Wikipedia isn’t the only crowd-sourced site with problems – IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes have inherent problems too, as discussed by Christopher Campbell…
The issue first came to my attention via Michael Parfit, one of the directors of The Whale, a terrific yet under-seen 2011 documentary that I had expected to appeal to a wider audience (albeit for some of the wrong reasons), especially since it was produced by Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds, who also narrates. “IMDb is a very important site for us,” Parfit tells me via email, “perhaps more than for a major studio film. We often work with people in the industry who are only vaguely aware of our film. The first place they go is to IMDb to get more info. But when you go on IMDb or IMDbPro and look up The Whale, the information you get is, to say the least, misleading.”
Some of his complaints have to do with seemingly nit-picky data that most of us don’t think much about but which is actually a big concern for those on the inside. For example, one of The Whale’s distributors is listed as a production company, which would seem like an easy fix. But often such errors aren’t even noticed immediately, and when they are caught they’re still not quickly amended (the film’s “company credits” info remains incorrect).
“Repairs and additions have always taken so long that they’re almost useless when they are finally done,” Parfit says. “When the news of Ryan Reynolds’ involvement in the film came out, and was widely covered, we tried to get his name in the database as the film’s narrator for months — months! — before it appeared. At the time we were seeking investors. What must they have thought when they looked on IMDb and did not see the celebrity name we had told them was part of the film? They would not have thought that the highly-trusted IMDb was wrong.”
(click here to continue reading Are IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes Still Our Best Reference Tools? A Sad Look at Crowd-Sourced Film Sites | Movie News | Movies.com.)