What to do about intentional troll IDs?

There seems to be a new group of troll users lately. All they do is add purposely bad IDs to observations. (linked removed by moderator)
Any idea what’s the fastest way to resolve them? I’ve been adding the “other” flag to their IDs, but there must be a better way.
Also, the usernames are being suspended as and when possible, but their bad IDs spoil the community ID.

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Curators can’t remove or delete IDs so the only reliable way to fix this type of situation is to overrule the deliberately incorrect ID with enough correct IDs.That won’t completely get rid of it, as it’ll still be visible, but it’ll make the ID obsolete and have no impact.

Edit: A quick way to do this, too, is to tag people to add IDs to push the bad IDs out. For example, please feel free to tag me (dallonw) and I’ll add a counter-ID that’s as specific and close to what I think the actual ID is. There’s other curators who I am sure would be happy to do the same.

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if it’s really a major impact, you could ask staff to deal with the bad identifications. see https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/mass-wilding-of-clearly-cultivated-plants/30589/9.

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Earlier this morning, I’ve sent an e-mail to staff concerning that problem. Depending on the time zone, it needs a little bit of time. Staff can look into the accounts and can block IP addresses in order to prevent the formation of new accounts. Please note, some persistent users found ways to bypass blocking of IP addresses. In any case just keep an eye open and continue to flag intentional wrong IDs.

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I am really new here and I posted for a few id’s. for being new, the response was very confusing, is it someone giving you what family the plant would be in but not the actual identification? that is what happened to me, really just thought I was missing something since I dont really know how to use the website yet.

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Giving a coarser ID (eg. plant family) is often not an intentional wrong ID. The Identifier either does disagree with your specific ID which happens from time to time or the identifier does not now the species only the family, but does not disagree. In the first case, the community ID changes in the second case it does not change your initial ID.
An intentional wrong ID is for example when someone IDs a plant as gorilla.

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This is happening to me as well. Is there a place for us to send you the IDs or can you check?

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Welcome to the Forum @batchgina and @blue8235 !

@batchgina In situations where you are unsure of why an ID was made on your observation, you can leave a comment tagging (@ing) the user who made it and politely asking why they made the ID that they did. You can note that you are a new user and trying to understand the ID process.

@blue8235 The forum isn’t for getting ID help on specific observations. You can take the approach that I recommended above or provide more detail about what is happening with your observations. Intentional troll IDs are pretty rare on iNat. You can also check a user’s profile and see their background. If they are an established user, it is highly unlikely that they are giving purposefully bad IDs.

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@blue8235 @batchgina In cases where you don’t put an initial ID, your observation goes into the unending mountain of “Unknowns”. Many people will go through the Unknowns and put coarse ID’s on them to get them to the attention of others who know more about those groups who will give them a finer ID. For best results, please add an ID upon upload.

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I’ve seen people intentionally mis-identifying an observation as a threatened species so that it becomes auto-obscured, when the observer refused to hide a location someone wanted them to. This is particularly annoying because their objective is achieved even when the ID gets overruled.

@muddytortoise Feel free to tag me for any observation that needs another ID vote against a troll ID, by the way.

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I get my ID’s wrong some times but not on purpose. My goal is to become the top Fox Squirrel observer so do not report me please.

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Welcome to the iNat forum @yes5!

There’s no problem with making lots of observations of a single species - just only observe each individual once/day, and you should be fine.

There’s also no issue with honest mis-IDs - you should just be sure to follow your IDs so that you can modify or withdraw them if you learn that they are wrong or get comments from other users asking you about them.

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I usually see multiple a day and I think most of the time it is not the same a squirrel. Sometimes I see squirrels frequent certain locations, and I’m not sure what the likelihood is that they are the same squirrels. When im suspicius of that, I put it in the description of my post and people mention other who might know but I still have yet to get a definitive answer.

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I have never encountered a deliberate troll ID. Perhaps it’s the group I work with (Canadian Noctuidae). I don’t understand why a person would be so motivated. So I can’t add anything to what has already been said.
For the newer folks who are concerned about wrong ID’s, don’t worry about it. I’ve made my fair share of incorrect ID’s, but not out of malice (which is really what this topic is about). It takes a while to learn how iNat works (I would say a year), and we all make mistakes. Over several years I have learned about available resources, and the characteristics that delineate a species. I still make mistakes, but try to learn from them. It’s a long process sometimes, but as long as there is no malice involved, mistakes are part of the iNat experience

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Thanks for offering to help @dallon and @graysquirrel. We aren’t allowed to single out users on the forum and hence i cannot post a link here. I’ll send you messages via iNat.

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Don’t worry! The identifications we’re talking about here are people who are going onto observations of, for example, a bird, and mis-identifying it as an octopus.

Everyone has a mis-click now and then and puts in a silly-seeming identification, accidents happen, but these people are doing it over and over, so it’s obviously on purpose.

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I’ve just done this. I’ll report back once they take action and tell me.

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@blue8235 @batchgina, it is perfectly normal to add incomplete identifications and many people do this regularly as a way to help get the attention of another volunteer who might provide more information.

Please see this help topic:
https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/help#coarse-ids

I have deleted my app until this problem gets fixed. Otherwise it was a great service.

I took a look at a couple of the observations, and what you’re seeing is people adding very coarse IDs (“plant”) to your observations, not to be flippant, but so that your observation ends up in front of people who might be able to identify it more closely for you. It is a normal behavior and is actually in your interest, since it may help you get your IDs faster.

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