December 25, 2005
Not that I have the time, but I can waste hours at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). And today, to chill out, I decided to feed in a review of The New Avengers, only to ﬁnd that the system has rejected it for ‘Your comment contains prohibited words’ and insisted on, for instance, American spellings for words such as phoney.
Most companies, when they acquire others, try to keep their national characteristics intact. IMDB, being originally British, seems to have lost that. It was once run by a bunch of Brits who accepted viewpoints, even those written in American English, from around the world. This latest incident suggests that not only do you have to write in American English, a form adopted by a minority of English speakers and only barely tolerated by the majority, but that all humour and sparkle must be removed from the reviews.
I don’t complain about the IMDB putting checks in place—it is right to do so—but it is in danger of crossing the same line many banks did in the 1990s. Then, banks computerized things to such an extent that the relationship with the customer was lost. It is only this decade that they are rediscovering their connections.
By rating human intelligence below that of a machine, the IMDB encourages dullness, and it will harm its usefulness. It always had some level of checking, but if I were to insist that my spellings were correct, it would still let me through. Not any more, it seems. I have written to the company to inform them of my thoughts and asked them what is exactly prohibited about my review. Hopefully I will get a human response, and by that I do not mean a Yahoo!-type one where the chap (automaton?) has copied and pasted from an FAQ to get me off his back.
Read through the piece below and see what you think. Please bear in mind the comments at the IMDB do not contain italicization.
If you were a child of the 1970s, then you will probably remember this as the deﬁnitive Avengers, and find the original rather odd. It’s not to say I dislike the original, but when I watched The New Avengers in the 1970s, it had that sense of realism and style that was very formative in my younger days.permalink
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Apparently, according to the IMDB’s George, who kindly and very politely responded today, you can’t say piss in America without offending someone, in a country where you can show Dennis Franz’s ass on NYPD Blue on network television. That pisses me off. I mean, who gets pissed off with piss? And Dennis Franz’s ass offends me more than piss.Post a Comment
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