I get lost when we start talking about what the green button is, and what it could be, and red and yellow and green and blue… dang, my head get’s turned inside out!
My hypothetical cases:
Joe Inatter posts an observation, and calls it Agenus specifica. Harry Identifier comes along, and looks closely… sees it is blue, not green and deduces it can’t be Agenus specifica because those are green. Harry puts an ID of Agenus and ticks the box to say explicitly disagree with Agenus specifica. CID becomes Agenus with >2/3 agreement at that level.
Lets say it was a black and white photo, and Harry can’t tell if it’s blue or green, but knows it will be in genus Agenus, just not sure if Joe is right about the species. Harry IDs as Agenus and doesn’t tick the box to say explicitly disagree. Joe would have seen this in real life, and so would know whether it is blue or green, but hasn’t stated which in the description. It could be Agenus specifica, or it might be some other Agenus, Harry can’t tell from the photo. So Harry also comments: “Hey Joe, Agenus specifica are green, but if this was blue, then it would be best to ID at genus (Agenus in this case)”. CID is at species still as there has not been an explicit disagreement, which is how it should be because Joe saw this in real life, Harry is only seeing the photo. Joe may know more than Harry and can tell by the size of the toenails… who knows! But then Joe reads the comment and replies “oh, didn’t know that, yes it was blue!.. thanks for the tip!” and changes his ID to Agenus. Or he might reply "nah, you can tell by the toenails, but I also did see that it was green :) " in which case Harry sees his reply, and comments back “oh, I didn’t know about the toenail thing, interesting… I’ll have to look into the validity of that, but I can agree with you on the colour” and Harry changes his ID to Agenus specifica.
Or perhaps Harry is of the same mind as the scientific community generally, in that NO Agenus can be determined to species by photo, and that the green/blue thing is a misconception that is rife on the internet so gets mis-ID’d far too often! Same deal… it could be Agenus sopecifica, or it might not. Genus level ID with no explicit disagreement, and comment to Joe that “to ID to species it needs to be put through a blender, and the generally accepted position on these is to ID to genus”.
It falls down in nearly all cases when Joe doesn’t partake in the conversation, as there is no way to back up to the genus without an explicit disagreement. The observation “belongs” to Joe, so I don’t think anyone is morally correct to force the change back up to genus with a lie about their own view of what it is. I know observers that have changed their global settings to opt out of Community ID for this very reason.
We are all “equals” in iNat in terms of our IDs, so how would you feel if someone went through your observations and bumped them back to Plantae simply because that is where they feel they can only be ID’d to from the photograph they are looking at? I can just hear the reply now… “Oh, but some of us are more equal than others”…
It is difficult to walk away from an observation that you feel has the wrong ID, and the more expert you are, the more sure you can be about it being wrong… but it is NOT WRONG! CID is the result of the IDs made by all identifiers involved in that observation. If the CID is showing something that you feel is wrong, then what you need to “fix” is the ID of the other identifier. Two wrongs don’t make a right, so they say, so have a go at changing the viewpoint of the other identifier!
If an observation ends up with two IDs at species by two identifiers that don’t engage in dialog with the community, then it becomes RG, but even then, RG is not that big a deal… it’s just an label. Anyone using the data for serious use should be validating the content anyway, and so the best thing you can do is hit the observation with good comments to highlight concerns you have about species level ID for these.
I won’t go into the idea of tagging in (called brigading by some) as it is ineffective in these cases anyway. I do think iNat devs need to look at ways that can be used to address the absent/unresponsive identifiers with their problematic IDs (and there are other situations where they are problematic too) because if they aren’t present to partake in the discussion and change their positions according to the outcomes, then they aren’t really a part of the community, so why should their IDs count toward Community ID. Perhaps if someone hasn’t been active for the last 12 months, their IDs that are inconsistant with the active participant IDs should be removed from the CID calculation. How this would be implemented would be difficult, perhaps when an account becomes 12 months inactive, it is parsed for dissenting IDs at that stage… dunno… gets messy real fast! I only throw it on the table in case it sparks some other ideas :)