Correct but less specific identifications should not be "crossed out" upon subsequent improvements

It seems misleading to strike out a previous identification that is general but correct. For example in the following screenshot, “Butterflies” is correct but becomes crossed out when a more specific identification is assigned. This system implies that “Butterflies” is an incorrect id. iPerhaps there could be a better way of displaying the previous correct identifications?

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There is no way to really know whether a given suggested ID is correct or not – just whether it matches with the current Community ID.
Since each person may only suggest one ID for a given observation, I see this as an acceptable way to preserve the ID history. I do understand it may be a little unintuitive.

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I personally like to have a record where I can see the “improvement process,” like in my own many cases where I gave a broad id and then came back with a finer id after I learned more. If you don’t like to show that kind of history on your own id’s, there is an option to delete your initial id rather than having it there and crossed out. (You can’t do anything about others’ histories though.)

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Instead of saying only “ID withdrawn”, I suppose it could infer whether the ID was:

  • only withdrawn by the IDer (and not replaced),
  • replaced by the IDer with an ID that is not a descendant of that taxon,
  • or replaced by the IDer with a descendant taxon (refined)
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Just to clarify, an ID isn’t crossed out only when a more specific ID is added by that user. An ID is crossed out anytime the identifier adds another ID to an observation or withdraws their ID. So all it means is that the ID is not active.

While I agree the current implementation is not totally clear, I’m not convinced adding more complexity here would be worth the development and design time.

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One possible compromise would be to continue to display the lined-through text, but distinguish between “ID Withdrawn” and “ID Replaced” in the text. Maybe even that would require too much back-end work to be worth considering though.

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Could just grey it out without the strikethrough…

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@bouteloua’s suggestion is spot on. It’s an elegant solution to separately handle the case of a “refinement”, which is: an ID from a descendant taxon.

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If you have a specific idea in mind, you can definitely make a Feature Request for it.

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I dunno, as a new user I came to the forum to ask about exactly this – the current design makes NO sense to me. I would assume that the taxa are coded to be nested already, so presumably it wouldn’t be too much work to show refined identifications differently from changed identifications?

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Withdrawn IDs aren’t used in the community taxon calculation, so that’d have to remain visually clear. The existing strikeout does that pretty well.

Another situation that causes a withdrawn ID is a taxon change, which may be a 1:1 name change at the same rank or may bump the user’s ID up, e.g. from species to genus, due to a taxon split.

Closing to focus future discussion at the new feature request:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/if-someone-adds-a-more-specific-id-dont-mark-previous-less-specific-but-accurate-ids-withdrawn/14005