General Consesus on Being Asked to 'Fix' One's ID

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To me, they sound exactly the same.


There lies the problem… We have how many users in iNat now that have never really had on-boarding per se… From the initial core of original users that fully understood the mission and how the tool worked, the rest of us have jumped on board and been shown various interpretations of the mission and ways to use the tools… And then “broken phone” over time mutates it even further. Since joining the forum and engaging directly with the team, my own understanding of what iNat is and does has changed over time, and is still probably not fully on-board!


You are right, seeking out information, reviewing it, critically evaluating it, perhaps adding it to your knowledge base is so overrated.


In Russian it’s called a broken phone.


I wonder. My mum couldn’t figure it out or understand the withdraw function when I was trying to explain it to her recently. In any case, somehow it reallllly doesn’t surprise me that the OP here says this when someone mentions withdrawing:

Having the button visible will make people click it to see what happens, it will be as intuitive as a.) or b.) to new users, and a clearer option for older users as well. Its better UI design! Regardless of time saved.

If you want people to stop agreeing blindly… you need to provide an alternative to the metaphorical big red push button saying AGREE BLINDLY. The compare button could just be placed elsewhere in my opinion. Its clutter, given the circumstances.

In fact, looking again, as an observer with 8000+ obs, I realise I have no idea what anything else on the triangle menu even does! Wow. I´m going to go and explore the triangle button menu for the first time…


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I’m always open to suggestion. If I think I’m right, I ask what characteristics they see that I didn’t consider. Sometimes it turns out I missed something; sometimes the other identifier, even if an expert, missed something. Dialog is important. Also, taxonomy changes. Species get split without much fanfare outside research circles. You or the other guy might have missed that.

You’re welcome to let your original ID “ride.” My grandmother raised me to be polite, though, so if someone specifically asks me nicely to do something I don’t feel is appropriate, I do respond and open a dialog. Sometimes I even ask one of the listed identifiers of the taxon with a good track record to weigh in.


Tagging is an excellent way to do things. I communicate with other cicada experts on iNaturalist through tagging and commenting ideas, and people have started to tag me in their observations of my group to get my input. I think it’s one of the best things about iNaturalist in terms of drawing other people’s attention to a particular observation an soliciting feedback. It can also get my attention back to something that a person has a question about; how did I identify “X”, at which point I try and take the time to respond and give a breakdown of the ID points.


I use the compare button all the time.


Ok, interesting! :)
In what taxa? It just seems totally superfluous in Diptera.

Regardless though…just as we have

Agree / Compare
on the new ID

we could easily have
Withdraw / Compare
on the old ID

There’s space for both.

…actually, just exploring this too - I think I’ve just never dug into this option and how to use it properly!
It looks pretty useful. Its just not so obvious when you first load it up perhaps. In Diptera at least.

Triangle menu options… Compare buttons… this is gonna be a whole new iNaturalist experience for me now :upside_down_face:


I am very honest on my Profile page…I’m new. I uploaded most of those 2,000+ images during the June stay-at-home order, and they span a decade of past observations.

I will be the first to admit, I do not know the purpose of every function on iNaturalist. Probably, after I log 200,000 observations there will still be something new to learn.

Just wondering how to handle a request to change an ID, didn’t mean to initiate disagreement or overhaul the on-boarding process.


Ahhh. Ok, that limits you as evidence for my argument! Shucks :wink:
My recollection was that I didn’t know how to use Withdraw for a long time … but this could also just be confirmation bias on my part.

Yes, sorry, maybe hijacking your thread a bit through my comments - I should probably have split this off into a new area or kept schtum…but no worries, definitely no disagreement from me! Or at least I didn’t intend to sound disagreeable with anyone …so if I did… then apologies.

Evidently from above posts, I don’t know the purpose of every function on iNaturalist either! :)

Not sure if anyone mentioned it already, but another common way to deal with the issue you originally posted is to add an agreement to a shared taxonomic rank that you do feel comfortable to ID it to.


This will sound the wrong way, but it is not intended as such, so please don’t take it as such, but you likely never will, and that’s not a bad thing.

I have been a member longer than you, have many times over the number of observations as you, am a site curator (and one of the most active ones), and there are still parts of the site that are a completely mysterious black box to me.


I appreciate you starting this topic. Now that I’m not trying to race through and get stuff ID’d to clean up, this has made me want to take a lot more time to explain my identifications.


It took me many months to learn it was possible to delete an ID instead of withdrawing. I never noticed the triangle menu.


I did not know I ~could~ withdraw an ID, or even that it may be something I ~wanted~ to do until another user (gently) explained A bit about it to me in a comment on one of my Observations.


I have a preference for withdrawing rather than deleting… Often it’s a visual reminder or heads-up to those browsing an observation that it can be difficult to ID that taxa… And kind of forms an “audit trail” of the pathway that the observation took to get to its eventual CID.


This is a really good point.