An abundance of duplicate observation flags

As many of you have likely noticed there have been a lot of duplicate observation flags in the last day or two. They’re burying other flags. What is the appropriate course of action here, if any?

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Contact the users and ask them to delete the duplicates. Either a comment or a DM is fine. Responsible users delete quite readily if contacted. I’ve spent quite a lot of time resolving these flags, too, in the last couple of days. .

I think the users have already been contacted - I guess I wonder if there should be another category of flags for duplicates so that the duplicate flags don’t bury taxa/inappropriate flags.

That is an intriguing suggestion. Sort of like there’s a separate filter for copyright infringement and spam flags?

It was discussed and staff answered there likely won’t be new flag category, but a DQA vote, with @tiwane saying we shouldn’t use flags anymore, but for now it’s a strange situation, because last time I asked if flagging is ok for curators I got an answer that curators use some filters and aren’t bothered by duplicate flags, so this topic is a surprise for me.

Yeah, that’s what I’m proposing. Preferably with the requirement of linking the duplicate for easy reference.

Thanks for linking - I had looked for something similar to what I’m suggesting but couldn’t find it.

I guess this is technically resolved then. The duplicate flags are still a pain imo, and it seems like the added “if the word duplicate is in the flag then it won’t save” functionality isn’t working properly. It might only work if there’s just the word “duplicate” on it’s own, and in English, because I’m still seeing a lot of these flags.


I did - painfully copypasta the duplicate links. But got no response from observers. Now I just - Duplicate please delete. Or please combine multiples.

@tiwane said there, “If duplicates are a problem for identifiers (and potentially data users) I think a better solution would be via a DQA vote or, probably most effective, clear instructions for new users…”

Re DQA vote, did I miss which one should be used? I used to use one but backed off after someone discouraged it iirc. Since then I’ve just been letting them fail upward in the id’s.

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I thought @kueda had implemented a change last month to specifically prevent flags for duplicates. Maybe it is not working as intended?


I think he meant a new one they will add, I just add no evidence of organism and many other people do that too, imo it’s better than just leaving duplicated data.

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If my duplicate copypasta comes up in my notifications again
Then I will - Life - no it is as good as it can be.

No evidence of life is usually not true.

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But it would only work if observation have 1-2 ids, and there’re many duplicates with tons of ids, also it’s incorrect to disagree with species if it’s present on photo, so it’s never correct until there’s a separate vote, but it seems it won’t be added soon.

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Thanks! OK then meanwhile I’ll resume my “no [additional] evidence” DQA use unless there are objections.


There is currently no DQA vote to address duplicates. Please don’t use a DQA vote for them. My comment was saying perhaps there should be, but right now none of them address the “problem” of duplicate observaitons.


Roger that, thanks!

Of course preventing curators from flagging duplicates is not the solution but, in many cases, unavoidavly end up leaving duplicates unflagged.
I mean those cases of users a) who do not read/reply to comments; b) are already gone and won’t use iNat anymore (duress/contests/bioblitzes/casual users); c) users who do not understand what a duplicate is or do not understand a comment in another language.

Instead, for me it is ok creating a specific duplicates category of flags

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Flag or not, I think that curators should be able to get rid of observations which are duplicate instead of the cumbersome process of copypasting the comment or DMing the user; you don’t need to be a curator to do that.

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Curators can’t do anything with observations, that’s the site policy, plus, in this situation those are not duplicates.

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