IMDB and Amazon are under-fire after a year-long investigation revealed how the STARmeter rankings system had been widely abused by 3rd party companies, undermining subscribers who wanted to gain legitimate exposure on the site.
In a damning report, the Herald De Paris unveils how the STARmeter rankings were being manipulated by third party companies such as IMDBPROMO, who were charging hundreds of dollars to actresses to boost their IMDB rankings.
In addition, the third party sites were able to directly affect the algorithm of the STARmeter charts by inflating page views for a price, and even causing a huge drop in rankings for those who didn’t pay to maintain their ranks.
The article goes further in addressing all the complaints about the ranking from IMDB users saying:
“It is clear from IMDB message board complaints and complaints across the internet that hundreds, if not millions, of IMDB users are being conned, blackmailed, and fraudulently shamed into paying millions of dollars to maintain their starmeter rankings.”
To make matters worse the 3rd party sites providing the services to increase ranks on STARmeter were allegedly hosted on Amazon servers.
“it appears that the main company benefiting from all this, through a series of shell companies, is Amazon, the very company charging IMDBPRO members, in the first place.”
While having a high STARmeter rank on IMDB gives the impression an individual has a bigger popularity, this report will certainly have an impact on the way people view the system. Currently, the STARmeter ranks can only be viewed by IMDBPro users who pay a monthly subscription.
We await to see what change comes from this, if any, but many will certainly be asking “What has happened to IMDB?”