Virtual storage space brings issues of power use and global warming, climate change - which naturalists care about.
The amount of climate change caused by inat is infantessimal compared with its value. Not a reason to delete data.
And today’s temporarily photography-challenged users may be tomorrow’s voters most interested in climate change, if they are respected here.
I found this discussion very interesting and productive. It made me think about why I use iNat, and I’d like to offer my own statement of purpose: “To connect people with a shared interest in nature through discussions centered on their personal observations.” For me, the key contribution of iNat is connecting people with each other. If we look at iNat from that perspective, all observations have potential value if they lead people to converse intelligently and respectfully about what they have observed,
That’s a good insight. The personal-observation aspect of iNaturalist assures that people don’t participate passively. Either they are out there observing or they are actively identifying, or both. People learn by being curious and by building on what they know, and iNaturalist fosters exactly those activities. And the more people know, the more they care.