I'll miss being able to argue about why a movie is rubbish with someone who thinks it's fantastic, or vice-versa.
There's some great discussions on some of the movie boards where people talk about the stories and motivations of characters etc. Sure it gets heated sometimes, but that's life. You just navigate around that stuff and find things worth responding to.
Sending people to "Facebook" is not an alternative as there is no facility to divide discussion per thousands of movies over there, and... it's Facebook, the fast food of online discussion. It's designed more for small packets of latest buzz more than dedicated threaded topics. What a joke IMDB, they should fix their boards with post-limits, voting up/down posts, and community moderation.
- I once came across a nomadic TV watching club - they'd decide to watch a classic TV series, and then go to the board for that series to hold weekly discussions (you go in one week and see them discussing the first episode, then go in the next week and see them discussing the second, etc.). When the series was finished, they'd announce the next series they would watch and migrate to that board.
- At one point the board for Kingdom of Heaven was a bunch of history buffs discussion history (and occasionally mentioning the movie).
- Coming across threads that had been going on for over a decade was always interesting. Someone made a comment, a year or two later (long after they've left) someone else comes along and responds to them, a couple years later someone else responds to that, etc.
- The discussion of movie finances could be really informative, and definitely gave me a much deeper understanding of how things work and what it means for a movie to be profitable (basically, it's really complicated).
And of course, the boards were a great place for things like recommendations, up to date news, and learning about things you missed in the film.
We had a small group of friends and/or religious zealots (Discordians) from all over the world, and we'd pick a medium-smallish webforum on a random topic and we'd go on safari. Dress up our avatars with little pith-helmets, register an account and uh, explore the local wildlife.
We didn't really try to disrupt or actively troll anything, just have a bit of fun and, well, basically we'd roleplay stereotypical Bri'ish explorers and I dunno it was hilarious :-)
Reactions varied widely. Sometimes moderators just got spooked because five new accounts registered all at once and they were acting silly and it looked like a troll invasion (but we were always nice and polite and we offered them tea) depending on their sense of humour, sense of adventure, sometimes we'd get banned within minutes, otherwise we'd hang around for a day or two, check out some discussions, actually being helpful if we could, just play in the "general discussion" sub or photoshop some pterodactyls on their memes. The better forums really got in on the joke, great times were had, and occasionally some of their forum members joined our little band. If we didn't get banned, we'd try to leave a link to the next place we would explore.
Here's what it looks like for a profile with some data:
this ignores the fact that trolls and bullies systematically pick on people who are vulnerable and target their specific vulnerabilities. Telling people to just ignore it is equivalent to telling them that their injuries don't matter and you're not interested enough to help, and can't think of a single suggestion to do anything the problem they're experiencing. That is an implicit endorsement of the idea that aggressively trolling other people is basically acceptable.
No, it's equivalent to giving them a toolset to make many attempts at injuring them unsuccessful.
I'll be the first to admit that "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is a porous filter. But removing it because it's not perfect only makes people more vulnerable. Rather than finding a way to address things that make it through that first-pass filter, now the new solution has to fix everything at once. (As we've seen, you've already established that partial fixes are unacceptable.) Good luck finding a solution.
> Telling people to just ignore [...] is an implicit endorsement of the idea that aggressively trolling other people is basically acceptable.
Telling someone that life involves exposure to things they might not like and they're going to have to find ways to deal with it, is in no way an endorsement of those things. All it is, is not coddling.
If aggressive trolling is occurring, the trolls should be punished appropriately, but in the meantime, the intended targets should do what they can to prevent escalation.
Once you suggest a mitigation strategy that doesn't have laughably bad cost/benefit in comparison to teaching coping mechanisms, I'm all ears.
Until then: stop telling me to "do something." I can't figure out how to fix the world for you, rise to the occasion yourself. If you do find it, it'll be easy to convince me to join.
And, perhaps, depending on the forum and the degree of confidence that you have the whole story, one should take action against the bullies.
We can keep using "troll" for people who are saying things to get people riled up [http://www.flamewarriorsguide.com/warriorshtm/troller.htm].
But we need to call people who pick on others "bullies".
As for scum who post threats, email pictures of dead people to their family members [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikki_Catsouras_photographs_co...], etc, we may need a third word. I can't think of a good one -- is there something like "pervert" but without the sexual overtones? Maybe "thug", although that also might not be the best choice? "Stalker" is used ironically too often. "Scum" sounds too over-the-top.
When the target is an online community, I use the term "attacker" in the infosec sense.
When someone sends threats, I think the best term is "harassment."
That doesn't seem very relevant though; modern day Dutch language speakers have absolutely no such association with that word — the word it came from is not in modern use and is unknown to most. Only a dedicated linguist would recognize the Dutch etymology of 'bully'.
I'm always on the lookout for better words to get key concepts across so I'll add 'troll' to my list of terms that need a better descriptor.
"today, the word troll are both verb and noun, and are applied loosely to any outsider. If you don't like someone's manners, he is a troll. If you don't like a gadfly, he is a troll. If you don't like a philosopher, he is a troll. If you don't like a inquirer, he is a troll. If you don't like a humorist, he is a troll. If you don't like a teacher, he is a troll. If you don't like witches, they are, well, witches and must be witch-hunted. Thusly, from weirdo to witches, from teachers to philosophers, from gadfly to firebrand, from loner to gay, they are all trolls online at your call. Quick spun the guild of killfilers and troll-criers. Anyone who has contrariwise things to say or the manner of saying it is a troll." - "troll ignorance", Xah Lee
Also, to your point our platform eliminates these malicious "trolls" you speak of. By authenticating each user, their real name will be attached to comments which means they are less likely to "troll" if it is attached to their reputation.
This also touches on one of my favorite essays on social software: A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy ( http://www.shirky.com/writings/group_enemy.html )
In many cases, the community can do an acceptable job of moderating when given the tools to do so. There is often a core group within the community that tries to keep things sane. Back in the days of usenet, we had people who would moderate because they cared about usenet as a whole and their news groups in particular. Shared kill files, honoring their cancel posts... and for the most part, it worked.
Now days there are three different structures of social software that are dominating - and dealing poorly with trolling. There is the "the community does it all" but lacking the necessary tools to moderate. Reddit and Stack Exchange are the two that most obviously fill this domain - community moderators that scale very poorly. On the other hand you've got the "use a third party like discus" to host the comments. And frankly, that which has some significant lack of moderation tools for the people using it. On the third hand you've got the self hosted forums run by a company - news sites often have this. All moderation is done by the staff and that fails horribly in terms of making sure the comments are something that one wants to read.
While the don't feed a troll worked back in the usenet days where the entire community could ostracize the people (or actively remove their attention seeking ways by canceling messages or just not accepting those posts), those moderation tools haven't made it back into today's social software along with the ability to have a site that is able to be moderated by the community and has a strong enough core group to do the moderation without rapid burn out.
Don't feed a troll was an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. It meant much more than just ignoring them, and the tools to ignore them were more available.
Leftists call racists "racists" because under their own set of values that's a horrible thing to say. Imagine if a tech guy was outed as a racist. That'd be the end of his career. Look at what happened to Brendan Eich when it was discovered he doesn't support gay rights.
What they don't understand is that there are more economy sectors other than tech and places other than San Francisco where your life won't be ruined if someone discovers you're a racist. So, real ID is pretty much irrelevant for a big part of the population. That's why it doesn't work.
Which is fucking bullshit when you think about it.
they don't explicitly say "we're shutting down because of trolls", but i think the message is pretty clear.
It used to be the case that "flame" was a word people knew, and that flamewars were treated as flamewars. Team "not getting involved" would peel off from the conversation and warn people with positions at stake not to get involved - there was no productive disagreement to be had in a flamewar. The people who couldn't stay away _knew_ they were in a flamewar. Everyone else knew to just let it run it's course. Nobody's opinion who mattered would be dumb enough to be swayed, so we just ignored the flamewar until it burned out.
Unrelated: In same time period, a lot of websites have popped up with content and editorial direction that profit off of the fact people get trapped in perpetual flamewars; maintaining/replenishing their audience by pouring fuel onto the fire. I'm sure this is a coincidence.
And now I feel grumpy and old. :\
There aren't any real alternatives though. Voat is like 4chan fucked some YouTube comments and then had a Danares Targaryen style demon baby.
Thumbs down to whoever decided to close the boards.
I'll miss being able to argue about why a movie is rubbish with someone who thinks it's fantastic, or vice-versa.
"Hey IMDB fans, good news I've installed a PHP message board on some shared web hosting where you can continue the discussion". Errr.. no. That's not gonna cut it.
Running a large message board network is one of the worst experiences I have ever had. You are constantly wasting time moderating people, blocking people, recalculating algorithms, dealing with attacks and explaining to the police you don't have the IP address in question. Every large message board I have developed or managed revolted or sued us ( random example revolts). One of the largest being niketalk.com. THIS, while making NO MONEY. Users that use generic message boards are extremely hostile towards ads and refuse to pay for anything. EVERYTHING done by the moderators is overblown and people working there are publicly quartered.
Yeah no thanks. I would have removed the boards too - then got a coffee.
Wow, I would have guessed the opposite. Devil Wears Prada? Mean Girls?
Oh well, that's what I get for forming opinions without real-life evidence.
This is pretty tiny, by Internet messageboard standards.
Even a tiny subreddit has tens of thousands of users, and "smaller" subs have over a hundred thousand.
I suspect that your good experience had more to do with the small number of people than the topic or demographics.
There seems to be a magic threshold when the user base size crosses it and suddenly people are more disruptive. Based on my observation of a few online groups I've participated in.
If you want the results of that experiment, you'll find it in the conventional wisdom among reddit moderators and dedicated users. Subs with under 10,000 subscribed users are not only good interpersonally, the content of the subreddit is in it's heyday. If the userbase balloons, or the content quality nosedives, then you get bad interpersonal interaction.
I ultimately had to take to boards down due to waning interest in the band and the continuing attention cost of keeping the server and message board software up to date.
I'm no longer active on staff duties but the site is going strong so I'm guessing we did something right.
Those guys and the DAD clan from TFC (now disbanded) had some of the greatest mods. They kept the places in check but they had a sense of humor about it.
 - http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/tl-community/17883-tlnet-ten...
 - http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/TeamLiquid.net_Staff
What where some of the reasons you would get sued?
It's weird that people thought you could just bolt comments onto a webpage without problems, because we had all those years of Usenet to show that it wasn't that easy.
edit: before the parent comment was edited, the most charitable reading of the comment was that internet commenting systems have a net negative effect on humanity
Dick picks, on the other hand, are tedious but not inherently bad.
It's basically the forum for all of Australia. They seem to have found the perfect balance between moderation and creating a good culture.
Still they have big problems with spam, ddos attacks and moderator turnover and that is after they delegate the bigger problems to /b to be mostly ignored.
Also, racism and doxxing are not comparable at all.
Surely some forum hosts will desire to serve those users who desire strong moderation, and for these forum hosts, not censoring or moderating isn't a solution.
These are the community, and they are movie fans, hardcore fans, the reason why IMDb continues. The "db" in IMDb has been created, by hand, by volunteers - the users who use the message board.
IMDb has totally overlooked the value of the Message Boards - they are for the community. Remove this and IMDb as a whole will suffer.
Consider this comparison: Imagine if Wikipedia said that it was only going to have Facebook logins for editors. All user pages were being deleted, no user meetups were allowed and no meta discussion about pages was allowed, but only that normal articles, the main thing non editors read were to be kept. Thats a stretched comparison - the idea is the the message boards are how the community works, not just some little addon that non community members don't use.
As a general matter, if you've ever wanted to disrupt an existing firm but have been unsure about whether it's practical to unseat an incumbent, times of economic and political uncertainty are absolutely the best environment to go about it. I don't think it's a coincidence that the first tech boom peaked at a time of (relatively minor) political crisis.
HN has the least trolls of any board I look at.
Can you provide examples?
Are you sure about this? My impression is that they rely on IMDBPro subscriptions.
There's so much valuable information stored on those boards, it's a tragedy to see it get deleted. Sure the most popular movie threads might be filled with toxic flamewars, but the long tail of more obscure movies has reasonable discussion and human recommendations of other similar movies. It's precisely this why I'm extra sad about this whole situation. It's not difficult to find a community to talk about the next Star Wars, but there aren't really any places where discussion (in English) about 20 years old Dutch movies happens.
The value of attaching discussion to a movie database is unmatched by any alternative.
Take for example the old obscure film Stalker (1979). We see discussions 4 pages long about the meaning of the dog in the film. Or this one, "Other 'visually beautiful' films?", and people respond with suggestions. This information will be lost, and the opportunity to create similar threads in a sensible place in context with the movie, also lost.
I didn't invest a lot time choosing an example film. You're not happy with my choice in Stalker, then replace it with whatever you like that happens to have good discussion on the boards. Perhaps "Celine and Julie go Boating (1974)" would qualify as obscure...
Is anything considered obscure anymore? Before the internet if you wanted to watch Salo (Pasolini), you'd be out of luck unless some film festival was showing it. Now you can just grab the torrent and head to IMDB to join the discussion.
i am thinking about trakt.tv though it's just threaded comments, but better than nothing since rotten tomatoes have read only forums and tmdb and metacritic doesn't have even that. my movie watching experience will be severely affected by lack of discussion after finishing movie, might as well watch less movies because of lack of place to discuss them
i think better option would be enable forums on TMDb as they discuss here
As I mentioned in another comment , I read the discussion threads but have never actually contributed to them. I can easily click a link to view all past discussion related to the film I'm interested in without having to sign up and become a member. This would be impossible in Facebook or Twitter where discussion is ephemeral, not conducive to thoughtful expression and not intended for archival or organisation.
It's a real shame that IMDB are just going to remove the boards. Even if they didn't want to allocate resource for maintaining a community, IMDB could have opted to make the forums read-only and keep them as an archive for posterity.
On a tangential note, IMDB is one of the few sites where I see ads because they're not using third-party trackers (as far as Privacy Badger can tell).
"We thought we would get a community of fans for free. We didn't realize that maintaining a community requires active engagement, setting rules for behavior and enforcing them. We really didn't think anyone would bother being a troll. This is all too expensive to do properly."
And now California has a new anti-ageism law; wikipedia says "The bill forces IMDb to comply with requests by the actors featured on its pages to remove information about their age"
so they might have decided to close the message board for fear of litigation.
"No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider"
In 2013, Pechman dismissed all causes of action except for a breach of contract claim against IMDb; a jury then sided with IMDb on that claim.
Then after the plaintiff refiled the suit:
"All claims against IMDB were dismissed by the court in March 2015, handing Hoang zero damages."
That is the only suit regarding ageism for IMDB which is a 26 year old company.
We are talking about one frivolous law suit in 16 years of an online presence. I would say by that the risk/benefit ratio is pretty decent.
Someone suggested that it's because moderating is expensive, which is true, but IMDB has been moderating their site for a long time. I don't think the cost of standard moderation was a big part in the calculation, simply because they have been doing it successfully for years. I think they are also aware of the value of their message boards simply by tracking page hits.
Having said that, public figures are excluded from privacies generally granted to the public. There are plenty of public records of everyone that discloses their age, even though they are not a public figure. To pass a law requiring IMDB remove age disclosure with consequences is very bad law. Not only that, the people that are the "victims" have the financial ability to litigate. It's even worse if other publications like tabloids are excluded from this requirement.
I guess it has more to do with "Focus", and that comes before "Nostalgia".
Yes, that's exactly the same what Sumerians did say back a few 1000 years ago. Why keep all these clay tables about ordering wine? Who is gonna be interested in that kind of stuff in 10 years?
Don't you think that such an archive would offer a nice glimpse into our current culture a few hundred years in the future?
Your argument is sound though. Comments on websites, even if filled with trolls and fakes ought to be treated with respect and saved for posterity, since they give an important insight into the current zeitgeist.
Here's the point: if you put some of the great content that was created there 25 or 30 years ago in front of the current generation, what is the general reaction? A yawn, that's what.
It might be fascinating in a few thousand years, but I won't be around then, and the planet might not be either, so why should I care?
I've never really posted though, just been a lurker. I hope the Internet Archive archives this in some form.
i will be missing discussions about different interpretations of movies, things i haven't noticed, plot holes,etc., it was pretty much my ritual in last fourteen years, finish movie and head to imdb boards for better understanding of movie (yes i am not guy watching comics movies and most of the mainstream crap) or discussing ideas about things not actually shown in movie to viewer
note after shutting down boards will be my movie watching experience severely affected, i can only hope some other movie site will introduce boards and welcome imdb refugees
at the moment - rotten tomatoes has boards implemented by they are read only, trakt.tv has threaded comments but not boards, metacritic and tmdb have nothing and that's pretty much it from sites which mean something and have some visitors, different subreddits are just pure mess to discuss movies, it has to be on page with movie information i can find quickly through Google without going through tons of reddit results
Can you elaborate? I checked out the DPReview forums. They seemed solid enough, but no obvious connection to Amazon.
Does AWS have some forum-as-a-service product I'm not aware of?
Less trolls on forums where the subject matter is focused, and requires interest in digital photography. IMDB subject matter can be anything related to movies including how hot this or that actor is, or how ugly or crap they are! This will spawn heated debate, but that's fine by me. A sad loss, the IMDB forums are amusing and reveal a lot of varied opinion and expression.
can't edit my comment in my HN client
I think these communities were more tight-knit. They had some modicum of moderation as you typically had to sign up and typically you had to be a good citizen for a while before posting threads. This is in comparison to many social media where you can begin trolling with little to no effort.
Reddit favors gamification or conforming to popular opinion. Many of the forums I frequented didn't have any sort of rep other than post count and maybe join date to see seniority.
I see a lot of sites I used to visit go this way including the forums for Magic: the Gathering. Based on user numbers and the rise of social media platforms they are very likely going to substitute for the old tight-knit forums of yesteryear.
Reddit content seems to be somewhat valid even after the discussion has ceased, but once discussion leaves a subreddit front page it basically dies. That applies to HN too, of course. Discussion boards usually resurface a topic when someone answers, resulting in a longer discussion and a chance to revisit the topic.
I used to post on the "official" WoTC MtG forums a while ago (2010ish) it was essentially dead back then. Threads would sit for weeks with no replies. I can see how it wasn't worth the effort to maintain/moderate them.
Sites like Channel Fireball etc killed the forums. I strongly dislike the MtG reddit page but discussion does happen there.
The forums dedicated to specific formats seem to be going strong still (i.e the mana drain for vintage).
I find relegating community engagement to Twitter creates an uneven experience in that I have to go "out of band" to participate when I am already on the IMDB site. Also discussing movies(or any art form for that matter) via 140 characters is hard for me personally to take seriously.
I wish they had provided numbers for the volume that uses the comments section vs Twitter as it would have been interesting.
Maybe this change will create an opportunity for an alternate movie site?
other than that only place to discuss movies are comments in trakt.tv but they are pretty dead
I've learned many things about movies I've enjoyed and appreciated the other takes of movies I hadn't thought of.
If you do come across something, please let us know.
i talked with my friend running one of the biggest subtitles website who had obviously enough database of movies and TV shows, but he ain't interested because of legal responsibility for content of comments and need of expensive moderation, though i would think this could be outsourced to Disqus and legally comments would be stored on their servers
Here's the line of reasoning. Some of these steps are probably already occurring.
- It will be easy write a bot that understands what's being said.
- A bot can follow many threads at once, multiplying the reading workload for humans.
- A bot can pull large amounts of information together into a cogent argument, or at least one that cannot be dismissed by a human without a fair few minutes of reading. For instance, if I want to troll people by coming with reasons why women should not be allowed to vote, my bot could spin a yarn about how Switzerland is an advanced industrial country that only in 1991 allowed its remaining women to vote. I could pull data about women being left-leaning, more emotional, and so on. And the data needn't actually be true, I can quote sources with wrong numbers, create new sources, and so on. You, the interested debater, would have to follow this pile of crap and debunk each item, eating up your whole evening.
- In order to defeat such a bot, someone will invent a fact-checking bot (Like a GAN, it could decide whether you were botting your argumentation). Sounds good, but wait. A fact-checking bot would have to present its side of the story. And how would it do that? Just like a human, here's your points, here's why they're wrong, here's the actual facts, and so on.
- So now every message board is bots talking to bots.
- Humans will have to fall back to heuristics, like "read the first line and decide if there's a point". But of course a bot can figure out what the weaknesses in your heuristics are.
- People will get sick of writing on boards, because well, they're not for people.
i can only hope other major website (tmdb, RT, trakt.tv, metscritic) will take advantage of this and introduce boards for specific movies and TV shows (never used general imdb boards), because essentially imdb is dead for me since February 20, i can have ratings and watchlist anywhere, only reason i really kept going there were discussions
I mean, stop being sad as in feeling defeated. It's not an end, it's a problem in the continuation. You are hackers, and the announcement gives a very clear clue as to what you can do to solve this problem; archive the content, mirror it, and launch your own decentralized movie discussion platform!
Think about how The Pirate Bay is backed up these days; dozens of TPB mirrors exist to guarantee the continued existence of the service. Decentralization is good. This is good as in it's good to be reminded not to put your eggs in a centralized (and commercially motivated) basket!
You will find it in top left of the page next to poster under Discussions button with Bubble icon, so feel free leave IMDb which abandoned users and plan to delete their content.
You can return back to movie page by clicking on name of movie. Discussions have two categories - General, for general topics regarding movie, Content issues is self explanatory regarding content on main page.
Link from mobile view is currently NOT available, should be rolled out today accoding admin (Travis Bell) words. As temporary solution you can add "discuss" in the end of mobile URL.
I am not in any way affiliated with TMDb and registered there like 2 days ago when finding sad news that IMDb is going to delete my comments I wrote for 14 years and what's worse won't let me discuss movies with other movie fans.
After doing research of alternatives (Rotten Tomatoes, MetaCritic, Letterboxd, Trakt.tv and other) I consider TMDb the best alternative to move on with your ratings, watchlists and discussions, none of other sites mentioned earlier have proper discussions, only other alternativ are threaded comments at Trakt.tv.
If trolls really were the issue then why not use that as an opportunity to devise a new bot to watch and moderate that. amazon is always exploring new ways to use machine learning and this could have been a great use case.
It all seems to go against their core principles.
By far the main reason I go to IMDb is to look up actors and movies. And when I did accidentally see a comment, it was usually pretty low-quality.
TMDb would be one of them, plus now they launched discussions for each title, so i am moving there,i like the free concept managed by users like Wikipedia
We are planning on significantly revamping our community engagement experience. In fact, it is our most significant project for 2017 and we sketched out the plan over a weekend last month.
Trakt has a form of threaded discussion on our web app today. But of course, it has a long way to go before it can fill the shoes of IMDB. The feedback we are seeing here about what people appreciated about IMDB is extremely helpful, so please do keep it coming, or feel free to reach out to us directly. That said, our approach will be different from traditional forum-style discussions because we see an opportunity to vastly improve the experience by following the lead of today's well-executed communities.
Of course, our intention is to facilitate discussions within Trakt that are categorized within specific media like a TV episode, a movie, and likely more options such as directors and actors. While doing so, we have two major priorities that I hope will set us apart from what you previously had available to you:
1) A community built on respect and reputation. A great example is Product Hunt, where I can always count on having a productive discussion should I decide to provide feedback to a maker or hunter.
2) A composition experience that helps you make beauty out of words. Of course, Medium has done a wonderful job with this and I hope to apply some of the lessons learned from their platform as it has evolved.
In the meantime, if you're interested in seeing your IMDB data imported to your Trakt account, there are multiple members of our community who have built wonderful tools to enable you to do this. Here's one: https://github.com/damienhaynes/TraktRater
diversification and competition is healthy but too much fragmentation ain't good either
I just now chose to search IMDB's Facebook page for "Star Wars The Force Awakens" for a recent huge movie, using IMDB's supposed "replacement" to these forums. It ought to get no better than this. Top three results:
1. Which film do you think will be the next $2 billion dollar movie?
2. John Boyega to star in Pacific Rim 2
3. Daisy Ridley to star in novel adaption Chaos Walking
None of these are even about the movie I searched, much less a focused discussion! It's completely useless. But that's not because Facebook's search engine is bad. It's searching what has been posted. No, it's because Facebook is not a search engine for catalogued knowledge to begin with. Why? Because Facebook doesn't even contain organized information. It's the wrong tool for this job. It's like going to a pub to extract information rather than going to a library.
This is in extent a problem I've felt has grown worse lately. The big social networks are eating up the web which is not only a loss due to consolidation and reliance on what the giants decide to do (a ton of eggs in very few baskets), but because social networks are tuned to be live or at best "the fresh of today". That works when chatting daily with friends, but not to look up thoughts and opinions on a movie from 1995, or anything else for that matter.
There is also a conceptual difference here, even if social networks did catalogue information to be browsable. They usually work as advertisement platforms and people write reactionary comments, while on a message board people go there in order to indulge themselves in a discussion or get questions answered = much higher discussion quality. Even if the IMDB boards weren't exactly always top quality, they were often much better than the swamps of Facebook.
It's time to admit that message boards, as a genre of open-web feature, are a failure without clear topics and strict codes of conduct.
IMBd's boards had neither, and I'm glad to see them go.
I'll miss inane arguments about movies, but I'll be glad to see the back of the "Oh she's growing up fine" comments on under age actresses' profiles. Creepers are creepy.
That changed a little while ago but you still have multi-pages for comments and it's hard to keep track of who replies to whom. They also have these weird signatures which are completely impossible to distinguish from the body of the comment unless the poster used a different color or something.
Not that the discussions were generally very insightful, mostly celebrity gossip and flamewars.
That's the case on medium.com right now for comment replies. I was surprised to see how nested comments and replies work there. It's terrible.
their forums were horrible, but usable with flat layout and there was none alternative anyway, so no point complaining
Another interesting one was right after watching Primer. A movie like that is meant to be talked about. I remember reading these boards and watching the movie again because there were so many interesting theories about what happened.
These are only two instances but over the years there were so many others where I'd watch a movie and then go to read about theories about the plot. The movie has to have a plot worth discussing for this to have value though, so in as non-condescending way as possible I wonder if perhaps people don't value that type of movie any more at all. Or maybe the number of boards where nothing interesting is being said dwarfs the ones that do. I don't know is, but I do feel like this is a huge loss because there are so many theories that will be lost forever.
Another cool thing is visiting the boards of interesting movies or shows that are still far out from release. You usually find details about estimated release date based on current progress and photos from production.
btw TMDb just launched discussions yesterday so feel free to participate there, of course don't expect years of comments, but feel free to copy interesting topics you made from IMDb
Disaggregating comment from content is a great move for the web. It's part of the process of offloading commenting systems to people who are good at running them.
There's no reason we couldn't eventually have a browser plugin that appends a forum to a side-panel on every page online. In fact, Google had one of those, called Sidewiki. It was one of the most visionary ideas for the web that no one ever used.
I think the key here is this has been one of, if not the biggest movie rating / db site in the world for years and years and they won't do it. This isn't some poor bloke in his basement struggling to moderate, it's a massively popular website that should have some resources.
Everyone doesn't have to be great at moderating when they start up forums, but a hugely trafficked website that's been there forever should maybe get a handle on it, if they've been offering it for a long time.