How to deal with obstinate repeat offenders?

What is the recommended course of action to take with a user who deletes and resubmits the same observation over and over and over again the moment anyone disagrees? He identifies it as a species it is clearly not (let’s say species x), which happens to be a taxon that is pretty well curated, so then somebody inevitably comes along and bumps it out of that species, whereupon he’ll just delete the observation and resubmit it again as species x. Species x isn’t even found in his country! I’ve tried deliberately not leaving a contrary ID and just trying to engage him in a polite conversation, explaining visible characters that show why it’s not that species. But he just ignores me and the cycle eventually repeats. Today there were even a few curators who watched it happen and commented before it went poof. It’s been weeks of the same story and it’s exasperating. What’s especially odd is that he’s accepted our IDs for other flies. Just never this one.


If you encounter such a situation you can reach out to

I’m pretty sure I know what the observation in question is because of an email to help@inat and I reached out to some folks who might know the person, to see if they had any insight but alas, we couldn’t find anyone.

I’ll reach out to the user directly tomorrow, sometimes it can make a difference if it’s a staff member who is communicating with them. Also, if 3-4 people are communicating with him at once, it might be overwhelming and/or make him defensive. I know I might react that way. So I suggest letting it be for a few days. It’s exasperating and frustrating for sure, but not particularly urgent, in my opinion. If it takes a few days to work out in a constructive way, then I think it’s worth it.


Has anyone explained to the person how to opt out of community ID? I know we generally don’t encourage doing that, but perhaps it would help in this case… Or may be it won’t help and the person will just delete and repost again anyway after too many disagreements pile on.

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If the person is claiming improbable IDs, that would leave that species as an option for folks using Observations for an area under the Suggestions tab. I feel like that could encourage other, less experienced observers to select that species. I have no idea how often that might occur, tbh, but there are clearly folks who twig to the least possible option made available to them.

I am uncomfortable suggesting an option that limits correction for a user who disregards those attempts.

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Yes, that was explained to the person as an option and was unsuccessful (they soon after deleted and reposted). @roomthily, once the community disagrees with their assessment, the observation can become casual grade, which hides it from most areas by default on the website.

Since the staff are addressing this, I’ll close this topic. (@ all) If you ever have an issue with someone–and you’re not able to resolve it by talking to them politely and trying to understand where they are coming from (often a personal message is better than a public comment)–don’t hesitate to reach out to the staff at