Duplicate observations are quite common nowadays on iNat. Most of our flags are just spammed with duplicate observation flags. I’ve even made a few myself by accident due to the uploader going wrong, or my own overlook.
A large portion of these duplicate observations are showing multiple instances of the same species. For example, it is currently O.K. on iNaturalist, to upload the same picture twice, if, there is two (or more) different species and both observations are for both species.
However … in the case of rarer species, a photo may be taken of two individuals of the same species and uploaded in two different instances. This would be labelled as a duplicate observation - but is it?
In the case of this imaginary observation, it doesn’t do that much other than give the observer one more observation, and the locality would be basically the same, and the GBIF data would be hardly noticeable. This is why, as a rule of thumb, most naturalists including myself just would make one observation for this.
So the real question for iNat Staff and other Curators - are we being fair to label different individuals of the same species in the same picture as a duplicate observation? If we are, how so?
Also, a lot of duplicate observations have one or more other species in the photo. Why not ID for those species instead of flagging it as a duplicate automatically?