discogs hall proctor watch

Occasionally, for self-torture, it's fun to look at the Discogs forum and see what the hall proctors are debating.
In the screenshot below, venetian-guy asks why LolH has given him a EI (Entirely Incorrect) vote for some information he added to the database, and LolH replies:


Since Discogs uses fixed, hard-coded forms for data entry, ambiguities arise which drive the proctors -- unpaid "power users" who act as unpaid staffers -- into a frenzy. Individual egos and preferences vie in determining "what's best for the database." Proctors smugly quote the guidelines and claim to have a definitive interpretation. In the exchange above, the weighty issues to be decided are (i) whether "Lacquer Cut at" should precede "Pressed at" in a release's "labels" section, and (ii) how to accomplish that manually, since the software doesn't allow reordering.
As for "Lacquer Cut at" -- that feels like a fad but it's taken deadly seriously. Mastering has two meanings in the audio world: (i) the physical process of cutting the acetate or "lacquer" used to make a stamp for pressing records (or "glass mastering" in the case of a CD), and (ii) the non-physical process of compressing and adjusting audio levels on a tape or digital file. Many older vinyl records say "Mastered at (or by)," which could mean (i) or (ii) or a combination of both but was generally understood for decades to mean the physical process. Discogs proctors have begun substituting "Lacquer Cut at" for "Mastered at" in vinyl descriptions, when the markings in the vinyl "deadwax" show a particular, known cutting engineer. Whereas if the record sleeve says "Mastered at" and there is no indication of a lacquer-cutter on the disc itself, then the description is left as-is. The proctors are gradually changing thousands of releases, one entry at a time, and expect everyone to understand the reasoning behind the changes. Mastering and pressing can involve several steps and even different locations, and deadwax markings can be sloppy and hard-to-read, so arguments erupt all the time about who handled which mastering chore. It's quite possible that eventually some anti-"lacquer cut by" consensus might emerge and force everyone to change it all back to what it says on the actual release.

Update, Oct. 2021: As I spend more time on Discogs my assumptions about the site change. The paragraphs above have been revised to be more accurate.