Curious effect of import scripts

Question: How can a noobie add almost 100 edits without a need of a single vote?

Answer: Create only Releases and Release Groups and fill them with junk

I spent a busy Sunday cleaning up after a (beginner) user who was armed with the Discogs Import Script and hosing junk at the database. The script was being used to import releases like “Bat Out Of Hell”, “The Wall (Experience Edition)” and numerous Deluxe editions into MB. Releases that are obviously already going to be in MB.

The trouble is the way the script was used. This meant their 90 edits all dropped into place without the need of any votes. Every single one auto-edited into place. Mainly due to making new Releases or Release Groups (even if we already had that release here at MB).

The quality of data being imported was not just sloppy; it missing simple details; missing artwork; missing barcodes\catnos; creating new Release Groups for items already listed in MB; creating strange titles; broken text; broken layouts; faked years; vinyl instead of CD; and all kind of oddities that were not just breaking guidelines but just looked bad.

I did almost 100 edits just trying to patch up some of the mess, but that is not what this post is about. I ain’t here to complain about the user. This site can be confusing so maybe he assumed he was working correctly? (Never replied to any of my edit notes though)

How can a noobie work so effectively with an import script without any checks?

What is interesting is that they managed to do 100% autoedits. Not a single need of a vote on any of their work. How did that happen? I thought noobies had more checks \ extra votes needed? Or do the scripts bypass that in some way? Or was it the clever choice of only creating new Releases \ Release Groups meant they had worked out how to game the system?

I raise the question as I could see the damage that could be done if someone decided to really go to town with that script. The speed junk data could be imported could be huge…

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This has nothing to do with the Discogs import script, but rather with the release editor, the importer only prefills data, and does no edits by itself.

Adding a release, an artist or a release group are auto edits, with or without importer.

Maybe you could point at concerned edits, or just raise attention here for other editors around to check this editor edits, if you think they need to be checked more carefully.

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@zas the reason I mentioned the script may explain why this person never saw any of the edit notes. Maybe they never actually login? Also they username sounds like something you’d send to do a task on your behalf.

I was trying not to make it personal and had been previously asked to not name names in the forum but to use the report user button. Sorry, I do get a bit confused at times when I see that kind of issue.

It is not the scripts fault. The point I was noticing is the silent way all of this was dropping into place. It was only due to the editor adding an obviously wrong Pink Floyd release that he came up on my list to check. That’s when I started a trawl back and realised quite how much had slipped silently into place unchallenged.

For now I have intentionally ignored all his typing errors and Capitalisation Errors and strange bracket choices as most of his tracks will merge out of existence after the correction merge edits have completed.

I think this is mainly telling me to subscribe to more artists so I can help spot when this kind of issue happens.

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As @zas said, “the importer only prefills data, and does no edits by itself”. The user still gets to the first page of the release editor and needs to (ideally) check the data and (at the very least) go to the last tab and click “Enter edit”. So there’s no chance any user using one of these import scripts hasn’t logged in.

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@reosarevok - LOL - so you are now taking away that user’s excuse for junk edits. :smiley: So they need to be chased down and given a re-education with the Cricket Bat of Compliance™ :crazy_face:

And there was I hoping there would be some way they could have been pushing data through the API oblivious to all of this… instead it turns out they someone who just doesn’t read instructions.

I’ll need to stop commenting on this as I’ll start saying something rude, but I did learn a few new tricks from this so all is well :wink:

I’m subscribed to their edits now so in full on stalker mode ready with the “Re-education Cricket Bat™” the next time any of their edits drop.

Oh - and someone else needs to go clear up the Barry Manilow edits… there are some levels I will not go to when editing this database. :rofl:

A way to solve this more easily would be to make merge edits apply after 3 unanimous yes votes, without a 48 hour limit for very recently (7 days or less) created artists/releases/release groups/recordings.

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Maybe there should be a “molasses mode”. One where an editor who is misunderstanding the rules can be put into a slow lane to allow more chance of interaction and re-education.

If I was a noobie and seeing all my edits slot straight into place I would assume that all is well.

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I know I messed up. Apologies to all concerned. At some stage I’ll better understand the etiquette with these kinds of situations. I’m not exactly a good communicator. My problem is I care too much about the quality of data here. All I was trying to do was help and tidy up mistakes. I realise I have reacted wrongly. Maybe it would be a better idea to just delete this thread? I am just too lost and confused now to know what is correct.

I don’t think you need to apologize for anything.

I’d say “perhaps allowing userscripts should be an unlocked ability if/when gamification is introduced”, but I suppose not much can be done to detect/block them.

Or perhaps the “more data is always good, so adding things is an autoedit” policy needs to be revisited in some way – although I don’t immediately know how.

It’s unfortunate that most new users tend to come here because they want to add, rather than edit, stuff (or at least I think that is the case). Otherwise, it might have made sense to make the ability to add new things an unlocked ability. The idea being that everyone first has to “pay their dues” by improving data (possibly based on autoeditors flagging items as “needs cleanup” when they see something but can’t fix it themselves; like the Barry Manilow mentioned above).

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I recall when I was still a fairly new editor, I added some stuff that was already in the database because I hadn’t really learned how to go about finding it (especially since it was a classical release). But @monxton came along and merged it for me.

Just saying, it’s bound to happen sometimes. Although hopefully not usually so sloppily.

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There actually is - if an editor was adding, say, 200 releases per day in this way, we would probably mark them as “untrusted”, which is a rarely-used but already existing option that means all their edits become votable. In this case, it seems like the kind of issue that might be solvable without needing that, if other editors give a hand on teaching them how to do it :slight_smile:

If in the longer term an editor who has had time to learn still refuses to change, then I’d say it’s entirely legitimate to send a report asking for them to be marked as untrusted and written to directly. Usually how that goes is that if they answer the email and promise to look into the issues, then their standard editing right will be restored - if they ignore it, they’ll at the very least be left as untrusted.

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