Is what I saw considered spam?

I was just looking at the identify section of iNaturalist and I saw a post of multiple observations of the same thing posted several times. I thought it was spam but when I saw they were a curator I was curious. They were pictures of pinned insects but do curators normally do stuff like that?

I don’t think that’s what iNat considers spam. I happened across a lot of observations of seabirds (5 or 6duplicates each, 10-15 obvs, you can make the count) but nothing just happened. Sometimes I point out duplicates but it was so excesive I was left stumped and did nothing.

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Im actually thinking now that it might’ve been a glitch or something because I was trying to find the page again and while I was looking at their observations I realised I prob mistakes them as 1 single thing when they were actually all different ;_;. It was really weird because the ones I saw on their page compared to the identify one were all diffrent ones and not the same one over and over again…

If it’s a curator, I would imagine they did it by accident. You could try leaving them a comment on one of the observations to let them know.
Sometimes if you press a ‘submit’ button on a page more than once (like you normally would if the page was unresponsive), it will just submit the same thing over and over again the exact number of times that you hit the button. It’s possible that something like that could’ve been the issue.


Spam has a very specific definition on iNat:

Our definition of spam is anything that is clearly intended to make money, which could be links to spurious sites, or by trying to manipulate search engine indexing through lots of links to weird places.


During CNC, I was routinely seeing the same observations listed multiple times in lists, but they were only duplicate listings. When you clicked through, they would all go to the same observation. This might be what you’re seeing.

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Under periods of heavy server load, the website will at times for some reason duplicate observation thumbnails in places like the Identify and explore pages.

Under the strictest reading of site rules, each individual organism is supposed to be its own individual observation. So any user who posts multiple records of the same species as long as they are different individuals is technically following the rules of the site. It is not a widespread practice to do, but 100% permitted by site rules, and certainly not spam.

Oh ok I see

Oh so like advertising stuff?

Yes. Also, you can respond to multiple people in one post by using the quote feature.

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