Code of Conduct

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Revision as of 03:06, 29 July 2008 by Voiceinsideyou (talk | contribs) (Cooked Brian's good comments into the code, clarified a few informal sections (Imported from MoinMoin))
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Code of Conduct


This Code of Conduct describes how members of the MusicBrainz community should interact and further details how AutoEditors should act; using their privileges in a responsible way. The purpose is not so much to define a standard which everybody must follow, but to explicitly describe all the (previously) unwritten rules that make up good behavior in the MusicBrainz community.

Community Members

  • Be polite. Remember that there's a real person on the receiving end of any communication. Treat people as you'd wish to be treated yourself.
  • Remember that everyone was new at some point and a polite nudge in the right direction is sometimes all that it takes to set them on the right path.
  • Don't get into flame wars, and try to remain as neutral as possible. Do not attack someone personally because you don't agree with them.
  • MusicBrainz is a global community. Be mindful and respectful of different languages, habits and cultures.
  • Share knowledge freely. New members should not be embarrassed for ignorance.
  • Respectfully suggest other options. Not everyone wants to reconfigure their directories, change their OS or switch players and formats.
  • Try not to pick fights by nit-picking other editors closed edits. Asking for a source or reason (if not provided by Editor in edit note) is OK; otherwise you can always submit your own edit to fix small errors or omissions. This is more productive.


  • Set an example for others.
  • Don't abuse AutoEditor privileges, including applying controversial changes without a vote or making edits another person is already making (although this does happen accidentally sometimes).
  • Remember that new users have the potential to contribute greatly to the project or even become AutoEditors themselves one day if given the correct guidance, whereas they may never come back if they're insulted.
  • Act responsibly. Although it wasn't the original intention, AutoEditors rights are seen as a symbol of status, and childish behavior reflects badly on the MusicBrainz community as a whole.


Community Members

Making Edits

  • Provide explanations when entering edits.
  • Include links that validate your edits.
  • Listen to the advice of existing community members. Ask for clarification if you're still unsure.
  • Refer to the StyleGuidelines and Wiki for clarification.
  • Ask questions on the MailingLists or IRC if you're unsure.
  • Edits should be based on objective data and not personal preferences.


  • Never vote based on your personal attitude towards the editor. Vote only based on the facts and what you think is right or wrong.
  • Never vote against edits where information is optional (not required during the submission process). Instead Abstain and enter a mod note requesting more information.
  • If you are voting against an edit, always explain why via an edit note. Nothing is more frustrating than entering a bunch of edits only to receive silent no votes.
  • If you disagree with another editor's point of view on an edit, try to keep the debate to that one edit, rather than spreading the debate across many edits. If you disagree with a series of edits, pick one to focus the comments in and refer comments from the other edits back to that one edit.
  • Creating additional accounts solely for the purpose of voting is an abuse of the system and completely unacceptable.


Dealing With Open Edits

How should AutoEditors deal with open edits, that they think are correct?

If an edit is correct, it is within the AutoEditors discretion as to whether they choose to approve the edit immediately to speed up the process of correcting MB data. In practice amongst the AutoEditor community, this is generally confined to addition of URLs and obviously correct relationships, in order to reduce the open edit queue, and prioritize voter time towards complex edits requiring more attention, such as release addition, removals and merges.

If an edit is in any form an improvement (even if it's still not correct), an AutoEditor may decide to approve the edit immediately and then edit the value again to correct it.

Making Disputed Edits

Autoeditors must never use their privileges to decide disputed edits in their favor.

Always check an item's history before making a change that could be disputed. If you made an AutoEdit and then realise that it is disputed, you should:

  • Excuse yourself in an EditNote.
  • Revert your edit.
  • Temporarily disable your AutoEditor privileges and enter the edit again as one to be voted upon.

Of course the "approve" option is not to be used for disputable edits but only for trivial or obvious ones or those which can be improved by a re-edit.

Authors: inhouseuk, Nikki, WolfSong, DonRedman