Is a photo of entrails too offensive for iNaturalist?

Yeah I think setting hard rules is going to be counter-intuitive, it should be up to the observer to use their best judgement. However, until we hear someone say they want dead plants to be filtered, and they come up with a reasonable way to determine such a thing, it makes the most sense to limit it to animals.

Perhaps a separate topic on how dead plants could be filtered to not harm people sensitive to such things would be useful for you to create, since you seem to be the only one in the thread with experience of that nature. I just don’t want to topic to drift from the point of animal death and gore. I would like to hear your thoughts on dead plants but I just think this is not really the place for it. Please make a thread about it in General!

I think you downplay the use of a dead plants filtering option and i think you try to apply different rights to some species because of your feelings.

Dead plants can be a very important indicator to many things.
In the wood is a little bug, this is normal, but some times they build a horrific population and kill trees, this is a serious problem, if this happens the responsible person must start to cut the trees to stop the bug population.
This is just one example
So if people in a region observe many diening trees in a short period of time this can be an indicator of such a bug presence, and if this is given some on must act and not just for fun but to preserve the whole wood.

If you have a region where people start to observe dead bees, oh yeah its just a dead bee who cares, but if they all apear in a short period of time around some industrial complex, this is serious, it could be also harm humans, what ever it is that kills the bees.

Some mushrooms have a time frame where they build fruits, if they show up early or die early this can be a indicator to different things and not only climate.

In some cases death is also a good thing, if people start to report dead invasive plants, this can be very interesting and positive too. the next question will be why they start to die, may there is an animal that can solve the problem in a larger frame.

But the main problem i personaly have is about ethical standards, a dead or alive checkbox is a good idea and should be optional and apply to every species.
you may do not care about dead plants, but scientists do, and you will too if species will disappear in your supermarked because no one did track a plant desease.

I think you may have misunderstood my post.

This topic is titled “Is a photo of entrails too offensive for iNaturalist?” This topic is about animal death and gore. I said I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on dead plants, however this specific topic is about animals. I suggested you make a new thread about plants so we don’t continue to go off topic in this thread.

Your tone and assumptions are not appreciated. @tiwane I don’t believe I am out of line for asking that this topic… Well, remain on topic.

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for me, the interesting (and on topic :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ) question becomes what the options are for a filter.

Is it just dead vs alive (which I like for it’s simplicity) or if it has to be less boolean than that?

After all, an animal can be wounded but still alive. Taxidermy specimens (e.g., in museums or collections) are usually pretty “clean”, but they are dead. Furthermore, some people are upset by pictures of animals that are obviously sick/starving/injured, even if there’s no gore. Some people may not mind seeing dead animals in the form of skeletons but would be upset if there’s still viscera present.

So, do they just toggle that they don’t want to see dead animals and accept that they could still see disturbing things, including gore, because the animal was still alive at the time, as well as acknowledging that they may miss some observations they wouldn’t have minded? Or does the toggle change to gory vs not gory (and what would be the guidelines for that? Is this “gory” or not: ?)

Also, would that limit what can be used as a taxon photo?

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I think this is very interesting data, if people want to share this information they should have the option to do so on any species and observation.

Exactly this is the problem, there is not clear definition to gore.
It depends on so many things, it depends on the cultural background, on personal feelings and much more.
In some countries a dead snail is a good snail, in other countries to kill a snail is a crime by law.
To some people, in example to a orchid cultivator, a chopped orchid in the wild is heart breaking, even if a animal eats the orchid he will get nightmares and fears his cultivation could get infected by worms too.
To some people a starving dog means nothing and other people freak out.
There is no exact rule because it depends on such much factors as cultural background, educational background, individual feelings even in one region and in the same culture.
If a snail is dead in the garden to me its good, to the daughter of my neighbour its a little drama, to her a dead spider is good, to me its a drama.

I am totaly unsure about that… it looks nice, i think its a drama… to be honest i have no idea, is it alive or dead, is this the normal way how they give birth, its very nice, or is this some kind of abort, its gore… dont ask me, i have no idea… i accept it as a natural observation.
to some its wonderful to others its horror, i am confused.

i think yes, a dead neandertal seceleton is gore, or is it normal as in a museum?
I dont know.

I just think what ever rule it is, it should, ethicaly correct, apply to all species, just because none is above the other.

No, they don’t! At least here in New Zealand, some invertebrate species are itemised as having the same legal protections as vertebrates, the later are blanket protected by law. Any insect not on that schedule has less rights than an insect that is.

Then there is the matter of application of the law. Just because the rights exist in law, doesn’t mean they will be applied or upheld in practise.

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no your not out of line, but its not that simple.
to you its clear what gore is, there are things you want to see and they are not and other things you dont want to see and they are gore.
but this is your personal definition, this rule does not fit to all others world wide, maybe not even in your region.
Its like testin medicine on animals, some people think its cruel other people think its a good thing but all together know it happens.
I think inaturalist plays in that a similar role as the news in tv, they say what happens but they should report neutral and its up to the viewer to decide is some thing is good or bad, maybe in some countries the news decide for you, but this is not as it should be.

i understand what you ask and i can also see some kind of reason behind it but there is no world wide simple rule.
a other thing is the dead or alive option, there is a less difuse rule, which applies more or less to all in the same way, behind it, and the data is interessting.

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Perhaps instead of semantics around what is gore and what species it should be for, maybe we think about just a flag for “I found this upsetting” with perhaps a dropdown selection of why (eg “depicts death”). Then have an account setting that you can turn on so that any observation that has that flag set will give you a warning page before you view the photos, with text to the category chosen for the warning, and you have to click the warning to show the photo.

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True, not all have the same rights… but in an ethical ideal world they should have the same rights.
And the law or culture is in every country different, if it comes to that every country must hafe its own inaturalist site, but this would be the end, because it is interessting to see animals in other parts of the world and this attracks people, but then again they have not the same definition of gore.

already in this topic this gets clear, some say a dead rat is gore a dead fly in the grill of a car is not, to say this one must uphold the rights of a rat over the rights of a fly, but this is a ethical problem, who decides which species is more worth than an other?

Its not so simple, i see the intension behind this issue but i do not see a good answer, the best that comes out of this is a dead alive option because the interessting data, every thing else is difuse

sounds like some kind of solution, the danger is missflaging by some people or different understanding of the flag. but the idea is the best way to go until now.

How would your flag work?
some one can flag observations by others
some one could use the option to not see such content.
would this flag count to all or per taxonomic class or genus?

I dont want to see dead elephants
I would still be interessted in dead rats
I dont want to see dead gentiana flowers
if it is a dead ambrosia i am very fine with it

How do things get flaged and how do they get filtered

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I find a particular photo distressing, so I flag it, perhaps with reason “Has too much red, I only like blue photos”. It can be any photo, mine or from others…

You, knowing yourself to be a sensitive individual, have ticked the setting “provide warnings for potentially distressing content”. You are reviewing observations and come across the one that I flagged as “too much red”… Instead of showing the photo, it has a text warning “This image was flagged by other iNatters as having too much red. Click HERE to show the image anyway…” and if you click then it replaces the warning with the photo.

If you are not a sensitive soul, then you notice nothing different… all photos show as normal. If anyone complains or comments about distressing content, they can be told about the setting in their account, and they can turn it on so they get warnings in future!

Perhaps the list of categories for this could be controlled by curators, or it might be at staff level that it is handled. Wouldn’t want to create too many categories etc or it becomes unwieldy

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So i dont like red elephants and thats preventing me from seeing red snails which i would like to see?

no, you would get a warning, and can choose to click the warning to show the image… and ONLY if you have enabled the warning s for potentially distressing images (and the emphasis is on potentially )

Have you encountered the “copyright infringement” graphic that replaces photos marked as such? It would look like that, but instead you click the text and it gets replaced with the image. Effectively giving the “heads up warning” that you might be distressed if you proceed, but you still can if you so choose…


Ok this sounds like a simple solution.
I would like, if i could, connet this to a taxonomic range, like all or just insecst or just bees.
But if i always have mosty to click on yes/no because some where may hides a dead elephant it will be so.

I would imagine the amount of photos flagged would be very low, and I imagine the amount of iNatters that utilise the setting in their account to be equally low. Anyone that had the setting and found the warnings too frequent might just make the decision that having to do so is more distressing than the images themselves!


maybe some people abuse it and do false flaging, some how this must get prevented.

so far your solution sounds resonable

It has nothing to do with birth. It’s a section of the large intestines, much like the observation one that sentraevant said they had in mind when they started this discussion (…it’s just that this one is empty and not bloody (possibly because it is in water) . :)

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keep in mind that the forum is just about the discussion… staff and development do review our discussions, but even if an idea is perfect, it doesn’t mean it will get implemented. Our job is to come up with as many angles and ideas as possible, so that if they do decide to change or implement, they get a good understanding of all aspects at play


Yeah, but if it’s not pre-emptively flagged by the observer on upload, it won’t have a flag at all…and then somebody filtering on those flags is still going to see it.