Remove a follower

Platform(s) mobile, website

Description of need:
I don’t like anyone to follow me, or only allow people I allow to follow me, which means anyone can view my observations, but just don’t follow me, I wish that 0 was displayed in the function of counting followers, there is no reason, I just like it. hope this feature will be implemented as soon as possible. Let me emphasize that almost all social platforms have this unfollowing follower feature, don’t they?

Feature request details:
Add the ability to unfollow followers like other social media platforms

Anyone can view your observations even if they don’t follow you; iNat data is public. If users follow you, it just means that they get updates when you post something. iNat is a social media platform, but it’s also a citizen science platform, so it will not always do things like other platforms (for good reason). For example, you can only block three users on iNat.


I’d support this. Even on sites where all your content is otherwise public, like a public Twitter account, users are able to remove their followers. This is a pretty purely social feature of iNat, so not particularly related to any “scientific” needs.


It does help me to be able to follow the top identifiers of a taxon when I am trying to learn identification of something new. It helps to see as many correctly identified observations as possible and the tips on ID that top identifiers will sometimes add.


I don’t see a single reason to implement this, it goes against iNat community spirit.


I’m not sure that the Follow feature impacts whether or not you see someone’s identifications. Following a user does not provide updates on other people’s IDs via email or on the dashboard. You’d need to use a URL edit like ident_user_id in order to view that. And if the user adds an ID to an observation you’re subscribed to (for example because it’s yours or you added a previous ID to it), you’d still get a notification of their subsequent ID.

And, subscribing to places and taxa would still be available.


I would really like this too; one of my iNat followers is someone I’ve had a couple of uncomfortable interactions with on other platforms and it would be really comforting to know that he can’t easily keep track of where I am / what I’m doing lately.

I obscure all of my observations for my own safety, but it’s sometimes fairly obvious where I am based on what I’m posting, so the location settings alone aren’t a perfect solution for dealing with things like that. Blocking isn’t great either because of the fear of retaliation; they would find out at some point.


Follow requests would probably solve most problems related to unwanted followers. I ultimately disagree with outright removing one’s own followers, but I also understand the need for online safety, so giving users the option to require others to submit a request before following them makes sense. Of course the question becomes what to do with one’s current followers if such a feature is implemented?


What effect does blocking and/or muting have on a follower? It would seem strange if a blocked person could still be your follower. If safety/uncomfortable interactions is a concern, perhaps blocking is the more appropriate tool, but if it doesn’t do anything…

I don’t really like the idea of having to ‘accept’ a follower like a Facebook friend, but it does seem to make sense that a user should be able to excecise some discretion over who is following them. I think what the poster is asking for is ‘universal opt-out’ from followers. I certainly wouldn’t like such a thing to be obvious, or to have attention drawn to it, but perhaps it should exist?


But for people with stalking issues - flat out saying - No, thank you - would be a red flag to their stalker.

@matthewvosper perhaps needs an - on request solution - which is only available to iNat staff - and then only visible behind the scenes to them. Not something a stalker, or their flock, could see. Only visible to the vulnerable and iNat staff.


Yeah I can see why it wouldn’t be ideal. Since I’ve never had issues with online stalkers I’m not well positioned to debate this feature request.

I do wonder what blocking another user consists of. Is it equivalent to muting them (an option available to every iNat user) or does it have to be allowed by a curator? Can a blocked user still consult the “blocker’s” observations? If so I don’t know what advantage it procures over muting.

1 Like

You just block them and they can’t interact with you or your uploads, but blocking does nothing against a stalker, that’s why removing followers will achieve nothing at all, for blocked one they just need to log out, though you still can open observations even if blocked, for stalker you don’t need to follow a user, just open their page in a separate tab and pin it, you will see all uploads as if you were subscribed.


I don’t like when when people follow me for no reason, they don’t even id my observations, so I wish that I could just get rid of such followers.

Why? Most followers follow observers for their nice pics, I can’t id what people post from other side of the world, do they all want me to not look at their pictures just because I don’t know what the species is?
Plus, you have one follower, did you mean your experience from another website?


Not experience from another platform, but it feels a little annoying when someone is following, and I can’t even interact with them, I mean the follower doesn’t even say anything or id anyobsevation.

You can dm them at any time, but why would they need to tell you something? They subscribe for what you post, but not all of users are iders.


I get it.

I suspect there are also many who follow people who have done IDs for them, maybe so they can give back. I have about ~50 followers, have interacted with 2 of them and am pretty sure the others are not doing it because of my great pictures.


Oh, that’s me :sweat_smile:

I was following you because, as Marina stated, I was interested in what you posted. Frankly, I know nothing surrounding organisms in India, so attempting to ID something would be silly. Seeing that made you uncomfortable, I have unfollowed you. (a short dm to me explaining your perspective would have been preferred). Anyway, no hurt feelings, it’s understandable.


I don’t have strong opinions about this overall, but I guess a system kind of like what is used for adding observations to projects could be implemented. (Like now, some users don’t allow their observations to be added to projects, some allow use if they belong to a project, some allow any use of their observations.) Maybe for followers: this user doesn’t allow followers/ this user allows followers who request and get permission/ followers allowed without restriction.