IMDB, the popular movie and TV review aggregator website owned by Amazon, has changed its method of calculating rating for the Hindi release ‘The Kashmir Files’. On the film’s rating page, it is now mentioned: ‘Our rating mechanism has detected unusual voting activity on this title. To preserve the reliability of our rating system, an alternate weighting calculation has been applied.’
The rating for The Kashmir Files currently stands at 8.3 with 135,000 votes recorded. While 94% of people gave it a 10 rating, 4% of people rated it 1. IMDb explains weighted rating as: “IMDb publishes weighted vote averages rather than raw data averages. The simplest way to explain it is that although we accept and consider all votes received by users, not all votes have the same impact (or ‘weight’) on the final rating. When unusual voting activity is detected, an alternate weighting calculation may be applied in order to preserve the reliability of our system. To ensure that our rating mechanism remains effective, we do not disclose the exact method used to generate the rating.”
Even though IMDb has not disclosed the exact method of weighing reviews. It appears that IMDb actually gave far higher weightage to a 1-star rating by three users against 8+ star reviews by over 231,000 users at the time of writing of this article. It is to be noted that the ratings of movies like Jai Bhim did not receive manual intervention from IMDb even after gaining reviews in a similar manner.
Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri called the move ‘unusual and unethical’. When a Twitter user brought the development to the attention of the film’s director and accused the rating platform of reducing the film’s rating. The director then responded saying the move was ‘unusual and unethical’ and several fans and netizens rallied behind him in support.
‘The Kasmir Files’ is a movie that talks about the genocide and exodus of Kashmiri Pandits that occured after 1989 in Jammu & Kashmir. The film has debuted a box office hit, and has been made tax-free in multiple states including Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana and Gujarat.