Old House Sparrow observations showing up that didn't before?

I like to go through the bird observations for my area and keep pretty current. All the sudden yesterday there were a bunch of older observations mostly from july and august that I had not seen to review somehow. They were pretty much all for House Sparrow as well. I though maybe they were lingering in ‘unknown’ and recently had been ID’d, but most of them had been labeled the day they were uploaded.
Does anyone have a clue why these old observations are all the sudden showing up?
Makes me wonder what other observations are stuck in limbo that people can’t see?

They all show as being updated yesterday, though exactly what was updated isn’t specified. I would guess that they previously didn’t have locations in your search area (i.e. they had either a private location, no location, or a location somewhere else).

They were from multiple users and all on the same day. Seems unlikely that a dozen different people all updated their house sparrow observations on the same day
And some of the users havent even logged in for a month or 2

Another possibility is that they were research grade, and whoever provided the confirming ID deleted their account. It happens periodically.


Depending on what your filters are, someone could’ve removed DQA votes that had kept them casual.

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One user who actively IDed pretty much all of my house sparrow observations and clearly had extensive knowledge on them, has deleted their account, seemingly, as I can’t find it. I looked like an idiot talking to myself in the comments of quite a few of my observations. It wouldn’t be far-fetched if that user had a lot of impact on house sparrow observations in general.


Oh, interesting. A similar thing happened with Pinus several years ago leaving hanging conversations and confusing chains of ID as well. If they had dissenting IDs for these that knocked them to a higher taxonomic level, their departure would drop them back in House Sparrow


Oddly enough a bunch more House sparrows are showing up today that weren’t yesterday.
Probably a lag from the same likely scenario of a user deleting their account, but still interesting they are trickling in.

A bit sad.

I can imagine something happening that makes me stop contributing here. I have a hard time imagining being so ****** off that I’d want all my contributions to be deleted.


Right? Abandoning the account is one thing but deleting it seems a little intense. Makes you wonder.

Well, there were users deleting accounts not only with many ids, which is more or less understandable as “revenge” action, but also people with thousands of thousands of observations, imagine spending so many hours to upload them just to then delete them all.


The user that IDed most (or maybe all, honestly) of my house sparrow observations had thousands of observations of birds. I remember because we chatted a bit about sparrows and pigeons and I went through a good amount of their observations, of which there were many. It seems odd. They were very active and also interactive with others.


I guess that is a good reason to agree with the identification of a RG observation if you know your stuff, rather than just clicking ‘reviewed’.

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Maybe they don’t know that deleting their account deletes everything they ever posted.

It’s written before and when you delete it, impossible to miss, there was a user who deleted tons of observations from iNat and it’s said they did so before on another website, people should know their spent time is much more valuable than their impulse will to delete all, I hope it won’t happen at such scale anymore.


I honestly think that what happens when an iNat account is deleted should change. On many websites, when an account is deleted all postings say on the site, just there is no user profile anymore. Given the chaos that can ensue (and data lost) when an iNat account is deleted, perhaps it should be the same here.

I think I’ll post this as a feature request.

I think it’s basically impossible for someone, espeically a high volume user, to delete their account without knowing how much doing so would affect iNat overall. In at least some of the cases where this has happened, they’ve clearly done it out of spite or in a fit of anger. I’d be for giving someone a cooling off option or keep their data for 30 days like Facebook does, in case they change their minds. But preventing someone from deleting their iNat contributions is not something we’ll do.

Previous discussion: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/dealing-with-account-deletion/93 Looks like there I said we’d work on an anonymization option but we haven’t done so and, the more I think about it the less I’d be for it.


Seems at minimum a comment and perhaps an ID that was provided by an iNatter who has since deleted their account could be replaced by some notification in that spot within a record, indicating that something has been erased and why. No need of course to ID the iNatter who has left. It could alleviate some confusion.


I think simply “anonymizing” the observations and IDs of a deleted user seem like the best options to me. It seems to solve all the possible issues - IDs and observations are still available and user can no longer be tracked or any other issues.

May I ask why you don’t think it’s a good idea? I can see some arguments on allowing a user to be able to delete all of their observations, but I struggle to see why we should allow users to deleted thousands of IDs and DQA votes at once.

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