Old observations appeared out of thin air

I’ve reviewed all “Needs ID” observations of tribe Parideae (which includes genus Trillium) but today five new pages of observations appeared out of thin air (or so it seems). All of the new observations were old (up to five years old) and most of them were observed in British Columbia, Canada. Does anyone know where these observations might have come from? Have you ever had this happen to you?

Here’s a representative sample:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/29040899
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/29319897
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/72940603

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Maybe whoever provided a concurring ID, and pushed the records to RG, deleted their iNat account and took their IDs with them? (This is why I like to add a second concurring ID on records I review.)

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That’s what I was thinking too. Someone deleted their account.

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most likely a deleted account as already mentioned. Another less likely option would be that they were casual due to an erroneous DQA that was corrected recently.

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We had that happen with bees last year, a reviewer deleted their account and caused a bit of pandemonium. Look for observations where the observer thanks someone who isn’t an identifier.

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I really wish people would log out forever and not delete … I know it’s personal. Stopping there before I incite another debate.

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…and a year after the last discussion, nothing has changed: we are still left with the same confusion any time someone deletes their account.

Dare I repeat the plea that we urgently need some record of deleted content to prevent the history of IDs and discussions for an observation from becoming incoherent and incomprehensible? I am not asking that iNat displays what that content was, but a message indicating that an ID or a comment was deleted would still be an improvement over the current situation.

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I concur. If a user deletes an account, then existing IDs should deprecate to a comment something like:

“Identification by Deleted user 5589 removed: ID: Sturnus vulgares 2y”

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This seems to me like an important issue, it would be best posted as feature request.

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As I mentioned above, adding additional concurring IDs to a record that is already RG is not a bad thing. I know some folks think its superfluous, and when there are 10 concurring IDs it probably is, but it’s good to have some redundancy to negate the situation of one person leaving iNat and kicking a bunch of records that were RG back to “Needs ID.” I’m sure that happens most often with taxa where there are already few competent identifiers (many arthropods, some plants) and probably never with bird records where there are many IDers. I often add an additional agreeing ID to records where I see only two or three.

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If you haven’t seen them, read some of these:

https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/the-vanishing-of-a-fellow-inatter/38221
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/dealing-with-account-deletion/93

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