Problem with People Ignoring Description

see https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/useful-html-tags-for-inaturalist-comments-and-other-text/6198

I’m pretty sure you can use heading tags etc

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thanks! time to get as obnoxious as possible

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I’m NOT saying the reviewer did the right thing in changing the ID. But if you want to reduce the chance that the wrong subject will be identified in a photo, a good description of what’s going in the photo is helpful. I skip numerous records that I might be able to ID if the submitter had just bothered to explain a little of what I’m looking at.

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Some general thoughts around this:

  1. Observation ultimately belongs to observer
  2. Communication goes a long way, both to solving differences and avoiding them in the first place
  3. Not all iNatters follow up on alerts. A direct message should be more apparent to them, but even then they might not spot them
  4. Always assume good intentions
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You might, if the blue jay is not evident in the photo but the bush is. I’ve seen such records where I’m pretty sure the subject must be the plant but it’s really the bird. In some such cases the best ID you can provide is for the bush! (NOT that I’d change the submitter’s ID.)

If we are assuming the best intentions of reviewers (right?), such misIDs can happen purely by accident, with no thought of messing with the submitter. Not everyone views things exactly as you do and the content and context of photos can be misinterpreted. To help avoid such problems, it’s helpful to explain your photo if the subject is not obvious.

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Agree. If the photo doesn’t show the organism, then it is not evidence of the organism. It is still a valid iNat observation, just should be photo-less, or marked "no evidence of organism. The habitat does give useful information though, so I’m inclined to treat them with the DQA option. Again, if observer objects or clarifies, I will happily undo my “value additions”!

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The OP had made it obvious by IDing a bird. If you can’t see a bird, perhaps ask for clarification on where it is, don’t decide what the subject should be. Often the bush can be IDed finer than the bird, perhaps there is another observation with the bush, but doesn’t matter. The bird is the subject. In some cases, there are name confusions. Bushtits seem to be bushes in a lot of cases. :)

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right, which is why it behooves the IDer to ask the question, “where is the bird?” before adding any IDs especially dissenting ones. I think there is a responsibility to inquire before altering. Who defines obvious? In my example the first photo is a close-up of a clearly abnormal flower head with an ID that has a slew of associated photos of basically the same thing. I now have to track down that person or rally others when there isn’t a true disagreement but rather someone just ignoring my work.

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Teaching is hard. A teacher will sometimes wade through to find what the student means. A teacher will also sometimes just tell the student he/she needs to be clearer and send the student back to fix the error. Honestly, this has become a divisive discussion, and I would argue care must be take on both sides. As someone making an identification, I’d want more focused pictures (truly the close-up of the tern could come first). As an observer, I’d want someone to read a description if I placed one rather than just overrule me (if I want a fungus identified and not the tree it’s on, the reviewer should note and respect that). There is a middle ground here, but the participants need to talk. If one person can’t be reached, maybe re-posting is the answer or asking for additional identifications from others would work or just ignoring the comments and moving on would be applicable. I think we all come here with good intentions, and the system works for the most part because we work together. I guess iNat could establish more rules for posting and identifying, but I suspect no one would be happy then.

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Just my 2 cents, in the context of iNaturalist, I have never considered either the identifier or the observer to have any special burden of proof. I think that burden is shared equally by both.

That said, though, after it is clear which of several organisms in an image is the observer’s intended focus for identification, that intent should be respected.

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Sometimes I’ll add a circle around the particular species I’m interested in or insert a zoomed and cropped image. That’s only really useful if you’re uploading from a computer rather than a mobile device though.

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So OBVIOUSLY there is an anole in this picture.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/32217785

Back to the original poster’s complaint. The person, the poster is complaining about, only made comments in all examples but one. The original poster should be capable of simply ignoring them.

Seems like an unnecessarily snarky comment (here and there). Just mark it as no evidence of organism and politely ask if they meant to ID as anole or if they uploaded the wrong picture.

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I would have just commented that there is no anole visible in this picture, but FYI the plant is Blue Porterweed and left it at that, without changing the ID of the record. The submitter can revise the ID to the plant if he/she wants.

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As I keep saying, I’m not complaining about a particular user. Those were just examples with easy access since it was recent. It’s hard to find others, like I said, because I don’t know how to search for observations with comments. The tufted titmouse is a good example, that I’ve already explained, of other users seemingly ignoring my description.

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Here you go! :)
https://www.inaturalist.org/comments?for_me=true

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There’s an amusing discussion elsewhere on this forum that highlights how different reviewers might (mis)interpret a photo where the subject is obvious to some but not to others: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/what-do-you-see-in-this-photo/5950/2

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Thanks!

A frustrating reality of working with large numbers of volunteers (like me) is that we don’t know how to do it right. You can teach one of us, then another, etc., but then there come others who don’t (yet) know, for example, to pay attention to what you wrote. Sometimes it’s best to take a deep breath, sigh, and let it go. And do what you can to channel volunteer efforts toward what you want them to do.

I have identified the “wrong” species in photos sometimes (and apologized if that’s pointed out to me). I’ve often listed additional species in the photo because I hope that will be helpful. I’ll probably continue to do that, I hope only if the observer didn’t make a list elsewhere in the post, but we can’t be sure.

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Someone mentioned upthread that most reviewers spend a couple seconds max on IDs and at first I was concerned, now I feel like that explains sooo much haha. I’ve had people leave comments and change IDs with no explanation and then never respond when I comment back. I guess they come back and see they hadn’t really been paying attention but don’t want to admit it?

On each observation I spend a couple minutes at least when IDing, because I know I can and will be wrong, and I want to see the subject and the variations in coloration and pattern and such. I can’t imagine getting any satisfaction from drive-by IDs.