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Thu, May 2, 2013 3:23 PM


Ratings: Give the regular voter weighting to the regular reviewers

This was suggested by Surendra Mohan but needs its own thread as it could be very useful: there is a concern that the weighting given to regular voters is being used for evil by a number of users by adding 1 star votes to films with a small number of votes, that they presumably think has a suspicious voting pattern, hoping to "correct" for any possibly "vote stuffing": highlights a problem with the system - the weighting "rewards" people for being able to hammer in as many votes as possible. While a lot of the regular voters are film and TV buffs merrily consuming media by the bucketload there is a small minority abusing the system, either just chasing the Top 1,000 Voter status (which you can see when you check your votes, even if you don't get a badge for it) or because they think they are some kind of champion, protecting poor old IMDB from nasty vote stuffers (even if I suspect that the algorithm already corrects for this, so the regular voter weighting leads to a double whammy downgrading of the weighted averageI believe that the weighting is still important, as it gives the votes of the most knowledgeable voters more significance which would help give a consistency to the ratings of films. So I wouldn't want to just get rid of the weighting but the score bombing is a problem that needs fixing.As the title says, the suggestion is to give the weighting to Top Reviewers or regular reviewers (the equivalent number people with the highest number of reviews, in the way the regular voters seems to be a larger group than the Top 1,000 Voters, even if it is the latter than gets flagged up on the voting breakdowns, which allows us to see if the 1 stars are coming from regular voters). This would have the effect of:* Rewarding the people who take the time and effort to write reviews explaining their ratings.* Making these votes visible through the person's review history, which has the effect that it can keep people honest (if, for example, someone tried to game the system to get their weighting back by adding in reviews copy and pasted from elsewhere, it' be easy enough to spot and report) - as I've argued for other suggestions:* It would also remove the incentive for people to just hammer in these 1 votes - it no longer gets you the weighting and no longer has as much impact in cases of perceived vote stuffing.So win, win, win - the triple winner.Some have suggested only allowing people to rate films when they review them (as is done on Amazon) or at least only have them count if you have a review but I don't think that'd be very useful here (it'd be no more help in addressing the score bombing than this suggestion), it would cause a riot from users, it'd undermine the idea of the wisdom of crowds that powers the IMDB rating and it might actually make vote manipulation easier (as we see from the score bombing, in most cases you can only influence a score when the votes are low).There are a few things that need to be fine-tuned:* Should the weighting apply only to ratings where they have also added a review? or:* Should the weighting apply to all of the ratingsHowever, I'm sure staff can figure that out - the former would encourage more reviews but the latter would make the weighting work better if the aim is to try and get more consistency in the voting across a range of film and TV. Personally, I'd be fine with the second option, but if there was evidence of abuse it could be switched to the second one.


7 Messages


562 Points

8 years ago

I posted my color system idea here:

Please let me know what you all think. I am trying to come up with a solution that everybody will be happy with, because I'm worried there will be too many unhappy people with the new scoring system (non-weighed for low vote films) and they'll change it back. I also don't want 100 votes being the cut-off point and then it switches back to weighing. That's still too few votes IMO. With the color system we can keep the non-weighed up to a thousand or for ever. :)



1.9K Messages


146.1K Points

7 years ago

When trying to divine the motivation of the 1 star spammers I came up with a couple of suggestions:

there is a small minority abusing the system, either just chasing the Top 1,000 Voter status (which you can see when you check your votes, even if you don't get a badge for it) or because they think they are some kind of champion, protecting poor old IMDB from nasty vote stuffers

However, during the discussion on fake reviews:

I did some checking and found someone offering fake IMDB reviews:

What really struck me though was:


Which feels like the last piece of the puzzle fitting into place - some people are hammering through films throwing out 1 star votes in order to get weighted votes, that they can then sell in batches.

This makes it more important to address the weighting of votes. Of course, this situation could lead to more fake reviews, but, as I say (here and over on the other thread) the reviews are public and easier to analyse for suspect behaviour (I'm sure Amazon are working on detecting this kind of thing).

5 Messages


314 Points

7 years ago

The fact that a cohort of TOP 1000 voters are voting every film and TV show a 1 (out of 10) is a clear sign that this is automated voting using the same piece of Bot software. If this voting was originating without collusion from multiple independent voters who wanted to achieve TOP 1000 voter status, then some people would be rating everything a 5 or a 6 or a 7 (which would certainly be less conspicuous) rather than ranking everything a 1.

So, the problem with the voting on IMDB is not just a group of independent voters all trying to achieve TOP 1000 Voter status. There is an element of cooperation or collusion in what is occurring. That is considerably more . . . sinister,

This type of malware voting should be easily delectable by IMDB staff in many ways, and the offending voters should be tagged or badged such that their votes are given zero weight in any average votes that are posted by IMDB.

It is not appropriate to ignore this problem because "TOP 1000 Voters are not weighed more heavily than any other voters." First of all, IMDB posts the average vote of TOP 1000 voters. If IMDB does not think the average vote of TOP 1000 Voters is important enough to fix, then it is not important enough to post in the first place. Basic business rule: no organization should post information that they believe to be corrupted by malware.

Secondly, many large sites, including video game sites, have on-going staff efforts to detect and prevent instances of automated software (BOTS) interacting with their sites. It has become a standard practice, and if IMDB has not already adopted some anti-BOT strategy then you need to consider doing it. The trust and respect of your user community is a priceless asset, and you should guard it zealously.

I apologize for sounding preachy, and hope IMDB is already on top of this problem.

3 Messages


564 Points

6 years ago

Bumping this thread, since the problem described by @Emperor is still very much alive, as noted here:



4.6K Messages


236.3K Points

Yes..they'd need to correct the "fake review" issue before giving those folks "regular user" status so they could then control ratings more. Without getting rid of those accounts and somehow blocking them from coming back, giving them more power doesn't help anything. It's kind of a two pronged issue. Thanks for mentioning the other here, Jennifer!

12 Messages


262 Points

4 years ago

This thread has had a lot of responses but there is NOT ONE PERSON from IMDB making a comment on it... and please don't post that FAQs link to give an answer.

It's all generic answers and the top people from IMDB should not be turning thier heads away from so many complaints!!!

1 Message


72 Points

3 years ago

Our little documentary in very limited release (currently in Australia only), has a total of 38 votes, two thirds of these have been 6 star ratings or more.

It has received 4  1 star votes, all of these have been from top 1000 voters, two of who are US voters where the film has never been seen. Is it a coincidence that only IMDB top 1000 voters have rated the film 1 star?

4 Messages


214 Points

I have an exact same experience. That is harassing vote. I got 40 1star votes. 40 1 STARS for a small film!!! Can you believe it? My film was premiered only in the U.S. But I got a lot of 1 stars from non-US user. Obviously harassing vote. I found out most of votes are mainly composed of friends/fan vote and harassing vote, especially in case of small films. Because of the harassment, no future for novice film makers. Sucks rating system.
I also have an experience that one day Amazon delete all good reviews and leave only one bad review on my book. After the case, no one can give a review on my book, even not good review. I often hear that Amazon delete a lot of earnest reviews with gonzo reason. We should not believe "stars". Most of them are crooked!!! No rating is fine anymore. "Star" is no meaning.

4 Messages


214 Points

One more thing. I don't feel good, nay, feel very bad of course, but I noticed spending times to bother about rating is waste of time. What we can do is just concentrate to make better things, see future and ignore the sucks vulgar rating...!