Captive/Cultivated is Not Just a Waste Bin

The curator guidelines say the only time you should mark humans as captive/cultivated is for prisoners or hostages. Any other is wild.

Similarly, a human artifact such as a toilet is in the same situation. It is evidence of a wild organism, therefore the correct course of action is to ID it as Human, not mark it as captive. Believe it or not the toilet actually is wild.


I agree with the original post and think this is another example of a disconnect between intended purpose (making it possible to filter for captive observations, e.g. for IDs) and unrelated goal (removing “junk” from Needs ID by making it casual).

Intended purpose (I assume): It is possible in ID mode to filter for captive/cultivated observations. It will then exclude other “casual” observations such as those without pics/locations, or things that don’t show evidence of organism. This is a useful feature for those who go through captive observations for IDs. Yes, a lot of those can be identified - e.g. for plants just grab a gardening catalog for your area or a book on common houseplants to help with IDs.

However, if things like jokes, man-made objects, blurry pics, whatever are marked “captive” it dilutes what could be a useful way of narrowing down the casual observations to those that could be further identified.


I guess I don’t understand what you mean by that. Like I said, marking something captive requires just one keystroke, and all the other DQA actions take manipulating a mouse, and clicking at least three things to perform the action, then get back to where I was initially.

And in the end, both actions end up giving the observation an equivalent status, so why would people use the more time consuming method?


If they cared about website, they would spend 3 secs more to mark it correctly.


There’s the right way, and there’s the easy way. I guess that’s your point, yeah? :)


Hardly. Those 3 clicks maybe take 1 second.

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I guess another factor is that my internet connection is slow, so it unfortunately takes some time for the other tabs to appear when I click on them (can end up taking 5 -10 s). I guess this might not be a problem for the majority with better connectivity


I use “No Evidence of Organism” rather than Captive / Cultivated for duplicates. I’m not really a power identifier, so the extra time to vote in the DQA doesn’t bother me. IMO commenting rarely works, but I usually do it as well. Does my method seem acceptable to those of you who are bothered by the incorrect use of “Not Wild”?


There’s a topic about “no evidence of organism”, with people on both sides.

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This is the iNat stance I disagree with most. This logic could just as easily try to justify every image on iNat as a evidence of a homo sapien- it takes a human made device to create a photograph, so a pure black image is evidence that a homo artifact was in some place.

Duplicate picture of a wild organism? Evidence a human was there. Rose garden? Human planted it. Pretty picture of ice or clouds? Human. Sooner or later someone is going to take this stance and it honestly makes as much sense as IDing a road sign as a person.


You are not alone … waiting … for … iNat to react to your last click.


Yes, that is true. But it can simply be thought of as if the obvious subject is a Human or Human artifact, then IDing it as Human in the correct course of action. If not, then it isn’t.

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I don’t see anything about human prisoners or hostages in the curator guide. It says “Please keep in mind that pictures of pets, humans, obvious test observations, and drawings that depict the organism observed are appropriate, unless someone repeatedly posts such content.” Did I miss something or look in the wrong place?

Some people would argue that humans are not “wild organisms”. Either way, you might be able to exclude “homo sapiens” in a search for captive/cultivated organisms to get what you’re after without changing a lot of observations of humans.

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In California, there is a toilet that was released into the wild many years ago, and survives there to this day:


Well, they are not equivalent - that’s a misconception. To stick with the metaphor of the thread title and the bit of potty humor going on: Think of it as sorting garbage. (And no, I’m not suggesting any of the observations on iNat are garbage, just using this as a metaphor to illustrate the concept!)

There’s the recycling bins for paper, glass etc. These are the “Needs ID” bins.

Then there’s a compost bin. This is for the captive/cultivated stuff. Sometimes it’s smelly and not everybody has use for it, but for the gardeners out there this stuff is gold.

A hazardous waste disposal team that takes care of picking up anything toxic that has been appropriately labeled (e.g. copyright violations etc).

And the remaining trash, such as non-recyclable plastics etc. (e.g. no photo/location), should go into the garbage can destined for the landfill.

Marking things that are not actually captive/cultivated as such because it takes a couple fewer steps is basically the equivalent of throwing plastics and other landfill waste into the compost bin because you can’t be bothered to walk over to the garbage can. It doesn’t belong there and will just render the compost worthless.


Agree. A DQA option for duplicates would save so much hassle for curators. Not everyone comments on a flag that the user has been informed of the duplicate, which is a really important detail, since users don’t see flags on their content, but they have a better (but not guaranteed) chance of seeing comments. So curators have to check each “duplicate” flag to see if the user has been (hopefully) alerted to the issue.


It’s possible I’m misremembering things, as I can’t find it now, either. I know I read that somewhere though…

I thought all Homo sapiens, human, were automatically marked Casual by iNat. But can’t find that either…

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They are, making it more of a reason not mark them captive - it’s pointless!


Yes, they are, once a community ID of human is reached. I’m guessing some identifiers get impatient if that takes 2-3 votes because of pre-existing non-human IDs.

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