Reword DQA “Evidence related to a single subject” to "A single taxon is consistent in all evidence"

No, I just took the loss. There were other users agreeing with me, one user also was flagged for the same thing, even though they also took the time to explain their thought process too. I left comments on both flags saying why I felt they weren’t fair or logical flags, but the curator who flagged us did not ever answer. Can’t win them all, I guess.

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Yikes. This is bad if the DQA begins to be used in this manner.
I hope this is rectified.
This was your own observation?
( you are the one testifying it is a habitat shot? or you are debating someone else’s observation? )

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Good point… so how about: “All images/audio files relate to the same subject”?


It was not my observation. The first picture is of a cat, then the second image is clearly the same location, with the camera shifted slightly over to the left, and there is an opossum. The notes say “Its a cat, right next to an opossum.” The images show that. The cat isn’t in the second image, but you can see that the area is the same area as the first image, just slightly far to the left. Some of the background is exactly the same, too, like the tree line and an orange cord, so you can tell this is literally just slightly shifted angle of the exact same place and time. I argued this is a habitat shot because the user indicated that the observation is for the cat, and made note of the opossum. I interpret that to mean the subject is clearly the cat, but the opossum was also present at that time, but still not the intended subject of the observation. I think of that as a habitat shot. I understand it’s a case where an argument needs to be made in that defense, but I did make that argument and even asked repeatedly why would it not be a habitat shot. I think it would be different if the user hadn’t identified it as a cat and then said there was also an opossum present. It didn’t appear to be done on accident, or like it was meant to identify the opossum either. It seems that adding the image was supplemental and contextual, which is allowed to my knowledge and functions as a habitat shot…

Even if staff did decide, no, we won’t count that as a habitat shot for whatever reason, being flagged for it upset me and I found it very unfair.

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Yes - that is why I would @mention tiwane. iNat staff make the rules, and that curator may be out of line. Flaggers are still finding their way in new territory. If the observer said ‘obs is for the cat’ then the opossum is context, but not the subject.

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The point I was trying to make is using “yes” (with this particular wording describing a problem) to make it casual and “no” to reset to a proper observation, just the other way round as with all the other DQA items. Therefore moving it to the end.

It has been added to the bottom of the list?

The “can the Community Taxon still be confirmed or improved?” question is separate from the rest of the DQA because it functions differently than all the others. Depending on how it’s used, it can make an observation Research Grade, Needs ID, or Casual Grade. The new DQA doesn’t do this.

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Just a general note to say that it’s not a good use of the forum to try to review/adjudicate specific responses to flags on iNaturalist or decisions about them. Referring to general precedent on flags from iNat is ok if relevant to the discussion, but the focus here seems to have gone somewhat to discussing one specific flag in particular detail and how it was handled as opposed to the feature request itself which focused on specific wording for this DQA and how it could be improved. If there are concerns about a specific flag on iNaturalist, it would be best to mention staff on that flag or email with a link to the flag.

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My impression was that these photos, if they don’t include the subject, should go in the notes or a comment instead of being part of the observation itself? That’s definitely significantly more effort though.

Hmm, it´s also problematic as well
For example, for UK users, they wouldn´t get passed on to iRecord when the observation is imported
And in recording Syrphidae larvae for example, it´s just a really important part of the observation that we need for future reference… as these things are so poorly documented at present.

Habitat can also be a deciding factor in an ID at times.

Overall, I don´t feel habitat shots should be relegated to comments
(It should at least be individual choice)

I agree that ideally the interface will support labeling / have a better option for dealing with habitat shots though.


I certainly understand this and know it’s not the primary focus but I think it is relevant still because it shows that it is going to be difficult to nail down a specific wording for the field when it seems to be already viewed and treated differently among the people who implemented it. I think if there was a solidified approach by staff as a whole it would be easier to figure out how it should be worded to actually reflect what they want it to mean.

I personally feel it should be reserved for accidents, where a user doesn’t know an observation is for one specific organism and will add other unrelated images, or instances where a user erroneously adds unrelated content and fails to remove it, like if somebody adds an image of a squirrel but then the track of a rabbit, or an image of a robin with an audio clip of a starling. I’m not sure that’s what staff wants it to be solely reserved for, though. It still feels somewhat unclear what they want it to be, and I think the discourse around the flag is relevant to that, which is relevant to how we find an ideal wording.


I agree that discussing flags can be useful in general. However, given the amount of detail provided here, it is very easy to identify the specific flag and users being referred to, which borders on violating the forum guidelines for calling out other users. Additionally, I think the relevant points made here by that example can be made without discussing the specifics of the moderation of the flag and whether it was unfair or not - just saying that the situation caused disagreement about how to interpret the DQA would probably be sufficient. It would be better to edit out some of the details provided in comments here so that this isn’t an issue.

I think that determining user intent for something like picture uploads (eg, is something accidental or not) can be quite challenging. It is difficult to use “intent” as a criterion for taking action in many cases, and, while there will always be cases like where there is ambiguity, it’s best to avoid intent as a specific criterion for taking action if possible. “Intent” relies on user/curator interpretation which varies greatly from person to person, and increases inconsistency in application of guidelines, which increases frustration for users all around.

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