Undefined aka titles

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  • Updated 3 months ago
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Sometimes when a title is corrected the former title becomes an alternate title with an undefined country and attribute. When you try to correct one the form says to delete it and add a new item. However, the deletions are not being processed.

Example:
190331-165545-981000

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Peter, Champion

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Posted 1 year ago

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Joel, Official Rep

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Hi Peter,

Thanks for your post.

I've removed the duplicate title now, this should update shortly.

If this has occurred a few times, are you able to provide a few additional example submission references for me to dig into? 

Cheers,

Joel 
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Peter, Champion

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Some other deletions that were not done (entries with attributes had already been added):

#190321-195917-299000
#181209-150631-913000
#181107-082106-800000
#181005-194352-588000
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Will, Official Rep

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Thanks Peter, I've fixed these for you now and taken further internal action to make sure you don't encounter this problem again.

Regards,
Will
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Peter, Champion

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The first one I posted about (190331-165545-981000) is still there.
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Will, Official Rep

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Apologies Peter, I thought that one had already been actioned, I've removed it now.

Regards,
Will
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ljdoncel, Champion

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Hi, Joel and Peter:

Perhaps I can help a bit here (otherwise, I'm sorry... ). If I'm not mistaken, every alternate title with no country/region defined AND that is not tagged as (original title) needs to be deleted rather than corrected (as shown in the screenshot above).

First, a few numbers... From title.akas.tsv Apr 2019:

ALTERNATE TITLES: 3,766,128
         With a defined country/region: 3,313,625 (88.0%)
                    Original titles: 17
                    Unspecified: 2,177
                    Not original titles: 3,311,431
         Without a defined country/region: 452,503 (12.0%)
                    Original titles: 395,768
                    Unspecified: 12
                    Not original titles: 56,723

Original titles (or unspecified) aren't available in the akas update form, so actually there are 3,368,154 editable alternate titles, of which 56,723 (1.7%) are locked in the sense that can't be modified (only removed). The interesting question is, how many of those "non-original non-localized aka titles" have a correspondent verbatim "non-original localized aka title"?

Current answer is:
4,665 TITLES
[e.g. Das Mädel vom Ballet (1918) ► The Ballet Girl (1918) (undefined) & The Ballet Girl (1918) (USA)]
Maybe these titles should be scrutinized one by one and remove the unneeded entries...

Although we can't say for sure that all these locked titles have appeared because of the mechanism discovered by Peter, I think I can narrow down the list of titles to better investigate this issue because fortunately I had a copy of title.akas.tsv 31 Jan 2019. Comparing both tsv archives, 160 of those 4,665 aka titles (with the aforementioned conditions) have appeared in the last 9 weeks.
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ljdoncel, Champion

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Here's the list:
I could publish the complete listing of 4,665 titles if required.

Cheers!
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Will, Official Rep

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Thanks ljdoncel, the problem here is more how we are handling the delete requests which cause problems in our systems, but can still be applied internally if handled correctly.

Regards,
Will
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ljdoncel, Champion

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Thank you very much for the clarification, Will.
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Matt

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Almost impossible to delete AKAs with "undefined" attributes.

After a title merge, AKAs from the old title are often added to the kept title with "undefined" info for Country/Language and Attribute. This looks confusing and the information is often duplicate of correctly added AKAs. These undefined AKAs are impossible to edit; trying gives the message: "Sorry, it's not possible to correct this item directly. You will have to delete it and add a new item instead." However, deleting them is hardly ever accepted by the data editors.

For example, I have tried many times to delete the two incorrect undefined AKAs at Pokémon Red with varying levels of detail in the explanation. The most recent rejection for Contribution #190329-002145-835000 gives the standard meaningless response of "We were unable to approve this contribution. We did not capture a specific reason during processing."

Why is it so difficult to do this? And shouldn't they just be added correctly (or not at all if they're duplicate) in the first place?
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Peter, Champion

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I also agree with the last question: Why add such incomplete entries in the first place?
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Will, Official Rep

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The entries exist due to a number of reasons - title merges, internal edits, historical items, but still if you are submitting a delete on that item, they should be actioned nonetheless. 
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GoodFlixGary

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One of the ways these bogus "undefined" AKAs are created is from a title change rejection. If you submit a title change and the editors reject it, it'll likely get added (automatically?) as an AKA instead, always with no country defined and with the attribute set to "alternate title".

Many of the bogus entries (with unset countries) have no attribute, but the ones that have an "alternate title" attribute most likely came from this sort of failed title change. It's happened to me several times.
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GoodFlixGary

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@Matt: I notice Pokémon Red finally had its undefined AKAs removed. Do you know how this was done?
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Matt

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Will said below that he did it.
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Will, Official Rep

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Hi Matt,

Thanks for the report, I've now taken a look and done a clean-up on that title. Apologies for your poor experience and lack of clear guidance on the reason. Our technical teams are aware of the issue, though we do have an internal workaround if handled correctly. I will update this thread once this is resolved.

Regards,
Will
(Edited)
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piznajko

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@Will Has there been any progress on this? Requests on this still keep getting rejected :/ Thanks in advance for any update

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GoodFlixGary

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled delete undefined country AKAs.

So many titles have an AKA with an "unidentified" country (and no attribute). These invalid AKAs cannot be deleted by a contributor. You've acknowledged over many years that this is an error, an artifact from an old system or something, and that they need to be deleted, yet here we are again and again complaining and nothing changes, no fixes, no removals.

Why not write a BOT that scans system-wide and in two steps: 1) deletes all occurrences of AKAs with no country set, for which AKA title already exists with the country code set, 2) for all other occurrences of AKAs with no country set, where the AKA title is not duplicated, scan the page for the country of origin and change the country of the invalid AKA to it.

Doing this manually by each contributor is obviously a waste of time since it never works. You have an editing anomaly. If you try to set the country on such an AKA you get an error that this can't be done. Why the heck not? Instead, it tells you, delete the invalid AKA, and create a new one with the country (this is kind of "duh" since it is *impossible* for a contributor to create an AKA without setting the country, only your broken system can (and does obviously) do that).

So you choose deletion of the bogus AKA and create a new correct one. Problem is, while the new AKA is created fine, the deletion of the invalid AKA without a country is always REJECTED by your editors! So the problem never gets fixed. I've tried resubmitting the deletion request with many different explanations including quoting the error messages that tell you it can't be changed and you MUST delete it, but every request is still denied. This appears to be a problem with training and informing your editors of this long-standing problem.
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Marco

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Re Marco's comment, I don't think he's referring to specifically AKAs.

I was referring to contributions in general because your statement also seemed to be about IMDb in general.
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Marco

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Re Marco's comment, I don't think he's referring to specifically AKAs.

I was referring to contributions in general because your statement also seemed to be about IMDb in general.
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Marco

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Marco, here's an example of an edit that was rejected but shouldn't have been for a credit that shouldn't have been accepted in the first place. (I did everything correctly.) I'm not saying it happens 100% of the time, but it happens enough to not be an anomaly.https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/contribution-rejected

This is an example of a very messy area indeed. Foreign dubs are a mess on IMDb, I totally agree. IMDb should create a special place for dubbers on a title's page, but this been asked since (at least) 2003 but unfortunately hasn't materialized yet.
Perhaps voting for this idea will help: https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/suggestion-for-new-feature-voice-actors

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Marco

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@Marco: Yes IMDb used to display your edits immediately. Maybe you can't remember back that far or weren't around then. They didn't have a backlog table like they do now, of when your edit will be posted, taking in some cases up to a week.

I haven't always been around (I contribute since 2001/2002), but all submissions I send during that time where checked by staffers before they were added to the database. I remember creating a post on the ol' Contributors Board being very happy that a new title I submitted was online in only six days. That was very fast at that point. In the (early) nineties, e-mails had to be sent to IMDb staff members, so there was also a check by staffers before information made it online.
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Marco

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I suspect these editors are out-sourced, and may not read English very well, and at least are too lazy to try, so they ignore explanation boxes (especially if they're long), which belies their more frequently encouraged use and expansion.

I think it's simply a case of being understaffed, as most companies are. Most companies I know off have more work and/or more ideas about how to improve their work and/or the customer experience than they have people to do the work and implement the improvements. Obviously, most companies cope in the sense that they don't run out of business, but they have to cut corners somewhere because the cost of personnel is always the biggest expense a company has.
This doesn't mean I feel IMDb is doing a good enough job, because I think they aren't (see https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/does-buccaneer-island-2000-really-exist?topic-reply-list[set...), but I'm quite certain it hasn't got to do with them being lazy, out-sourced or not knowing English well enough.