Please don't harass people over 'blurry' photos or photos taken from vehicles.

Please don't harass people over 'blurry' photos or photos taken from vehicles.

Firstly, there is no rule against it, anyone is free to add photos of organisms regardless of their perceived quality. This isn't bug guide, no one is 'frassing' or deleting other people's photos, and there's a reason bugguide is tiny compared to iNat.

Secondly, and more importantly, it's very exclusionary. You may not mean it as such, but it can be very ableist and sometimes classist as well. (i know people don't like the 'ist' labels, but when they fit they fit).

Here are some reasons for blurry photos, many of which i know apply to real active users:

-an injured veteran who has limited mobility and takes lots of photos from their car

-an autistic teenager who uses inat to regulate when on unpleasant car rides that otherwise present sensory problems. There are many, many autistic iNat users and some autistic people can not drive and are reliant on others for transportation so can't just 'stop the car'.

-a user in a marginalized group who takes lots of blurry photos from mass transit and probably doesn't have the ability to buy a car. You can't stop a Greyhound bus to take photos.

-lots of people with MERS, long covid, PTSD, and various other issues that greatly reduce their energy level. People have told me being able to do iNat from vehicles has allowed them to connect with nature when they otherwise couldn't.

-some roadside areas are dangerous and/or illegal to stop and get out of the car. Data in those areas won't get collected except from vehicles.

-a damaged phone lens caused blurry photos. I had this happen myself but i am not wealthy and couldn't just run out and buy another phone. Not everyone can afford fancy cameras with big zoom lenses.

The list goes on.

It's fine to clarify features, it's fine to ask if someone got a view of something like diagnostic bark features on a tree, it's fine to disagree that an ID to species level can be verified from a photo without diagnostic features. An occasional comment is fine in the realm of 'wow that is really cool, if you pass back through the area again and it's safe to stop you might want to get more photos, this is important data'. But the harassing, which i see again and again here and on the forum, is not ok. If you keep doing it you are being exclusionist and toxic, period. It can hurt people. It's against the rules and spirit of iNat. Please stop.

Posted on 31 de janeiro de 2023, 03:03 PM by charlie charlie


This is good. A major thing is that the way people go about bringing it up is usually hostile or insulting. There's not as many "this feature is needed"s as there are "this photo is garbage"s. Maybe not always the word "garbage" but I've read plenty of variations that are efficiently dancing around saying so. It's not hard to be polite or kind. That's an overarching issue but I think there would not be as many upsetting/insulting comments about anything if people just were polite when making comments. It's really not hard to do.

Publicado por dysm cerca de 1 ano antes

@dallonw yeah exactly. i mean i am blunt sometimes and maybe should be more polite but this issue seems to go way beyond that, like it's some sort of weird factor where people seem to need to aggressively shame others either because their photo wasn't as pretty, they didn't have the same background knowledge, or they are implied to be lazy. I made this post so that ideally i just link it instead of making comments that turn into arguments on the forum or whatever, because this is a non stop issue.

No one does ecological surveys of roadsides and they are a great way to get the range of common species as well as document new invasives and such, especially since invasives very often are introduced along roads. It harms no one and does have benefit. I get that someone shouldn't do a bunch of iNat while they are actively driving, but i don't think that is usually what is going on with these observations. Mine are taken when i'm a passenger. Or sometimes at long construction stops. But most of mine are identifiable and if they aren't then they can be marked as casual.

I know iNat is still better than most parts of the internet but i find it kinda ironic it got ranked the 'nicest space on the internet' recently because people are WAY less kind on here than they were 5-10 years ago.

Publicado por charlie cerca de 1 ano antes

Thank you for this journal entry. Its incredibly important.

Publicado por bobmcd cerca de 1 ano antes

Good posting.

Publicado por sedgequeen cerca de 1 ano antes

Thanks for the blog post. Since the Forum thread has been closed, yet again!

Publicado por dianastuder cerca de 1 ano antes

I mean really that forum post probably should have been closed a long time ago, before i got going in there. Things that are well established like 'you are allowed to take photos from a vehicle', dont need to be debated again and again.

Publicado por charlie cerca de 1 ano antes

Yes, thank you for posting this.

Publicado por chaparralbees cerca de 1 ano antes

glad it's still helpful, please feel free to link to this if someone is doing this again

Publicado por charlie cerca de 1 ano antes

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