Needs ID but has opted out of Community Taxon

yes - but - hasn’t been active since May 13.

… this is the biggest nuisance for me! I currently do many IDs. Often, I am giving a new or confirmed ID, and then notice that the ID is not accepted by the system. Oh, yes… it is yet another “opted out” observation / observer! I then will go back and delete it, angryly, as I do not want to waste my time and knowledge on this. --> Very easy fix: if an observation is “opted out from community ID” it should never turn up in my searches for “needs ID”, because it actually doesn’t need ID. It is that simple. Please @inaturalist fix it! Thanks. ;-)


@amzamz you do not want to waste your time, and yet you go to the effort of deleting the ID you just made? That’s a bit… contradictory? Not sure what word I’m looking for…

I find it frustrating too, but if I make the ID and THEN realise, I just let it go…


I understand amzamz’s reaction completely. However illogical it may seem, it’s a means of expressing annoyance and releasing some of the frustration (and quite quickly). It’s satisfying. I’ve done it, and I suspect many others have. I think the issue here is that in most cases we don’t know why an observer has opted out, so we’re tempted to make an assumption. And I think the most common assumption will be that it may be because of some sense of superiority / arrogance / whatever. I’m certainly not saying that’s what is actually behind it, just that it’s probably often perceived that way.

I’m afraid saying “feel free to ask why” isn’t going to help much in my opinion—I’d have to message the observer, wait for a reply, judge whether I thought the opt-out was justified, then go back to the obs. And that’s a much, much greater waste of time than simply providing an ID that may be useless. From a practical point of view, it’s an awful lot easier just to recognise the observers who routinely opt out and then skip their observations entirely. That’s human nature at work. I do it now, and I’m with those who would like to see that process made simpler


I would prefer that Needs ID flag to be replaced with a
red NO CID flag.
Then it is quite clear, and we can chose to ID, or scroll on by nothing to see here.
Definitely a waste of ID skills if 6 or 8 people try to convince iNat yes, yes, it IS That plant


Being able to filter against opt-out observations would be better, but loudly signaling the observer’s choice not to engage with the community at large would still be a step in the right direction. Maybe a scarlet O would cause observers to make a more deliberate decision to opt out.


IDs still “add value” to opt outs… If the CID is the same as the observers they even attain RG. At the very least 4 or 5 correct IDs against the observers wrong ID would be much more evident to anyone previewing casual data (and yes, casual data still gets used!).

A better option is to switch the “ID can be improved” off once it becomes obvious no further IDs will change this?


Opting out of CID neither signals nor necessitates such a choice. It is still possible to engage extensively with the community, while maintaining “final arbiter” status over one’s own observations. We should not make unwarranted assumptions about the opt-out choice.

I for one pay no attention to a user’s CID status when adding my IDs to a filtered batch. I move through batches quickly in the Identify modal, and it would take more time than it is worth to look for that information. I prefer to imagine that my IDs might be educational, or even persuasive, for at least some of the opted-out observers.


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