Thursday, 5 July 2012

Me, Myself & IMDb.

Hmmm, some time has now passed and I have received nothing but an automated response from IMDb after my posts and entire post history were deleted for no good reason last week. Oh no, I'm completely serious. No good reason at all. Hey, I can fess up to the fact that in the past, before learning how to make the best use of forums and my time, I've been a bit of a pain in the ass but this time I am, for a change, quite innocent.

And here is the correspondence thus far:

Hi guys,

I know that this is a long shot but I can genuinely not think of one single
thing I have posted that has violated the IMDb terms and conditions and came
along today to update my ongoing coverage of the Edinburgh International Film
Festival to find everything gone (threads on The Twilight Zone, Disney, etc, etc).

Is there any way this can be investigated further and perhaps reversed?

I hoped that was polite and restrained enough to warrant a decent reply but instead I received the standard auto-response.


Posts in our message boards can be deleted/moved for a variety of reasons. First of all, before assuming your post has been deleted, you should check your post history (on your user profile page). Sometimes posts are moved by an administrator to a different board from the one they were posted on (usually because they were off-topic and/or better suited to a different forum).

If you are certain that the post has been deleted and you didn't do it, then there are two possible reasons: the message has been removed by a moderator or it has expired. Our boards are not designed to store messages indefinitely: after a certain amount of time older threads are removed from the board automatically. This process is called "expiry".

The rate of expiry is adjusted dynamically according to the posting traffic for each board. Threads are removed sooner from a board that attracts a lot of posts than they would be from a board with less activity.

Please keep in mind that the boards system is not meant to be an archival medium, and all posts are subject to expiry and disappearance sooner or later. This is intended to allow us to manage the resources consumed by each board effectively, and also to promote the ever-changing flow of discussion.

Posts can also be deleted by an administrator if they have generated complaints from other users (through the Report Abuse feature) and have been deemed inappropriate or in violation of our Terms & Conditions of use (

Please note that when an administrator removes a post that was the head of a thread, every other post in that thread is removed at that same time. Also, if  a thread has degenerated into a string of abusive posts and it appears that further responses are going to continue this trend, the entire thread will also be removed.

In cases of cumulative, serial or blatant abuse of the system, administrators may exercise the option of removing entire post histories from the system. If this has happened to you, it's a definite sign that you are doing something inappropriate that has attracted multiple complaints.

For further details, please refer to

The IMDb Help Desk

Well, Ann seemed nice enough anyway even though "she" was actually saying, essentially, that I'd done something wrong repeatedly without being aware of it. To have my post history removed I must have been "doing something inappropriate that has attracted multiple complaints".

Which was absolutely not the case. And so I countered with, you know, actual evidence of my upstanding board conduct (note, the following links no longer work, of course, as the posts have all been deleted but I believe that IMDb admins have access to deleted threads as long as they receive the URLs).

This was my Twilight Zone thread - [url][/url]

My thread on horror movies on YouTube - [url][/url]

My thread exploring the movies included in the DVD Delirium - [url][/url]

My thread journeying through the movies of Walt Disney - [url][/url]

And my thread exploring my own DVD collection - [url][/url]

Please look into this rather than giving an automated response, I literally have NO idea what I could have possibly posted that would constitute "doing something inappropriate that has attracted multiple complaints" and I believe that whoever tried to report my posts/threads has themselves been abusing the complaints procedure and may need investigated further.

I understand that the stock reply will be for me to not use the boards if I am unhappy with the resolution and I will go my merry way, as a last resort, but I would much prefer to give you as much information as possible to try and actually redress the balance when it comes to the misuse of the post reporting facility.

Yours sincerely,

Kevin Matthews.

The reply? Zero. Zip. Nothing. Despite the fact that I have almost 950 reviews on their site and probably about the same number of external links, despite the fact that I try to contribute data whenever possible and despite the fact that I've actually not done anything worthy of negative action, this won't be fixed and they are quite happy to simply encourage users to "like it or lump it". It's been that way for years and won't change, I and many other users are well aware of this and grit our teeth on a daily basis.

I have a LOT of friends on IMDb and have had a lot of great conversations. But most of them are also on Facebook. Or have their own blogs. Heck, I'd LIKE to cajole a few of them into chatting away on the Flickfeast forums.

I'm not going to disappear from IMDb and I'm certainly not going to stop adding my external links and user reviews. But I am going to be there a LOT less than I was before and not invest any time or energy into the kind of threads I previously enjoyed maintaining.

Of course, I MIGHT still get an answer to my mail and a solution to this problem but I seriously doubt it. So be warned where you put in any effort, it only takes a majority of one (apparently) to see it all undone.

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