Have system add a comment when photos or audio change

Request: Have the system automatically post a comment when the photos or audio have changed. We could then receive notifications on these types of changes, the same as notifications on any other comment:

Mockup:

Reason: I really saw a lot of value in @karoopixie’s suggestion on the recent notification improvement thread that notifications include when photos on have been changed/added/removed.
I don’t see that listed in the list of upcoming notification changes included in the next revamp (although that list is admittedly “not comprehensive”); if it is not planned, then I think this feature would function rather tidily as a workaround.

And my mock-up says “media” changes to cover audio as well as images.

Thoroughly agree with this - when I’m reviewing sightings, people sometimes don’t realise that an image failed to upload or something, so my go-to is usually to write something like “No picture!” and hit ‘reviewed’. More often than not, it seems that people realise their mistake, add the image, and then… nothing. No comment or anything so I can go back to it. Would be helpful to have an automatic comment or even just a notification for a change like this.

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Exactly!
Although that might be covered under the DQA section changes that Tony said is already planned for the notification revamp.
@tiwane, would that be covered since “Has Photos or Sounds” is a DQA setting?

I was thinking more about if someone removes photos from multi-photo observations where each photo is a separate organism (stuck at SOML), or when someone later adds an additional photo to clarify an observation. Those don’t change the DQA, so they won’t be part of the new notifications.

That’s when I thought, “Ok, fine, don’t include them in notifications revamp. Just make them generate comments, and then the notification part takes care of itself!”

If an observation has no media evidence and then some is added, that should trigger a notification that the quality grade had changed. But additional evidence wouldn’t trigger that.

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Good news, @matthew_connors: Looks like you’re covered for 0 media --> 1 or more photos or audio files with the planned notification changes.

This feature request would still help for changes from 1 media file to 2 or more, or from multiple media files down to 1 file, though (I’d link examples, but the site is undergoing maintenance right now :woman_shrugging: :slightly_smiling_face: ).

[Addendum: Examples in comment below]

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there are (fortunately very rare) situations where the only photo is swapped out for another. The one time I encountered it it did not appear to be malicious, rather that they had realised afterward that they had uploaded the wrong photo just by getting the “unexpected” ID of something else. But it got me thinking that if a photo of a tiger is posted, and all the experts pile on with IDs of tiger, and then observer swaps out the photo for one of a typical household moggy… hmmm… there is potential for misuse there, and it would be a good idea if an alert of the change occurred, so I am 100% for this idea!

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It would be cool if those notifications replaced themselves, if you add photos multiple times (slow Internet or finding there’re more to upload) there could be a row if warnings.

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That would be useful if I request someone splits an observation as it has multiple species, they do so but don’t comment.

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Precisely!

Example 1 - media removed:
2 species are on the same observation. Observer removes photos of 2nd species, but leaves no comment. I would never have known if observer hadn’t started making additional IDs, which triggered the notifications.

Example 2 - media changed:
changed 1 photo for another. If I hadn’t commented, the identifier wouldn’t have known I changed a pic.

Example 3 - media added:
Added additional pics. Observer added photos from additional angles. If observer hadn’t left a comment, Identifiers would not be notified that new, diagnostically significant photos were now present.

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Comments, not notifications. :grin:
Sorry to be a pendant but we already know there’s no planned notifications for these types of changes, which is why I am proposing they be comments instead.

Each time, or only within a certain period (eg. With the same day)?

I think the revamp to combine notifications might address that:

Though I can still see combining them to make the thread on the observation a little neater, if multiple media edits are occurring within a short time period, rather than being combined.

Well, yeah, I mean written notifications, sometimes I get messy with words.)
I don’t know, maybe at least make a gap when a new one doesn’t appear (like we don’t have a correction mark on comments if you edit it quickly after publishing), I thought more about that now, and maybe it’s okay if they stay, creating less complexity in understanding what was going on with the observation, but this little gap I mentioned would be cool.

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[Cross-referencing similar Feature Request here]
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/bump-observations-back-to-needs-id-if-photos-are-added/15242

If someone’s added/removed/changed media several times within a short amount of time as individual edits, rather than combining them, then I can see where the resulting string of comments on the observation would almost look like bot spam and be difficult to scroll through.

I don’t know how similar they are:
I’m not suggesting that media changes that don’t take the total media to/from 0 files should affect the DQA. I’m also not suggesting that adding extra photos should automatically take something RG back to needs ID or require the community to overturn a needs improvement vote.

I’m only suggesting that changing media generates a comment so the community is notified a change has been made.

Yep, understood, the two proposals get at the same issue (changes of evidence) by two different methods. That’s why I didn’t merge the two topics – just wanted each to be aware of the other.

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Ah, my mistake.
I read that as a merge, since @melodi_96 had already referenced this request on the other topic before you, and then your comment followed hers there and then in here as well.

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Edited title, because I forgot to put audio in it originally and because editing the title doesn’t break the links.

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