Hide field "date submitted"

Is it possible to hide the “submission date” field of observations?

(this was originally submitted to #feature-requests but I moved it to #general as it’s more of a question than a request)

@alesmazzo can you please provide some more context, like URLs and screenshots, as well as why you’d want to hide this?


I would prefer NOT doing this. Submission date provides an easy way to pick up on many observations of pinned insects where the user hasn’t updated their metadata to show where and when it was collected from the wild instead of where and when they photographed it in the lab. If the submission date + time (when possible) exactly match the observation date + time and it’s in an unnatural setting, then we know to ask them to edit the metadata and if they don’t do that, eventually deprecate it via DQA so it’s not Research Grade.


To answer your question, it’s not possible to hide the date submitted on iNat.

Some people will wait until a later date to upload an observation so that the day observed does not match the day submitted. If you’re using the mobile app there is an option to turn off auto-upload.

There is also an open request to hide the time observed/submitted: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/option-to-hide-time-show-just-the-date/4469


My request was related to respect for the user’s privacy. Some may not want to show the time they are using the platform or when they are online. The submission date has no scientific value respect to the content of the observation, so I think the submission date may be enough, without the precise time/hour. This option could be granted as a choice, as is already the case for the observation date.
Thank you all for your contributions.


Agreed that this can be a privacy concern. Just to give you an idea how crazy and stalker-ish some people’s behavior can be, I’ve seen a few instances where a school or employer monitors someone’s social media use and uses it as evidence against them. I had one professor in grad school who would get angry at students if they weren’t working on projects up until the last minute. And I know someone who lost a job because of someone monitoring their social media usage. And since iNaturalist is fully public, it would be much easier to monitor than some sites (like Facebook) where there are privacy controls.

Now granted, I know this stuff sounds absolutely insane and toxic, and it is. And on some level, this is a problem with these other people’s behavior, but…given that we live in a society where not only these problems exist, but there is a widespread and systematic failure to root these problems out, hold the people who engage in them responsible, and remove them from positions of influence or authority, I think what the OP is asking here is reasonable.

I would not presently use such a feature, but I can imagine circumstances where I would.


I’ve used submission date to review observations that were submitted before a certain time. Thus I can avoid observations that have were recently submitted, but were made years ago. Why? Recently submitted observations will be reviewed and maybe identified by lots of people, but older records get ignored and sometimes I decide to take them on.

For this particular use, I suppose iNaturalist could keep the date of submission behind the scenes but keep the filter in the “identify” tool. But all in all I wouldn’t support the suggested change (at this time).


Time of submission is also crucial to recognize when date of observation is wrong by comparig them, though for those concerned about privacy it could be added as a setting of choice that could be turned on, but not on default.

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In these days I have noticed that the submission date, like the observation date, are automatically obscured for data uploaded as observations with obscured geopryvacy.
This also refers to common species, not protected by default by the system.

Smart choice, because often it was too easy to collect information on the geolocation of a “obscured” data by looking in the “free” observations made by the same user before or after this one.

At this point, i think the obscuring of “data submission” should be always allowed by users (olso without lost geolocation info…), in relation to privacy concern (the possible negative implications of which have been well explained by cazort).


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