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IMDb is shutting down its long-running discussion boards.
In a statement posted to its website, the company said that the decision was made “only after careful consideration and was based on data and traffic.” It added, “We have concluded that IMDb’s message boards are no longer providing a positive, useful experience.”
The boards will remain open for two more weeks, until Feb. 19, for what the Amazon-owned company describes as a “small but passionate community of IMDb users.” As a part of the shutdown, users no longer will be able to send personal messages to one another.
IMDb cites 250 million monthly users worldwide. The company says that the lack of discussion-board traffic is because users have taken to the site’s social media accounts — Twitter, Instagram, etc. — to engage with one another.
The decision to shut down the discussion boards comes at a time when IMDb’s user-driven feature is coming under fire.
The viability of IMDb’s user voting system has been called into question, as the ratings of movies by minority filmmakers receive a disproportionate amount of negative ratings, which are measured by stars on a scale from one to 10. Today, some Twitter users have singled out Raoul Peck’s Oscar-nominated documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, as a recent example of this issue.
The doc hit theaters today and already has received 409 one-star votes from users, compared to 318 10-star votes, with a nominal number of in-between votes.
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