What to do about 'opted out of community ID' when identification is wrong and user is inactive?

I suspect this has been brought up before but have run across this a few times and was just reminded of one today.
An observation where the user has opted out of community ID, their ID is incorrect and multiple other people have agreed on a different ID, yet the observation stays at the incorrect ID since the submitter has not been active for several years (and may never return?). What can be done in these situations? It really throws off the range maps for some species.
Also - looking more to the future - what happens if a user who has opted out of community taxon (even a user who is active and will update their ID if corrected) passes away - and then IDs are corrected, taxonomy changes, etc? Will those mis-ID’d images stay that way for all eternity? Maybe if a user isn’t active for a certain period of time (probably a really, really long period of time) - their images will revert to accepting the community ID?


I agree, this is an issue. I proposed a change in the Feature Requests related to it here: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/change-to-the-way-opting-out-of-community-id-works-was-almost-always-display-community-id/3953


There should be no opting out of community IDs on a community-based identification website. There is no real justification for this being an option. Putting aside the issue of misidentifications, there’s no way to resolve the taxonomic problems this is capable of causing. Currently, the only real solution is to mark these rogue observations so that they are “Casual”.


Comments there tell me there are, good reasons for opting out.
But it is an issue that needs resolving


I see a single user in that thread who feels that they need to be the final arbiter of what ID gets attached to their observations. It’s an admirable sentiment, but also fairly arrogant. And if that user gets hit by a truck tomorrow, there’s no way to address any misidentifications or taxonomic reshuffling.

I’ll reiterate the point I made earlier (in both threads). This is a community forum for identification. If someone is uninterested in being part of the community, they would be better served uploading their photos onto flickr, etc. The observations that accumulate here ultimately make their way into various databases (GBIF, etc) and that data needs to be easily amended if it is in error.

It is important to understand there are 2 different ID’s linked to a record, the community ID and the display one (not sure if there is a formal term).

The display one freezes to the submitter choice if they opt out, but the community one changes with votes. Pretty sure it is the community ID sent to GBIF etc. Its just jarring the more visible and in your face is the display one.


But the Observation ID also shows up in searches, maps, etc., so the problem mentioned above permeates into other parts of the site.


Closing to focus on existing topics.

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