I have always assumed that it was very clear that users ‘owned’ their own observations, but this doesn’t seem to be explicitly stated anywhere - perhaps I assume too much.
This is of course for observations, and users which don’t breach the site’s terms and conditions etc.
@Kueda has previously stated users are responsible for their own observations
Only users can edit the description of their observations
Users can assert copyright on photos and the observation data, and not allow it to be used just as the viewer chooses
Users can prevent addition of projects and additional fields to their observation
Users can delete their own observations at any time.
The community normally gets to decide on the identification of the subject of the observation, but even that can be overridden at any time by the user by turning off community ID for that observation.
The one area that the user doesn’t have full control of is ‘Data Quality Assessment’ items, where the user can vote, but the community decision is by majority vote.
But who gets to decide what the subject of an observation is? Are there any situations where the community should identify a different feature of an observation when it is clear which element in observation the observer is interested in? And I’m not talking about when the observer is mistaken about the identification of their subject.
Thinking about it, there have probably been occasions where I have added an ID for part of an observation which wasn’t what the observer intended as expressed by their description, placeholder, or initial identification or maybe even comments. I can’t find a particular instance, but there have been observations where the photo or sound has been very bad (eg far too far away to identify the supposed subject), and I can’t spot the thing they are describing, and have added an ID for some other thing prominent in the photo. eg they have stated their subject is a bird on a tree on the far side of the lake, and I can barely make out the tree, let alone see anything bird sized, but I don’t want to ‘waste’ the observation ;-) (NB I don’t think that I have done this where they have actually added a taxon ID).
I have also seen the observer’s subject overridden (some probably fueled by just looking at a thumbnail in the identification tool) where identifiers have argued against correcting their ‘mistakes’ when it was drawn to their attention.
I now see that this is dishonouring the observer - and it shouldn’t matter how inexperienced they are or how bad their photos, they should be given the respect of not having their stated observation subject, overridden.
So what do others think? Should we have a declared iNat etiquette of respecting an observer’s observation subject choice, however much we are more interested in some other aspect of the observation?