Suspended Users - Enhance users "Identifications" page to manage deleted content

When used pre-emptively, it does not mean “don’t read this”; it means “yeah, I know this looks like a wall of text, so here’s a short taster”. It’s actually intended to encourage you to continue reading, despite the daunting prospect represented by the cliff-face of verbiage that follows.


I did not find this definition when I did a brief google search for the term. I found the “didn’t read” version, but not the “don’t read” version either.

We shouldn’t be using abbreviations like this at all, it confuses people and is very unwelcoming to new users to have to try and decode things. Even worse when we use abbreviations “off-label” from accepted meanings. I can understand using iNat specific abbrevs that occur extremely often, like “obs” and “ID”, and even iNat itself. And it is difficult to come from one “forum” where it is acceptable to use them, but we should try not to use them here. A better term here (if that was the intended meaning) would have been Introduction: or Preamble: or even Brief:

Maybe we need a tutorial on how to write clear and succinct messages on the iNat forum.


I started a Glossary (linked above), but I think given the international nature of iNat that we also need to be thinking about how our posts might “translate” into other languages. When you know who your audience is and what they understand (ie DMs or Direct messages) then you can use terms and language that might be specific to that group, but in an open forum you need to keep it to what can be understood by everyone, or define/explain as you use. We don’t need a guide as such, outside of what is already provided in the forum on-boarding… just the mantra of “communicate effectively to as wide an audience as possible”

Yeah, I was being a little snarky. Too many long threads on the forum that are hard to decipher.

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Folks, please stay on topic.


I guess it’s up to you, but if you know it’s spam, why ID it? Or did you realize it was spam only after you added the ID?

Yes. That’s what happened.

So would your request be to have that option for otherwise inaccessible IDs?

Yes. That, and I think that the “identifications” page deserves a separate thread to discuss the page layout & buttons that users are presented with. When hovering over an observation, the user sees the link to “withdraw” appear, but this seems sub-par for two reasons. hovering is an unexpected behavior. It’s a seldom used HTML feature (if ever) on iNat except here, and isn’t intuitive. Also why link to “withdraw”, when “edit” might be what you want users to be corralled to choose first -rather than withdrawing their ID. Also it links to the page where all three options should be present (edit, withdraw, delete), so just explicitly giving the link the title “withdraw” is almost a misnomer.

This is just some food for thought when those user pages get a make-over, nothing critical to the functionality to iNat.

Also, this is under the Bug Reports category, not Feature Requests. Did you originally create the topic in Bug Reports, @KC1LQM?

…Yeah, 'bout that. Totally my bad, lol. I’m gonna change it now, because that is where I meant for this to be, whoops :sweat_smile:

EDIT: Turns out I dont have permission to move this over to “Feature Requests”, if a mod could move this over, that’d be grand -thankx

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TLDR is a prolific term used across the web, although it does usualy come at the end of a lengthy post, and not the begining -though both are apropriate use cases. TLDR is a form of summary (summation?), which is why I opted to lead with it. In my experiance on the web, TLDR and “Summary” are synonymous.

We shouldn’t be using abbreviations like this at all, it confuses people and is very unwelcoming to new users to have to try and decode things

I disagree. Not only that the use of an acronym some people might be unfamiliar with is exclusionary, but w/ the narrow world view that logic represents.

I believe in the userbase here, everyday I see users who are curious and ask questions. I am certain that when they’re confused about something, most will choose to speak up, and ask a question, rather than feel isolated by the sometimes lofty vocabulary used here. And should they not feel confident to write out a post asking about something they’re unsure of, there’s always this.


I’ll have to admit I had seen it a couple times before, but thought it was some sort of weird unicode or html translation thing… like  

I googled it, found out that it meant “too long didn’t read”, which didn’t make sense in the context of your post, so I asked.

It derails and sidetracks the original post. Seriously, what is wrong with using the word “Summary”? It’s been in the dictionary far longer than “TL;DR” and would be understood by considerably greater an audience.

What’s logical about having a choice of two words, and picking the one that’s only been in the dictionary since 2018? What’s logical about using a word and saying “if you don’t know what it means, you can google it”. Last I remember there was a push for “Plain English” contracts and all that. This is like saying “If you can’t understand the contract, hire a lawyer to explain it to you”

Take this one for example. it ended up in a discussion about whether it meant “didn’t” or “don’t”, whether it is appropriate at the beginning of the post or after. Exclusionary? The first couple times I encountered it I didn’t understand what it meant, or even recognise that it DID mean something… I thought it was some glitchy html thing. When there is communication happening that others don’t understand, it leaves you thinking there is “hidden” communication going on. Maybe “narrow minded world view” is some code for “check this idiot out, he doesn’t even know what TLDR means”

I’m not sure why your comments bothered me so much, but it’s been happening a bit lately. I think maybe my world view is not necessarily narrow, perhaps just different, and I seem to be in conflict here too often. Maybe I bring that on myself… regardless, I’m not enjoying my time in the forum anywhere near as much as I used to. so I’m going to call it a day.

English is a living language. We do, need to move with the times. Ask, or Google as needed. I find it fascinating to follow how our language changes. Plants which are indigenous to me, are native to the USA (here in South Africa it wouldn’t be PC to use native) But they are both valid English words.


Folks, there is no reason the TL;DR conversation a) should have been a major part of this thread in the first place, and b) should have continued here after a staff member added a bright yellow post asking everyone to stay on topic.

Please re-read the forum’s Guidelines and remain on topic. If you think something interesting was brought up that needs further discussion, please start a new topic for it.


A post was split to a new topic: Regaining access to account

I often delete ids on my own observations too, cause I hate mess in ids, and if it will stay as anonymous it would look either like 100% my id or that I’m following someone’s idea they decided to take away, neither look pretty good. And it’s gonna be that way in circumstances where 2 of your ids go one after one.

A difference of perception maybe, but I never see it as a “mess”, but rather a detailed account of how the CID came about.

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It can be added as third option.

No… I don’t think this should happen… If someone strongly desires their name to not be associated with an ID then the ID should go as well, even if it was already withdrawn. An ID is a representation of what someone thinks it is. Actually, this is at the heart of why so many people have issues with IDs, in that they think they are putting what the observation IS, not what they THINK IT IS!, Consequently, any ID that is different to what they have put must be wrong, when in fact they are NEVER wrong!

I don’t understand how you draw that conclusion from what I have said…

No. Again, I struggle to see how you conclude that…

This is my opinion:

If a user puts an ID, and mistakenly clicks the wrong taxa in the list, or mistypes the name and erroneously picks up the wrong taxon in their ID, then they should delete it outright… It does not represent what they think the observation is of …

If they change their mind, likely through the discussion on the observation or by gaining further input from outside the observation (such as looking up books or suddenly remembering a relevant character), then they should leave the original ID as withdrawn, as it still represents what they thought it was at that time, but the new ID represents what they think it is now.

If several users put different IDs, then that just represents the fact that there is dissention or difference of opinion about the ID. That dissention is either resolved via discussion, or remains to attest to the difficulty of identifying that particular type of observation.

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I have had a couple “big ones”, where I went truly down the rabbit hole and only quite some time after realised how woefully astray my concept of the taxon had become… and I deleted IDs and comments and arguments and opinions, not out of any embarrassment from others seeing, but more out of personal frustration when ever I saw them myself… To a certain extent it did not contribute to the history of the ID, because everyone else was “on the right page”, and they were likely just waiting patiently for me to realise where I went wrong. Now, a long time after, I wish I had left them in place, withdrawn for the IDs and perhaps with addenda to the comments to the effect that they were off on the wrong track… anyway… it’s such a beautiful day here in Gisborne NZ, I’m tempted to go and observe something!

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