How to deal with editors ignoring requests to stop damaging the database

A question to the Autoeditors. And MB in general. Quality Control question. :slight_smile:

(Not sure if this is the right place… but I think this is relevant to people here… but bump this to a new thread if needed. I wanted eyes and brains on this question)

I understand that Autoeditors can speed up edits. But who is it that goes and undoes the errors caused by someone who clearly misunderstands how MB works?

When a user appears, especially a noobie, who is clearly ignoring requests to stop damaging the database, why is it that no one goes to look at their editing history?

I had this guy come up on my “edits done to subscribed entries” list freemusic14

He had added a clearly photoshopped image to the original Dark Side of the Moon. This he set as “front”. Even though the release already had a lovely set of quality images of the actual cover. @tigerman325 spotted his actions and hit the NO…

I thought I’d help by adding a short description of what he did wrong. See if he’d learn by mistakes. But then I went and looked at his edit history. And it is clear this is not the only album he is doing this to. When he is questioned, he just cancels the edit and puts it back in later. This has been going on for a few months.

So what is policy on this? Isn’t this the kind of person that should be watched and nursed and checked?


It sounds like you should use the Report this user for bad behaviour button on their profile and point to those repeated edits.


But someone does…in this case, you and tigerman325. :slight_smile:

I could be wrong, but I think that in cases like this the tools that autoeditors have available are pretty much the same that you and I have. They can fix obvious vandalism without a waiting period, but finding it is another matter.

It would help (not just autoeditors but all of us) if searching by “applied edit count of editor” worked, but unfortunately it’s broken.


Policy is given in the MusicBrainz Code of Conduct:

If an editor fails to uphold this even after having been approached, you should report them via their profile, as @jesus2099 said.

Also, as @highstrung said, auto-editors have no special privileges that make them able to spot/find, approach, or correct (well, maybe a tiny bit the last one) these editors compared to what non-auto-editors can do or have access to.


The report user button… okay. Just filled that in as suggested. Just such an unnatural thing to me as I don’t like being a snitch. :smiley:

So if not the autoeditors, are there such things as mods? Or is it just us?

The guy has got worse as the last two edits are adding prettified photoshoped images on Coldplay albums. And now he has called in a mate to add yes votes. Utter madness. I don’t even like Coldplay. Almost feels nasty having to touch that stuff…

@highstrung Yeah, I see how it is great that tigerman325 spotted this, and I’ve gone deeper. But I was exhausted when I got home last night and last thing I needed was two hours tracing a mess someone had made. Especially as I know so little about many of those artists. Surely there is someone who likes the Coldplay disks they buy? Why don’t they come in and help.

I could correct some of the damage as there were links right there on the Release pages to Discogs or Japanese shops that showed exactly what was correct.

The most worrying part is that so much of his damage had gone through without questions. This is the bit I was picking up on here - the fact that bad edits mean previously bad edits. And no point leaving notes on his old edits if he doesn’t read notes on open edits.

Even going back through all his edits, there is only so much I can spot. This is why I was wondering how these are handled as it needs to know so much more.

I try and help. I know what it was like when I first got here. I want to give people a chance. So I try to add points and explain. But also I know what “people” can be like. And sorry about lost patience on that page last night. Language should have been kept better. I was too tired and shouldn’t have been editing at all really. (Also too tired now and babbling…)


Just to add… one of the other issues I can see is that this guy is not the only one. There is a wider mess going on here with a LOT of edits going in without comments.

Strange that I look at freemusic14 who leads me to GuilhermeHideki who is making votes on many things without comments… and strangely links into other names that seem to be causing problems at the moment.

All without notes on their edits…

How often is sock puppets checked for? A technical mod who dives in and checks up on quality? Puzzling (have to turn computer off now or I’ll keep adding rubbish here :D)


There is a ticket on east searching on beginners, some sort of bug.

fixing that would greatly help.

Another ticket worth, as you state, is empty comment fields. I can spend hours kindly asking for sources of edits… frustrating. A simply check on any url or tickbox ‘own scans’ for instance would really help.

Unfortunately the UX update project here seems dead:

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Fun (or historical at least) fact: “editors” used to be called “mods” (and thus autoeditors used to be automods). :slight_smile: The only “higher authority” than regular editors are account administrators. These administrators are the ones you reach by reporting an editor through that form. (And it is preferred you use that form since that leaves a paper trail that other account administrators can look at in case someone later complains or if someone gets reported repeatedly etc. A note on the forum is not good, and could even be considered a call for witch hunting, which we don’t want here.)

Keep in mind that only a handful of the thousands of people editing MusicBrainz are invested enough to actually engage with the wider community on a daily basis. A lot of editors add/edit the music they need to tag and then forget about it until they need to tag something else. A lot of mainstream music probably falls into this as more “hardcore music nerds” that really care about data fidelity are likely also more into more niche music, which is why you will find people close to fighting religions wars over Japanese music labels but find big western mainstream music acts like Coldplay nearly left alone.

We currently have nothing automated in place to look for sockpuppets, so we only look into accusations of this when alerted of possible sockpuppet activity.


The UX project is currently bound by converting the entire to React. As you can see in the server update posts on the blog there’s a handful of things converted with every release for quite a while. The project isn’t dead, it’s just in a very user‐invisible phase. :confused:


Sorry for my ranting in the forum and notes. I was very tired out the last few days. As daft as it sounds, I come here to unwind… seeing that damage just caught me at the wrong time on the wrong day. Totally understand what you say in your replies. It was more the fact that this was all creeping through unchecked is what surprised me.


I just want to add that I should use a stricter standard here (in general) and would like to know what are those links are. I think I do follow some users which I reported for sockpuppeting, which could look bad.

I discovered this thread because someone was going through some of my edits (I guess the button worked :smile: ) and reviewing some changes (which should be normal, but MB is “understaffed” in the set of my edits reviewed, so I did see as red flag).

My problem is that I got lazy and moved to “Why should I add a note about the changes if no one would review them, they just hit ‘Abstain’ and ignore anyway. Just explain when they ask for something”


Please take into account that the edit note is not just there to get a vote. It is there forever. In checking upon a release, or fixing things that have gone wrong, those edit notes give value to your edits, and support or dismiss them.

As we are a worldwide community it might be a new thing, but consider those notes to be your obligatory references for your writing/thesis.

On the reviewing: you can test for yourself. Going through edits and checking them (by following the links or clicking through to a release) takes a lot of time. So we use tools that do mass checking of ‘abstain’, scroll through the page and only check those we think look interesting/wrong/flagged…
See the forum post on scripts for some of those tools.


@GuilhermeHideki - I can see you do know what you are doing. :smiley: Sorry you got tangled up in my tired ranting about two totally different users.

I was being dragged down the rabbit hole of madness when following up what those other two were up to. I never thought you were a sockpuppet - you clearly did more positive work than any of them. :smiley: I just got puzzled when you put those positive votes into what was clear garbage of that X&Y cover :wink:

Lack of notes gets a headache as it is hard to know who are the good and bad editors. Especially as some AEs seem to spend more time chasing the odd little style guide errors and miss the bigger picture of the importance of checking the data.

I realise that most of my work isn’t being checked beyond cosmetics. (That is what I see “abstain” as - an AE putting “eyes on” and saying that I’ve followed the rules, but the AE doesn’t have the time to look at the actual quality of data) I don’t care about votes as I rarely get them due to my odd tastes in music. I leave the notes for the next people who come along to add to that artist. When I am working on a release, if I see something with no note on it I will naturally assume it is made up and will happily delete or replace that data. Especially with images.

It is funny how some artists cause more reactions than others. There are some good watchers of Pink Floyd, but no one cares about Coldplay. Which seems sensible to me. LOL. Also comical how style guides change between some artists depending on who is watching and defending. :smiley:

One thing that puzzles me - why do the AutoEditors not get some kind of distinguishing icon? I assume @tigerman325 is an AE - or are they? If AEs had some kind of different colour it would be helpful to see they are someone in authority. And why are AEs nominated for life? How many of them are there? Yet when this damage kicked off it was mainly Freso who did the hard work with support from only a couple of them. Inactive AEs should loose their spurs.


Because, as I tried to explain to you earlier, autoeditors do not have any special powers or any elevated authority to deal with these situation. A “non-auto” editor is as much an authority as an autoeditor. You’re elevating AEs to a position they do not have.

252 right now (though a couple of them are bot accounts), according to the Privileged User Accounts page (which was also linked in an earlier reply in the thread).

Because that’s my job and I get paid to deal with these situations. Almost all editors are 100% volunteers and should in no way be expected to (let alone forced to!) deal with situations like this, if they’re not up for it. Autoeditor or not.

Also, I edited your post to remove some non-polite comments about a user that has chosen to leave us. I’ll remind you now that our Code of Conduct also applies when talking about people that are not active in our community.


I’m not an autoeditor. Even though I spend to much time on here. :-).

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I could have sworn your name was mentioned in the auto-editor suggestion thread… :confused:

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Yes he was mentioned…

I guess you can now take the leap forward and do a proposal?

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For those curious, I did not say anything nasty about any ex-user. It was supposed to be slightly funny. Now it has been deleted it looks like I was nasty. Sorry if anyone took offence. My warped sense of humour.

All I meant by the “distinguishing icon” was so a noobie realised it wasn’t just a plain user asking them to correct their errors. Just to show that these are people MB respect. People worth listening too. I don’t mean that they should be running around with big boots on. :slight_smile:

Sorry if this has all been misunderstood. I was just trying to stir up some help and curious to see who could help. There are some editors around here who do an incredible volume of work.