Nickname in disambig: Avoiding cultural imperialism or Avoiding giving offense

I’ve just removed a nickname of a South African Artist.
(I had entered the Artist only shortly before.)

I’m torn between not creating offence in people outside the Artist’s culture and not being an agent of cultural imperialism.

Looks like one or the other is goin’ to happen.

What do you reckon is the better path for Musicbrainz?

And why is that the better path?

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Personally I believe that history should still be recorded. We should not censor the past and pretend it didn’t happen. Better to show that we have grown up as a society and moved on.

By having the nickname there the person can be found. They will then be shown with their Real name on the page and get the respect the deserve as the real person. Even better if a mini-bio can be added to the Annotation or a wikidata link found for them.

It is one of the nice sides of MusicBrainz. We get to document people who would otherwise get forgotten.


Whatever we do with this specific case, we’re still going to have stuff like this, in which a specific artist choose to use “banned” words for/about himself:

Or things like this, which is specifically meant to offend:

Or albums where the cover is literally a dick pick (linking without cover for SFW purposes, in case someone might get fired for looking at genitalia while surfing or something :slight_smile: ).

Or, you know, actual nazis, since we can’t stop them from existing and making music, apparently :frowning:

As such, I wouldn’t worry too much about it, as long as the nickname is not a slur directed at the person to downgrade them. I think it’s certainly reasonable, in this case, to add it as an alias, and if you feel it’s a useful disambiguation help, then there too.

In a case where the nickname was not used by the artist but against the artist, even if actually used about the artist, I would be more likely to skip it.


I just looked at the actual edit where you removed the nickname. I would move that name to the alias as an actual nickname for the search to find. It allows people who hunting for the artist to find him, and then get to see his real name.

I agree that it is a bit much to have that up as a disambiguation, but we should not pretend the past didn’t exist. Otherwise there is the potential for someone else to add that name back in as a new artist when they fail to work out who he really is.

I would especially keep the name as a nickname when I looked at more of your edits for the man. I notice the link to the Sowetan Live newspaper. As they were using that nickname to refer to him in 2007 then it seems important to keep it for the search to locate. They say that is the name he was known in the acting fraternity, so it is important to his history.