Etiquette question

Not an entirely accurate title: let me explain the “problem”.

I agreed, in 2015, with the original, genus-level identification. Now, another user has added a specific revision.
However, my “reputation” is preventing the “likely id” from shifting. But, I am not sure about the species, and the revision has no notes explaining the choice.
So: should I remove my agreement? Depending on theemphasized text truthemphasized text of the matter, it is either “blocking” a potentially-correct revision, or “saving” an incorrect one from being selected. I suspect that a 5-year-old post is not going to see a raft of agreements or comments that would help resolve the issue. The original poster has not been active for some considerable time.
Perhaps the deeper solution is to make the acquisition of more than (say) 3 stars “harder” to achieve. I certainly don’t deserve my current “power”.

My opinion here is that you could drop a request (comment and link) on someone who is active in the specific field.
As the post is 2015 it is unlikely that anyone else will participate unless you ask.
I think it perfectly OK to keep your Agreement in the most comfortable place. I have strengthened it.
You could (should?) leave a comment for Michael F, asking why he is certain. I’d be happy to move my agreement if the case is convincing.
“Although there are only four species in the genus they are very difficult to identify and require examination of a specimen under a microscope”. and
Of course we should be careful when wording challenges but I feel that someone who adds an ID like this should offer evidence.
As for your valuable Power, that comes with site Commitment and considered ‘wisdom’ and not just your ID score.

Fitton’s key is here

We can rule out frontalis. M. flaveolus has “indistinct obsoletely punctured striae” (on the elytra) as opposed to “strongly punctured striae”. The photo is nowhere near sharp enough to see that character. But it is possible that if you know Malthinus well enough, you could identify it from some other sign, maybe just its jizz. Reading on, seriepunctatus has “elytra lighter, only darkening just before the yellow apices”, which fits this photo.

So to answer your question, I would stick with genus level id and hope Michael Funnell will explain how he got to species.

I’d not. If your best opinion is that you can only agree the genus then that is what you should indicate.

Thanks for the comments.
I’m coming to the opinion (based on looking at various recent posts, as well as older ones) that, in the unlikely event of some of the more annoying bad coding is ever remedied (and these have been listed before, by others), it should be compulsory to add some notes to an identification. OK, there are some species (e.g. adult Robin, Cinnabar Moth larva) where identifications are pretty much self-explanatory, but the majority demand at least a little thought. Some users, such as Chris Brooks, tend to add their rationale as a comment, because hyperlinks in the notes don’t “work” without cut-and-paste (they do link if added in a comment), but that could also easily be addressed, I believe.
iSpot should be - at least in part - about species identification: such notes can be valuable “pointers” for such investigations.

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When considering any id I ask myself “ what else could this be?” I only post or agree to an id if it is clear to me by the photo or comments that it is the best I can do. This does not prevent me being wrong, of course, but it’s how I play this version of the taxonomy game.

If I’m querying an id I try to phrase it in terms of “ can you say why you have chosen this id so I can learn from your post?”

Michael has responded quite well to two of my Comments. I spent quite a while on two of his IDs… It is a difficult genus and I am far from a Coleopterist.
But I consider we should add support when we feel comfortable - I do.
I did NOT ignore JBs reservation and suggestion of M.frontalis

If I am the JB, I haven’t commented on that one.

You are the JB.
I misquoted you really but I looked it up and ruled it out anyway.

Oh yes. Sorry. I forgot the discussion is in the forum and not in the sighting’s comments.

In this post -

David Lester makes a case for not adding notes:
“I think it’s a good thing if, given a name, people have a look for themselves rather than being influenced by details somebody else has given and though lots of people here are very good at it I find it quite tricky coming up with a succinct [typo corrected] description that isn’t inaccurate or misleading.”
I think the reason we disagree may be that I am using iSpot as a learning tool much of the time, so ID notes are valuable for me. Perhaps I should admit to myself that my interest in them is rather selfish.

iSpot is a citizen science project run by The Open University(OU) that was developed to help anyone learn about and engage with nature while sharing and building their wildlife identification skills.

That’s from the About us ispot page.

“Learn & engage,share & build” covers all the options.

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Oh dear…I wrote a lengthy diatribe here about adding masses of resource and helpful notes. Then deleted it!

Been there. We should have a T-shirt printed.

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Question: is adding an agreement to a post already LIKELY (because the original poster, or a subsequent agreement, is someone with ispot ‘weight’), of any benefit?
I can see the point in agreeing to a post to make it LIKELY when we can, but not otherwise. However, I am willing to consider changing my mind if there are good arguments put forward.

Adding an agreement suggests that you agree and are supporting both the ID and the IDer.
Adding agreements increases the score of the IDer. High scoring IDers and agree-ers shift (and strengthen) banners. Banners are rarely locked in ‘modern’ Observations.

Agreeing, when you do, is essential for the well-being of iSpot. The likely banner with one or no agreements is often misplaced, in my recent experience. We can be fairly certain that an ID is right if it has lots of agreements.
Remember that an ID gets a Likely Banner if the user is two icon but, honestly, there are thousands of incorrect IDs with the Banner and no agreements. Look through a few of my iSpotlights

Personally I am for adding an agreement if you agree. The problem is that if you are wrong, then the Likely Banner is often difficult to shift. Better to have a locked banner in the wrong ID but with a decent comment trail, than a Banner but with no agreements (I think!).
Best is to have a sub-curation Taxa-team whose role might be to confirm IDs to the best of collective experience

  1. It reduces the possibility of the identification being changed because someone agrees to or adds an incorrect identification.
  2. It increases the observer’s confidence in the identification; 10 people agreeing to an identification is more confidence-inspiring than 2.
  3. At least some of the time it gives the identifier more reputation points.

Whole-heartedly agree!

Thanks to you all for your Etiquette Answers.
I can see there are several reasons to add agreements to posts and, where these apply, I agree to agree.

I think it’s really good to question WHY we do certain things in iSpot, not everything is straightforward nor readily defended.