Viewing a suspended user's IDs?


While learning how to better identify species I’ve found it helpful to browse through other experts’ IDs to review for matches and comments of rationale.

Recently I found a small number of users suspended from iNat and now it seems I can’t see their historic Identifications. Is there a way to be able to do this or a process for querying suspended accounts?


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using (replace with their user ID) should still work.

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Thanks! I’m looking at ID’s rather than observations, but it seems */identifications/username works for those.

Are all suspensions permanent or are there the ‘week off for bad behaviour’ types too? It would be unfortunate to lose multiple IDers in an area of expertise.

I could be wrong here, but I sincerely doubt there will be much in the way expertise with suspended users. The reason that I run into most often for suspension is too many stolen photos. I don’t know if you can be suspended for joke ID’s (I hope so, they’re really annoying), but I have run into terrible ID’s and when I check the account, they’re suspended.


I wouldn’t have thought so either, but as far as I can see the users were providing generally good Id’s and they certainly at least weren’t joke ‘way off’ Id’s. One had been here quite a while.

I don’t know the reasons and I won’t pry into them, I just wanted to be able to see their Id’s for reference (validate against what I’m keying or matching likeness).

There is at least one instance (thinking of herpetofauna specifically) where a prominent user/amateur expert who contributed 100,000+ IDs has been suspended (permanently, I think).


There’s a user who creates multiple accounts, adds normal, as you describe ids, valuable in fact, but also talks down to everyone, adds sexist comments and feels like he’s the boss of it, so he’s banned, guess knowledge in systematics doesn’t make you a decent human. And as you’re into parasitoid wasps, it’s likely who you’re talking about.


It always annoys me so much when people with valuable knowledge get themselves banned for being jerks… it’s really not that hard to be polite, but they would rather be rude than be a part of the community.


When someone is banned their existing IDs and observations are not removed unless they request it. Which does sometimes happen.

It’s unfortunate when it happens but I feel like it takes a lot to get banned permanently from inat and I personally don’t believe that any persons contribution to science gives them free pass to be toxic or outright abusive to others. Someone else can learn wasp ID but if someone won’t stop being toxic with repeated warnings they won’t change at that point.


Thanks, fair enough. As graysquirrel said it is really disappointing when someone can’t be civil and respectful and we lose their otherwise useful expertise.


There are exceptions, as with any rule in biology…
Not sure if this is the example @marina_gorbunova was alluding to, but a few weeks ago I saw a huge flareup on the taxacom listserv because an insect systematist from New Zealand with tens of thousands of observations and IDs got banned here. Some of the fault was definitely his, but it does seem like iNat needs to have more nuance in their tiers of punishment instead going straight to a permaban.

Also, I think we should rethink the current landing page for suspended accounts. If iNat keeps someone’s data, they should leave their account page populated (i.e., keep the functionality so you can click through to their observations / IDs, etc) but clearly tagged as suspended + inactive. The way it works now you have to know how to work the URLs, which is an odd half-measure.

This user isn’t from New Zealand, in that case they did everything to be banned, but IMO there’re more problems with deleting accounts than banning, at least ids stay. I think people in permaban always can talk their way out with staff.

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Call me cynical, but my experience on the web generally – and the world generally – is that that appeal procedures are just there to let you dissipate your anger and feel like something might change. I dunno, maybe iNat is different…

I say it after talking with staff, if this person wanted to change, actually, he’d be welcomed back, thing is rarely people change without help, plus it’s kind of toxic behaviour you’d expect from some professors who really think everyone else is dirt under their nails and call them blind children, it’s not a thing to be changed in this life.


I can’t get into details but want to say for an established user to get a ban like that, a lot had to happen. It isn’t gonna happen from a one time infraction. There’s a lot more to that story than what you will hear when the banned person goes on other websites to give their side.

Which isn’t to say the system doesn’t need improvement. It does.


We don’t want or need to know the details behind an iNat permaban.

I hope the iNatters on the other side (be kind) are still with us and active.


The only thing discipline ever taught me was parallax. The same holds true in situations like this.

TBF, I’ve done moderation (on a now defunct tech site). I never saw a person get banned that didn’t deserve it…but almost none of them ever admitted to deserving it. People will paint themselves as a damn angle while sending harassing and threatening PM’s to other users, calling people all sorts of names, etc. It’s not about discipline, it’s about maintaining a decent experience for all users. I never gave a damn if a ban-ee learned a lesson or not, I just didn’t want them making everyone else miserable.


it’s not discipline, it’s removing a toxic person who can’t follow the rules and harasses other users.


I’m aware of this person. Their suspension is a huge loss to our ability to identify critters in NZ.

The person in question is still posting IDs with sockpuppet accounts. It also appears that those accounts get regularly suspended. It all seems like a somewhat juvenile game of whack-a-mole - but at least they’re still adding to the body of knowledge.