Misleading website names in external reviews

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  • (Edited)
I enjoy linking my website to the external reviews page, but as my site begins with D I understand it falls down the list a bit. That's how the alphabet works. However, some people are abusing this page by starting their sites with, eg. "A (website name) blog piece", so their reviews default to the top of the page.

I've seen several examples of this, one which stands out big-time is with The Martian, where it has been used (or abused) several times atop this page:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3659388/externalreviews

Can this be addressed, please, as it's unfair. Or if it won't be, shall I
just do the same? (as they say "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em")

PS. I know there's a way to attempt to highlight these on the individual pages and ask for their removal, but that requires going on 'correct' for each individual link and following all the steps and it'd be way too time consuming to cover them all.
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Dom Robinson

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Posted 4 years ago

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Nobody

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"... e.g. there's a site called 'A Big Spark',
so they're entitled to" [be listed near the top].
Yes, of course.

But ... isn't alphabetization itself (like life itself) inherently unfair anyway?  (-;
A site named "Arnold's Movie Reviews" deserves  to be listed near the top?
A site named "Zachary's Movie Reviews" deserves  to be listed near the bottom?

My idiotic idea:   Randomize the ordering by default (on every visit to an
External Reviews page).  Provide a clickable option to sort alphabetically.
(The randomization and sorting could be done in browser JavaScript,
with no added load on the server side.)
(Edited)
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Meredith, Employee

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Thanks both,

I have passed on your comments and suggestions to the data editors and added the information into the ticket. I will update this thread as soon as I have further information on processing for external links.

Thanks
Meredith
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Dom Robinson

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Months on, it's still happening. Here's one I've just come across on a page. He does this a hell of a lot, only correcting them once this one's been removed. Can't you just make them automatically flag up when they try to post? Another time, he put "A great review from..." etc.

Some people are just taking the youknowwhat.

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Dom Robinson

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And two I've just seen on Spider-Man Homecoming, who are also regular offenders.

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Meredith, Employee

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Hi Dom,

Thank you for highlighting these to us. We can see you have been doing a lot of work to keep the external reviews section clean and this is greatly appreciated. We are continuing our work with attempting to stop these, by changing how URLs are processed, and we have seen great improvement however it is not always possible as you have noticed.

I have seen a few reviews that you have reported that do not breach our policy for instance reviews from the below users:

A Big Spark
A Film A Day
A Selenator's View
A Sliver of Film

These are using the same name as the website domain and should not be deleted.

There are also some where we feel we should allow some leniency, such as

Sight & Sound from the website -  http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/reviews-recommendations/beauty-beast-emma-wa...
Cinemaclips.com from the website http://movie-reviews.cinemaclips.com/2017/01/patriots-day.html

These are not attempts to raise their position in the listing by changing their name, instead they are using the name of the website, or magazine as the description, it just so happens that the url contains further information in front of the name rather than behind the name. 

Others you have been flagging are correct and we are taking steps to stop these from being approved so thank you for this.

Thanks
Meredith
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Dom Robinson

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Hi, thanks for your reply. I figured any incorrect deletions would be checked and restored. There's so many "A...." sites, it's diffifcult to keep track, especially when others are trying the same trick but haven't included it in the URL. And for those who have included it in the URL, it's like they only do it to trick sites like IMDB.

 

With some big films, I occasionally see some sites adding bogus links are doing it more than once, eg. one has put "A site name", then a few days later, "At site name, then something like "A great review by site name".


For those who are causing a problem, I would've thought it easier to quarantine those which include a particular part of the URL, so if it started "urlname.com" you could make it quarantine anything with "urlname". Thanks.
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Dom Robinson

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Hi, I'm finding my updates to external reviews for my own links are taking much longer to show up. Is it as a result of this subject, please?
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Dom Robinson

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Can someone get back to me, please? I also find some of my links are being altered by someone else. The formatting change is always the same, and it's NEVER how I originally submit them. Can you find out who keeps doing this and stop them, please? I can give suggestions but I'd rather send that privately since if they see them here, they'll just make a new username and start again.

Surely, when someone edits something (and it's not about removing abused links as per the original topic), you should be able to see whether or not it's the original person? Hence, if it's not, you shouldn't change it?
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Dom Robinson

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled External reviews processing times?.

I know there are sometimes delays, but even still, often I'd post a review link and it'd appear within an hour, but now it's taking several days before anything shows up. Is anyone else experiencing this, please?

And can someone at IMDB let us know if there's any issues? Thanks.
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Meredith, Employee

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Hi Dom,

Please remember that all information submitted to the IMDb is not immediately available online but must first be checked and processed by our staff. The time it takes us to do this can vary. As per this conversation thread, we are continuing our work with changing how URLs are processes to prevent users from moving their reviews higher up the alphabetical ordering system. In order for us to catch as many of these cases as possible, we have had to put in some additional checks which can mean it takes longer for our data editors to process title URLs. For more details about our processing times, please see this page:

   http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?resumeprocessingtimes

and volume of items pending processing by data type:

   https://contribute.imdb.com/times

With regards to your comment on your links being altered, please can you let us know more about how they are altered and what part of the formatting has been changed? We always welcome additions and corrections. However, in order to be as comprehensive and current as possible, we cannot restrict updates for a specific title or person to a single source, or provide notification of changes to a listing. Even if we could track down who sent a specific piece of data or correction, it is our policy not to disclose contact details or any other information about our users and contributors.

Thanks
Meredith
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Dom Robinson

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Hi Meredith, I can't see anything about external reviews processing times on those links.

As for when I post links, and in terms of how they are altered and what part of the formatting has been changed, I would like to submit that privately so as not to encourage others doing it too.

I understand you can't reveal to me who's doing it, but it looks like the kind of thing that only one person would do (since the formatting change is specific) and so this would help narrow it down and stop it, as you will see that my own formatting is the correct one based on my other submissions.
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Will, Official Rep

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Hi Dom,

Thank you for your comments, they are listed under Title URLs in this report. If you wish to submit sensitive data please feel free to do so via our Helpdesk system by using the following link http://www.imdb.com/helpdesk/contact_form

Regards,
Will
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Dom Robinson

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Just done that, but on the question about the length of time for new submissions to the review pages, why are IMDB *still* letting in all the 'At...' ones without checking? Surely a person is checking each one as they do them, so why aren't these stopped?
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Dom Robinson

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Again, there are still repeat offenders for the "At..." sites, faking the description. Can you take action against these, and why aren't they stopped??
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Dom Robinson

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Presuming someone's reading this still, I see the occasional posts on film and TV External Reviews which are nothing more than a post with a summary of the film/TV content and a trailer.

Doesn't anyone at IMDB actually check the links are what they say they are?

And if there's a delay in getting things online, why aren't you weeding out all the "At..." and the invalid "A.." sites?

It's a problem you could stop before it starts!
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Dom Robinson

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Is anyone at IMDB still reading this? Do I need to start another thread again, like I had to last time? I've got some entries (and corrections including deletions from abusers of IMDB) which haven't been processed, while one or two after the 'oldest item' date *have* been put onto the site.

If this delay is meant to weed out the abusers, why are they clearly getting through? Why are the links not checked? A lot of 'reviews' are just links to sites for general info about a programme or film and NOT a review!!
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Dom Robinson

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I really feel like I'm talking to myself, here. Found a ton more on one particular film's page. Is anyone at IMDB actually still reading this or, again, do I have to start a new thread?

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Peter, Champion

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Since the problem remains the same, I doubt the answers would change. Sometimes they just can't dedicate the resources it would take to solve a problem like this.
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Dom Robinson

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Then explain why there's a delay in submissions appearing online (as per the link given by Meredith earlier - https://contribute.imdb.com/times ) when this clearly has NOTHING to do with checking what goes through?
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Peter, Champion

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It's hard to draw any conclusions from some submissions taking longer than others.
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Dom Robinson

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That wasn't the point. IMDB are meant to be taking time because they check each one... but clearly, they don't, as sites which would end up way down just put a description of "A something something". So, why are just letting the dodgy ones through, Peter?
(Edited)
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Dom Robinson

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled External reviews.

Meanwhile, all the problems get kicked into the long grass, including doing nothing about weeding out fake site descriptions as you (so I'm told) check each one when submitted, as per the Data Processing Times page, the staff for which are just waving all these through without checking...

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/misleading-website-names-in-external-reviews?topic-reply-lis...

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: New IMDb Help hub.
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Dom Robinson

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled External reviews.

Meanwhile, all the problems get kicked into the long grass, including doing nothing about weeding out fake site descriptions as you (so I'm told) check each one when submitted, as per the Data Processing Times page, the staff for which are just waving all these through without checking...

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/misleading-website-names-in-external-reviews?topic-reply-lis...

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: New IMDb Help hub.
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Dom Robinson

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled A thread about Misleading website names in external reviews.

When is action going to be taken on these?

I've reported many, but IMDB seem to have given up taking down the dodgy sites. It's so disheartening.

If you can add links after you've apparently checked them, then why are you also ignoring the reported ones, which I've done at the same time??

I hope the title of this new thread gets my point across.
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Horst

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My suggestion would be to make the default order completely random and different every time you open an external reviews page, maybe add an option to sort by name. Or just get rid off external reviews completely. It would be better like that than the way it is now in my opinion.
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Dom Robinson

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No, don't get rid of them!

Random is an interesting method.

They're sorted by name already.
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Dom Robinson

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Oh, and the links to "At Resident Entertainment" for the site called "Resident Entertainment" all seem to point to the homepage, and NOT any individual reviews!!!!

Come on, IMDB!!!
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Sorry about the delays on this.  Our priorities right now are covered on https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/upcoming-changes-to-several-imdb-features-du6man1opd5q0 
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Dom Robinson

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Thanks for the input, Col, but please can you tell me why - since it takes quite some time for all links to get processed - what is causing the delay in this processing? It makes it seem like they're all being checked manually now, but clearly that's not the case since all the dodgy links are still getting through.
(Edited)
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Dom Robinson

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled External reviews.

Why are none the fake reviews being removed whenreported, NOR are they checked when submitted? Please answer both parts of that. Thankyou.

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: Updates to Title Reference View.
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Jeorj Euler

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled External reviews.

Do you have a link to a specific review you want to indict, Dom Robinson? Or otherwise, could you tell us how to reach such a review? You have to consider the possibility that nobody except you finds a given review to be fraudulent enough to be considered in violation of IMDb's Terms of Service, which is the criterion for removal.

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: Updates to Title Reference View.
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Dom Robinson

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled External reviews.

I've given many examples in the past - fake descriptions is the main thing, eg. instead of "Website Reviews", they've put "A Website Reviews piece" or "At Website Reviews" to stick them amongst the As. Look at any major new release title for a quick example of these. A handful are genuine, but many are not.

A lot of these used to be removed when you request it through the Correct/Delete section in External Reviews. Now, they just don't bother. They don't even check the links that are submitted!

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: Updates to Title Reference View.
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Jeorj Euler

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled External reviews.

Thanks, but I'm not sure if this extremely-brief crash course on how to spot the "fake" reviews is adequate to confer an understanding of the problem at hand. I also don't recall stumbling across any that fit the spoof/knockoff pattern. Anyway, I'm curious: Are spam bot accounts the authors of these reviews? I guess, the bottom line is that the IMDb staff is not addressing the problem, though?

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: Updates to Title Reference View.
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Why are none the fake reviews being removed when reported, NOR are they checked when submitted? Please answer both parts of that. 
Please post the last 3-5 reference numbers of the fake review deletes which have been ignored and we will investigate and get back to you (and then we can look at answering the second part of the question). 
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Jeorj Euler

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O, I see now! Before the replies were moved to this topic, I somehow misunderstood the context of the issue at hand, thinking it was about IMDb user reviews rather than external reviews referenced on/by IMDb. I don't know why I was thinking that, as it should've been obvious to me.
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Dom Robinson

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I have some examples, Col, but I would like to submit/discuss them off this thread, please.


Jeorj, thanks for checking out this thread. It's so frustrating. I abide by the rules, as do many others, but too many people take advantage. They used to get stopped, but now so many of these get through the system. It only takes a moment for IMDB staff to actually visit the link and validate the information. Why isn't that simple check done? It would stop so many fakes.


Similarly, I'd love to apply to be in the News feed section, but that's full of a load of dead sites, too. Staff on here used to say to check the homepage for when new sites are to be accepted, but you can't look at it 24/7/365, and then they eventually admitted they'd given up maintaining that list, anyway, so nothing would change. So disappointing :(

(Edited)
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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It's okay -- please just provide the reference numbers of the ignored review deletes.  Nobody aside from other staff members can see what they contain so there's no privacy issue there. 

The NewsDesk program is indeed still closed for new applications, sorry.  We need to address many issues before it would make sense to start accepting new partners, especially around article duplication and story theme consolidation, otherwise we would simply flood customers with even more repetitious articles.  We have been through a program of removing new partners so we are not sure what you mean about it containing dead sites.  If you have examples of any dead sites which we missed, please let us know. 
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Dom Robinson

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Well, I wanted to include reasons for why I'm chasing these up, and that would involve naming the sites.

Newsdesk - there used to be a list available of the sites, and when I last clicked on some, they were dead links. I can't find that list, now.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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I see, thanks.  We know the reasons via this thread so just some example review delete request contribution references and then I can chase the team on why they were not actioned when submitted. 

Yes, we cleaned-up NewsDesk as part of the recent news migration so I wondered if we had missed something there. It seems not.  
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Dom Robinson

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Okay, but I don't want to include any discussion about them here, as that would name them. There are definitely transgressions, here, in these examples. I abide by the rules, but too many people take advantage.

They used to get stopped, but now so many of these get through the system. It only takes a moment for IMDB staff to actually visit the link and validate the information. Why isn't that simple check done, Col?

For the numbers below, if they don't look like they're transgressing, I can resubmit with the info I wanted to include here, so that may help.


171210-184055-040000
171212-224240-546000
171214-223008-821000
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Thanks, so this seems to be covered by Meredith's response to you earlier in this thread.  Far from ignoring you, we are correctly implementing IMDb policy here, sorry. 
171210-184055-040000
This meets the guidelines and we were correct to ignore the delete, sorry.

171212-224240-546000
Our comments in the order of deletion in this batch:

1. This is a review of the correct title
2. This is a review of the correct title
3. This is a review of the correct title
4. This is a review of the remake, we are moving it to the correct title
5. This is a review of the correct title
6. This is a review of the correct title
...

We can see the pattern here across the remaining deletion attempts. You cannot delete a review just because you do not like the titles of the sites from the descriptions.  How would you feel if someone did the same to your review links? 
171214-223008-821000
This looks like the same issue, sorry.

It sounds like the real issue here is that you would like to propose ideas for alternate presentations of the reviews?  If so we can create an entry in the "Ideas" section on Get Satisfaction for this so other people can comment and vote (or you can post one yourself, let us know)? Personally I would +1 any reasonable idea here -- deleting things because of current limitations in the presentation is not the answer though. 
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Dom Robinson

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I've not had chance to deal with this until now as I've been busy with a lot of other things, but here's why I submitted the deletions, and the problem isn't mostly to do with the title of the film or TV show, but the description of the website.

I figure you've not understood the problem I'm addressing here. Please read each of my responses.

    171210-184055-040000

Col: This meets the guidelines and we were correct to ignore the delete, sorry.

My response: This one isn't a description issue, so stands alone from the rest. External reviews is about reviews. This website doesn't post reviews. They post press releases weeks in advance, even before the TV show is available.

Since the proramme was broadcast, they threw a few words together that looked like it was put together by a machine, so it's not a proper review. Plus, the page is all cast, synopsis and trailer stuff before it gets to that anyway.

Also, the problem is that, despite the delay in submitting a link to it appearing on the site, no-one at IMDB is actually CHECKING the content, at which point they would see there is no review on there in any shape or form, not least because there is an embargo on posting reviews at the time this website submits their link. Why isn't IMDB checking that?

    171212-224240-546000

Here's where we get to  Misleading website names in external reviews, as I named the post. The problem isn't mostly to do with the title of the film or TV show, but the description of the website:

Our comments in the order of deletion in this batch:

1. This is a review of the correct title
2. This is a review of the correct title
3. This is a review of the correct title
4. This is a review of the remake, we are moving it to the correct title
5. This is a review of the correct title
6. This is a review of the correct title
...

1. The website begins with Y, not '1'
2. The website begins with D, not '2'

Even if you disagree with those, you cannot disagree with No.3

3. The website begins with R, not 'A'. It's a classic example of what I've been talking about.

4. The website begins with AYS, not 'And'
5. The website begins with A, not 'U'
6. The website begins with Y, not 'E'


Col: We can see the pattern here across the remaining deletion attempts. You cannot delete a review just because you do not like the titles of the sites from the descriptions.  How would you feel if someone did the same to your review links?

My response: The titles of the site are meant to match the description. I reiterate my original entry in this post: "I enjoy linking my website to the external reviews page, but as my site begins with D I understand it falls down the list a bit. That's how the alphabet works. However, some people are abusing this page by starting their sites with, eg. "A (website name) blog piece", so their reviews default to the top of the page."

See the problem? Even IMDB's Michelle, on the first page of this post, agreed I was in the right on this, and other contributors have agreed with me.

As for "How would you feel if someone did the same to your review links?"

My reviews are actually reviews (unlike the top example), AND my submitted description has the same name as the website. It's that simple.

By your response to me, I could just put my description as "A Dom Robinson blog piece" and that'd be fine.



    171214-223008-821000

Col: This looks like the same issue, sorry.

My response: The biggest offender here is the second one. Site begins with G, as does the website name, and they've filed it under a word beginning with D.
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Meredith, Employee

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Hi Dom,

Thank you for the additional information.

Regarding 171210-184055-040000 the site does post reviews on titles, I can see that there is information above the review, however the page in question is still displaying a review and so is eligible for listing.

Regarding 171212-224240-546000, I have added these names to our investigation ticket which is still being worked on and we will look into these instances. We do invite you to submit corrections to the URLs rather than deletions as this will make the problem clearer to our data editors. When a deletion request is received it can be perceived that there is something wrong with the link, URL or website itself as these are items we cannot amend. If there is a mistake in the description it is advised to submit a correction as this will allow the link to the review to remain on the site for other users who wish to read these.

Our investigation ticket is still open and being worked on, as Col previously mentioned if the real issue here is that you would like to propose ideas for alternate presentations of the reviews, we can create an entry in the "Ideas" section on Get Satisfaction for this so other people can comment and vote

Thanks
Meredith
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Dom Robinson

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Regarding 171212-224240-546000, I have added these names to our investigation ticket which is still being worked on and we will look into these instances. We do invite you to submit corrections to the URLs rather than deletions as this will make the problem clearer to our data editors. When a deletion request is received it can be perceived that there is something wrong with the link, URL or website itself as these are items we cannot amend. If there is a mistake in the description it is advised to submit a correction as this will allow the link to the review to remain on the site for other users who wish to read these.

Re: 171212-224240-546000:

It's NOT a mistake. It's a DELIBERATE ATTEMPT TO CON THE SYSTEM! Why aren't you weeding these out at the submission stage? If I can spot them when I'm coming to post my own reviews (and I'd wager that not many others are doing that, so these scammers get away with it), why are IMDB *NEVER* doing that at the submission stage? If they did, then this thread wouldn't even need to exist as there would not be a problem.

Otherwise, we have the current situation where "Zachary's Xylophone Zither" posts as "AAA Aardark"*, and IMDB just wave it through. PLEASE check them at the submission stage. I thought that was the whole point of their delay in the Title URLs section under Data Processing Times, but it's clearly not.

As for "this will make the problem clearer to our data editors", I started this thread 2 years ago, so I don't understand how the problem is not clear to them already. Surely they are made aware of threads like this?

Even with corrections, there appears to be NOTHING to stop the dodgy sites from giving misleading names, so I would propose an idea that such sites get '3 strikes and out'. They need a clear warning, and then they're gone.

(*made up to make my point)
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gromit82, Champion

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Dom: For clarity, if someone has a website titled "Zachary's Movie Reviews" but has been submitting its description as "AAA Aardvark Presents Zachary's Movie Reviews", have you been trying to delete those links, or just correct them to a more accurate description?
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Jeorj Euler

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The paradigms and object orientation behind the External Sites pages need to be revamped as far as I'm concerned. The whole thing has been a mess for a long time. Site descriptions should be automatically uniform on a per-site basis. Each site description can be drawn from a template datum and then concatenated to the custom page description to form the full description. Whenever a site description needs to be changed, the template is what is to be changed. When a site goes offline, a single report from a contributor should result in the IMDb staff easily purging all External Sites pages of the dead links. This is just one way in which Wikipedia is better than IMDb.
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Dom Robinson

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Spot on, Jeorj. Everything seems to have gone quiet from IMDB :(
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Dom Robinson

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Anyone?