Filtering out a particular user?


Is there currently any way of filtering out/blocking a particular user? I find it diminishes from the experience of helping people with genuine ID requests when the list is swamped by users posting several of the same thing, photos of the same tree from a different angle, or just posting observations of the same thing on different occasions repetitively. Many of the photos of this user are often poor anyway, and give insufficient detail for an ID The person is more focused on jamming in as many observations as possible. It would be handy to have the option to ‘clean up’ the list to make the job less cluttered with…well…junk mail for want of a better word :)

It would be good if you could also filter out users, rather than just filter to see content from certain users.


This is probably a new user here due to the City Nature Challenge. There’s some advice on how to deal with this type of situation here:


No this is a user that has been active for quite some time, but seems to have an addiction for posting anything and everything, and often.


Alright, then go to your profile, click “Edit account settings & profile”, and on the right-hand side there should be a section titled “Your Relationships”. One of the options there may be what you’re looking for. I’ve never used these options, so I can’t advise you further, but the help links there seem to explain everything clearly.


You can block up to 3 users which means you will not see their content. However, I will emphasize and note that the documentation on blocking states this is not an appropriate use of the blocking tool.

It is meant to deal with harrassment not situations like this.


Thanks Jeremy, just what I was looking for.


I have a similar problem with a particular user in my area with sometimes multiple pages in a row of observations which don’t provide enough evidence to confidently ID but also are probably correct most of the time. It’s an irritating situation because I don’t want to “downgrade” all of the observations based on lack of evidence (though I might be justified to do so) but also can’t confidently add an identification. Thus it’s not a great use of my time to go through all of those observations. Ideally, I could just filter out this user’s observations (as OP suggests) so I don’t see them when identifying.

Thanks for information on the blocking option, this will have to do for now, though seems like a somewhat inappropriate use.


Just to be clear, it is not a somewhat inappropriate use, it is explictly stated by the site to be inappropriate.

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I agree with Chris, blocking is for serious situations. We really should be trying to correct any bad behaviour, observation wise. It may be a legitimate use of the site, too, so one has to be careful to approach it with an open mind. If it were me, I would start a dialogue, see where it goes. Sometimes we learn something new ourselves in the process!


some of this is sometimes just people using the site differently. several observations of the same organism is frowned upon but several observations of the same species on a hike is fine, some people are interested in fine scale mapping or phenology, etc, others are not.


I am curious to know if you have been successful in starting a dialog with users (both new and non-new) regarding a more proper use of the site


“Muting” rather than “Blocking” seems to be what you want in this case




I do not believe muting hides a users observations from your view which is what the request is. From the description of what muting does
‘Muting someone prevents you from receiving notifications about things they do, including commenting on your observations, messaging you, mentioning you, etc. Muting helps you ignore someone without preventing them from doing anything.’

vs blocking again from the description on the site
‘Blocking someone prevents them from messaging you, commenting on your observations, identifying your observations, and otherwise interacting with you on It also removes their observations from your search results and removes your observations from their search results’


Oops, I didn’t realize muting was an actual option, thought it was just a good word for what I was trying to achieve. So no, the muting option does not do what I’m trying to accomplish.

If removing an user’s observations from my view was a part of the muting feature, that would be great.


Thanks for the explanation! I have not had the misfortune to need either function, so had not looked into how they work. Possibly there is a URL hack that could exclude observations from a named observer?


I do not believe this is possible, if it is, it is undocumented in the API documentation.

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It has been suggested to periodically search for all of someone’s observations in identify and then mark them as reviewed so that you won’t have them come up again. Perhaps this will help in the short term?

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to exclude a user, add “&not_user_id=1234” to the URL. look at the user’s profile to find their ID number


Not a bad idea, it’s a little bit of work but no biggie.