Amount of "Unknown" records is decreasing

Can anything be done about this situation, it appears in almost every thread about iding, may iNat stuff have a talk about such behaviour? (I mean humiliating iders, not uploading unknowns).

No, I meant the age of the user account, not the age of the observation.

I don’t think you can filter on that (recent users only goes back a week or so), so you have to look at their profile page to see when the account was created.

So when I’m IDing and see something like this:

I click on their userid and see when their account was created.

But I see what you mean about adding a coarse ID when it has been sitting at unknown for 3 months or more.

Oh interesting, thanks

1 Like

Also, if there’s anything in the placeholder, like in the screenshot I posted, be sure to copy it and paste it as a comment when you do your coarse ID (so you are still only IDing to where you feel confident, but the placeholder is still visible and not “hidden” in the json).

Unfortunately they are easy to overlook and the feature request to preserve them in the observation comment was denied, so you have to be vigilant.


Thanks, I always do that too, unless I miss it. These happened to all have the placeholder ‘tree’, so I did not.

1 Like

It is easy to miss, especially when you are kind of in the zone when doing a bunch of IDs for unknowns.

I’d encourage everyone to flag inappropriate comments when they see them, and especially to reach out to the staff directly at when they see a longtime pattern of inappropriate behavior.

1 Like

I don’t use the app, and I’ve been wondering . . . when a person makes identifications on the app, is it possible to see the description section of the observation where the observer can state which organism in the photo(s) is the subject? Oh, I just noticed you said “external phone app.” I’m not sure if that means an iNaturalist app or something else.

Could mean on a mobile browser.

Thanks. I thought using thumbnails was the main reason that description sections didn’t seem to be visible, but it just occurred to me that the apps might not have them visible either. Then again, there’s no date on additions to or edits to the description section, so that makes it hard to figure out as well.

Yes the description shows up!


Thank you. That’s good.

Oh because having them lost in the rubbish of the unknown bin is so much better! ;)


It’s not the iNat app. Though the description does appear. It lets you ID to Plantae/Animalia/Fungi with a swipe.
I am happy to give details in a private message, because it’s a bit TOO efficient for me to want just anyone to use it. It lets me go through nearly 100 observations a minute.

Thanks, but that wasn’t what I was getting at. I just wondered why there seemed to be more instances of State of Matter Life observations lately with (1) a specified organism in the Description section, and (2) one identification by someone else of a different organism (both being in the photos). Since it takes three identifiers to get the community taxon back to the one specified by the observer, I was just trying to understand whether the Description sections are missing on the apps, and the answer above is that they are not missing.


Just a FYI. I have just updated the State of matter Life cleanup numbers. There has been an increase in instances in all taxons that were being offered up.


Sometimes it’s tempting to answer “No” to “Based on the evidence, can the Community Taxon still be confirmed or improved?”, just to get rid of it.

Picture of a bird on a moss, other people ID the bird, then the observer intends to ID the blurred moss.

How many people will waste time reviewing this observation (attempting to solve the “State of matter Life” status)?

In that case the observer originally IDed it as a bird (with CV, so it could have been a mistake), so that’s where much of the confusion came in. As for how many people…however many it takes to get to 2/3 community ID.
Whether it’s “wasted time” or not is up to the individual identifiers. Some of us don’t mind spending our time on observations like your example. Others do. For those of us who don’t mind, it’s not wasted time.


OK, I understand.

Better asking the observer in such a case.

1 Like