V quick question - Questagame users

Do Questagame users (who are on that questagame group account) get notified when someone has commented on their upload?

e.g. https://inaturalist.nz/observations/25250441 - Will ‘merrily’ have been notified that someone has asked for clarification on their obs, or are comments or questions to the uploader a complete waste of time?

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Questagame have changed their system to make iNat comments appear to their users. I am not sure if old observations from before the change are affected by this.


Some quick background on the Questagame issue. Questagame used to post individual users and observations attributed to those individual users to iNat. When they started doing this on 2016-08-10, our understanding was that they had built functionality to allow Questagame users create normal iNat accounts and then were posting observations to these normal iNat accounts (this is allowed under our Terms of Service).

In 2018 we realized that they weren’t actually doing this. They were instead making ‘dummy accounts’ that looked like they were normal iNat accounts but there was no direct channel of communication from iNaturalist to the person presumably associated with this content (ie the account email addresses was something like ‘loarie@questagame’). Since this is against our Terms of Service and not an intended use of iNaturalist, we asked them to stop creating dummy accounts and that if they wanted to post data to iNaturalist rather build functionality to have their users create normal iNat accounts through the API’s we provide. They proposed a plan to build this functionality, stop creating dummy accounts, and rather post observations to a Questagame group account in the interim while they build functionality. On 2018-07-05 they stopped creating dummy accounts and created the Questagame group account.

In March of this year we checked in with Questagame on their progress and reiterated our wish that as soon as possible they (a) stop posting to the Questagame group account and (b) take the iNaturalist username and password form off of the Questagame app (a slightly separate issue but one which is a security risk analogous to the iNat app asking for your Facebook or Gmail password) and asked for a concrete timeline. They agreed to stop doing this by the end of April and reiterated their interest in (c ) building functionality to let people use Questagame to create normal iNat accounts and post to these accounts (something we’re agnostic to but is allowed under our Terms of Service).

We were just notified on May 12, 2019 by Questagame that for unspecified reasons they are unable to (a) stop posting to the Questagame account or (b) take the iNaturalist password form off of their app or (c ) build functionality to let people create normal iNat accounts and post to these from Questagame, that they missed the April timeline we agreed to, and that they can’t give us a date at which time they can do (a) & (b). Though they did mention that they will “reduced the number of sightings coming to the QG group account” and it does look like thats been the case:

We’re currently consulting internally to determine what to do about this issue. We would like for Questagame to stop posting to the Questagame group account but for this account to be left on the site for posterity since it represents the work of 2,547 iNat identifiers, but there’s no way we can make them do that (we can suspend the account but we can’t prevent them from deleting the account, the observations, and the associated identifications). We’d also like for them to remove the iNaturalist password form from their app but there’s no way we can make them do that either.

In the meantime, we’re not sure what kind of content Questagame is posting to iNaturalist and what happens when you interact with that content or that account. We also don’t know what entering your iNat password in the Questagame app does and definitely don’t recommend that you do that from a security standpoint.

Apologies for this admittedly awkward limbo - we take responsibility for not understanding what was happening with Questagame in 2016 and now the problem has grown into something rather disruptive. We’re working to resolve it as quickly as possible, but bear in mind this may result in Questagame deleting the content they posted to iNaturalist (and taking the associated identifications from the iNaturalist community with them).


My apologies, I thought they had fixed it because I see observations coming from individuals in questagame, rather than the group account, and I was sure I had seen replies to questions… maybe they are users that log into iNat as well…

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Thanks @loarie for the detailed response. I hope the issues are sorted out for everyone’s gain.

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Are you saying there is some kind of risk in interacting with Questagame observations?

No, no risk. Just going back to the original question of do Questagame users get notified (more generally what happens) when you interact with content Questagame posted to iNaturalist. We don’t know what happens.


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