the "unhelpful" button.

If you would do that, these fake accounts would have no ammunition. I believe the whole helpful/unhelpful system has become abused, just like the review system has been appropriated by troll accounts who have been posting multiple duplicate negative reviews for many popular shows. This is just a suggestion, temporarily remove the unhelpful vote. Then watch back and see if this activity stops. Because it is really pissing me off, these people who do this have no interest in the shows, it's just a troll Activity. Or maybe somebody else has a better idea of how to excise the trolls from IMDb?

PS, if anybody doesn't believe me that this is happening, try this. Write a positive review for the next episode of The X-Files and watch what happens.
(Edited)
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Maria T Ciaccia

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thank you, Karen. Good news.
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Karen, Official Rep

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Thanks for the suggestions Peter & @XweAponX.  I can't comment on future plans, but please add your suggestions & ideas to the IDEAS area here: https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb?topic-list[settings][type]=idea
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi everyone. No updates to Reviews this week (week ending Mar 16); posting for completeness.
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi everyone. I have a mid-week update on review sorts (Mar 20).

You can now sort by review rating on title/reviews and user/reviews pages (IMDb desktop and mobile web site). For example, if you go to https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111161/reviews?ref_=tt_urv  you can choose the sort option "Review Rating" and see all reviews rated 10, 9, etc. You can also sort in the opposite direction and see reviews that are rated 1, 2, etc. Unrated reviews appear at the bottom.
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Brett Harrison

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Great work! At last we seem to be getting back to the level of usefulness that there used to be. Now if only alphabetical index view would return...
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi Brett. We're working on an alphabetical sort option -- "sort by title." I'll post in announcements once it's available.
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Karen, Official Rep

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Hi everyone. Here the update for Mar 23:  You can now sort by title (aka alphabetical). On user/reviews pages you can sort by the first letter of a film or show title, ascending or descending (on desktop and mobile web).

Note that if you have 7500+ reviews we aren't able to enable this sort for you at the present time. This is on our list of future fixes.
(Edited)
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ElM.

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I like how you slowly rekindled our motivation to pursue reviewing movies, we're certainly not in the same situation than three months ago.

But I think it would be the perfect and ultimate improvement if we could also select the viewing format, grid view with the posters or just a list without any image, I don't think it's asking much since it already exists with the ratings :)
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Prismark10

  • 12 Posts
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We certainly need a grid format.

I really do not have the time or motivation to press 'Load More' all day long.

I actually have a job, family and other things to do. I am not one of these young people on mobile phones that IMDB values so much, the ones who are writing meaningless one line reviews for them these days.
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XweAponX

  • 36 Posts
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I just checked this in my own reviews, to sort by title does not give me any sorting in any way that Is usable. I still have to go through every single review of my over 700 to find a specific review, and they are not actually in alphabetical order but some undesirable format. We need the reviews sorted by the title of the TV show or film like they were before and we need to be able to go directly to the letter that we are looking for or the shows that we are looking for like we had been able to do previously.

And there needs to be a Search format that allows us to scan through hundreds of reviews at once rather than taking four hours to do so. This new "title" sorting is totally worthless. You guys remember how it was before, that's what how we want it. What is so difficult about giving us this sorting format like it was before? It's starting to look like you should fire whoever is assembling these changes for your site and rehire whoever you used to create the site in the first place.
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Faterson

  • 14 Posts
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Please restore the ability to create a permalink to each of my reviews posted. All of the permalinks to my reviews posted over the years are DEAD now. I simply cannot continue using IMDb and posting reviews here if it's impossible to link back to reviews (mine or other people's) individually. This is essential functionality (see Amazon reviews for a comparison). Thank you for your help.
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Karen, Official Rep

  • 90 Posts
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Official Response
Hi everyone. Here is the update for Mar 30. On both title/reviews and user/reviews pages you can now filter by rating. For example, you can see all reviews with a specific rating e.g., all reviews rated "8."

Thanks for your patience and feedback as we've released Reviews features over the past three months. This will be the last of the weekly updates to this announcement thread, but please keep adding ideas for future ideas here: https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb?topic-list[settings][type]=idea I'll post new announcements on Get Satisfaction as we release new features and functionality in the future.
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bob the moo

  • 1512 Posts
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Karen,
Thanks for following through and putting a lot of the functionality back into the user reviews section.

bob
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Brett Harrison

  • 12 Posts
  • 22 Reply Likes
I've said it before and I'll keep on saying it until it returns: I want Index view back.
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Christian Ridge

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To whom it may concern,

I am not much of a user of IMDB but recently I read a fascinating story about a short film that was released about a month after the Titanic sank and features an actual survivor of the tragedy.  This short seems to be widely considered as lost as the studio that produced it burned down a couple years after producing it.  I see one of the users who reviewed the movie mentioned that their copy was in "seriously" bad condition.  I would love to contact this user to see if they actually have a copy of this lost film.  From this forum it seems as if private messaging is no longer a thing, but is there any way that this review or reviewer can be authenticated, as they would be the only known person with a copy of the short film?

 Thanks
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Faterson

  • 14 Posts
  • 9 Reply Likes
Please restore the permalinks to our individual reviews posted over the years. All the permalinks to our individual reviews from previous years are dead now. This is essential functionality. I have also created a separate request for this: https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/restore-permalinks-to-our-individual-reviews