Odd amount of observations without ids

I usually look through observations from south east asia which lack ids, and I managed to review all of them, just a few new observations show up every day. But today, it were 269 observations, and many of them submitted years ago, mostly of insects.
Did an important identifier delete his account? Possible. I stumbled upon observation
which mentions another iNatter in a comment. I looked at that iNatter’s profile page - last active today, 25 thousand identifications; but when I follow to his identification page, I do not get shown any of his identifications. Also his observations are now inaccessible. Only his follower list still exists.

To me, it looks like a malfunction of the site.
What do you think?


I think an identified deleted their account

That is very odd, unless he went through and manually deleted all his IDs for some reason.

The profile says 25925 identifications, but clicking on it shows no identifications, on 2 pages for some reason, with “40 IDs made for others” in the sidebar.


I think it takes some time for everything to get scrubbed from the site when someone prolific (observations and/or IDs) deletes their account. I recall similar things happening (the profile staying up for a bit, but IDs and observations gradually disappearing/become inaccessible before the profile finally disappears) when a Japanese user deleted their account early this year. Maybe staff could step in and confirm?

On a kind of separate note, it’s sad that we’re losing another arthropod identifier in SEA / East Asia. If I remember corrrectly, ihuangwen was mostly active in continental China, which doesn’t have many active IDers in the first place…

Also sad that there is still no way to retain IDs when someone deletes their account. Trying to go back and patch the holes that open up is not fun, especially since one needs to go back through the whole “Needs-ID” queue.


I also saw my own ID count decrease for a while. Probably the same reason (deleted observations).


I hereby disallow the future me to delete my IDs or observations.


i wonder if this is related to reports of delayed notifications? if so, i wonder if this triggers that or if something else triggers both?


I did some marathon identifications in China too. Sometimes the message generated can be several dozens. Possible reason is annoyed by having to look into the messages. 2nd possible reasons could be political affiliations. I’m trying to figure out the systems of iNat. I guess one can call it big data or AI. There are reasons why a big country as China has not as many observations as expected. There is that great China firewall. Perhaps the chinese government may have instructed individuals to refrain from certain activities. If the individuals are very patriotic, may have decided to pull their content off iNat themselves. ( Just speculation by me) or perhaps the availability of similar platforms in the internet, and they decided to try a new environment, maybe with better modes of communication. Iding for iNat can be like a data entry job until some customers commented on some specific requests.
Language can affect decisions. Some users are not as bilingual. There are some very sharp macro pictures of grasshoppers and katydids seen from China iNat users.


iNat really needs to change the absurd policy that IDs get removed with the deletion of the account. Just make the IDs annonymous, but keep them. The fact that someone can, with a snap of finger, totally mess up my entire life list of observations, is insane.


When deleting your account, is there an option to retain IDs you’ve made?


If we want to continue to allow observers to delete everything, it seems we should modify the pop-up screen to ask separately about deleting observation, identifications, and comments. Anonymize the rest; Anonymous 1, Anonymous 2, etc., or Deleted Account 1, Deleted Account 2, etc. (I’d prefer not to allow people to delete identifications and comments, of course.)


I agree with you completely, but would like to see even more specific choices, such as time period and geographical area.I deleted my entire account last year. I explained why and my explanation is in this topic: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/identifiers-as-volunteer-curators-and-obs-with-probs/44788/103 I really just wanted to delete all of my identifications for Africa, but it was too daunting to go through all of them one by one. I was exceedingly annoyed, exceedingly tired, and I just wanted to get it over with. It’s way too tempting in such a moment to delete the entire account so you can just be done and go get some sleep. If I had had an option to delete only my identifications for Africa, all of my observations (including those from African countries), as well as all of my non-African IDs would still be on iNaturalist.



See some of the previous threads:

(I am not being dismissive; I just don’t have the energy right now to rehash this again, since account deletion seems to be a cyclic issue and we are – discouragingly – no closer to being provided with better options than we were when these threads were created.)


I think you’re referring to username removed by moderator who left iNata few months ago. I remember because one of my water strider observations lost its RG status once their ID was removed.

Yes, I was referring to username removed by moderator. Wasn’t sure if it was allowed by forum rules to directly name the account/person…

I know that’s true for specific observations, but I don’t know the policy of referring to other users.

FWIW, I had similar feelings as expressed in your earlier posting. My reaction was to stop contributing IDs, but then I mostly just worked on the Unknowns anyway.

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It was quite a shock for me when username removed by moderator left. I still don’t understand why people delete their accounts at all. Isn’t the point of doing this for the data to be available forever?



Just to confirm, the forum isn’t the place to discuss the actions of specific users on iNat in a way that could call them out or draw attention, so I’ve removed references to a specific user from some comments above. Thanks.