I’ve seen quite a few people comment on poster art issues here recently, and I wanted to share my experience with what’s going on at TMDb which is causing some of these issues.
About a month ago, I set up a new device and had to scan all my metadata again. Upon completion I noticed approx 75% of my movies had issues with the poster art. Either missing a poster completely, or a foreign poster, or some new non-original custom poster.
Investigating at TMDb and looking at the changes log for each movie, I noticed that their ‘TMDb bot’ had been deleting posters on a massive scale. These weren’t outdated posters that had issues, these were mostly good high resolution images. It seems the bot has been deleting ALL images uploaded to the site 3 or more years ago. This is obviously causing big problems because the majority of older movies have had their poster art added for at least 3 years.
Supposedly this is all part of some “maintenance” which they are very vague about. These posters are certainly not being added back automatically.
Until yesterday, you could still dig into the Changes log to find the posters that had been deleted, download the ones you want and re-upload them back onto the site. I have spent many many hours over the past month fixing missing movie posters. Unfortunately it is not possible to source the image from the changes log anymore. After another round of “maintenance” these have now been completely deleted too.
Years of hard work from thousands of contributors has apparently been wiped from the site.
Now the strange thing is, you’re not allowed to mention or query anything about this on their support forum. Your thread will be removed immediately. Go and have a look on the support forums for yourself, see if you can find any discussions about the mass deletion of movie posters…
Eventually things will get re-populated by user contributions, but it’s a lot more difficult to source high quality posters for older movies, especially more obscure ones. A lot of movie posters on TMDb were unique to the site and are now deleted.