How are Seek observations and users integrated in iNaturalist?

I came across some observations that didn’t seem quite right. They’re from a very new user. It looks like he used images found online for some of his observations which have already made research grade. When I come across those I usually just post a comment informing the user that they don’t need to include a photo if they didn’t get one themselves. Then I mention the copyright issue and give a link to the site FAQ… hoping that they’ll take the images down themselves before they get flagged. I don’t think that strategy has ever worked though! I don’t know if they just never see my comment, don’t know how to remove images, or just don’t care. I noticed this user’s observations say they were created in Seek. I was wondering how those are integrated? Are Seek users even able to see comments, flags, etc. in the Seek app?

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I just flag them. Any user can do it and it removes the picture immediately. Typically I do a reverse Google search to find the page they took the image from, and include a comment with a link to that page.


No, they can’t view their iNaturalist observations in the Seek app, but if they signed up for iNaturalist through Seek and kept the default notification settings for their iNaturalist account, they should get an email with a summary of new activity on their observations. More detail at the Seek User Guide, starting on page 12:


No changes after a few days, so I ended up just flagging them. I think it was about 20 out of the user’s 120 observations. He does have plenty of legit looking observations of plants and even a few without any photos, so I hope the flagging doesn’t scare him off the site.

I didn’t bother posting the reverse image search urls since I wasn’t sure if those urls remains static or not. I also used the TinEye browser extension which worked a little better than Google’s built in reverse image search. The searches found many results from various sites and dates in the past. I clicked through some just to make sure they weren’t all from the same person and possibly the iNat user was uploading their own old photos with incorrect dates.

This user’s observations also seem to all have observation dates that are several hours to several days after the submission date. I wonder if that is from the device running the Seek app having the wrong date/time set. Assuming the observation time comes from the device and the submission time comes from the iNat server? I know my brother kept changing the time on his tablet to a future time to bypass the wait for more lives in Candy Crush!

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Ooh! Gotta try that. ;-)

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