I think this is a valid point and one I just made in a comment on one of my recent observations. I am grateful for every suggestion anyone makes and I know many of the people who make suggestions do cover a lot of ground and can’t make comments about the details they are using for their id very often.
But, especially if it’s a disagreement with a previous suggestion, I sure would appreciate what I should be looking at. I don’t know a lot… but I research a whole lot before making a suggestion. If I’m wrong, I obviously need to learn something I wasn’t able to on my own. I’ve asked a few times for some help on why something is X instead of Y and my return rate on those requests has been very low.
I’m using iNat to support work I’d already be doing. Everything I get is a plus and everything I don’t get is no worse than working without it.
But I might be frustrated if I was trying to use it as a more aggressive learning tool. (for example school work vs retirement hobby)
Additionally, every photo that has one suggestion of an id shows up in the photo album of that species (or genus, etc) whether it was a correct suggestion or not. I’m learning that I can’t really rely on iNat’s photos for a species I’m trying to identify. I can perhaps eliminate a species but if I think it might be X species, I go find other sites/sources for some sense of confirmation. Some of those sources do a bit better job on explaining why someone is suggesting an id or disagreeing with someone else’s.
and I’ll end with a thanks to every iNat user who has responded to my requests for elaboration on identification. All of them were helpful and advanced my knowledge in very useful ways. :-)
edit to add a bit of a tangent - I will admit one massive disappointment with iNat and one that would really make me rethink its use for lower grades. In researching a plant I’d photographed, I went to look at the photo album for one suggested species only to find the thumbnail image to be the plant in the background and an obscene hand gesture in the foreground. I can only imagine it was meant to be a ‘for scale’ type of addition but, although I’m not easily offended, I found it highly inappropriate. I flagged it and it was determined to be something like ‘obscene but defendable’. I can’t remember the designation. Something like that puts educators at potential risk of criticism from parents should their younger child happen upon it. Personally, knowing an image like that was deemed allowable would keep me from recommending the site for use with younger children.