Search comments by user_id

It would be extremely useful to be able to search for comments by user. Analagous to the search for identifications by user id (ident_user_id).

& for comments that I have made on the observations of another specific user (so filter my comments by those made to another user). I understand this might be a bit niche but I have wished to do it several times lately.


This would be helpful from a moderation standpoint too.


Yeah, I’ve always thought it kind of odd that there’s a search box once you filter to your own comments or observations:

but there’s no search box on the unfiltered comments page:


bumping this, it would be very helpful as a Curator. just encountered a guy who has been telling newbies with, let’s face it, pretty terrible photographs to delete their observations :( and I have no way of finding his past comments


I have been telling my students who post observations with no photograph and no location to delete those. The students have also posted some truly unidentifiable observations, those I usually recommend that they upload an improved image of the plant. There really is no easy way to tell from iNaturalist that I have an instructor-student relationship with the observer. Bear in mind the class is online with students on different islands. So all communication is online either in iNaturalist or via the college learning management system. There are many opportunities for miscommunication as a result.


I can understand that. Thanks for the perspective. I did send a message to the user, and if he had responded with an explanation that would have been fine.
And I agree, there is definitely content that cannot possibly be identified. But you and I see this as an opportunity to teach a new user about how to take better photos. This guy just left unfriendly comments and then got pissed at me for giving any ID at all.
As it happened, he also insulted me in a comment, ignored my warning, and then started flagging my content. He has been suspended.


I think that is a valid form of mentoring, and one that the students have an expectation will take place.

I welcome advice by others on how to make observations, even this far into the game, but I would always draw the line at other “equals” telling me what to do. I do find it frustrating that when I make suggestions to others, that occasionally there is a complete resistance to any amount of logic or reason, so I think it goes both ways…


and I agree… bump on this feature request, it would be super useful!

but I’ll take the opportunity to state the obvious:

  • Small Team
  • Huge “to-do list”
  • Oh! What a Year it’s Been!
  • Issues of scale, both now and going forward.

Was about to make a forum post asking this very thing- this would be massively useful from a moderation standpoint.


Hey, iNat staffers,

We are not really asking for a new feature, just for someone to tell us how to access a functionality that already exists.

We know the server can find all my comment-box comments with the keyword “gall” when I enter the URL "" That means it has the functionality to search for comments by a specific user.

The server is translating the characters “mine” as “user_id=nancyasquith” after determining that “nancyasquith” is the one signed into iNat from the computer that made the request.

So what can someone else type to access that very same set of data?

Or, more to the point, what do I type to get the exact same results loarie or tiwane or kueda will get when they type “”?

You can’t get the same results as anybody else as you can see, you can’t search with anybody else id and searching for “mine” will always be about user entering it, that’s the point of this request.

I agree completely.

My point is that if the server can find all comments by melodi_96 about, say, Crabronidae, for you then it can do that for anyone. I am sure the URL already exists. We just need someone who understands API documents to tell us what the URL is.

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It doesn’t work with “user_id=x”, so apparently it’s not there right now, or there’ll be no request, as we all can just remember url we need or write it down. @pisum

i don’t think this particular page gets data via the API. it looks like a relatively old design (compared to other parts of the site), and it doesn’t seem to be more modular than needed. i believe this is the relevant part of the code that controls how the page interacts with the database:

that’s not to say that you couldn’t adapt this to make something that could search comments by user_id. you definitely could. but i don’t think it would likely be approached as a minor tweak to that page. i think you have to think of it as requiring a lot of new development to create a new API endpoint and a whole new page / interface. (i think they currently store identification notes and comments separately, and i bet if you were going to go down this route, you would want to fit those into the same common structure so that you could search for both comments and identifications at the same time – and that would be more work.) so you’d have to make a strong enough case that that kind of development is worth the effort.

personally, beyond the moderation use case, it’s hard for me to imagine great use cases for a search tool on comments that doesn’t also search identification notes. stalking would be a probable use case, i think, but that’s one of those bad use cases that you would want to avoid.


seems like functionality to handle the moderation use case has been implemented?

should this feature request still remain open at this point?


As a non-curator, it could still be helpful for finding comments that explain how particular IDs get made. Occasionally there’s a really insightful explanation that I recall reading but can never find again.


I think I’m going to close this. We don’t have any plans to create a comment search tool for non-curators.