When a user "disagrees this is" a certain species

When a user “disagrees this is” a certain species it would be helpful if they then suggested what they think it is but this very often doesn’t happen. I understand if I’ve identified a Lion as an Elephant and it’s an obvious disagreement. When it’s not obvious I would really appreciate some input in what they actually think it is. I guess the only way is to ask the question of the “disagreer”

Similarly when you know what something is and you are 100% sure, if someone disagrees in your opinion wrongly, what’s the etiquette for dealing with this please.

Does anyone have any thoughts or is it just something you just have to live with.

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I don’t think it’s always that simple. Someone may know that the individual you photographed does not belong to the species you proposed because it does not appear to have some set of diagnostic characteristics for that species. But knowing that an individual doesn’t belong to species x because it lacks certain characteristics has no bearing on your ability to match it to a different species (or family, or whatever) because of the characteristics it does have!

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Most users who frequently ID other people’s observations want to do it as quickly as possible. Most people are not interested in why IDers agree or disagree anyway, they just want a name for their observation, therefore it would be pointless to explain the reasoning all the time. But if you want to know why, then just ask. Most IDers will happily explain if you are interested.

To your second point: again, ask them why they disagree. If they can’t give you a convincing explanation tell them why they’re wrong and ask them to retract their ID. If they don’t, ask other identifiers of the taxon to correct the ID and to outvote the wrong disagreement. If this happens repeatedly with the same person, I think there is also an option where you can block them or something (I’m not sure, though).

But in the end we have to live with it since the system allows people to give wrong IDs. From my experience that’s something that happens very rarely anyway, though (at least when the observation already had a proper ID before - initial IDs are often very wrong of course). But if such issues occur, communication with the involved individuals is key.

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Just ask ider why they disagree, it’s impossible to explain each id one adds or we would recieve much less ids because of time it takes to write a comment, so if you have questions you’re free to ask them.

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Hi @GlosterBirder, check out this recent topic https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/request-documentation-when-research-grade-is-changed-back-to-needs-id/25533/

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Agree with this. Commenting on each identifications takes time, especially if you also try to include references. Some identifiers ID like really really lot so it is simply not feasible to comment every time.

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I agree. I often see moths that are not the species they have been identified as, but I don’t know what they actually are.
I will leave a note to that effect, though. Personally, I see part of my identification ‘job’ as teaching. It does slow me down, but I feel it is important, especially for newer users. I want to stress that this is just my take on things - I don’t expect everyone to do the same.

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Hmm… I don’t think it would be pointless at all, it would be helpful and educational. But, I do think it may not be practical to explain all the time; especially if the goal is to add as many IDs as possible in the time one has available.

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to others who land on that obs - but not necessarily for original observer, who might never return.
Ask - and people can be amazingly patient and kind. But tiresome for busy identifiers, if their careful explanation is a waste of their time.

iNat would benefit from those identification explanations being available at the relevant taxon level. Is it A or B?

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While I wouldn’t expect someone to know what a species IS, if they disagree with my suggestion… I would certainly hope they can tell me why they think it IS NOT a certain species. There are a lot of species I can identify thru pictures, more in hand… But when it comes to one I don’t know, I can really only discuss how it ISN’T the one I know, not what it IS. If that makes any sense.
It’s amazing how we can overlook little details with the ways our minds are programmed to recognize patterns and similarities. Details are everything… And I might be able to fill your head with details about the species I am familiar about, but have almost nothing to offer when it comes to those I don’t have experience with personally.

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Usually when someone disagrees with my ID, I first look at their profile to judge their credibility, ie whether they seem to have a lot of experience in the particular field (of dragonflies or crabs or whatever it is). If they do appear to be more experienced than me, then I typically ask them what features helped them draw that conclusion. If it’s obviously a mistake then I mention them in a comment to ask them to fix it (for instance, I recently had somebody ID the flower in an observation of an insect that happened to be on the flower).

But if they seem like a more unreliable person with no particular evidence of deep knowledge, I usually just ignore it. Sometimes I tag two or three of the most prolific identifiers of the species that I think it is and invite their input, so that the probably-wrong ID gets outvoted quickly.

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I rarely ask someone to retract or change an ID (a request that is easily misconstrued). Sometimes I provide evidence that supports an ID that someone has made (or didn’t make) but in the end it’s probably simplest to tag one or more people to take a look.

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I have ID’ed something incorrectly and sat back to watch people agree with it just to increase their numbers, validating my concerns when iNaturalist added the whole competition and numbers to the site.
I have also had people put erroneous information on observations as a matter of specifics. IE: It’s a bird vs specific waterfowl, and have had iNaturalist peeps confirm complaints about some people. I have also been stubborn as heck on some observation ID’s I have been 100% wrong about and we’re grateful for the challenge.
I have given up being emotionally involved. It is what it is, people can be helpful or be ego feeders, I try to have my ID’s as specific as possible in order to label photos for others to use. For that, I might start at iNat and get more specific confirmation elsewhere

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How do you “disagree”? I can’t see anything except “agree” so if I disagree I just ignore it. It rarely happens because I suck and I generally find the suggested ID is right after I look into it. But a very few times the ID wasn’t right or was more broad than I had already identified.

I really wish there was a way to thank those who give a correct ID, like a :+1: or something. I’m never sure if anyone will get a notification if I reply in the thread to thank them or if that’s even acceptable to do. Or, maybe just agreeing is thanks?

Kinda new here. I feel bad getting corrections but not knowing how to say thanks!

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By adding an ID of your own which is different.

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Write a comment, there’s always a notification, you can tag them too, that’s ok, agree button is for adding your own id faster, you shouldn’t use it if you can’t id the taxon by yourself.)

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Welcome to the iNaturalist Forum @Debra!

That is a really great point, and confusion about the “Agree” button has been the topic of much discussion here on the Forum. Unfortunately many newer users interpret “Agree” to be the equivalent of “Thanks” or +1 or :+1:. But instead, “Agree” is meant to be a convenient shortcut when you want to add your own identification that matches one of the existing identifications on the observation. And this should only be done if you are reasonably confident that the ID is correct.

So as @Marina_Gorbunova noted, currently the best way to thank someone is to add a Comment to the observation. People automatically get notifications of comments on observations they have previously identified, unless they specifically turn off those notifications in their user settings (or unfollow the observation). Sometimes @ tagging their username within the comment (like I did with your and melodi’s username in this post) increases the chance that they will see a notification.

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I will leave a polite comment detailing the evidence I see in the observation that supports my ID, and explaining why that same evidence rules out the disagreeing ID. If I can do that clearly enough, most of the time that will either persuade the other person to change or withdraw their ID, or it will initiate a discussion where they might point out other evidence that supports their ID instead. Sometimes my initial 100% certainty gets scaled back a bit!

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One way to say thank you is to pay it forward.
Add IDs at a level where you are comfortable and enjoy it.

Every little helps, even lep… and annotate larva for caterpillars. That relieves experts from digging thru pages of unknowns for the caterpillars that interest them.

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If the wrong ID is generated by the app, I just correct it. But if I see that the observer felt it was the wrong species, then I add a quick note as to why. Then if they want more information, they can ask me. This has worked really well for me.

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