Template talk:Authority control/Archive 10

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MusicBrainz

Shouldn't this be disallowed? On the homepage it says the purpose is "allowing anyone to contribute", which means the content could be WP:USERGENERATED Lil-℧niquԐ1 - (Talk) - 19:48, 17 April 2020 (UTC)

Agree. Nikkimaria (talk) 20:27, 17 April 2020 (UTC)
WP:USERGENERATED is a section of Wikipedia:Reliable sources. While MusicBrainz doesn’t qualify as a reliable source, this template doesn’t list reliable sources. It’s more of a list that should appear in the External links section if it wasn’t in a uniform template; WP:ELMAYBE (“Links to be considered”) allows non-reliable sources in the External links section. —Tacsipacsi (talk) 18:12, 22 April 2020 (UTC)
ELMAYBE allows non-reliable sources "from knowledgeable sources", not just any non-reliable sources. An "anyone can contribute" model doesn't fulfill that. Nikkimaria (talk) 20:22, 22 April 2020 (UTC)
And only on a case by case basis. Adding an unreliable site by default is a bad idea, and musicbrainz should be removed from the authority control template. If there are pages where it truly gives an added value beyond what other links provide, it can be added there manually. Fram (talk) 07:49, 23 April 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove MusicBrainz from the box. There were some previous discussions about this (these are two I could find: Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard/Archive 21#MusicBrainz and Template talk:Authority control/Archive 8#Discogs.com is not reliable for Authority Control – the last one calling for an RfC, while the topic keeps returning). The links are mostly low-value (linkfarm comes to mind), often to pages with erroneous information, and the fact that BBC webpages link to MusicBrainz is nowadays hardly a proof of quality. Editors who have checked the content of the MusicBrainz page they are linking to can still use an appropriate template of the {{Musicbrainz}} family, but it should never be a default to link to that website. The fact that MusicBrainz copies Wikipedia content (Wikipedia being by status an unreliable source) does not improve the situation: what is the use of reading an outdated version of the Wikipedia article one is linked from? --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:42, 23 April 2020 (UTC)


We have indeed had this discussion before. MusicBrainz is not merely "linked to" by the BBC; it is the primary identifier used by the BBC for authority control for musicians and bands (not least to link their content to ours). If it's good enough for them... Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:41, 23 April 2020 (UTC)

We're not asking the BBC to remove that link, they are free to use it as much as they like, and whether we have it in the AC template won't impact this linking they do. The pages they present are hardly BBC quality journalistic pages, they are simply a rather cheap service they provide with our text (in most cases, for some musicians they do have their own text and additional info). If they wanted to present reliable, fact-checked information, they wouldn't simply show our text either. Fram (talk) 07:31, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
Well, I've been surfing the "music" section of the BBC website for some hours now, and couldn't find a single link to the MusicBrainz website any more (nor to Wikipedia for that matter). They obviously still use MusicBrainz numbers in page names, but neither mention, nor link, nor explain where those awkward code urls come from (e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/works/89fb55bf-8822-3f4c-8cd3-4f8a7ce020a1 - suspiciously empty page, still uses the code as in the corresponding MusicBrainz page, http://musicbrainz.org/work/89fb55bf-8822-3f4c-8cd3-4f8a7ce020a1 – but other than that is completely useless). Could it be that BBC has given up linking to MusicBrainz? If so, seems like we should do likewise!
As an example of the low quality of MusicBrainz pages: Art Thou With Me at MusicBrainz. In the second column they apparently can't decide whether it's the "Art Thou With Me" or the "If Thou Be Near" translation of the aria which is sung. In the fourth column they can't decide whether the composer or the choir is the artist. The sixth column apparently assumes Bach was still alive in 1994, as artist "releasing" the track. Some rows mention no composer; other rows mention no performer; the page has no info whatsoever on recording date (are these different releases of the same recording, or different recordings?); etc., etc. All of this is quite confusing, and thus ultimately useless, info.
Pinging Jc86035 who said they were preparing an RfC on this (in late 2018 – see second discussion linked in my post above). What's the update on that? --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:42, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
@Francis Schonken: The RfC is at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 148#RfC: authority control, and concluded with the result that user-generated databases shouldn't be added to {{Authority control}} (although the conclusion doesn't say anything about removing, which is the pertinent issue here). Personally, I don't think it's absolutely necessary to link to MusicBrainz, since the standard "canonical" identifiers for recorded music are ISRCs and ISWCs. However, there are several issues with using those identifiers:
  • The canonical database for ISWCs doesn't allow for direct links, making its inclusion in the template pointless (there's nothing to link to). Furthermore, its coverage of classical music compositions is much worse than MusicBrainz's, because it is a relatively recent system (dating to the 1990s) and compositions are primarily registered for commercial purposes. International Standard Music Numbers exist for sheet music, but that too was only developed in the 1990s.
  • ISRCs don't fit into Wikidata's data model well, since individual tracks, remixes, cover recordings and so on usually don't have their own Wikipedia articles (only the compositions do). I'm only aware of a very small number of exceptions, such as "The Star Spangled Banner" (Whitney Houston recording). This means that it will be more difficult to link to them in the authority control template, it is more difficult to add them to Wikidata, and it may be necessary to curate them manually (e.g. to omit some or all cover versions).
  • Both identifiers are severely underused on Wikidata, especially compared to MusicBrainz identifiers.
  • There are no analogous identifiers for musicians, instruments, labels, locations, series or albums (in MusicBrainz, artists, instruments, labels, places, series and release groups respectively).
  • Wikidata's data model for music items is a mess because the data seems to have been imported from Wikipedias without any serious consideration for how to model complex music items properly (and the MusicBrainz-esque model that was more recently established is not used very widely).
I think it would be best if we could link to some identifier even if MusicBrainz is removed, but MusicBrainz may still be the best available option because it has a coherent data model and good coverage for Wikipedia-notable artists and compositions.
MusicBrainz's coverage is not very good for cover recordings. I'm not going to try to defend them on this, because it's basically certain that they will never completely document every cover in existence. I don't think anyone will, even assuming that coverage is achieved for every Wikipedia-notable composition. That issue doesn't mean we should exclude their other data. Jc86035 (talk) 09:05, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the link! The RfC was pretty broad, and thus did not give a specific answer on MusicBrainz. I think the question is independent of whether or not there is a replacement system. The question is: MusicBrainz suckshas issues, but does it suckare its issues bad enough to be removed from this template? As said: other templates are available which can be used on music-related articles. I use, e.g., {{IMSLP}} and {{ChoralWiki}} for articles on classical music, which are not, nor need to be, in the {{Authority control}} box. The IMSLP website is developing its own cataloguing system, potentially, in the future, covering anything that was ever composed. Other than that, BnF, which is in the {{Authority control}} box, has a quite broad coverage of music, and that's only a small part of all topics they cover, so that's a better one to include in the {{Authority control}} box. There's, afaik, no specific "movies" related identifier in the box, nor one limited to television programmes, nor one limited to whatever images, or to moving images. So why should there be one limited to music in this box? More topic-specific identifiers can be found at Wikidata anyhow, no need to burden Wikipedia's pages with these if they're on average only half-good or worse. Maybe best to handle MusicBrainz in a separate RfC, and only for this box, which might give a clear answer. Notwithstanding, before launching such RfC, I'd like to see some instances or examples where MusicBrainz has produced pages of which they can be proud if Wikipedia links to them. So give me some *good* examples. I can link to truckloads of *bad* examples, so I need no help with that, but show me where MusicBrainz is at its best? --Francis Schonken (talk) 09:44, 24 April 2020 (UTC): Updated 13:05, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
@Francis Schonken: I would be hesitant to claim that MusicBrainz "sucks", especially since you don't seem to be very familiar with the website.
  • The use of Wikipedia content is to provide context and is automatically generated based on links to Wikidata or Wikipedia. It is usually not copied and pasted and your statement that they do so is incorrect. MusicBrainz is much more database-focused and it would be a waste of volunteer time to rewrite that information.
  • I would be hesitant to claim that MusicBrainz links are less important than others, at least relative to others in the authority control template. The whole point of collecting these links at the very bottom of the page is that they are useful firstly as identifiers and secondarily as sources of information, and MusicBrainz functions as both.
  • Adding {{Authority control}} usually ends up being much easier than adding templates like {{MusicBrainz artist}} because of the automatic functionality. Furthermore, because links can be added or removed in the module, it could be considered less disruptive in certain situations (e.g. if there's consensus that links to a given website should be removed or that a template should be deleted or replaced).
  • The BBC website primarily uses MusicBrainz for its identifiers and to display content originating from the BBC website. For example, on Bach's page, only the compositions that have associated BBC audio files are shown. The reason that the page you linked is empty is that the BBC does not have any content for it. I would hardly call that an abandonment.
  • The reason that the German title is shown is because that is the track title shown on the album. This is almost certainly not a transcription error; it's most likely the result of the decision of the album's publisher. Same for the artist – Bach is the primary artist shown on the album cover, so he gets put in that field. Both of these cases are covered in MusicBrainz's official style guidelines.
  • The information for that particular recording, quite frankly, is not "useless". It's probably not useful for Wikipedia, since there will almost certainly never be an article about this particular rendition of "Bist du bei mir", and it will probably never be mentioned in the article "Bist du bei mir" unless the recording is used in the article after it enters the public domain. However, the information given almost certainly matches the credits used on the four different albums where the recording was published, and it is useful in that way because it provides a record of those albums' metadata.
While I appreciate that we are all trying to resolve the issue at hand, there is no need to make incorrect or meaningless assertions. MusicBrainz is a valuable resource even though it's user-generated, as is Wikipedia. The question is whether this status affects its inclusion in the template, and there is an argument to be made that its relative reliability and the stability of its identifiers should allow it to be retained. Jc86035 (talk) 11:46, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
Re. "sucks", OK, too strong, replaced by "has issues". --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:05, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
Re. "It is usually not copied and pasted and your statement that they do so is incorrect" – your statement that they don't is incorrect. Afaics from the code of MusicBrainz's web pages they use a "cache" (i.e. not a "live connection"). Maybe the cache is updated frequently, so that any change to the corresponding Wikipedia page is updated within seconds, but I see no information in that regard (well, for example for the Bach page you linked above the only date with regard to the "freshness" of the content on that page is "... last modified on 2016-05-05 08:30 UTC" which does not exactly read like an encouraging message about the "freshness" of the data on that page, neither of the "freshness" of MusicBrainz's original content nor of the material they copied from elsewhere). But the point you are disputing has written "same difference" all over it:
  • I don't like when I click on a link in a Wikipedia page, to be led to a stale version of the same content;
  • I don't like when I click on a link in a Wikipedia page, to be led to *exactly the same* version of the same content...
  • ... and I dislike even more than either of these two things happening that when I click on a link in a Wikipedia page, to be led to a page that has no indication of whether the content is a stale or verbatim copy of the page I clicked away from.
So makes no difference: a link where one clicks away from Wikipedia, should not have the same content as the Wikipedia page one clicks away from, whether that copy is stale, or up-to-date, or unclear about being stale or up-to-date. IMHO it's quite ridiculous to keep such links in Wikipedia. --Francis Schonken (talk) 15:04, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
@Francis Schonken: That "last modified" text applies only to the annotation that's above it, not the Wikipedia article text below it. The annotation is just useful information for MusicBrainz editors. I don't think it's surprising or concerning that it was last edited then, because annotations aren't an integral part of the database.
At the bottom of the right sidebar, it's indicated that Bach's MusicBrainz item was last edited on 2019-09-07 at 17:00 UTC. There is no date for the Wikipedia article. (Note that the date indicates when the data hosted within the entity was updated, and so only certain related edits are counted; if you're logged in and view all related edits, the last edit – an import of a release from Discogs – was actually just under four hours ago.)
It's clearly cached, since my changes aren't being reflected instantaneously, but that's very normal. Wikipedia is, in fact, also cached (shocking, I know). The cache update time is certainly less than a month, and is probably less than a day. Even if that weren't the case, Bach hasn't composed anything new in a while, so I don't think an infrequently updated cache would be much of an issue.
Regardless, the Wikipedia info isn't even the main information on the page. The main reason that this template links to MusicBrainz is for the data and the unique and reliable identifiers, which are obviously not copied from Wikipedia (the data is usually imported from CDs or streaming services, and MusicBrainz generates its own identifiers). The Wikipedia article is clearly supposed to be for the convenience of people who clicked to MusicBrainz first, and it has virtually no impact on the actual operation of the site. Jc86035 (talk) 16:38, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
Clearly, off-topic. I'll initiate an RfC ASAP to get some wider input. --Francis Schonken (talk) 21:47, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
But that was precisely what you were complaining about, so I just felt obligated to clear it up. Jc86035 (talk) 12:34, 25 April 2020 (UTC)
The differnce between IDs for works and for editions of works was explained to Francis in the previous discussion. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:20, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
"We're not asking the BBC to remove that link" and nor did I say that we are. Got any other straw men that need debunking? My point is that MusicBrainz IDs are both useful and good enough for a highly-scrutinised, reputable, public body. Yes, you can find a few bad examples; there are few such schemes where you cannot. That is not indicative of the overall quality or utility. "Could it be that BBC has given up linking to MusicBrainz?" No. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:20, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
The BBC music pages are not "highly scrutinized", they are automatically generated and contain only a portion of the Wikipedia article, apart from a select few pages where they have added their own info. And Musicbrainz pages are way too often filled with rubbish, as extensively documented in previous discussions about this site. For the BBC; let's take a band which has been around for nearly sixty years and had some hmajor hits around the world. The BBC page[1] only contains the Wikipedia text, and has a disclaimer about its accuracy. This also has a link to "Find out more about our use of this data.", but that link gives a server error. Fram (talk) 12:45, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
@Fram: It's inevitable that the BBC pages are sometimes empty, because they mainly serve to show the content that the BBC has, not the content that MusicBrainz has. It's not MusicBrainz's fault if the BBC's music collection is biased towards certain languages or genres.
I think the examples you gave in 2018 serve mainly to illustrate that MusicBrainz is not very complete (which is true, since it's an order of magnitude smaller than Spotify's catalogue), but this is probably unavoidable because the import process is inevitably partially dependent on the music that MusicBrainz editors are aware of and listen to. It doesn't mean that the information it currently has is incorrect (the sole error that you noted seems to have been fixed in the meantime). The overwhelming majority of artist and release group identifiers will be stable for as long as the site exists.
MusicBrainz allows searching through edits, so this could help with giving us a better picture of what the overall database is actually like (rather than just cherrypicking examples). As an example, this is a search for recently merged artists. Most of these result from import errors, in which case the newer entity is almost always merged into the older entity. The last 2,500 of these (25 per page) go back to 22 October 2019, so the rate of artist import errors (which have been corrected) is approximately 13.5 per day, or 4,935 per year, or 0.0030 per year per artist (there are 1.6 million artists in MusicBrainz). Ideally we could then compare this rate to the rate of detected import errors for the same sort of data in another similar database (i.e. one which has to create unique identifiers for humans and groups of humans based on credits to creative works). Jc86035 (talk) 13:55, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
(Disclosure: I've edited MusicBrainz before. In my 553 edits so far, I've had to fix a number of errors that were introduced by other editors or bots; the majority of them were the result of incorrect Wikidata links which came about due to incorrect interpretation of (correct) links to sections of Wikipedia articles. There were a few fixes to errors within the tracklists of albums, however. Jc86035 (talk) 14:16, 24 April 2020 (UTC))
I did not claim that the BBC pages are "sometimes empty", none were empty, but most have only the Wikipedia artcle, nothing more. I didn't claim that that's Musicbrainz fault, I just posted this to refute the claim that these are "highly scrutinized" pages because they have the BBC label. The BBC is here basically a simple mirror for musicbrainz / wikipedia, nothing more or less. To use those pages as justification to have a musicbrainz link in the AC template is rather circular reasoning. I don't quite get what the remainder of your argument is trying to prove or disprove. An example that has been given multiple times and still remains is that Jan van Eyck has a Musicbrainz link in his AC template (among many other links with zero value for our readers, but let's stick to MB for now). As has, for example, Odilon Redon. Why? That page has a ridiculous 28 identifiers, most of which give no useuful information for our readers at all: they simply repeat the same basic stuff ("French painter" in different languages, and have a short selection of the very same list of identifiers. Wikidata is a good place to have these, that's one of the purposes of Wikidata. On enwiki, these are a prime example of offering too much, thereby hiding the useuful ones (the forest hiding the trees). The benefit of [2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]... on the English Wikipedia is nil. This one even gives an error. This template needs pruning, and Musicbrainz would make a good start. Fram (talk) 14:39, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
@Fram: I think the BBC's use of MusicBrainz mainly serves to validate MusicBrainz as a useful database (because clearly they found it good enough to use for their purposes), but it's not the only reason to use MusicBrainz for data related to music. I do suspect, however, that if that part of the BBC's website had been created some years later it may well have used Wikidata instead.
I'm not trying to prove or disprove anything in the third paragraph; I'm giving an example of a tool which could help us to ascertain whether MusicBrainz is actually more or less error-prone than other databases (rather than just making claims without evidence about the reliability of MusicBrainz). All large manually-curated databases inevitably contain errors; Wikidata editors have found more than a thousand errors in VIAF, for example.
Most of the links you give are to national libraries and the like. While I think there is a case to be made for reducing the number of links, it would probably only be appropriate to call for the removal of all of the links to national libraries at once, rather than, say, all except one. The other databases – especially the ones which are domain-specific – may be useful external links in their own right as well as useful for authority control. Jc86035 (talk) 16:21, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
"The BBC music pages are not "highly scrutinized'" When I asked "got any other straw men that need debunking", I was not expecting anybody to take me literally. Nobody claimed "BBC music pages are highly scrutinized"; I said the BBC is "a highly-scrutinised, reputable, public body". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:37, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

RfC prep

Proposed venue
WP:VPT? This page, i.e. the concerned template's talk page, or e.g. also Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Music (since MusicBrainz is —leaving Jan van Eyck-like exceptions aside— primarily about music-related topics) could be possible too, but since the previous (more general) RfC was held on a Village Pump page, this follow-up RfC that tries to clarify one of the points that was left without answer in the previous one should maybe be best in a similar place? Since this current RfC is not so much about "setting" policy, but about how editors assess what would be the best option (in a framework of existing guidance and habits that need not necessarily be re-interpreted), I suggested rather VPT than VPP (which is where the previous one was). --Francis Schonken (talk) 12:58, 25 April 2020 (UTC)
Proposed section title
RfC: should the "Authority control" template continue to include MusicBrainz identifiers?
Proposed RFCCATs
I'd propose these WP:RFCCATs: {{rfc|bio|media|policy|tech}} – kept "policy" in while guidance like WP:EL may have some tangential (or more than tangential?) importance. --Francis Schonken (talk) 12:58, 25 April 2020 (UTC)
Proposed opening statement
Should {{Authority control}} continue to include MusicBrainz identifiers?
Basics and technicalities:
  • The {{Authority control}} template, usually found as last of the navigation templates at the bottom of Wikipedia articles, lists a series of internally linked authority control systems, each followed by an external link to the identifier for the topic of the Wikipedia article in that system. These are international systems of one-of-a-kind unique identifiers which as well distinguish topics with a similar name, as that they identify the preferential name for a topic within a system. Example (using Bibliothèque nationale de France identifiers):
    • Engelbert Humperdinck (composer)BNF 13895404h
    • Engelbert Humperdinck (singer)BNF 13970123h
    • Engelbert Humperdinck (album)BNF 378510480
  • MusicBrainz is a WP:USERGENERATED website, which has separate pages on various music-related topics. The URL of each page ends on a multi-digit code, which works similarly as an identifier in an authority control system, e.g.:
  • Wikidata is the international authority control system of Wikimedia projects (including Wikipedias in all available languages, Wikimedia Commons, Wikisource, ...). It is recognised by other international authority control systems, e.g.: VIAF 71578307 links to Engelbert Humperdinck (Q55010). Likewise, MusicBrainz's page on the composer (see link above) links to that same Wikidata item. The Wikidata item on the composer is not accessed directly from the {{Authority control}} box at the bottom of the composer's article: the Wikidata item on the composer is accessed via the Wikidata item link in the left margin of the article (which is always present, whether or not the {{Authority control}} box is placed).
  • By default, an {{Authority control}} box placed in an article retrieves its content from the corresponding Wikidata item, that is: the box lists and links the authority control records of the systems accepted by the template (see list of tracking categories), when the corresponding Wikipedia item contains a value, a.k.a. property, of such an external authority control system. Values for external links in the box can be overridden locally, but once a value for the property has been defined in the Wikidata item, the listing and linking of the external authority control system can not be omitted from an {{Authority control}} box once it is placed in an article. For clarity: the RfC question is not about omitting authority control identifiers from Wikidata, but on whether or not MusicBrainz identifiers should be kept as tracking categories in Wikipedia's {{Authority control}} box.
Previous (much broader) RfC: Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 148#RfC: authority control (Dec. 2018 to Feb. 2019: came to no conclusion about the MusicBrainz identifier which at that time was already included in the {{Authority control}} box)
Previous related discussion: Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard/Archive 21#MusicBrainz (May-June 2018; "external link" aspect, discussion without formal closure: did not result in a change w.r.t. acceptability of linking to MusicBrainz pages as part of an "External links" list)
Around the same time proposals regarding a selective display of some authority control identifiers, while omitting others, was extensively discussed at Template talk:Authority control/Archive 7#Suppressing local display via null parameters – without resulting in anything.
Last discussion on the topic (leading to this RfC): Template talk:Authority control#MusicBrainz

Maybe the "Background" part of the proposed opening statement explanation above could be collapsed, while many editors may be aware of what this is about without needing a beginner's guide. --Francis Schonken (talk) 12:58, 25 April 2020 (UTC)

Since this RfC is considerably narrower than the last I'd suggest here as a venue, perhaps with pointers from the other possibilities you mention. Having it here would also limit the need for an extensive background. Nikkimaria (talk) 15:02, 25 April 2020 (UTC)
Disagree on both points. If a broad RfC fails to establish consensus, then a follow-up RfC can ask a more specific question (in order to avoid, what happened in the first RfC, that discussions go in all directions about a plethora of topics without the closer being able to derive much from the cacophony); on the other hand, trying to make an RfC for a narrower participation is not a good idea: see WP:LOCALCONSENSUS – trying to outdo where the broad community has established "lack of consensus" by a slightly more "local" consensus, might be perceived as not outdoing the previous lack of consensus:
  • WP:VPT is more likely to attract broader attendance than having it here;
  • I hope for an influx of music-experienced editors who may or may not have had prior experience with authority control and/or MusicBrainz, so the "beginners"-intro will likely stay wherever the RfC is posted: such editors can maybe form a fresh view of what value Wikipedia should attach to this.
--Francis Schonken (talk) 15:52, 25 April 2020 (UTC)
@Francis Schonken: Should the RfC take into account more than the proposed two outcomes? It's possible that there could be consensus to only show a certain subset of MusicBrainz identifiers (e.g. only artists and works); currently there are eight types of MusicBrainz entities which are shown on all pages with available data, which could be restricted e.g. by removing some of those types from Module:Authority control. However, dealing with this might necessitate a more complicated RfC format. I'm fine with the rest of the proposal, although I would ask if you plan to have separate subsections for supports, opposes and general discussion (I would prefer this since it would make the overview of the discussion clearer).
There's also the option of turning this into a larger RfC on the authority control template in general, which could resolve what Fram was tangentially discussing above (see also the TfD discussion for this template). I don't have any strong preference for whether or not to do that, but it's something that could be considered. Jc86035 (talk) 05:21, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
People can bring that up of course (says nowhere the RfC question should be answered by "yes" or "no" exclusively); in my proposal, I now linked to an earlier discussion on "selective suppression" of some identifiers in the box. So that should be clear enough that this is a legitimate topic in the RfC.
Re. "might necessitate a more complicated RfC format" – let me say pre-emptively no to that. I don't think I have lessons to learn from the Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 148#RfC: authority control setup, which imho, indeed, "failed" as the closer put it, probably largely due to an overcomplicated RfC format. Simple questions tend to get rather straightforward answers, and that is what I'm aiming at here. Two years have passed since we had that last discussion on selective display of authority control items. Anything that worked could have been implemented in the mean while, but it wasn't. So I'm not going to complicate an RfC by listing an option that was not implemented, although it had some traction some two years ago: seems to indicate developers of the template are not interested in implementing such option, and that's that. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:35, 26 April 2020 (UTC)

MBAREA

I suggest to remove the parameter |MBAREA= (d:Property:P982) from this template. It's useless. Looking at the examples for this property at Wikidata explains what I mean. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:54, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

Agree. Nikkimaria (talk) 03:06, 17 May 2020 (UTC)

Link to PIC not safe?

Can others confirm that the link to PIC (whatever that is) is not safe? When I go to this link, I get

Je verbinding is niet privé Cybercriminelen proberen mogelijk je gegevens van pic.nypl.org te stelen (bijvoorbeeld wachtwoorden, berichten of creditcardgegevens). Meer informatie NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID

If this is the case for everyone, I guess this should be removed from the template (it appears on nearly 10,000 articles, see Category:Wikipedia articles with PIC identifiers). Fram (talk) 06:43, 23 June 2020 (UTC)

It seems their HTTPS certificate expired on 4 April 2019. How does http://pic.nypl.org/constituents/306210 work for you? -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:55, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
Works, but is unsafe (http instead of http) so probably shouldn't be used either (although I can't immediately find the guidance to avoid http links. I thought this was policy already, but apparently not?). Fram (talk) 07:10, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
Oh, and not intended as snark towards you, Michael; if the certificate expired in April 2019, does this mean that these 10,000 links haven't worked for over a year now and no one mentioned this? Makes you wonder how often these are actually used of course... Fram (talk) 07:13, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
a) HTTPS is unnecessary and pointless for web sites that don't provide user interaction, IOW, read-only sites. b) Your observation about the usefulness and usage of authority control records is most probably correct. They normally don't provide any additional information; I use them very rarely, mainly to confirm year-of-birth. That would be just as easy to do if authority control records would not be shown in articles but only be available via Wikidata. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 10:32, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
It's off-topic for here, but the idea that http is not needed for certain websites died several years ago. It's correct that you're (probably) not going to enter your bank credentials at that website but http can easily be monitored and hijacked. Let's not debate that here but I thought I'd mention there is a counter-view. I just tried to explain the problem in a contact email to the NYPL library. Only the wildly optimistic would think that would lead to any action but one lives in hope. Johnuniq (talk) 10:50, 23 June 2020 (UTC)

Bob Mann (American football)

Not sure if this is the best place to ask, but would someone more knowledgeable then me check out Bob Mann (American football) and see what is going on with the authority control? It seems to be pulling in info about a separate Bob Mann who supposedly was born and died in the same years as the football player. I can edit the Wikidata to remove these references, but wanted someone to check it out beforehand to make sure I am not missing something. Cheers, « Gonzo fan2007 (talk) @ 15:27, 7 July 2020 (UTC)

It looks like there was a second Robert Mann, who was also born in 1924 and died in 2006, who is confusing VIAF and LCCN. I have created a very stubby stub at Robert Wellesley Mann, who was clearly notable and should have a Wikipedia article. If someone can create a Wikidata page for this other Robert Mann, that might be the next step in getting this issue sorted. – Jonesey95 (talk) 16:17, 7 July 2020 (UTC)
I think it's sorted now. I think the problem started many years ago when someone added the wrong VIAF ID to the football article, and then that incorrect ID was moved to Wikidata. The bare URLs at the new article are sad, but refill and reflinks both appear to be down, and I don't have the energy to create manual cite templates at the moment. – Jonesey95 (talk) 17:42, 7 July 2020 (UTC)