Disagreeing ID text is persistent once previous ID is deleted

That disagrees text is persistent. I withdrew my ID. Then deleted my ID. iNat is still determined that deeplucanid disagrees with my ghostly ID.


That’s intended behavior. Look at the set of identifications as a historical record, instead of “the correct ID”. For this reason it’s almost always a good idea to not delete one’s withdrawn ID’s outright.

I seem to recall from an earlier conversation that ispot used to have a time limit after which you couldn’t delete your ID/comment? That would be good here as well.


Thank you. Around the City Challenge, iNat was determined to offer (wrong by geography) IDs - then the CID needs encouraging to move to an ID which is possible. So I withdraw, and delete, and agree at a higher level. Californian buckwheat? Not in Cape Town.

But it is most interesting when experts discuss with valid points why it is A, and why it isn’t B. That history remains useful each time we come back.

(In my linked example, I was, flat out wrong)

I agree it is useful to keep this as a record of what ID is being contested – it may help prevent that same mis-ID from returning in future.

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The record of discussion is useful where it clarifies ambiguity.

But in this case, my wrong ID is untidy and I am uncomfortable knocking an expert’s level of expertise back to - is it a beetle or a bug - which is MY issue. Not theirs! But the ‘disagrees’ text is associated with their name, not mine.

It’s understandable why this is a feature, but often I see cases where someone made an inadvertent click on one of the “suggested IDs” and then had to go back and change it once they noticed that they’d made a mistake (mistakes that are sometimes in the wrong kingdom entirely). In cases like that were it’s not really a contested ID, but an outright mistake that’s acknowledged and obvious, it’s a bit annoying that the observation remains with a contested ID.


Sometimes a misidentification can be downright embarrassing. For example, in the moment I have misidentified Erigeron glaucus as Elymus glaucus just because the names are similar. One is a grass and the other a dicot and I would never mistake one for the other but with persistent disagrees I feel like there is no “social forgetting”. To avoid this I have just deleted the entire observation.

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While there is a social element, owning one’s mistakes can set a good example for fledgling naturalists. It’s ok to be wrong, and admit it.


Exaclty! I’d encourage ppl not to delete ID mistakes, they do no harm and are useful for others. And if one does, one leaves behind these odd messages.


so best practice is to withdraw the wrong ID, but leave it visible in the conversation?


Yes please.

Absolutely! Some of the best identifiers I have come across make the odd mistake, and it’s surprisingly reassuring to know that they are human… :)

It can sometimes be interesting to elaborate on the nature of the gaf… mis-clicked in the suggestions, mistyped the name and picked a similar one, was thinking of something else when I ID’d this, and so on… If you are genuinely embarrased, then by all means expunge as much of the evidence of the gaf as possible, which I have done in the past, but to be honest I am becoming far less concerned about being wrong, there is just too much great stuff to learn and those “mistakes” are too often the best learning opportunities that come by!


I make weird mis-IDs due to mixing up names or misspellings and I imagine most people do really. They embarrass me less than thoughtfully and willfully entering an ID that turns out to be wrong which of course happens sometimes too as it does with anyone


I’ve made erroneous IDs and then had to withdraw them. My IDs of plants, mainly my own records but occasionally those of others, are often terrible. Adding a comment that you made an error is always an option and no big deal. I like seeing the back-and-forth in the ID process in some records – it shows that not everything is straightforward. Sometimes there are zigs and zags in arriving at a correct answer or at least a group consensus.


iNat doesn’t have a mechanism to prevent for example?
clicking Moncotylidea instead of monocots = Liliopsida

or Erica as a spider, instead of Erica the plant
(iNat could popup - we can’t see a spider in this picture)

The suggestions have a popup text
my picture of Cotyledon orbiculata got
… we are pretty sure this is Opuntia.

It takes more people to convince iNat for the right CID, if I fall for that - pretty sure it’s Opuntia

But we do get there! Without CV we have to start EVERY observation off manually anyway, so CV, even at its worst, is still a nett saving in effort for identifiers…


See this discussion and this feature request dealing with similar names for different taxa.


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