Birth names aren't showing up on profiles.

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 4 months ago
  • Not a Problem
On any given actor/actress profile, the birth name doesn't show up under the bio, where it says "Born:" only the DOB, and place of birth shows. Not the name at birth though. I know this is probably a temporary problem that will be fixed shortly. But it's a gigantic issue, that needs to be addressed ASAP. It's very important. Those are millions of names that we need to have stored.
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Joey Baseball

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Posted 3 years ago

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Col Needham, Official Rep

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This is not a bug but is a change in policy on priority of this information.  We periodically review the display priority of different fields on IMDb

On the web site the birth name remains on the biography page, for example, see http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0428065/bio
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Joey Baseball

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I would hope you would reconsider. It's nothing that you wouldn't see right away on wikipedia. 
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Joey Baseball

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Would you please consider changing it back? This is a major inconvenience for many 
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Kelly L.

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The policy change might have to do with certain groups who would prefer their birth name to not be prominent - such as those adopted as children or transgender people (especially with the latter since IMDb already considers sexual orientation a "taboo" trivia item, so likewise with transgender individuals trivia about their "wrong-gender" past ought to be treated in a similar matter).

IMHO a better policy though would be for IMDb to distinguish between the typical case where an entertainment professional assumes a stage name for purposes of their career, and when an individual legally changes their name for personal reasons (besides marriage of course). In the former case I agree with Joey's points (and there one's birth name is legitimate trivia for a public site IMO), but in the latter case I think a better idea would be to allow the subject to "opt-out" of having their birth name posted if they request (and in the most egregious cases, like living transgender people who had no credits prior to transitioning, make it so the subject is the only one who can submit a birth name on them).
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Joey Baseball

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I wouldn't be against a case-by-case basis for transgendered people if they feel that way. But yes, this is all public information, and extremely helpful for informative and trivial purposes. Especially in the case of rappers who almost always use stage names. I woud really hope they reconsider. It doesn't seem that big a deal to have it on their front profile, as it's nothing you wouldn't immediately see as the first thing on any wikipedia page.
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Kelly L.

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Wikipedia's policy on posting transgender peoples' birth names (from sources other than the individual themself) is that it goes on the front page as you described (which is their "normal" rule) only if they had fame warranting an article prior to transitioning (or would've if Wikipedia had existed at such time). For example, they show the birth name of Caitlyn Jenner (since she was obviously well-known as Bruce Jenner before she came out with her gender issues) but not of Laverne Cox (since she did not achieve her fame until after transitioning). As I suggested IMDb could model such a policy, with the factor here being did they ever have any credits that qualify for IMDb listing under a form of their birth name or not.
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Kelly L.

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One other fine point: In some of the cases I mentioned, such as many adoptions in the U.S., the pre-adoption records (and thus the person's birth name) are sealed - so with them it's not "public information" from a legal perspective. In a growing number of states, California being one of them, transgender legal changes are being handled in a similar way (primarily because of the abuse and discrimination many face when their name change record is made public especially with their address as well, or they have to show an un-amended birth certificate).
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Kati Knitt

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Trans person here, hiding old names should be possible for every trans person. That IMDb doesn't allow that is ridiculous and harmful. Shocking that this is from 3 years ago and they still didn't change it.