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964 Points

Tue, Nov 8, 2016 3:22 AM


Re-shaping of the Top 250

With all due respect to all employees at IMDb, my favorite website, the general Top 250 Movies list could become a travesty if too many films can edge their way in simply due to extreme-rating by highly devoted fans. Of the films that have entered the list over the last few days, Hera Pheri currently has a rating of 10 from 36.7% of the users who've rated it. For Andaz Apna Apna it's 46.7%. For My Father and My Son it's 48.4%..........and for Eskiya it's 49.6%. Forty-nine and sixth-tenths percent.

Think about how high that last one is, particularly. Even The Godfather Part II and The Dark Knight can't boast such numbers, and they sit at #'s 3 and 4 on the Top 250, respectively.  A key difference between these and the newly-entered films, however, is that Godfather II and The Dark Knight have incredibly bountiful and diverse vote counts, with each having hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of votes, while Eskiya, for instance, sits at only about 35,000, with fewer than 1,600 of those votes coming from "US users".

I understand that one can't make apples-to-apples comparisons of movie ratings on IMDb. I know that the weighting process involved in statistics can be a complex one, and that there are additional injustices to account for (e.g. ballot stuffing) that I can't necessarily see as merely a user, and not an administrator. I've been using this site, daily, for over 7 years, and I want to iterate that I've loved many of the foreign films I've seen, including some from India, Turkey, etc. My concern here does not regard ethnicity or language or race or even personal cinematic taste -- it only concerns my opinion of statistical integrity.

And for that reason, I want to caution IMDb against tweaking their formula so that highly-rated films mainly by virtue of a narrow, zealous fan base can make it onto the general Top 250 list. This could eventually lead to a list that's dominated by a rabid few, rather than by a steady many. I respect the founders and operators of IMDb tremendously -- for they are running a website that I consider to be among the best on the World Wide Web. I will continue to be a fan of the site and of cinema in general, for the rest of my life. But I hope that you, IMDb, consider what I have written here.

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