|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays may represent widespread norms or minority viewpoints. Consider these views with discretion. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines.|
|This page in a nutshell: Anecdotes, trivia, and unreleased film information from IMDb do not meet the reliable sources guideline. The IMDb should only be used as a tertiary source for "hard data" on released films.|
Citing the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) on Wikipedia raises questions with regard to adherence to Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources. The following essay addresses the usage of the IMDb as a reference source, where its weaknesses and strengths lie with regard to content and policy, and the consequent role that it can play in Wikipedia's articles.
IMDb content which is acceptable to reference on Wikipedia include:
- The writing credits marked with "WGA" that are supplied directly by the Writers Guild of America (where applicable).
- The MPAA ratings reasons, where they appear, that are supplied directly by the Motion Picture Association of America.
IMDb content which is in dispute about whether it is appropriate to reference on Wikipedia:
- Released films only: Sections such as the cast list, character names, the crew lists, release dates, company credits, awards, soundtrack listing, filming locations, technical specs, alternate titles, running times, and rating certifications.
IMDb content inappropriate to reference on Wikipedia:
- Any potentially contentious material about living persons (BLPs)
- The IMDb message boards, which are inherently not reliable.
- The user comments for each title, which are pure user-generated content.
- Sections written in wiki-style with minimal editorial control. Those would be the FAQs for particular titles (not the database FAQ), the parental guides, and the plot synopses (not to be confused with the plot outlines or plot summaries, which are subject to editorial control).
- Newsgroup reviews, which are archived Usenet postings.
- The trivia and goofs sections that are based on user submissions.
- The recommendations.