Rampant wrong IDs and blind agreeing; user won't respond

Please forgive me for the slightly hyperbolic title :)

I know there have been a lot of threads addressing this issue, but this particular case is irking me. A new user (joined ~5 days ago I won’t name there here yet) has been going on a decent ID spree (1100+ IDs) over the last few days.

The problem is that quite a number of these IDs are wrong, many very blatantly so, and they’re managing to do it in every way possible: wrong IDs using the computer vision, wrong IDs of their own volition, blindly agreeing with the observer’s original incorrect ID and creating an erroneous RG record, finding records that are already RG with 3+ correct and agreeing IDs and randomly adding a very wrong ID for some reason (of course this has no impact on the community ID, but still undesirable), disagreeing with correct initial IDs, etc. They’re doing this across pretty much all taxa, and pretty much everywhere spatially, but a lot of Australian records in particular which is how I picked up on it.

As I mentioned, many of their IDs are wildly wrong. I’d understand if a new user was relying on the computer vision and kept adding incorrect IDs for taxa that were nonetheless quite similar looking, but some times the IDs they’re suggesting are way out there (and not using the computer vision).

Now based on their username I’m assuming they’re young, and they’re also a new user, so I’m fairly certain these mistakes are genuine/out of naivety rather than having any malicious intent. Nonetheless they need to be rectified of course, so I’ve commented to this user 15+ times on posts where they’ve made incorrect IDs, explaining their mistake to them, offering links that provide help, asking if they have any questions, etc. All been ignored. I’ve sent them a personal message, which they also ignored. They haven’t withdrawn any of their correct IDs no matter who has asked them to or how many correct IDs have been added to counter them.

To get to the point, how do I deal with someone like this when they literally ignore all channels of communication.

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I think you should tell us who the user is. Yes we should be kind about their age and experience and help them. But whatever their age they should not be able to upend this site.

Rather than posting who the user is here and to stop people investigating on their own, send a message via the direct message ot even email to help@inaturalist.org asking them to look into it.

Regardless of the situation having a gang of folks here start berating them is not optimal either.


I sent a very detailed direct message, but that was ignored, so I guess emailing Tony is the last option as you say

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I though we weren’t supposed to mention specific users on the forum.

I would probably email help (or tag @tiwane) assuming the user has been active since you’ve messaged them (I’m assuming that is the case.


Yep very active the last few days

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I meant a direct message to the site staff.


Thanks Chris, misread your comment

Yes, please don’t post usernames of people you are having issues with to the forum. The best course of action is, as cmcheatle said, to message help@inaturalist.org, or to message Tony directly. And for future issues where the scope is a bit smaller, you can flag individual identifications as well.


Thanks Jane

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Maybe they are using the app, I didn’t even know they existed until I found the site.


closing, to be discussed privately