Curators: False positive spam flag resolution


On iNaturalist, “spam” is defined as…

…anything that is clearly intended to make money, which could be linking to spurious sites, or trying to manipulate search engine indexing through lots of links to weird places…

…so it excludes things like observations of humans or inanimate objects. That said, some users find those types of observations stupid/pointless/annoying, so they often get flagged as spam. Additionally, the Akismet spam-detection system doesn’t always identify spam correctly, and sometimes marks otherwise innocuous non-spam content as spam. Flagging as spam hides content from other users, and if someone gets too much of their content flagged as spam, they’re automatically suspended. :frowning_face:

The most common types of content that are flagged as spam, but usually aren’t spam are:

Check the flagged content, and if it’s not actually spam (iNat’s definition), then resolve the flag. Also check the user’s profile to make sure they weren’t marked as a spammer. If it is spam, just leave it unresolved.

I just recently went through some of the latest spam flags, but sharing this as it may be something to keep on your radar if interested.


Ways to help out on iNat - wiki

So I see some comments that are clearly inappropriate, but don’t necessarily meet the “money making” criterion for spam. Should we be putting effort into reclassifying these, or not bother?



I would use spam flags to flag anything that is not appropriate, until another measure is given. If something is obviously not appropriate, I think curators can also delete comments themselves.