iNat is certainly a great place for taxonomic discussions. But the guidelines are pretty clear that identifications are not the place for taxonomic disagreement.
Under the iNat taxonomy, Lampropeltis nigra explicitly refers to snakes east of the river, and L. holbrooki explicitly refers to snakes west of the river. When you identify something as L. holbrooki on iNat, you aren’t just attaching the name L. holbrooki to that observation. You are attaching the taxonomic concept used on iNaturalist to that observation. Let’s call it [iNat!L. holbrooki].
This is important. It feels like an identification on iNat is attaching a name to an observation. But really, what you are doing is attaching a taxonomic concept to an observation. Most of the time, these two things are exactly the same, because a name can only refer to one taxonomic concept. Unfortunately, Linnaean nomenclature is not perfect in this, in that a single name can refer to multiple taxonomic concepts.
iNat does not (currently) support multiple taxonomies. Identifying an observation as L. holbrooki, is actually saying this is [iNat!L. holbrooki], which is defined as [populations west of the river]. It’s incoherent to identify a snake east of the river as [populations west of the river].
Everyone should be able to agree that currently on iNat, L. holbrooki refers only to snakes west of the river. This is what the authority says, and the iNat guidelines say that we use that authority. If people think that iNat should use some other definition, that’s great! They can say so on individual observations, although it won’t change anything. The best place to take this up is at the authority website, or in the iNaturalist working group project. Or you even argue that iNat should use a different authority, or no authority at all! Such discussion have come up in the past on the Google Group.
But what people should not be doing (based on my interpretation of the guidelines) is identifying while using a different definition than is used on iNaturalist. Of course, this is going to happen all the time when people don’t know that taxonomies have changed, or don’t know what the iNaturalist guidelines say, or are even engaging in some “civil disobedience”. This is an ideal, not an attainable goal.
How far this should be taken is definitely an important question. The linked observation above has a laundry list of many of the most valuable herp identifiers identifying it “wrongly”. People are clearly passionate about this case - it’s probably a good idea to start a discussion at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/inaturalist-reptile-working-group about whether this should be an “explicit deviation”.