Nullify flagged IDs by suspended users

Is there any reason why they should count?

Occasionally someone/s will make a bunch of deliberately wrong IDs, which even after they’re suspended linger on and can cause the observation to drop to Needs ID. This can be particularly annoying if that person makes multiple accounts to come back and do it again, since then a large number of correct IDs are needed to restore it. Current examples from the most recent school project:

i noticed this the other day and I agree, at least in the case of users suspended due to trolling or fake IDs. I am not sure we want to do it automatically for all of them though. For instance i can see the following scenario based on issues in the recent past:

A high volume user gets in a disagreement with others on iNat or otherwise violates the rules in a way unrelated to IDs and is suspended. Possibly only for a while as a ‘cooling down’ period. They aren’t demanding their data deleted (referencing that other issue) and want to be back on the site or at least want their IDs still there. I don’t think the IDs should be deleted in this case. But we should have a mechanism to batch clear IDs from one of these weird trolls, I think


I was thinking the IDs could stay visible, just not be counted for community ID, and then there’s no need to delete anything. And in the case of an undeserved/temporary kerfluffle they could be switched back to count again once resolved, though of course I have no idea about the technical side of things and how feasible that is.


Not sure this is the greatest idea. Different kinds of people get suspended for different reasons. Some are vandals like you’re describing and we could ignore their IDs without consequences, but sometimes established users with 1000s of IDs get suspended not for bad IDs but for other bad behavior. Ignoring or discounting IDs from a person like that would have a lot of effects on data quality, as well as trigger a lot of background churn as iNat recalculates community taxa and data qualities for those 1000s of observations.

I think it’s fair to punish people who’ve transgressed enough to be suspended by saying their IDs no longer count, but I’m not sure it’s fair to punish others who have benefited from the IDs of the suspended person.


I entertained posting this option.
But then having been almost suspended myself, imagine what would happen if 90 000 identifications vanished and did not count for the 1-3 months of my suspension? That would be thousands of observations that would no longer be Research Grade.

Should these trolls not simply be deleted?


But what about creating a different type of suspension for trollers?? One in which their IDs are removed.


yeah i think what we need here is specifically a mechanism for deleting fake troll IDs. I see no value in leaving those, they just annoy people and waste IDers time. If it’s clearly trolling and not just a divergent opinion, i think they should be deleted.


How about we get more specific, and say that flagged IDs of suspended users would not count in the calculation of observation status? This keeps control with the observers (and other IDers).

Also, maybe let there be a “due process” delay of a week or two before the flagged IDs start being ignored. That way mistaken suspensions, or suspensions for unrelated reasons that get resolved, don’t unduly impact observations. True ID trollers are not likely to talk their way out of suspension, nor even try. They’ll just set up their next account and troll some more, until they get bored and find something different to do with their lives…


I updated the title of this request based on the discussion.

1 Like