SNS Review #4:IMDb’s Unspeakable Manipulation of IMDb Rating against Film title #2: The Rakugo Movie

Updated: Jun 6

#IMDb #Complaint #Rating #Manipulation

IMDb’s Unspeakable Manipulation of IMDb Rating against Film title #2: The Rakugo Movie (2012)
Image: Copyrighted by Ryota Nakanishi

August 9, 2019


IMDb’s Unspeakable Manipulation of IMDb Rating against Film title #2: The Rakugo Movie (2012)

IMDb.com, Inc.

535 Terry Avenue N.

Seattle, WA 98109, United States


Dear IMDb:


On August 9, 2019, I, Ryota Nakanishi who is a consumer of IMDb Pro service recently got informed by friendly netizens about your manipulation of IMDb rating against our films and others.

I myself checked the situation and deeply disappointed about some of your staff ‘s uncivilized, childish behavior like manipulation of rating of films. It is unfair and outrageous for small independent filmmakers.


All of your manipulation of scores will be recorded and piled for the future use and publication.

IMDb was great in the past but now they are aggressively oppressing some filmmakers. My case is just a tip of the iceberg of your aggressive manipulation.


IMDb actually violated my human rights, consumer rights and trust on their service. This time, you breached years of our mutual trust.


1. At 10:30pm (China), Aug.7 2019 694 IMDb users voted 8.1 /10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 7.5.


At 10:30pm (China), Aug.7 2019 694 IMDb users voted  8.1 /10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 7.5.
At 10:30pm (China), Aug.7 2019 694 IMDb users voted 8.1 /10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 7.5.

2. At 9:04am (China), Aug.8 2019 695 IMDb users voted 8.0 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 7.2.


At 9:04am (China), Aug.8 2019   695 IMDb users voted 8.0 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 7.2.
At 9:04am (China), Aug.8 2019 695 IMDb users voted 8.0 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 7.2.

3. At 12:05 am (China), Aug.9 2019 695 IMDb users voted 8.0 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 7.2.


At 12:05 am (China), Aug.9 2019 695 IMDb users voted 8.0 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 7.2.
At 12:05 am (China), Aug.9 2019 695 IMDb users voted 8.0 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 7.2.

4. At 9:29 am (China), Aug.9 2019 695 IMDb users voted 7.8 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 6.9.


At 9:29 am (China), Aug.9 2019 695 IMDb users voted 7.8 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 6.9.
At 9:29 am (China), Aug.9 2019 695 IMDb users voted 7.8 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 6.9.

The score sheet has been manipulated without any change of votes since August 8, 2019 at least.

During this period, no user voted it negatively. Moreover no user voted or changed their votes during August 8, 2019 to 9:29 am (China), Aug.9 2019.


However some of your staff just manipulated the Non US users average votes from 7.5 to 6.9. As the result, some of your staff consciously manipulated total score 7.5 to 6.9.


10: 550 users voted

9: 68 users voted

8: 10 users voted

7: 13 users voted

6: 5 users voted

5: 11 users voted

4: 0 users voted

3: 2 users voted

2: 7 users voted

1: 29 users voted

(During Aug. 8 to 9, 2019; the votes above unchanged)


To resolve the problem, your management must investigate on which IMDb staff is manipulating scores undemocratically and spitefully. Maybe some management team is involved in this uncivilized manipulation. Strong proofs I already got from friendly netizens and by myself while I was busy for business. Enclosed are copies of proofs of your undeniable manipulation.

I look forward to your reply and a resolution to my problems and will wait a while before seeking help from a consumer protection agency or the Better Business Bureau.

Please contact me at the provided email address or phone.


Sincerely,


Ryota Nakanishi


READ MORE: https://www.ryotanakanishi.com/post/sns-review-4-imdb-s-unspeakable-manipulation-of-imdb-rating-against-film-title-2-the-rakugo-movie


UPDATE:


At 6:27pm (China) August 10, 2019, I received the email reply from the customer service of IMDb below. It is just a templated answer with no specific explanation. It is just a template not a customer service at all.


IMDb 's reply:


Hi, Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please rest assured that our voting system has several safeguards in place and that this type of behavior is periodically detected and automatically defeated. We appreciate your help and will take the appropriate steps to investigate further. For further details, please see our Help page: https://help.imdb.com/article/imdb/track-movies-tv/faq-for-imdb-ratings/G67Y87TF... Please let us know if we can offer further help.

Best regards,

Meredith

IMDb Customer Service


----------------------------------------------


However, IMDb lied to me that they restarted the same manipulation that I formerly complained.


1. At 7:47 am (China), Aug.13 2019. 698 IMDb users voted 7.5 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 6.6.


At 7:47 am (China), Aug.13 2019. 698 IMDb users voted 7.5 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 6.6.

2. At 9:49 pm (China), Aug.15 2019. 698 IMDb users voted 7.0 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 5.5 (?).


At 9:49 pm (China), Aug.15 2019. 698 IMDb users voted 7.0 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 4.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 5.5 (?).

As the result, some IMDb staff manipulated the total scores from 7.5/10 to 7.0/10 without any votes. 


10: 551 users voted +1

9: 69 users voted +1

8: 11 users voted +1

7: 13 users voted

6: 5 users voted

5: 11 users voted

4: 0 users voted

3: 2 users voted

2: 7 users voted

1: 29 users voted (During Aug. 10 to 13, 2019; three users voted 1 user for 10, 1 user for 9; 1 user voted for 8; there was no negative votes; however after that IMDb staffs further manipulated ratings during Aug. 13-15 with no user votes again.)


Manipulating film ratings and scores without any votes is true. This is an extreme example of this kind. 


IMDb did not properly respond to the complaint, and no specific explanation of the specific case were provided.


The score sheet has been manipulated without any change of votes since August 8, 2019 at least. During this period, no user voted it negatively.


Moreover only three users voted favourably and no one changed their votes during August 10, 2019 to 7:47 am (China), Aug.13 2019. However some of your staff just manipulated the Non US users average votes from 6.9 to 6.6. As the result, some of your staff consciously manipulated total score 7.8 to 7.5.


Later they manipulated the Non US users average votes from 6.6 to 5.5. As the result, some of your staff consciously manipulated total score 7.5 to 7.0 without any actual votes.


Conclusion:


IMDb did not properly respond to the specific complaint and the specific issue. Furthermore, there is no specific explanation about the specific complaint was provided.


As a consumer, I must stop using IMDb service because its manipulation, unfairness and lack of quality customer service to care its actual customer.

Update 1:


Compliant at Better Business Bureau


On August 15, 2019, BBB sent that complaint to IMDb.


My Complaint:

''imdb rating manipulation'' is real. And it's backed by awful customer service which only sends templated replies mechanically without any specific explanations about particular cases. I have been paying for IMDb Pro service for promoting my film career since April 11, 2016 to this day. (Receipts can be provided anytime) However I found that some IMDb staff manipulated our films ratings even without votes from users. After formal complaints about several cases I found, they just sent me a templated email with no specific explanations. This kind of customer service is also not acceptable.


READ MORE:

a. https://www.ryotanakanishi.com/post/sns-review-3-imdb-s-unspeakable-manipulation-of-imdb-rating-against-film-title-1-moxina-2012

b. https://www.ryotanakanishi.com/post/sns-review-4-imdb-s-unspeakable-manipulation-of-imdb-rating-against-film-title-2-the-rakugo-movie

c. https://www.ryotanakanishi.com/post/sns-review-5-imdb-s-unspeakable-manipulation-of-imdb-rating-against-film-title-3-the-obugyosama

d. https://www.ryotanakanishi.com/post/sns-review-6-imdb-s-unspeakable-manipulation-of-imdb-rating-against-film-title-4-the-obugyosama


Conclusion: IMDb did not properly respond to the specific complaint and the specific issue. Furthermore, there is no specific explanation about the specific complaint was provided. As a consumer, I must stop using IMDb service because its manipulation, unfairness and lack of quality customer service to care its actual customer.


After 13 days later, IMDb customer service responded:

Thank you for the feedback. IMDb ratings are based on user votes and are not changed by our staff in any way other than by applying the same calculations used for every title in the database. The rating on those titles is based on the votes received from IMDb users. For more information, please see: https://help.imdb.com/article/imdb/track-movies-tv/ratings-faq/G67Y87TFYYP6TWAV?

Their response is contradicted from the first response on August 10, 2019. Moreover it completely ignored the details and problems I mentioned.


On September 2, 2019, I rejected the response as below:

This message originally read on 9/2/2019

Complaint: 13771126


I am rejecting this response because: It still did not get specific explanations on why the ratings have been declining without any votes during the period that I mentioned. And their customer service staffs just repetitively send me the same templated messages on the complaints. Thus, it is not acceptable. I demand logical and specific explanation, calculation of the strangely declining ratings in detail if they respect every compliant from consumers.

I attached the complaints in full texts, recent receipts and links. The complaints have been published in various major complaint sites against the business since the incidents happened.  

 

Sincerely,

Ryota Nakanishi


MY COMPLAINT AMD DEMAND:

PLEASE PROVIDE LOGICAL, SPECIFIC, DETAILED EXPLATNATION AND CALCULATION OF THE STRANGELY DECLINING RATINGS DURING THE PERIOD I MENTIONED IN THE DOCUMENT. I STILL DID NOT GET IT FROM IMDb. I’LL KEEP CRITISIZING THEM AS LONG AS THEY DON’T PROVIDE THE CALCULATION, DETAILED AND SPECIFIC EXPLANATION ON THE COMPLAINTS.


Update2:


AGO Complaint


On Sep.2 2019, I submitted the next phase of complaint against IMDb’s rating manipulation and the worst kind of customer service.

Information Submitted: **********************************************************

Business Name: IMDb.com Inc P.O. Box 81226 Seattle, WA 98108

Bus Phone: Email: Website: www.imdb.com

Names and addresses of any other businesses involved in your complaint: Meredith IMDb Customer Service

Transaction date: 5/14/2019 Amount in dispute: 149.99

**********************************************************

Explanation of complaint: IMDb Rating Manipulation and The Worst Customer Service

''imdb rating manipulation'' is real. And it's backed by awful customer service which only sends templated replies mechanically without any specific explanations about particular cases.

I have strong evidences about how IMDb increases or decreases ratings of film titles secretly by its staffs even without any votes. General tendency is that it pumps up ratings of blockbusters or films of US allies, especially Taiwan stuff. And IMDb decreases scores of small independent films, specifically films made by critics of US foreign policies. This was not noticed during my use of IMDb since 2012 to 2019. When it targets you, you will only know that later. They tend to gradually and secretly manipulate ratings.


I can share one case here with others. It shows how they manipulate ratings even without any votes, and how they cover it later. August 9, 2019 IMDb’s Unspeakable Manipulation of IMDb Rating against Film title #1: Moxina (2012)

IMDb.com, Inc. 535 Terry Avenue N. Seattle, WA 98109, United States


Dear IMDb:

On August 9, 2019, I, Ryota Nakanishi who is a consumer of IMDb Pro service recently got informed by friendly netizens about your manipulation of IMDb rating against our films and others.

I myself checked the situation and deeply disappointed about some of your staff ‘s uncivilized, childish behavior like manipulation of rating of films. It is unfair and outrageous for small independent filmmakers.


All of your manipulation of scores will be recorded and piled for the future use and publication.

IMDb was great in the past but now you are aggressively oppressing some filmmakers. I believe my case is just a tip of iceberg of your aggressive manipulation.


1. At 10:27pm (China), Aug.7 2019 719 IMDb users voted 8.0 /10; Top 1000 users voted 5.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 7.4.

2. At 12:58am (China), Aug.8 2019 720 IMDb users voted 8.0 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 5.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 7.4.

3. At 9:03am (China), Aug.8 2019 720 IMDb users voted 7.9 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 5.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 7.2.

4. At 12:05 am (China), Aug.9 2019 720 IMDb users voted 7.9 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 5.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 7.2.

5. At 9:30 am (China), Aug.9 2019 720 IMDb users voted 7.7 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 5.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 6.9.


The score sheet has been manipulated without any change of votes since August 8, 2019 at least. During this period, no user voted it negatively. Moreover no user voted or changed their votes during August 8, 2019 to 9:30 am (China), Aug.9 2019.


However some of your staff just manipulated the Non US users average votes from 7.4 to 6.9. As the result, some of your staff consciously manipulated total score 8.0 to 7.7.

10: 563 users voted

9: 56 users voted

8: 10 users voted

7: 12 users voted

6: 15 users voted

5: 7 users voted

4: 11 users voted

3: 9 users voted

2: 10 users voted

1: 27 users voted (During Aug. 8 to 9, 2019; the votes above unchanged)


To resolve the problem, your management must investigate on which IMDb staff is manipulating scores undemocratically and spitefully. Maybe some member of your management team is involved in this uncivilized manipulation. Strong proofs I already got from friendly netizens and by myself while I was busy for business. Enclosed are copies of proofs of your undeniable manipulation.

I look forward to your reply and a resolution to my problems and will wait a while before seeking help from a consumer protection agency or the Better Business Bureau. Please contact me at the provided email address or phone.


Sincerely,

Ryota Nakanishi


READ MORE:

https://www.ryotanakanishi.com/post/sns-review-3-imdb-s-unspeakable-manipulation-of-imdb-rating-against-film-title-1-moxina-2012


UPDATE:

At 6:27pm (China) August 10, 2019, I received the email reply from the customer service of IMDb below. It is just a templated answer with no specific explanation. It is just a template not a customer service at all.


IMDb 's reply: Hi, Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please rest assured that our voting system has several safeguards in place and that this type of behavior is periodically detected and automatically defeated. We appreciate your help and will take the appropriate steps to investigate further. For further details, please see our Help page: https://help.imdb.com/article/imdb/track-movies-tv/faq-for-imdb-ratings/G67Y87TF... Please let us know if we can offer further help.


Best regards,

Meredith

IMDb Customer Service ----------------------------------------------


However, IMDb lied to me that they restarted the same manipulation that I formerly complained. 1. At 7:47 am (China), Aug.13 2019. 723 IMDb users voted 7.5 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 5.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 6.7. 2. At 9:43 pm (China), Aug.15 2019. 723 IMDb users voted 7.5 / 10; Top 1000 users voted 5.1; US users voted 5.4; Non US users voted 6.0 (?).

As the result.IMDb staff manipulated the total scores from 7.5/10 to 7.2/10 without any votes.


10: 564 users voted +1

9: 57 users voted +1

8: 11 users voted +1

7: 13 users voted

6: 15 users voted

5: 7 users voted

4: 11 users voted

3: 9 users voted

2: 10 users voted

1: 27 users voted (During Aug. 10 to 13, 2019; three users voted, 1 user for 10, 1 user for 9; 1 user voted for 8; there was no negative votes however after that IMDb staffs further manipulated ratings during Aug. 13-15 with no user votes again. )


Manipulating film ratings and scores without any votes is true. This is an extreme example of this kind.


IMDb did not properly respond to the complaint, and no specific explanation of the specific case were provided.


The score sheet has been manipulated without any change of votes since August 8, 2019 at least. During this period, no user voted it negatively.


Moreover only three users voted favourably and no one changed their votes during August 10, 2019 to 7:47 am (China), Aug.13 2019. However some of your staff just manipulated the Non US users average votes from 6.9 to 6.7. As the result, some of your staff consciously manipulated total score 7.7 to 7.5.


Later they manipulated the Non US users average votes from 6.7 to 6.0. As the result, some of your staff consciously manipulated total score 7.5 to 7.2 without any actual votes. Other three cases I complained are also still not solved and responded properly by IMDb.


READ MORE

a. https://www.ryotanakanishi.com/post/sns-review-4-imdb-s-unspeakable-manipulation-of-imdb-rating-against-film-title-2-the-rakugo-movie

b. https://www.ryotanakanishi.com/post/sns-review-5-imdb-s-unspeakable-manipulation-of-imdb-rating-against-film-title-3-the-obugyosama

c. https://www.ryotanakanishi.com/post/sns-review-6-imdb-s-unspeakable-manipulation-of-imdb-rating-against-film-title-4-the-obugyosama


Conclusion: IMDb did not properly respond to the specific complaint and the specific issue. Furthermore, there is no specific explanation about the specific complaint was provided. As a consumer, I must stop using IMDb service because its manipulation, unfairness and lack of quality customer service to care its actual customer.


Update:


Compliant at Better Business Bureau


On August 15, 2019, BBB sent that complaint to IMDb. My Complaint:

''imdb rating manipulation'' is real. And it's backed by awful customer service which only sends templated replies mechanically without any specific explanations about particular cases. I have been paying for IMDb Pro service for promoting my film career since April 11, 2016 to this day. (Receipts can be provided anytime) However I found that some IMDb staff manipulated our films ratings even without votes from users. After formal complaints about several cases I found, they just sent me a templated email with no specific explanations. This kind of customer service is also not acceptable.


READ MORE:

a. https://www.ryotanakanishi.com/post/sns-review-3- imdb-s-unspeakable-manipulation-of-imdb-rating-against-film-title-1-moxina-2012

b. https://www.ryotanakanishi.com/post/sns-review-4-imdb-s-unspeakable- manipulation-of-imdb-rating-against-film-title-2-the-rakugo-movie

c. https://www.ryotanakanishi.com/post/sns-review-5-imdb-s-unspeakable-manipulation-of-imdb- rating-against-film-title-3-the-obugyosama

d. https://www.ryotanakanishi.com/post/sns-review-6-imdb-s-unspeakable-manipulation-of-imdb-rating-against-film-title-4- the-obugyosama


Conclusion:

IMDb did not properly respond to the specific complaint and the specific issue. Furthermore, there is no specific explanation about the specific complaint was provided. As a consumer, I must stop using IMDb service because its manipulation, unfairness and lack of quality customer service to care its actual customer.


After 13 days later, IMDb customer service responded:

Thank you for the feedback. IMDb ratings are based on user votes and are not changed by our staff in any way other than by applying the same calculations used for every title in the database. The rating on those titles is based on the votes received from IMDb users. For more information, please see: https://help.imdb.com/article/imdb/track-movies-tv/ratings-faq/G67Y87TFYYP6TWAV?


Their response is contradicted from the first response on August 10, 2019. Moreover it completely ignored the details and problems I mentioned.


On September 2, 2019, I rejected the response as below: This message originally read on 9/2/2019

Complaint: 13771126


I am rejecting this response because: It still did not get specific explanations on why the ratings have been declining without any votes during the period that I mentioned. And their customer service staffs just repetitively send me the same templated messages on the complaints. Thus, it is not acceptable. I demand logical and specific explanation, calculation of the strangely declining ratings in detail if they respect every compliant from consumers.


I attached the complaints in full texts, recent receipts and links. The complaints have been published in various major complaint sites against the business since the incidents happened.


Sincerely,

Ryota Nakanishi


MY COMPLAINT AMD DEMAND: PLEASE PROVIDE LOGICAL, SPECIFIC, DETAILED EXPLATNATION AND CALCULATION OF THE STRANGELY DECLINING RATINGS DURING THE PERIOD I MENTIONED IN THE DOCUMENT. I STILL DID NOT GET IT FROM IMDb. I’LL KEEP CRITISIZING THEM AS LONG AS THEY DON’T PROVIDE THE CALCULATION, DETAILED AND SPECIFIC EXPLANATION ON THE COMPLAINTS.

Complaint as Public Record: Yes Disclosure Notices: Yes

********************************************************** **********************************************************

If you have any questions about the complaint submittal process, you may contact our Consumer Resource Center at 1-800-551-4636 between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Sincerely,

Bob Ferguson and the AGO staff


Update3:

On Sep.6 2019, AGO replied.

Ryota ,

Thank you for contacting the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office. The consumer complaint you submitted through our online form was received on 9/2/2019. Your complaint is very important to us and we have assigned it to a consumer resource center specialist for review. You will be provided with a complaint number and the status of your complaint within 5 business days. During times when we experience peak complaint volumes, it may take up to 7 business days for us to contact you with your complaint number and status. Thank you for your patience during this time.

Please do not respond to this email address. The mailbox is not monitored. If you have questions, please contact our Consumer Resource Center at 1-800-551-4636.


Update4:

RE: IMDB Inc File #: 553894


Dear Ryota Nakanishi:

Sep 7 at 3:47 AM

Thank you for contacting the Consumer Protection Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Consumer complaints provide valuable information that our office uses to identify patterns of unfair or deceptive practices that may warrant enforcement of the Consumer Protection Act.

The complaint you submitted to our office regarding IMDB Inc was reviewed and determined to be appropriate for the informal complaint resolution services offered by our Consumer Resource Center. This is an informal, voluntary process. Our office acts as a neutral party to facilitate communication between consumers and businesses to assist in resolving the complaint. We are prohibited by Washington State law from providing legal advice or representing either party.

The following information describes our informal complaint resolution process:

Informal Complaint Resolution Process:

The process takes approximately four to six weeks to complete. A copy of your complaint was sent to the business with a request to provide our office with a response within 21 calendar days. If a response is received, you will be notified and a copy of the response will be provided to you. If our office has not received a response from the business within 14 calendar days, a courtesy reminder will be sent to the business reminding them that their response is due within the next 7 calendar days. If the business does not respond to our request, our office cannot compel the business to respond.

If the business does not respond or does not resolve your complaint to your satisfaction:

If the business does not respond, or your complaint is not resolved through our informal complaint resolution service, your complaint will be closed. However, you will be notified of additional options and resources that may be available to assist you in the event you wish to pursue the matter further.

If you contact our office regarding your complaint, please reference the assigned complaint number referenced above. We hope this information is helpful. If you have questions or would like to submit additional information regarding this complaint, our email address is

CRCComplaints@ATG.WA.GOV.

Sincerely,

RUTH E. HOLBROOK Consumer Resource Center Unit Supervisor Consumer Protection Division 1-800-551-4636 for in-state callers 1-206-464-6684 for out-of-state callers


Update5: Surprising! IMDb Customer Service is Amazon Customer Service! Why Amazon responded? Illogical!


Dear Ruth E. Holbrook, I'm Meraj of Amazon.com. I'm responding to Ryota's subject matter complaint, and copying him for his reference.

Sep 15 at 11:49 AM


I've reviewed Ryota's complaint and I understand his concern relating to IMDb ratings. We already communicated and addressed this to this Ryota (he has written to our IMDb directly, and also to the Better Business Bureau). We requested him to check our on-site documentation about this (located at https://help.imdb.com/article/imdb/track-movies-tv/ratings-faq/G67Y87TFYYP6TWAV ) which addresses all questions about why the rating may be different from what users expect (including an explanation of why the rating may change even when no new votes are cast). Other than that, we have no further possible response or action. IMDb publishes an aggregate rating on the main