When you try to ID an observation from a user who has blocked you, you get a message incorrectly instructing you to "try again later"

Platform (Android, iOS, Website): Website

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) : Firefox

Screenshots of what you are seeing: See description below, I cannot screenshot this because I am not currently blocked by anyone

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):

Step 1: get blocked by someone

Step 2: try to ID one of their observations

Step 3: you see a popup that says “Failed to save record, please try again later. You don’t have permission to do this”

“please try again later” makes one think that it is a technical problem and they should actually keep trying instead of leaving the user who blocked them alone

In this case me and the user who blocked me are in the same social media group, so I asked them on social media if they blocked me on inat or if this was a server error, and they said they had blocked me over a previous misidentification and had forgotten to unblock me after I corrected it (I know I shouldn’t have been able to correct it after being blocked, so I think they didn’t actually press the block button until after I had already made the correction), so I am now not blocked and cannot screenshot this, but I can confirm that I was blocked at the time, and after being unblocked I immediately stopped getting this message on their observations

That must have been one heck of a misidentification.



I don’t think iNaturalist approves of blocking being used to prevent identifications on your observations. Communicating is a better option then blocking in my opinion.

It now says 3 users for any reason: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/some-updates-to-blocking-and-muting/39866


Why would you block someone over a misidentifacation? We’re all learning here, just be nice and helpful. I feel like blocking people should be saved for things like harassing, innappropriate photos/comments, hate speech, trolling, etc… but the wrong ID? that seems strange to me. Let me know if I am missing something, but it seems petty to block over a bad ID, or any honest mistake.

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it was case where the observation included 2 photos of the dirt under an overturned rock, the first one showed workers of the Hairless Rover Ant (Brachymyrmex depillis) along with ant pupae and a single worker of the Common Porthole Ant (Ponera pennsylvanica), the second one only showed ant pupae and the porthole ant, but the observer had ID’ed it as the rover ant, I disagreed thinking that the observer must have been looking at the porthole ant since it was the only one in both images, but that the AI had seen the rover ants in the first image and identified them instead, I had been going through a lot of obs and had gotten used to these kinds of AI errors, and I made the mistake of not looking to see if the observer used AI (they hadn’t) and it turned out they were actually trying to observe the rover ants, and the second picture included rover ant pupae, so there were rover ants in both pictures after all


@juliereid @sgene @giannamaria You are all mostly right, inat guidelines say blocking should be reserved for harrassment and not be used for ID disagreements, but the current rules say you can block 3 people without explanation so as to avoid making victims of stalking have to discuss details of the problem, so there is not really any enforcement to prevent blocking for bad reasons (maybe if the person confesses that that is why they blocked you you could report to admin, I don’t know how that would go)

As for why you would block over a mis-ID, I don’t know, I have never blocked anyone

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No, it’s totally wrong, I don’t want users who randomly add ids to do it with mine, I blocked them before and will block in the future, misid somewhere else.

If they keep randomly adding IDs, I could see that getting annoying, and if it’s really weird ID’s for that observation, over and over again intentionally, that would be a different thing entirely.

https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/community+guidelines (scroll to the bottom) iNat guidelines say “Blocking is an extreme measure for situations where efforts to resolve differences through discussion have failed and the offending party refuses to stop contacting you.”

And: “Each person only gets to block three people, and we strongly discourage using it to stop someone you don’t like or don’t trust from identifying your observations - you can address problems like that by opting out of the Community ID.”

Please stay on topic, folks. This is a bug report and it’s about intended functionality, not blocking policy, which is pretty clear.

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We used to show a banner on observation pages if the observer was blocking you, but after doing some testing I don’t think we’re showing that now. That’s something we need to bring back for sure.


That sounds like a good idea, that way if I am blocked doesn’t seem like a technical problem where I should keep trying until it works. Like in this case I would have just left the person alone if I knew it was a block

Unless there is some attempt to stop harassment by making blocked users not know they are blocked, but that seems difficult to do well and in that case there should not be anything that instructs the blocked user to keep trying

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Made a Github issue here: https://github.com/inaturalist/inaturalist/issues/3756


This has been fixed. You’ll see a banner on any observation page of a user who’s blocked you.

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