Notability policy

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f7d01892ad0>

MB gets a lot of new artists, labels and maybe other data.
I wish it would be fine to have a Notability Policy.
E.g. no artist without a release, recording or work (or other relevant relationship) or no label without releases.
There are some automatic deletes but they will not work if the entity has relationships.

Since this is well known, guys add relationships.

There are also a lot of Wikidata links added but often the Wikidata page is deleted very soon (often by not fulfilling the notability policy).

I think the policy on MB should take care of notability.
It may also be fine to have an automatic delete of deleted links (e.g. check new linked Wikidata pages a few days later).

Maybe also new editors should have less rights for new data (e.g. no direct creation of new labels/artist but only in case of adding/editing releases or respectively recordings).

Thank you for bringing this up, as I had been wanting write a post on it for some time (even though I have touched on it many times over the years).

MB really should create some form of notability beyond “it has to exist”.
The creation of SEO troll farms and paid advertisements that are created to look like legitimate articles…

These situations are getting far worse as technology becomes more readily accessible to the masses.

There is one guy, who uses these ‘self-published’ websites as his own personal “hacking arena”.
I left WP because I didn’t want to be the vandalism police. But he has me going to multiple sites every day… I see him add an artist on MB, I check WD/WP and find the same artist, I check IMDb and find the same artist, and if you’ve ever listened to the audio files on Soundcloud, they are the same few files being upload to “create” numerous artists. Even the images are all CGI.

2 Likes

But I do have to disagree with many of the points you made, such as

And that is because - not all artists fall into that category.
For example - that gig I played. It is an event. A live event. No recording. No streaming. Am I somehow less worthy of being considered a musician because I don’t have a Facebook account? I just performed in front of 1500 people. How is me not having an album that only got 3 plays over 3 years on Spotify going to discredit my musicianship. I can reach more people in one night than many artist do in a lifetime - all without the internet.

Even editors… I add a person and their links. I don’t add their music. Are you going to remove an artist because I was too lazy to create their albums.
Are you going to stalk my edits looking for newly created artists that don’t meet your standards. (cough cough)

6 Likes

"other relevant relationship" !!!
A gig can also a relevant relationship! Just create it.


If you want to talk about your edits: Follow the Code of Conduct and write Edit Notes! This would help more than adding useless aliases or changing valid URLs to cryptic ones or adding Wikidata links, where it is foreseeable they will be deleted soon.

2 Likes

If I can only tag and edit artists that meet a certain notability threshold MB becomes quite useless for me and I will move on.

However I agree with a bunch of your points, for instance that SEO pushers etc shouldn’t be allowed unless they are truly involved in making music - but isn’t that already the rule?

I think it would be smart to check for dead wikipedia links/relationships as you mention. Curious, how big is the problem of people creating fake (e.g. non music related) pages?

5 Likes

The only time I get this many no votes (at the same time) is when someone is intentionally trolling my history (usually with an axe to grind).

here is something I said 13 days ago -

1 Like

I’m happy with the “it must exist” threshold for notability.
This allows up and coming artists to have an ID in the database before they release an album.

The BBC use our identifiers when referencing artists on thair website by going to https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/MUSICBRAINZ_ARTIST_ID ie Daft Punk
We occasionally get musicians pop up on the forum that ask about thair ID and what they need to do to create an entry in the database.

This low threshold also has it’s problems as it makes it possible for the database to contain spam entries, Astroturfing, and include fake entries by people trying to establish a fake back story.
Occasionally poeple create fake artists and fake albums, add this to wikidata and add this to wikipedia to establish a fake back story.

4 Likes

Case in point:

2 Likes

Another recent hoax / scam:

1 Like

This thread seems to be conflating two different issues: notability and fraudulent/incorrect entries.

We don’t need to create/adjust a notability policy to deal with fraudulent/incorrect entries.

Also, even if someone is creating music just for the purposes of promoting some non-music enterprise, I’d argue that’s not necessarily reason to exclude them from musicbrainz.
And…

I’m not sure you can (even if I thought you should) craft a policy to address this that wouldn’t exclude entries such as John Cage’s (in)famous 4’33" and/or the entire “harsh noise music” genre.

Also, I’m amused by the idea of someone using Musicbrainz for SEO considering that we can’t even get google to index MusicBrainz properly

13 Likes

But ISNI is now issuing numbers from MB entries.

1 Like

I’m interested in how big this problem is - if it’s just a few edge cases then I don’t believe MB has a flawed system. I don’t see how changing policy text would deter these people in any case to be quite honest.

I would rather we deal with edge cases (if that’s all it is) on a ‘common sense’ basis, rather then do anything which might have a negative impact on legitimate users and artists.

2 Likes

I have yet to see any definition of “notable” that doesn’t discriminate against hobbyists/electronic musicians/etc.

Limiting new users to editing existing entries is also not acceptable IMO, an especially common motivation for new editors is “I have an album I want to tag that doesn’t exist in the database” (and by extension, the artist may not exist either). These editors will probably make more mistakes than an experienced editor, but they are also the only way to eventually become experienced editors.

It should also be noted that no amount of notability rules will stop actively “malicious” entries from appearing. If we notice incorrect or even entirely fake data, it should just be corrected or deleted as appropriate.

All in all I believe notability policies on other projects create more harm than they help, I know of multiple people who started Wikipedia articles only to have their hard work immediately deleted, with the frustration turning them away from ever trying to contribute again.

10 Likes

I very much agree with this. Let’s fight fraud by measuring the fraud problem and taking anti-fraud steps. Let’s not try to fight fraud by putting up barriers based on notability.

6 Likes

I agree with this also. I am in the habit of making MB entries for up and coming musicians in my town’s local music scene. I like to think that it is a small acknowledgement of their serious effort, that it helps make them a little more visible, and that it makes it easier to add entries for their albums once they release them.

I’d hate to see a notability policy which prevents MusicBrainz from recognising legitimate musicians just because they are early in their career, or not earning much revenue for Music Commerce Inc.

9 Likes