Responses to Flags

Responses to Commonly Flagged Situations on iNaturalist

Any iNat user can flag taxa, observations, comments, photos, identifications, and other sections of the website. Curators can see the most recent flags in the "Curation" box on their Dashboard and view/filter all flags by visiting For more detailed information on managing flagged and inappropriate content, see the Curator Guide page. Below are some text options curators can use or modify when resolving flags on issues that occur frequently.

A new user's test observation is flagged

New users often post test observations to ensure the app is working prior to getting out and exploring nature. Instead of flagging the observation, we recommend marking the observation as "Evidence of organism? No" in the Data Quality Assessment section or identifying as evidence of humans (Homo sapiens) if applicable. Thanks!

Observation of human is flagged

Instead of flagging observations of humans, we recommend simply identifying it as human (Homo sapiens) which will make the observation "Casual" grade automatically. Thanks!

alternate, if already IDed as human): This observation of a human is accurately identified. All observations of humans are automatically considered "Casual" grade and should only be flagged if in violation of iNaturalist's Terms of Service or Community Guidelines. Thanks!

Non-spam is flagged as spam

iNaturalist's definition of spam is specific: anything that is clearly intended to make money, which could be links to spurious sites or attempts to manipulate search engine indexing through lots of text or links to weird places.

Observation rather than photo is flagged as copyright infringement

Instead of flagging the observation, you can flag the photo directly as copyright infringement. This replaces the photo with a big "COPYRIGHTED MEDIA REMOVED" image and marks the observation as "casual grade." You can flag the photo by clicking the small flag icon below the photo, selecting "copyright infringement" in the pop-up, and saving the flag. Thanks!

Flagger indicates the photo on a taxon page is incorrectly identified

I've removed this photo. If you're positive something is identified as the incorrect taxon, you're actually able to correct it yourself. On the taxon page, if you click on "Curation" and then on "Edit photos," you should be able to remove the photo and then add a correctly identified photo if one is available. Thanks!

Taxon is missing (but was able to be added automatically)

If a species or other taxon is missing in the iNaturalist database, try typing the name into the identification field of an observation and choosing "Search External Name Providers." You can also search for it from the main searchbar on any page, click the "Taxa" tab, then scroll to the bottom where it says "Not Seeing What You're Looking For?" and click the search buttons in that section. This will try to import the name automatically from external sources. If that doesn't work, it will need to be added manually by an iNat curator, and in those cases, feel free to flag it as you've done here. Thank you!

Common name is missing

Any iNaturalist user can add common names. First check out the common names guidelines here: Then, on the taxon page, select the "Taxonomy" tab, and you'll see a list of all names at the bottom of the page. Click the "Add a name" link in the bottom right corner, add the name and language, and save. If the name needs to be set as the default for a particular place, you can flag it for curation and a curator will take a look. Thanks!

Message was flagged as spam but user looks legitimate

Note: @tiwane does go through flagged messages. If someone appears unresolved, feel free to send a note to

Hi, iNaturalist's spam-detector flagged a message you sent as spam. This often happens when users send repetitious messages or include a lot of links to outside websites. Messages between users are private, so I cannot see the contents, but I thought I would let you know. If your account becomes suspended due to too many spam flags, just reach out to and they will unsuspend it.

Add or update taxon on place checklist

Note that anyone can add to place checklists in order to mark a taxon as present or absent as well as native, endemic, or introduced to specific places.

To change an existing listing go to the taxon page:
-Click the "Status" tab
-Under "Establishment Means", click "View" next to the place
-Click the edit button next to "Establishment Means", make your changes, and provide a source in the notes, especially if changing an existing status or if it may be a controversial change
-Click Save

To add a new listing, or if there are too many places listed on the taxon page and the one you want to edit doesn't show up, use the main header search:
-Search for the place of interest, e.g. the state, country, or other place you are interested in, then click "About"
-Lefthand side (scroll down)>View check list page
-Search for taxon where it says "Type taxon name"
-If not on list, "Add to list" and add taxon to list
-Once on list, click "Edit" next to the taxon
-Click the edit button next to "Establishment Means", make your changes, and click Save

Flag taxon instead of ID, comment, observation

Thanks for bringing this to attention. In the future, please flag the taxon (or its parent taxon) instead. To do this, go to a taxon page, and on the right side of the page under the graph, click Curation, then Flag for Curation. Flagging someone's ID, comment, or observation is typically reserved for inappropriate content or things that violate the Community Guidelines. Thanks!

Comment instead of, or in addition to, flagging

Users aren't notified when their content is flagged, so it's best to leave them a comment or send them a message if you notice something wrong.

About this Page

These responses were written and edited by various members of the iNaturalist community. Want to add or edit something? Any iNaturalist Curator can edit this page - the link to edit is on the bottom right. Otherwise, reach out to @bouteloua and she'd be happy to work with you on making changes or additions.

Revised on agosto 7, 2023 06:41 TARDE by tiwane tiwane