Christopher Campbell at Cinematical writes,
Just when you thought the IMDb was the greatest asset to movie lovers, the site has gone and revealed itself to be less a service to the cinematic community and more of a privilege from another corporate power worried about its public image. It isn't clear when the site instituted this, but as of today the IMDb has a search filter that makes it difficult to locate some titles, specifically pornographic or otherwise sexually explicit titles. These titles include the usual XXX fare, but also include more mainstream films like John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus and Caligula, which stars Golden Globe winner Helen Mirren.
They aren't gone from the database, though. Shortbus can be found by way of Mitchell, who shows up when searched. The same goes for Caligula, which can be found in a roundabout way via its stars. But the IMDb isn't only filtering out the titles, it is also filtering out some performers who appear in adult titles. At least that's how it seems. The Rabbi Report experimented with the IMDb search and discovered that while most of the Shortbus cast doesn't show up, some large profile porn stars do show up. As further examples, I tested out the names Jenna Jameson, John Holmes and Ron Jeremy — all were easily searched. Then I looked up The Brown Bunny and the documentary Inside Deep Throat — neither was easily located.
Image: Shortbus actor Jay Brannan complains about IMDb's "adult content blocker" and performs a song (lookin' good in a toilet, sans shirt or stylist): Video Link. (thanks, Susannah Breslin and Mark Rabinowitz.)
Reader commment: Stiv says,
I ran into this exact problem when searching for "Shortbus" this weekend. If you have an IMDB user account, you can update your search preferences to include adult titles and adult names via This Link.
Thanks for posting this — but it's not new. As with the Google filter, registered users have had for some time the ability to turn on and off what are considered more "mature" entries.
It's been so long since I remember adjusting mine that I don't even recall, but it's been years.
Frankly, I don't mind so much because with rare exceptions like "Shortbus," a lot of those titles aren't ones I necessarily want to see pop up on my screen at work when I'm looking for more "innocent" titles.
Anyway, the point is: Not new.
Tim Murtaugh says,
This may be so obvious as to not warrant mentioning, but here I go:
All of the mentioned items that the IMDB search engine is reluctant to
cough up can be found via an simple google search: imdb [name of film]