Should we change the way "opt-out" observations are treated?

Yes, you’re right.

This isn’t how the opt-out works. In the case you are referring to, someone must have checked “yes” in the last question of the DQA (“Based on the evidence…”) in addition to opting out. That’s a completely separate issue than the opt-out, and any observation can have the problem you describe if that box is checked.

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I don’t understand your reply or how it follows my comment.


I just tried an experiment… my understanding was that when there is dissention on the ID it would drop out of Needs ID and go casual… but it’s not actually the case. It remains in the Needs ID pool. It is not until someone flips the “Can ID be improved” switch that it drops out and becomes casual. Therefore, it just falls on the first identifier that notices that it is opt-out to flip that switch

I think Frank might have been under the same mis-understanding as I was about the Casual/Needs ID status changing after the dissention? I wonder if it was like that at some stage, and it changed at some point…???

I would think that a better approach on this would be to have it drop out to casual as soon as there is greater than 2/3 dissention, ie no longer in the Needs ID pool, and for it to be brought back into the needs ID pool if “Can be Improved = yes” is set. [But only for opt-outs, of course!)


Yep, that has been my experience. I don’t think there’s a threshold of dissenting identifications, which is why I have been selecting “no” to whether or not the community ID can be improved (when it can’t). That is, when there’s many people chiming in and I’m certain they’re correct. This removes it from the “needs ID” pool and sets it to casual. Sometimes this doesn’t work because someone has selected “yes”, which is likely due to not understanding the wording of the question.

The identifiers are the heart of the community. Observers (which I assume we all are, or are potential observers) are just one small part of the community. As far as I’m concerned, opting out of community ID is opting out of the community.


I completely disagree with this… I think the number of observers (and here I mean observers that continue to make observations outside of any “giving it a go” period of time) far out number the identifiers (and here I am not counting those IDs made by selecting a CV suggestion or just agreeing blindly to another’s ID, but rather the regular IDers that exercise a degree of knowledge/expertise, or that have access to resources/literautre that can support a highly confident ID). Further, an observation can exist without an IDer, but it can’t exist without the observer. If referring to anatomy, I would refer to identifiers as the brain of the community, and the observers as the heart

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Actually, iNat staff/developers are probably better analogised to the brain, as they make decisions on the communities direction. The heart as observers is a sound one, if we think of observations being the “life blood” of iNat, and thus the observers keep it flowing. Maybe the Identifiers are the liver/kidneys, filtering and cleaning and ensuring the integrity of the blood!

It’s kind of fun to think of a community centred around living organisms in terms of being a living organism itself… the connectedness of everything!

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Yes, this must be a recent change then. It formerly did drop to casual once there was a 3rd dissenting ID.

Edit: the 3rd dissenting ID moving it to >2/3 dissenting if there is only the single original incorrect ID.