Easier way to tag everyone in an observation

I asked about this recently and thought I would go ahead and make it feature request.

I have been running through the research grade Bombus for eastern US & CA. When I come across an incorrectly ID’d (and now RG) observation, I like to tag the ID’ers and explain the problem to help get it corrected. Problem is when there’s a lot of ID’ers (Bioblitz’s and other projects can have quite few), than it takes a while to tag 3, 4, 5, or more ID’ers to get it corrected. It would be a lot faster and more convenient if I could hit something and it would tag everyone for me right away.

The IDers will all already get a separate notification for your comment, at least in the current system.

I find it a bit extraneous when people also @ mention everyone and hopefully the notification revamp will make this less duplicative.


I could just put an ID with a correcting comment, but I find I get better results getting the observation fixed if I tag people. This is especially true if I’m trying to make sure that the big ID’ers notice: they get an ID notification & a tag notification. This is also true for ID’ers who made an ID in a taxon they’re not particularly interested in (and maybe old) and may miss that the new ID notification disagrees especially if it’s a maverick, They may check it if they’re tagged.

But as I said, trying to tag several ID’ers takes time, it’s not a problem if I only need to tag one guy, but if I need to tag several then it would be easier if I could just hit a Tag All button.

I hope that makes sense. I get that that might be something that gets abused, but it sure would make would I’m doing easier, and I considering that I have been tagged before to point out my mistakes, I think it could be useful.


I hope that if something like this is implemented the notifications will go only to the people who have made an inconsistent ID, and not literally everyone who made an ID. There is no reason to tag people who made only coarse IDs on Unknown or State of Matter Life observations, and doing so could drive them away from working on those.


Agreed. I’m worried that this would be abused at worst and just add to an overload of notifications at best. Unless literally every IDer on an observation is wrong, a tag all option will lead to some folks being tagged that shouldn’t be (ie, their ID would be in agreement already).


Even if blanket tagging isn’t deliberately abused, it could still result in a lot of users being tagged that likely shouldn’t be. This happens to me a lot already. The large majority of my IDs are within one country, but I regularly get pinged for observations from all over the world. I try to help whenever I can, but since I won’t usually be familiar with the local fauna there, I’m often not the best person to ask.

If a feature like this was ever introduced, it would need to be carefully implemented so that only the most appropriate users were tagged. I also think that users should be allowed to opt out of being tagged in this way (as opposed to being tagged individually, that is).

But it’s still not clear to me what the real use-case is. What is so important about this one observation that it needs such extraordinary attention right now from a large section of the community? Surely there must be thousands of equally deserving cases?


I prefer to think three times, before I tag one person - and try keep it to once in a week for that person.
Then maybe a second person much later.

If identifiers don’t respond to @ mentions, maybe not so much that they didn’t see it, but paid work, life happens. I know of one person who has left iNat because they were swamped in notifications. That is sad, for us, and for them.

PS it is a delicate balance on social media between making it work better for me, without making it harder for others. It is Cape leopard toad season now - if I ID all of those, I will fend off being swamped by Yes it is a Cape leopard toad notifications.


I agree, because otherwise a person’s decision to unfollow an observation would be undermined.

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This isn’t applicable with what I’m suggesting, if you got tagged with what I’m talking about, then you did put an ID that is potentially wrong it doesn’t matter what continent it was on. The same thing happens to me and like you said, I try my best with intercontinental tags with very safe Subfamily/Tribe ID’s, but even then, I’ve been wrong and had someone tag me to basically say, please remove that ID.

I don’t know if I would call 2-5 a large section of the community, but in this case it is a section of the community that put a potentially inaccurate ID on an observation.

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The people who unfollow an observation are part of the group that I’d be trying to get a hold of if they also made an inaccurate ID on said observation, and why I wouldn’t mind making tagging people in an observation easier.

I think that is very good etiquitte advice for asking for ID’ers opinion. But in this case it is for something that is incorrectly ID’d. No to grand stand, but as far as I am aware, all of my standing ID’s are accurate, if they’re not, I do want to be told.

That is a good point, so perhaps instead of a tag all, perhaps a button next to each individuals name? Select who you need?

I’ve run into that quite bit actually. Would the change above fit the bill?

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So you mean just an improvement to the list that comes up when you hit the tag button, so that the names of the participants in the observation come up first? There have been times I have wished for that.


That would work too. Either putting a button next to people’s names or changing the default on the drop down menu to show the people who had ID’d the observation would make it easier.


I wouldn’t be for an option to tag everyone on the obsevation, but I’d be down for iNat showing the people involved in the observation by default, similar to what Discourse does:


You can check for your own maverick IDs
(just replace my name with yours)

If you check out my iNat profile, I include a link to my mavericks. At the moment, all of them are ID’s that I put on when there were already three or more people saying that it was one species and I put a maverick ID saying that it was something else. My hope is that if I incorrectly maverick’d something that someone will explain why I’m wrong, or if I’m correct someone will run through and help kick them back into Needs ID (I have had people do that).

Doing it that way would suit what I’m suggesting just fine.


This has been suggested before as part of this feature request: make it easier to @-mention users in comments.


You didn’t make it completely clear who you were intending should be tagged. But if it’s only the people who have already added IDs, that would seem to make your use-case even weaker, since they already get notifications. I would definitely want to opt out of receiving duplicate notifications in such cases.

The wording could be better, but I think the intention is there that I want to tag the people who made ID’s in the observation.

And I explained the various reasons why it would be useful.

And a solution that I like has been put forward, I even voted on the other idea.