I disagree: but I understand your viewpoint.
I think that there are two issues here:
1. What is the site philosophy. So this has been the stance of iSpot UK and I respect that. It was part of the UK site philosophy and to change it would be wrong.
However, it was not part of the southern African site philosophy when we started as an independent site. Unlike the Uk where iSpot is just another tool and a "quickly get an ID" tool at that, in southern Africa we decided to use iSpot as our tool for biorecording, to be used by scientists, conservation planners, environmental practitioners and national projects (just as our marine SeaKeys, our alien Rapdi Response, our Western Leopard Toad monitoring and other projects such as Redlisting, Roadkill, and so forth. So our philosophy was if you dont want a permanent record, dont use iSpot; you are welcome to delete your observation until someone else has contributed to it, after which it is a communal record and no longer yours alone to decide. Part of our problem is legal: if we make some planning decision to say stop a development based on iSpot data, we dont want the developers (or any other action or lobby group) to buy off users and get them to remove some data.
However, when the site were amalgamated our instructions to users were just eliminated and the UKs philosophy was without any discussion or warning foisted on us. For instance, our users who were participating in several nest recording schemes suddenly discovered that this was "illegal' on iSpot.
So whilst I appreciate your view from a UK standpoint, I do not find it acceptable from the southern African perspective: if you wish to retain the "delete" philosophy, then dont use ZA iSpot: go and find another Virtual Museum to play with.
2 But even in the UK (on the old site, not this travesty) , you cannot withdraw an ID! You cannot edit or delete a comment or reply once it has been replied to. So for most of the content of the site you dont have the option you claim to regard as sacrosanct anyway: what is the difference between applying this to IDs and comments compared to observations.
As I said the UK site is a mere ID service, it does not matter, but for southern Africa there are major legal implications if observations are removed. What is crucial though is that users understand this when the contribute to the site in the first place.