IMDb Is Shutting Down Its Discussion Boards

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Blame the trolls: IMDb, the Amazon-owned website that provides movie, TV and celebrity content, has decided to shut down its message boards because they’re “no longer providing a positive, useful experience” for the vast majority of its users.

“As part of our ongoing effort to continually evaluate and enhance the customer experience on IMDb, we have decided to disable IMDb’s message boards on February 20, 2017,” IMDb said in a notice posted on its site on Friday. “We regret any disappointment or frustration IMDb message board users may experience as a result of this decision.”

The shutdown also means IMDb’s private-messaging system will be disabled on Monday, Feb. 20. The website said the decision to kill off the message boards came “only after careful consideration and was based on data and traffic.”

Amazon, which acquired IMDb in 1998, says the site has more than 250 million monthly users worldwide.

The website said part of the decision was driven by the fact that users have migrated to IMDb’s social-media accounts as the main forums for comments and communication with IMDb editors and other users. It currently has 6.9 million followers on its Facebook page and nearly 3 million for its official Twitter account.

According to IMDb, it plans to launch new features in 2017 to help users “communicate and express themselves in meaningful ways,” but it didn’t provide details on what those might be.

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  1. hitlor says:

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  2. Parker Parkerson says:

    Good start. Now Amazon should consider removing the comments section under user reviews. Much like the IMDB message boards, they serve no purpose other than to stir up animosity between Amazon customers. I once gave a poor rating to a graphic novel, which prompted another customer to create a “review” to attack me. It escalated from there, with him going to every one of my reviews and downrating them, leaving comments on every review, hunting me down on Facebook and LinkedIn, where he then discovered where I worked, and began to make harassing phone calls to my job. This was a 5+ month affair. Message boards are for trolls. Get rid of ’em.

    • j9neener says:

      Wow that’s really scary and I’d say psychotic. Sounds like an actual movie. Sorry that happened dude. I’m going to think twice before posting my Yelp reviews now

      • Anony says:

        Wow so sorry to hear, no one deserves harassment from anyone especially a big lose who enjoys trolling life. People are weak and easily intelligence, no resolve only good at barking like chihuahuas lol.

  3. theliberalbuzz says:

    The article is one hundred percent correct. Trolls killed the comments section. Sometimes I would go there and the most hateful comments were on there and it was nonstop and if you tried to say, “hey stop this as it has nothing to do with the movie or TV show” you would be attacked nonstop.

    Amazon owns it now AND Jeff Bezos is now worth NINETY BILLION DOLLARS. Jeff, how about cutting loose with a few hundred million and set up people who have the ability to remove non movie or TV comments.

    The worst were the political TROLLS. There were so many that attacked movie complaining it was some liberal (usually ) propaganda and the trolls would go nuts doing nothing but political rants, (Some were against the conservative movies but NOTHING like the anti liberal rants)

    Then there were the nonstop “This movie is racist” idiocy.

    Put in some people with the ability to remove a comment or thread that had nothing to do with the movie or TV show. The moderators they had were awful and you would be banned permanently if your objection was not justified and THAT stopped a LOT of the attempts to let the IMDB moderators remove offensive or non related comments. I mean you cannot get positive feedback about offensive or non related comments if you are afraid the moderator won’t agree with you and then you are banned.

    I kind of miss my badges too.

  4. David Dokmanovich says:

    IMDb discussion pages provided more info than the base page imo – background data provided by hard core movie buffs, family members, and on a couple occasions, even the actors themselves (not major ones of course, but obviously kind considerate ones). It’s really an interesting format where people who really care about something or someone share interesting information with like thinkers.
    The discussion pages obviously weren’t a major revenue generation source for the company because if it were, a moderator could have mitigated much of the problem with trolls.
    Trolls may dissuade some people from using the discussion boards, but obviously it didn’t chase as many away as disabling the page.
    I may continue to use IMDb on a rare occasion still to research an obscure actor or actress I spot in the credits but that’s about it. Even if they replace the discussion pages with something new, it’s starting over from scratch. Cumulative history destroyed. Who would use the internet to learn something if all data prior to 2017 is deleted?

    • David Dokmanovich says:

      I just hope a replacement page establishes themselves prior to IMDb creating a new format or restoring their page. That would insure the demise of IMDb.

  5. mplo says:

    Frankly, I think that brought on its own demise by refusing to have any moderator(s) on their message boards in order to either warn chronic “flamers” to knock it off, or to ban them altogether if they continued their flaming. Flaming was a constant problem on the imdb message boards, which is why their message boards, as well as many other message boards of forums were shut down.

  6. kathysdesk says:

    I agree with kickasskunoichi – “IMDb took away the only reason to go on there”! The discussion boards were the most enjoyable part of the site, by far! And if they are not getting the traffic they want, then it’s because a lot of people don’t know about the boards. I didn’t know for many years, but once I happened upon them, I felt like I’d struck gold. It was the place to go to when you didn’t understand a certain action, or didn’t catch some dialogue, or because an ending left you speechless and you wanted company to share your disbelief with and get their thoughts on the subject. The discussions were SOOO much more informative and enjoyable than the bland “This movie was about a couple who drifted apart when their daughter was killed… I thought the director was a good choice… The actor who played the protagonist lived up to the role… blah blah blah ad nauseam”! It’s like reading a recap. IMDb is a website that I will go to when I want to know what year a film was made and who was in the cast, but that’s about it. It used to be (emphasis on “used to be”) the first thing I did after watching any film. Even my son, with his degree in Film & Communication from an Ivy League college, has expressed his disappointment and disinterest in the new IMDb. As for the “hate” comments, they were there, as they are on any website comment section, but they were negligible… As far as I’m concerned, the new IMDb is like a cake without the frosting. (And who wants cake without frosting? ugh!)

  7. kickasskunoichi says:

    This is like when Myspace decided to update. They pretty much made themself useless because you couldn’t even get on the site due to the update. So people left the site.

    Imdb took away the only reason to go on there, even if you weren’t posting on msg boards, you were reading them to get insight, other theories, etc.

    Bye imdb, you were good while you lasted. Hello Reddit.

  8. Hammer Lix says:

    Blaming “trolls” is pure nonsense. I relied on IMDb for random public comments when considering going to see a new movie. In addition, the message boards were often filled with interesting information regarding my favorite classic films. The IMDb message boards introduced me to films from around the world and served to broaden my interests in both TV and cinema. Yes there were some “trolls” making comments, like anywhere else, but grown-ups learn to filter them out. We certainly don’t need a “Nanny-Corporation” to gag everyone because of the acts of a few fools… It looks like Amazon and IMDb let their actions be controlled by the fools. Business decisions made foolishly always prove disastrous… as I am sure the gagging of IMDb’s now dwindling numbers of users will prove.

  9. guest says:

    This is why we can’t have nice things!!!

    • Clearly you had never been to the grungier message boards , like the ones for The Karate Kid movies , where there was a gang of about 8-10 trolls/cyber terrorists . These sick people’s whole lives were based on IMDB message boards . These sick people were waiting to get on IMDB all day while at work and thinking of more and more disgusting RAPE and CHILD ABUSE jokes and comments to make daily . Sometimes 10-20 posts a day . They intimidated and reported anyone that countered a, were offended or complained about their sick child rape fantasies . They would gang report all of your post that had absolutely nothing wrong with them , all they were doing was telling them how messed up they all were . Then YOU end up getting banned and have to make a new account . The IMDB system was really screwed up royally . Those sick trolls even found out where people lived , where they worked , Facebook accounts . . . . .. .and would stalk and intimidate you some more , all for disagreeing with their sick disgusting ways on IMDB . This guys ” sliat_1981 ” was the sickest of the sick . You could tell he waiting all day at work thinking of new CHILD RAPE and CHILD ABUSE comments and jokes to write . That guy was even more obsessed than the rest of that gang who called themselves ” The Kai ” . The were all a bunch of sociopaths that truly thought what Sensei Kreese taught in the movie was the perfect way to go thru life . I’m NOT kidding . Lol . I wonder what all those very VERY sick losers are doing now . Lol . They even made tons of fat jokes , like Ralph Machio was some huge fatass in part 3 , and found one of the persons making the most fat comments was actually an ACTUAL fat black chick . Lol . She was much fatter than Machio was in part 3 , if you can even call that fat . Size 32 jeans on someone who is 5’9 is NOT fat . Most of the time after reporting those people’s comments , their comments would stay up , but almost every time they gang reported your comments that were simply just calling out their sickness , your comments would be removed and you’d end up getting banned . Those sick losers just wanted those 3 discussion boards all to themselves and didn’t want any LOGIC or reasoning to counter their messed up CHILD RAPE and CHILD ABUSE comments .

    • theliberalbuzz says:

      Trolls DID ruin the boards. I agree that information from commenters was great BUT there were so many TROLLS going and turning them into nonstop political rants and some threads were over taken by them and finding any information about movie or comments regarding the movie were lost in all the political and racist rants going on

  10. George Ebersole says:

    The more I think about this, the more I think it’s nonsense. When I cruised by Facebook I barely saw a single post from a single user, and ditto with Twitter. Given the fact that my net appears to have been hacked, I’m wondering if there isn’t another layer of deceit involved here.

  11. Cufew says:

    What is the point of having the website if you cannot bitch, moan and complain about the movie you just saw or are about to see.

  12. Debbie says:

    IMDb is useless now. Buh bye!

  13. MDE427 says:

    No point to pay much time to IMDB any longer now …… way to go idiots. That was the only reason I stayed there past looking up a specific stars filmography. I could find answers to questions I had there and join into discussions on a variety of topics. Now – I will find other sites to engage and IMDB will lose most of my traffic. Wikipedia can give me the same stats I get in IMDB anyway, so what is the point of that site anymore?

    This will go down as one of their dumbest mistakes and could completely destroy the site. Well done! – that’ll do pig ….. that’ll do.

  14. jim st says:

    There was a vast history in the discussion groups. When information sites do this they lose more information than is in the entries on the site themselves.

    The Orange Country Register first killed their own hosted discussion feature, and lost huge amounts of information, then went to Facebook. Facebook was later shut down, again destroying a lot of information added by people.

    A very stupid move by them. Too bad they didn’t just freeze them and leave them alone, with editing out over the database one last time of offensive stuff.

  15. Cartlin says:

    I won’t be using IMDb anymore. The boards were the best place to get info about a movie, or info about a specific episode from other fans. Wikipedia is far more informative about everything else about movies or TV shows, so IMDb is rather pointless. What a dumb move.

  16. Steven Arviv says:

    This is a stupid move and will cost them dearly. The message boards were the backbone of IMDB. This nothing more than a pathetic attempt to stiffle the free exchange of ideas which in this day and age has become very taboo… heaven forbid someone get offended.

  17. Laura E Hicks says:

    As others have said, this was the wrong move. I always went to IMDB after I watched a movie or TV show to see what other people thought about it. It was part of the fun. Of course there were trolls. There will always be trolls. Just ignore them. Trolls are not a reason to shut down one of the best features of a site. This is very disappointing.

  18. Vampire Bill says:

    Wow how idiotic. Maybe they are downsizing and can’t afford a moderator anymore. At any rate, IMDB will lose many dedicated fans due to this huge mistake.

    • mplo says:

      The trouble is that the trolls and flamers on imdb weren’t kept in check, which is why imdb finally shut down their message boards.

  19. Ambery says:

    Wow. What an asshole move. Sure, people will go to social media or to movie review sites or wherever else. But they’ve basically scattered all discussion to the winds instead of very simply having one forum for the general public. I haven’t liked most of the comments on IMDB in recent years (on my favorite actors) but it was still a great litmus test to go and see what people are saying. Guess the DailyMail will be there for that instead? Or someone else can create another general forum for movies/TV shows? Hey, because in this political and economic environment, people have nothing better to do, right? God, what an asshole move to delete ALL that insight at once. IMDB and all their ilk can suck it.

  20. Logan says:

    Many comments below seem to blame this move on trolls. However, there is a more serious reason.

    It is to control the movie ratings. Haven’t you noticed how most new releases get very high ratings on imdb nowadays? Hollywood has realized the importance of imdb. So it shouldn’t be surprising if they are manipulating the voting giving us skewed movie ratings. Plus, it is easy for them to pay off a large number of reviewers for glowing reviews. See below for comments which actually mention examples of this. Only the discussion boards used to have unfiltered truth in them, because they were much more difficult for Hollywood/Amazon to manipulate. So they decided to kill the discussion board.

    • George Ebersole says:

      That’s something that I hadn’t thought of, but it makes sense. People, mostly teenagers, just putting down films before their released or while they’re still in the theatres probably has had an effect on revenue. Tragic if true.

  21. Lejla says:

    Message boards were pretty much he only reason I went on imdb. Whenever I saw a movie/series and didn’t quite get the ending or wanted to read someone elses interpretation or opinion, I went on imdb. Now I see no reason to do so. I can google upcoming movies and read that wherever else. It’s too bad. I think there will be less “clicks” on the page…

  22. Tim Mileham says:

    I’ve only used the site to see who was in a movie or what other movies an actor or actress has been in. Never went to the comments boards because I don’t need someone else to give me my opinion of a movie. I still like forming my own opinion. I’ll either watch it or I won’t. Afterwards, I’ll like it or I won’t.

    • Lolo says:

      It wasn’t just about getting someone else’s opinion, though… it was a place to share experiences, thoughts, interpretations, etc, with other folks who’d seen the movie/show. It was also good for answering those “burning questions,” like why a certain character did this-or-that, or even just to know “I’m not the only one who noticed/felt this!” Call it what you may, but some of us do like having a community of fellow viewers – especially if your taste differs from that of your friends & family.

  23. Luong Nguyen says:

    It’s a shame. At times I need to hear others’ thought to fully appreciate the movies.

  24. Andrew Sherrod says:

    This is a foolish move. What are trolls but usually someone whose opinion you dislike? Sure, maybe a few posted pointless insults, but most called “trolls” simply had an unpopular opinion, or argued with those with whom they disagreed, that is free speech, something I thought we agreed was valuable.

    This also removes one of the main reasons to visit IMdB. Not only was commentary on existing moves much more vibrant in the boards than the static user reviews, but there is now no way to find any information about upcoming films, as they do not allow user reviews. Just today I was wondering about the many controversies about the “Ghost in the Shell” film and was about to check IMdB, when I realized it would have nothing.

    In other words, in that instant IMdB sacrificed a considerable number of clicks and ad revenue, and I am sure I am not alone. I have to agree with others that, while this likely will not bankrupt them, it will reduce their revenue significantly.

  25. Chris says:

    Christ! The dumb things people choose to point their “outrage” at is goddamn ridiculous. Is it really that damn bad, people? Are your lives over? Did someone die? Did you somehow get cancer by finding out that the message boards are gone? Crybabies! There are plenty of places online to discuss whatever you want. Maybe IMDB just chose to keep their site as a directory of information and not one of a billion places for keyboard warriors and trolls to spout useless, baseless, insults and start arguments just for the sake of arguing. There’s nothing wrong with IMDB doing that. IMDB doesn’t care if you’re cancelling your account in a hissyfit, and neither does anyone else, so there’s no point whining about it.

  26. Looks like IMDB has joined the ranks of the knee-pad journalists who kowtow to the industry bullies. Aging actresses who don’t want their ages revealed. Glowing reviews by lackeys connected to the films they’re reviewing. I read a review on IMDB today where the reviewer stated that she’d been solicited to review the movie. Of course, it was glowing. The message boards at least had some honest viewer feedback. Sure, there was a lot of dreck, but trolls are pretty easy to identify and ignore. Besides, their snarky remarks about arrogant celebrity are amusing.

  27. Robert Wayne says:

    I won’t be going back to very much anymore. I always enjoyed seeing what others had to say about particular tv shows, movies or actors.

  28. barb311 says:

    The message boards were the main reason I went to IMDB. Really don’t have an interest in going there anymore. I found so many explanations for things I missed. Shutter Island is a great example and I liked how people viewed the ending differently. I didn’t see a lot of trolls.

  29. You could always just go to Rotten Tomatoes. It looks like they have comment boards on their movie listings. Not sure how they work.

  30. Haroon Khan says:

    What a stupid stupid thing to do. After watching any movie I loved to read board. No more interest in IMDB now

  31. j9neener says:

    Wow what a bonehead thing to do. Someone should get fired for taking away one of the main reasons people visit IMBD…to discuss. Hey Gerry why do people come to the IMBD site. Well, Phil, to see if other people are talking about the ending of “The Abyss” and other questions they want to share. Ok Gerry great. Let’s get rid of that then all boards, all threads all visitors input. Let’s make it a one way experience. Yea, that seems like it will make everyone happy as well as make us not so busy, successful and kind of idiots.

  32. Sheena White says:

    Wow seriously IMDB??? I have been contributing to and reading the message boards for years. I won’t bother with IMDB anymore after this. Bring back the message boards you fools!!

  33. Omar says:

    So Amazon owns IMDB. Figures. Once a big fan of Amazon with purchases going back to when they were mostly a book seller, I now detest the company with more energy than I should. IMDB now goes on the very long list of sites I will not visit because they are Amazon.

  34. Today I wanted so badly to go to IMDB and offer condolences for Bill Paxton. Sure, I go post it on my damn FB page. But I’m used to sharing that info and bonding over sad events like this on IMDB with like minded people….

  35. NO says:

    I’m leaving imdb. Anyone can suggest a site with a discussion board?

  36. Wilbur Klick says:

    I’ve been an IMDB member for over ten years. The message board has been my primary reason for coming to IMDB. Member discussions have been a huge resource for me in helping me understand more about a film. When I’ve encountered members whose speech was unacceptable – I simply set them to ignore.

    The discussion board was an archive – a treasure trove – a library of cinema information. I would sometimes come across contributions from people who worked on films from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Many of these people are no longer with us. These IMDB members may have been actors, writers, technicians or any of many other film related jobs and they shared first hand anecdotes – priceless behind the scene details that will now be lost forever.

    This is a sad day for lovers of cinema and free and open discourse.

    If this was a decision based on fear of “hate speech” – then it was a cowardly decision.

    If this was a decision based on economics – how will the bottom line look after losing so many visitors?

    Heart Breaking

    • kathysdesk says:

      That is so true! One of the BEST things about the discussion boards was coming across comments made by people who worked behind the scenes, or who were related to, or somehow connected to the crews, actors, writers, etc. Those personal anecdotes were akin to finding pearls in oysters… and now they’re gone! :(

  37. kendal says:

    Once again (like Microsoft, perpetually) some one tries to fix that which is not broken. You suck.

  38. Nancy Tuero says:

    very bad move. I have chatted with people on imdb for over a decade. have a question or don’t understand something in a film, I go to the board. there’s no reason to visit imdb anymore.

    I will miss brokeback mountain board the most!

  39. Mattbry says:

    There is no excuse for IMDb.

  40. Film buff says:

    Right move. There was so much crap on there…True there were intelligent comments but what an awful platform for brainless trolls to vomit their hatred for themselves and others…
    There was too much crap to delete. I’m really surprised it didn’t happen before.

  41. rhyz66 says:

    Wow. This is just so typical these days.

    It just seems that censorship is literally going to destroy us all, starting with small things like a company deciding that a 20 year resource on WHAT THE ACTUAL VIEWERS SAY deserves to be erased in it’s entirety in favour for BS paid reviews or studio manipulated opinions.

    This decision should have been something that was heavily interactive with the subscribers as in reality Amazon didn’t delete anything they made and silenced millions of viewpoints within a single click.

    This is not right. Amazon you can F off, (on a side note Grand Tour was such BS towards the end) can’t believe how pathetic the effort is these days, yet these turds want MORE MONEY from us?

    Man, I think we can all safely say now that media is just dying due to over saturation and general passionless work. And how does hollywood keep their money margins high now?

    I can kinda see go like this…..

    The Man:

    “I know! Lets just silence everybody on the most well known Internet Based Movie and TV Database site in the world and guess what? Amazon won’t give a shit because they are in it for the money anyway!! Hooray, we can keep billions of people in this endless loop of watching utter crap for the rest of everyones life and no one will be able to get accurate opinions due to people having to look for actual viewer opinion.”

    The Man’s Bitch (AKA everyone in the entertainment industry who’s just in it for the money):


    No. Hollywood. Just No.

    Account Deleted.
    Pissed Off message sent to IMDB
    Found a forum.

    See you never IMDB. Idiots.

  42. Adam says:

    I will be visiting IMDb waaaay less now. The site looks so barren and lifeless without the forums at the bottom of the pages. This was a terrible idea.

  43. Diane Watson says:

    Such a shame…..I visited there often to get questions answered and see what others thought of a movie or tv show. They will definitely see a slowing in traffic to their site.

  44. As other users have said, message boards were the only reason I visited IMDB. It almost feels as if they have stolen so many insights into movies. Like they said, I really don’t have a reason to visit IMDB anymore, because there are other ways to see reviews. So I will just migrate to social media.

  45. Zo0tie says:

    If the IMDB’s creators think the boards are ‘no longer positive’ it is because of the decreased quality of movies and tv shows. People object to eating garbage and let you know when you try to force it down their throats. One more example that the contempt the media executives have for the viewer. To them we’re just consumers, a product they sell to advertisers. Squawk about it and they cut your tongue out. Time to do something else with your time other than watch a stupid screen. Books anyone? Or maybe go for a walk.

  46. AWFUL MOVE!! The message boards were essential, for clarifying plot points, airing plot theories, “who was that uncredited actor?”, “what was that mumbled line?”, “what was the song playing at the end of the episode?” etcetera…It was easy enough to identify and ignore the trolls and haters, and imdb users had methods for putting those people in their place. imdb just got a lot less useful. Contact imdb and urge them to rethink this:

  47. IMDB VIGILANTE says:

    Well it doesn’t matter what Amazon thinks. This is another example of a smug suit-and-tie being out of touch with reality. Millions have been users of IMDB since it first began. The message boards are an integral part of the IMDB experience. A valuable asset. Some jerk at Amazon came up with something without realizing the full consequences. I for one don’t believe in “petitions” because that’s what weak minded cowards do. A real soldier takes action to get things done. If IMDB truly believes it won’t see any consequences to what they have done, they should think twice. Because our group has a member base of more than 150K. And we plan to start delivering a negative blow to IMDB’s traffic by getting its members to migrate. We will also create a permanent alternate route. This is nothing new. We have done this before. What is important here is to make an example of companies who use millions of people by leading them astray. Just to open a trap door underneath later. This does not go over well. So it is our turn to show them a thing or two. Look for IMDB traffic to hit an all time low through the course of the coming year.

    • ddddd says:

      So many of these comments prove IMDB did the right thing. I will miss it. I sure there is a place on Facebook, but not as organized

  48. Jason Lemon says:

    Very disappointed. It was so much fun being able to discuss a movie. Who cares about stupid trolls. That’s not a reason to shut something down. IMDB has been my favorite site for that very function! Now it’s gone….horrible mistake. I think this was more so due to studio pressure since you can clearly see their involvement judging by all the ads on this site now. It wasn’t always that way, and ads are fine…whatever…but to take away the message boards…wow…I’m in shock.

  49. Kathy says:

    If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Big mistake IMDB. Hope you rethink your stupid decision.

  50. Dale says:

    I can’t believe they’re actually gone. It’s so eerie going to a movie or actor’s page and scrolling down only to find the message board link gone.

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