Increase size and character limit of "Flag for Taxon" reason box

The box for explaining a curation flag is apparently character-limited and only one line is visible at a time, which makes it hard to fit more than a very brief statement and also hard to re-read what you’ve typed. Maybe this is by design, to save moderators from having to wade through long essays. But if the reason for the flag is more complicated than “please add such-and-such subspecies”, and if I want to add a reference or publication link as suggested in iNat guidelines, I run out of room. Can you increase the character number and box size so that 2 or 3 lines show at once?

The currently limit is 255 characters. I’d be for expanding the view and maybe bumping it to 500 characters or so? More can always be added as a comment.

For what it’s worth, @suecar’s original post here is 585 characters and 108 words.

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I think the point is to keep the reason short and encourage discussion in the comments, personally I find it easier if the links aren’t stuck randomly in the reason, and are instead columnized and proper in the comments of the flag, but that’s just my preference.

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I’ve always thought of the Flag Reason as analogous to the subject line of an email - a brief description of what’s inside - with the body of the email being the analog of flag comments. Personally I prefer it that way when reviewing a long list of flags for ones I can help with. 255 characters already makes it hard enough.

I’ve always encouraged people to keep the reason short - “Please add species A” or “common name is wrong” or “duplicate observation” or something like that, and then leave the extended details in a comment on the flag after creating it.

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Yes, that makes sense to me now that I’ve posted several flags. But at first it wasn’t clear to me that one could add comments to expland on the flag reason. So perhaps the issue is in the original interface, where all one sees is “I’m flagging this taxon because” and a small box. What about a note that instructs the flagger to give a concise reason for a flag (like an email subject line) and then expand on it in comments. That would achieve the same goal.

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I totally understand your preference, and I would have liked that kind of guidance on the “Flag this content” page, but it’s not there. Additionally, on the Help page in iNat instructions for flagging a taxon, the instructions are “Write a short note about the taxon you would like to add and please link to a source.” Nothing about writing a short subject line and expanding on it in comments.

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As a curator, I agree it’s helpful to have short summaries to view. When this is combined with seeing the taxon group it’s a lot easier to filter through. But I think it’s rather difficult to find the flag after it’s posted to add a comment, so this could be easier.

It would also be nice to be able to write the comment/longer description before posting the flag. This is possible with copying/pasting but that can get annoying. And sometimes other curators post comments before the OP can find it again to add their more detailed description.

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I’ve edited the Help page to make it more clear:

Hopefully this is better.

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Nice. Just a small typo: you’re > your

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From the curator’s point of view, would it be better to put the link in the first comment.
And keep that tiny box for the subject line of the email

That would make the discussion easier to view and follow for us flag-wavers?

My sentence is always too long for the box, scrolling back and forth late at night, there are typos.

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That’s an improvement - thanks. Based on the some of the other comments here, what about changing the Flag for Curation interface in this way: keep a character-limited box for the flag title (though it could be larger just to make typing and editing easier) but add a second larger box below for a comment to be written at the same time. That way you can create the entire flag at once, rather than posting a short title and then adding a comment later on the next page. This might not even require instructions because it would be obvious to most flaggers that the title should be short and to the point.

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That’s a good idea, I’m not sure if you can just edit this post to include that (since it’s a feature request, and people already voted for what they thought you were requesting), or if you should make a new one…

Yes, it’s easier to follow flags when the majority of information is in a comment, and formatted well. The title is what shows on the inaturalist.org/flags page, so all it needs is a brief comment detailing the taxon that needs editing and why.

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Oh, sorry, I’m relatively new to how this works. Should I write a new feature request? That seems odd but I understand about the voting.

I’m not really sure, someone else will probably have a better idea of how this works.

I would vote for this, and as @zdanko suggested, it should be submitted as a new request, since it is pretty different from what folks have voted on already.

We can leave this one open also, if those who have voted already still feel that your first proposal is preferable.

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Thanks for the guidance, @jdmore. I just submitted a new Feature Request.

New request now posted here:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/revise-the-flag-for-curation-page-to-add-optional-comment-box-below-title-box/22718/1

Let me know if you prefer to leave this one open, or go ahead and close it at this point.

FYI, the voting on either one won’t necessarily determine which (if any) will be accepted by the developers, since that has more to do with feasibility, effects on performance, and priority among many other requests and planned upgrades.

1 Like