iNaturalist wording for "potential disagreement" promotes fist fights

When someone is only offering a genus level, or less specific level, ID, after a species level ID is already assigned to an observation, iNaturalist asks this sometimes misleading question: “Is the evidence provided enough to confirm this is (the prior genus and species ID given, maybe ‘Homo sapiens’)?” Then iNaturalist has a green box labelled “I don’t know, but I’m sure this is a (the potentially disagreeing identifier’s less specific ID, maybe Homo)”, or a red box labelled “No, but I’m sure it is a member of (his less specific level ID, maybe Homo)”

Some people, especially those who have extensively studied the group in question, interpret the first question as indicating that the person, or people, offering the earlier, more specific ID, need to have shown enough “evidence” to “confirm” (or prove) the ID, then they check the red box, with a comment telling anyone that made the earlier ID that they can’t make their species level ID without doing a genital dissection, or maybe doing a microscopic examination of a given feature, or otherwise using the technique they learned was necessary to identify it by, in some key, or after reading some paper.

By checking the red box they have vetoed the prior ID, without either offering a conflicting ID, or without saying they know the first ID is wrong. I’ve seen more than one of these people going through the ID’s of these, often difficult to distinguish, taxa, in a group they have studied, clicking the red box, vetoing the previous ID without saying they know the ID is wrong, but only saying the other people can’t identify that taxon to species without using the technique they claim is required. This can get the people who made the earlier ID very irritated, when their ID was vetoed, without the person vetoing it being able to dispute their ID.

I would urge iNaturalist to altogether drop the first question “Is the evidence provided enough to confirm this is (the prior genus and species ID given, maybe ‘Homo sapiens’)?” that could imply that anyone with the earlier ID needs to have “provided enough evidence” to “confirm” the ID.

The green box could then read: “I know it is (the less specific ID, eg. genus that new identifier is offering, eg Homo), but I don’t know that it is (the more specific ID, maybe Homo sapiens)”

The red box could then read “I am sure it is not (eg Homo sapiens), but I agree that it is a member of (eg Homo)”.

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Change wording used by the system when downgrading an observation to an higher level taxa