Community ID failing to update

Platform (Android, iOS, Website): iOS/Website

App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings or About): 3.2.6

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc): Chrome/Ecosia

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages:

Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices:

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):

Step 1: Create observation through iOS app and initially ID it as Lithobius forficatus. Obscure location

Step 2: Have another user identify the observation as Lithobiomorpha and check the “No, but it is a member of…” box

Step 3: Subsequently ID the observation as Lithobiidae through website

These are the steps that supposedly led to my observation’s community ID not being updated to Lithobiidae, which it should have been based on the way that I understand iNat to work. Normally, an observation’s community ID corresponds to the most refined ID with which more than 2/3 of IDs agree with, unless the observer has opted out of community ID (which I never do).

I don’t know whether this truly constitutes a bug, but it’s rather unusual. I know I could simply duplicate my observation, ID it as Lithobiidae and move on, but I would like to preserve the comments left on it by pmbrousseau.

I’ll be happy to share more information if needed. Cheers!

This is not exactly a bug, it’s something called ancestor disagreement. When you choose, “No, but it’s a member of…” the website interprets that to mean, “the correct identification has nothing in common with the previous suggestion, except that it belongs to order Lithobiomorpha.” Because of this, the ID at order level is still considered disagreeing with family Lithobiidae.

This is frustrating, because almost nobody ever wants to make an “ancestor disagreement.” People usually want to do what the blog post I linked above calls “leading disagreement,” which would represent, “it’s definitely not that species, but it might be anything else in order Lithobiomorpha.”

This is a known issue. Back in 2019, when they made that blog post, they claimed they were working on updating the way those disagreement buttons are worded and allowing leading disagreements on the site. But there’s been no update since then, that I know of.

For now, the only thing to do is politely ask the other user if they would withdraw or update their suggestion to get rid of the ancestor disagreement. Either that, or get two more people to ID it as Lithobiidae and “outvote” the disagreement.


Many thanks! I’ll try to get more users to ID my observation as Lithobiidae

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