Code of Conduct

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Code of Conduct

NOTE: We are currently standardizing the terminology used in our documentation. In some the following terms used interchangeably. 
  • Album and Release
  • Moderate and Edit

Release and Edit are now standard.


This Code of Conduct describes how members of the MusicBrainz community should interact and further details how AutoEditors (aka AutoModerators) should act; using their privileges in a responsible way.

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 embarassed for ignorance.
  • Respectfully suggest other options. Not everyone wants to reconfigure their directories, change their OS or switch players and formats.


  • Set an example for others.
  • Don't abuse automod 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 automods 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, automod rights are seen as a symbol of status, and childish behaviour 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 requestiong more information.
  • If you are voting against an edit, make a habit of explaining why via an edit note. Nothing is more frustrating than entering a bunch of edits only to receive silent no votes.


Dealing With Open Edits

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

IIRC it was said, that autoeditors should not redo the same edit as an AutoEdit. While this might speed up the process of correcting MB data, it will make the other contributor's edit fail, and thus raise their FailedEditCount.

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

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 a ModerationNote.
  • 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.

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Authors: inhouseuk, Nikki, WolfSong, DonRedman