The issue with upgrades... rejections negative impacts

Oakes1923-PGOOakes1923-PGO Posts: 419 ✭✭✭✭

I’m including the above as it’s the latest example of upgrades becoming near useless.

I am part of an active local PoGi community of around 50 active members. A smaller group of us 8-10 have been coordinating stop submissions to improve game ply for the group. We recommend stops, try to help and critique submission descriptions. In the last week as a group we have had four local restaurants, two local coffee shops, a soccer field and a locally owned tiakwon do studio all get upgraded and all get rejected.

It’s getting a little ridiculous and it also has a negative cascade effect.

Let’s talk frost about the submissions. This is a local restaurant, very popular, in a local plaza open to the public with ample pedestrian access.

Is it a live animal? No

Does the description not match the picture or restaurant name? Nope

Is the real world location a single family (or any family) private residence? Hell no

valid stops are being rejected for absolutely no valid reason and it’s happening more and more.

Now the issue isn’t just in that this starts to get really annoying but as I mentioned it has a negative effect beyond the lack of a new portal. Several of our group have stopped reviewing stops when we don’t want an upgrade to mess with a nomination. As more legitimate reviewers do this the system continues to tilt in a negative direction furthering the issue.

I often wonder why folks reject stops? Do they like negatively impacting other people’s game play? Are they uneducated? Is it spite for their own rejections? It seems odd but ultimately it comes down to the negative impact it has on the rest of us that are simply trying to improve gameplay for ourselves and our communities.



  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2021

    People are getting far too excited about "wrong criteria" being applied to rejections. Annoying yes, but as the review system will give you a whole series of whatever rejection criteria the reviewers decided to click on, all it says is that the majority of the reviewing community do not think your nomination meets the criteria for becoming a Waypoint. It's nothing personal, yet complaint after complaint seems to think it is.

    Regarding this submission, I would not rate this highly. A sign and a couple of generic picnic tables . An average looking food stop, with nothing in the title to give me any indication as to why this place is deserving of being accepted. Every bar and restarant will do "great food and good beers", there is nothing special about that.

    Has this joint won any awards for BBQ? Is it mentioned in any travel guides? Are there any newspaper articles about it? "Great food and good beers" is not good enough. To many people seem to complain about the wording of why their nomination was rejected without looking beyond the words and wondering why the majority turned it down. Not from spite or malice in most cases, but because it does not meet the criteria to be a Waypoint.

  • Kellerrys-INGKellerrys-ING Posts: 694 ✭✭✭✭✭

    but by Niantic's own guidelines local restaurants are eligible to be wayspots.

    Local restaurants can be eligible Wayspots, but are not automatically eligible. From the eligibility criteria

    Examples of Wayspot categories

    • Popular restaurants
    • Favorite coffee shops

    "Great food, good beers." as a description isn't going to convince anyone not familiar with your area.

    If your group has been getting all the restaurants accepted with similar descriptions, you've been very lucky.

  • Oakes1923-PGOOakes1923-PGO Posts: 419 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2021

    thanks for the response, however you’re argument has been debunked many times. You don’t need to write a yelp review in the description. (Also you don't see the supporting info whIch mentions that it’s a popular local spot in our area). But to your point it’s eligible so stops like this should have never received a 1*, which is what it would have to have received in order to get the rejection reasons it did.

    Acceptance Criteria

    Nominations and edit submissions must meet all of the following acceptance criteria:

    1. Must meet at least one of the three eligibility criteria 
    2. Must be a permanent physical, tangible, and identifiable place or object, or object that placemarks an area
    3. Must be safe and publicly accessible by pedestrians (indoor or outdoor)
    4. Must contain accurate information in the title, description, and photo

    If it meets the above criteria it should never get a 1*.

    Also you’re missing the point that the others I’ve mentioned have gone through without upgrades but with upgrades it’s instant rejection.

    Flawed argument.

  • Kellerrys-INGKellerrys-ING Posts: 694 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Strawman arguement.

    The only claim I commented was

    but by Niantic's own guidelines local restaurants are eligible to be wayspots.

    which is not true.

  • Kellerrys-INGKellerrys-ING Posts: 694 ✭✭✭✭✭

    but by Niantic's own guidelines local restaurants are eligible to be wayspots.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,976 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't see "local restaurants." I see "popular restaurants," which requires some form of documentation. All you provided was a rudimentary description that could be applied to any random restaurant.

  • Kellerrys-INGKellerrys-ING Posts: 694 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Guideline for eligibility is not "local restaurants".

    Guideline for eligibility is "popular restaurants".

  • Oakes1923-PGOOakes1923-PGO Posts: 419 ✭✭✭✭

    Semantics - I’ll also mention , which was already stated, the supporting text said this is a popular local brewery and bbq joint. You’re argument is repetitive, incomplete and not constructive to the original post. If you could try to address that issue it would be more productive.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you keep an open mind, rejection reasons may not always be correct but look at the “title/description” rejection reason. I see that as someone trying to hint at the fact the description isnt really strong to make this bbq spot pass

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes local restaurants can be eligible. However, The bar that is set for getting a business to pass is extremely high. So by just saying “good food good beer” you provide nothing unique about this business than any other business. Rejection reasons may not always be correct but based off your description (post the rest if you want us to comment off that) this bbq stop would not be eligible as every bbq spot around does this. Further you didnt say wether its a hyper local spot or even a popular spot just the same description as every other restaurant in the world. If you want it to have a chance passing. Beef up your description and supporting info with relevant info to make this bbq spot unique, I also prefer not to upgrade when its a business as you want your locals to review it the most. Yes it will take a long time but i’ve had better success not upgrading businesses

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,976 ✭✭✭✭✭

    FYI: The former clip is from Support / How to Review Wayspots / Content Guidelines and is current guidance. The latter clip is from the former criteria page. And although the former criteria page has been superseded by the criteria update, this particluar point was simply rephrased and incorporated into the Content Guidelines. In fact, the only thing the critiera update did for businesses is clarify the common misunderstanding that all businesses were ineligible.

  • Oakes1923-PGOOakes1923-PGO Posts: 419 ✭✭✭✭

    If you want it to have a chance passing. Beef up your description and supporting info with relevant info to make this bbq spot unique, I also prefer not to upgrade when its a business as you want your locals to review it the most. Yes it will take a long time but I’ve had better success not upgrading businesses

    YES, FINALLY! This hits the exact point on the head. With a standard review process these types of nominations go through with relative ease. They just take some time, but in the end they go through. Because those reviews are going to folks who are reviewing correctly. Upgrades get sent to the top where folks who are fishing for easy agreements are grabbing 10-15 reviews, denying anything that they don't think it's five star and giving any that's easy, ex. a footbridge, five stars. Hoping in once a day or every other day to grab their agreements.

    For example when I review I am generally sitting at my laptop working with wayfarer running in the background. I might review something once every 5-10 minutes depending on my day. I take each stop and criteria on its own merits. If is a stop that should be eligible but maybe the description is lacking it will get a 2. If the location appears to be off I'll either adjust it or give it a one on that criteria. I dont mark it as an overall 1* and reject out of hand. I do not give it a one star over missing an indefinite term like "popular". Popular is a matter of opinion, and let me ask a quick questions, what you call a local brewery/restaurant that isn't "Popular"? Closed (ba-doomdoom).

    Additionally the description shows up in game so it should reflect what the place is. "Craft Brewery & BBQ restaurant in the heart of Salem. Great food, good beers" is what I would want to see when I click on the description of a wayspot for content.

  • WheelTrekker-INGWheelTrekker-ING Posts: 3,284 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wanna see a nomination for a bar with "awful food, bad beers".

    How long can stay open a business that has bad products?

  • Oakes1923-PGOOakes1923-PGO Posts: 419 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2021
  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2021

    Regarding the comment in the above - "YOU ARE REVIEWING WRONG".

    You say "by Niantic's own guidelines local restaurants are eligible to be wayspots". This is correct. However, as Niantic have said, just because something is eligible, does not mean it must be accepted.

    The first line of the "Rejection Criteria" page says :Nominations and edit submissions may be entirely rejected if it meets at least one of the following rejection criteria: For the reasons mentiond in my post, I would not consider this to be a high scoring submission.

    What do I do? The consensus in this forum is that scoring any of the questions on the review page below a 3* rating will mark the nomination as a "no" for reviewing purposes. We can argue about this, but in my experience this is how it works and how I base my review ratings - anything 1* or 2* is a fail.

    Now, as I don't think this sub should be a Waypoint, what do I do. If I rate it an overall 2*, thats it. You as a submitter would get no feedback. Only by rating it 1* do I get access to the various dropdown rejection reason boxes so I can hopefully give the submitter some sort of idea of why I rejected it. Unlike some it seems, I do try to check the right or most pertinant reason, but again, the output at the submitter end does not help. Niantic need to update the dropdowns so when I reject something for meeting one of the rejection criteria then it is obvious what hat subcategory is.

  • Drofsned-PGODrofsned-PGO Posts: 2 ✭✭
    edited March 2021

    I agree with the original poster, Oakes1923-PGO.

    I think many of you are posting what are known as strawman arguments. (Google that term if you do not know its meaning.) Whether or not you believe this constitutes a good waypoint, it was rejected for obviously erroneous reasons.

    A) A live animal in the photograph. If you disagree, please indicate where in the image a live animal is located.

    B) The description is incorrect. If you disagree, please indicate how you believe that the description does not match the location in the photograph.

    C) The location appears to be on residential property or a farm. If you disagree, please indicate what leads you to believe that this location is private property or a farm.

    If your argument does not address any of the above three claims, then it is either ill-formed or you are not paying close attention to the posts.

  • Kellerrys-INGKellerrys-ING Posts: 694 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2021

    Feel free to brush it off as semantics, but that's the guideline most reviewers use. Your description is generic and in essence offers nothing else but "it's a local restaurant" for the reviewer.

    Yes, I read that in the support text there is a "mention that it's a local hotspot". Feel free to share it.


    In general I rarely see reviewing in the same way as sogninjaman, but in this particular case their original response (second post in this thread) reflects my thoughts quite well.


    About the disparity between upgraded and not upgraded nominations.

    By your description of your area, you have a group of active 8-10 reviewers who have a common understanding/agreement what is a good nomination. Their vote is quaranteed acceptance if they happen to see the nomination. Depending on how big part of local reviewers that group is, it can be a big advantage.

    When the nomination leaves the local bubble (and certain favourable votes if seen by your group members) it's likely to be voted more harshly. And if you're unlucky by lazy rejection reason pickers like in your example.

    The common advice is to upgrade sure candidates (churches, playgrounds etc.) and leave local businesses that require "subjective judgement call the reviewers must make" for local reviewers. If that's not possible, one should be prepared to make a much more convincing case for the candidate than one is used to.

    Post edited by Kellerrys-ING on
  • sophielab-INGsophielab-ING Posts: 266 ✭✭✭✭

    I am local to the op. About 2 months ago there was a restaurant in the featured.

    It's been voted best in NH according to the website. I hope this helps people understand what actually passes.

  • Oakes1923-PGOOakes1923-PGO Posts: 419 ✭✭✭✭

     I see a BBQ restaurant with two sets of well-used and time-worn benches in front and Street View and/or a little digging tells me that it's been there for a while, I will be inclined accept it, because that's what the spirit of Wayfarer dictates.

    This is such a great line it hurts. It goes to the point that certain people look at this differently then others. There is no absolute "consensus" on what makes a stop acceptable but there are three standards on what makes a stop eligible. And if this stop had not been upgraded it would have had a better then 9/10 chance of going through.

    Yes, I read that in the support text there is a "mention that it's a local hotspot". Feel free to share it.

    I was hesitant to share anything in the first place because images or sharing one specific example detract from the larger argument. It allows for people to nitpick the example to scratch their own itch and focus on SEMANTICS to detract from the issue at hand. So I wont be sharing anything additional as it is not germane to the original discussion. To which I would say you still haven't even broached the issue of the negative impact of upgrade rejections from the original post. THATS THE POINT! You have globed onto your perceived issues with the example submission, which countless other forum posts and responses have soundly rejected.

    It's funny, when I go to Japan, everything is a pokestop. EVERYTHING. Its really amazing who quickly you can level up there and how easy it is to get items. Even in smaller towns. As a community they have decided that it is better for there community as a whole not to have these draconian stances on what should be a stop. the guidelines that they get from Niantic are just that, a guideline. The same happens in the states for local colleges & university campuses. Nearly everything is a stop. Not that I am not saying it should be open season on creating stops but these relentless and unrealistic standards that some folks have because they choose to read from Niantic guidelines as a creed and as canon that is just not there is disheartening to those of us that are trying to make this game better for ourselves and our community. I think what we need to agree on as a larger community is how to review, use some common sense and a forgiving eye and not expect every submission to be wordsmith within an inch of its life in order to get through. also understand that this submission and many others that are rejected after an upgrade are from reviewers that are agreement fishing, which everyone should have just as much, if not more of an issue than the lack of the word POPULAR in a nomination description.

  • Oakes1923-PGOOakes1923-PGO Posts: 419 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2021

    Several issues with your theorycrafting here.

    1. Lets start with something we can agree on. Things like my couch, a fire station, a school, your dog, a person are all things that should be soundly rejected and given a 1* . Lets also agree there is a HUGE jump between that and a local BBQ joint. Can we agree on that? I hope so. Now once you give a 1* there nothing else you can review in that submission. So I contend that only things that are clearly not eligible should receive a 1* and not be given further consideration. That is a standard we should all be using. If there is question or you don't like it give it a 2* since based on your own assumption that is also a no, you can now at least continue the review process.
    2. Consensus on scoring means less then nothing as Niantic, to my knowledge, has never come out with details on how they review scores or their algorythm on processing a final yes/no on viability of a submission. Obviously a 2* right off the bat is not great but it allows for the rest of the criteria to be included now. There are now five additional things to vote on. Title/Description, Historical/Cultural, Visually Unique, Safe Access, Location Accuracy. Now maybe this submission received two's for the first three as you say, but for safe access and location accuracy it should clearly be a five. Now by just using simple math the average star rating for this would be a three based on fairly harsh realistic review { (2+2+2+2+5+5)/6=3 } And as others have indicated and I am in that group, I would not give this 2's. I would see a Craft Brewery joint that serves BBQ, which in this area are always insanely popular, and think "man I would check that place out in a heart beat". If I saw something like this realistically I would give it a 4, 5, 4, 4, 5, 5. ultimately the low end and high end should scores should would cancel out and now you are left with where ever the median lies.
    3. If you rate something a two and want to provide feedback you have that ability. Additional comments section is available to you. Its a hollow argument, especially when the first user to respond suggested that we should all stop crying about what the rejection reasons are. Cant have it both ways.
    4. Think of it in another way. What if your 1* , because you wanted to have the option to provide feedback, was the one reason that a valid stop dropped below whatever threshold Niantic has make something a stop or reject it? What if a 2* review would have made it a stop. Would you be happy/indifferent/upset with yourself? What if it was your stop and you were able to actually see some jackwagon marked your stop 1* Live Animal when it was a memorial bench in a local park and now its rejected. You've now wasted a submission, an upgrade, and your time and effort on an eligible object because someone gave it a 1* instead of a 2*. Treat every submission like it could impact you in some way. How would you want the community to review it. That should be the standard. If you cant get behind that unfortunately we have very little to discuss.
    5. Again the issue this post was trying to discuss goes back to when things that are eligible, per Niantic guidelines, get rejected for ridiculous reasons it creates a cascading effect. Reviewers with submissions they don't want upgraded stop reviewing. Which is what is happening for us locally and I have to assume it is not just our issue based on these forums. Submissions take longer, fishers reject more stops, more things that should go through get rejected, on and on the cycle goes. Again an upgrade should be viewed as a reward not a detriment.

    Case in point, I just messaged on of the girls in our group, who is about to get an upgrade and only has two submissions pending. An awesome Thai place and a small one room historic school house that is now a town museum; the school house was upgraded once unintentionally and was rejected for being a k-12 school in a matter of hours (which it is not and everyone local knows it). She is worried that both will be rejected with an upgrade, and based on the last several months she has every right to be. I made a couple of suggestions of other submissions that would be better served with an upgrade but told her if she cant get out today to those locations make a fake submission and submit it so it wouldn't mess with what she has in voting. How crazy sad is that. She has been reviewing her tuchus off and now has to waste an upgrade on her mailbox so it doesn't mess with her legit stop submissions. Now the folks that are griping about my example may have good intentions, but your good intentions have far reaching unintended and detrimental consequences which based off your responses are things I am guessing you have never thought about. Maybe its time?

    Post edited by Oakes1923-PGO on
  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You still have to show its a local hotspot. Trip advisor. Every town/city around will have something like that or yelp. Yes businesses are eligible. But you have to give a bit more than “beers and bbq is good” which is the same as every restaurant ever... show its a hotspot with some kind of proof should be easy enough. Lots of towns do a vote for best “pizza in town” and so on “best bbq restuarant” shouldnt be hard

  • Oakes1923-PGOOakes1923-PGO Posts: 419 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2021

    Actually you don’t. Niantic specifically states that descriptions are not required. So this assertion of yours is false. It’s not a requirement, you are making it one. Helpful yes, requirement no. And again for the folks that can’t seem to understand, it’s mentioned in the supporting text.

    I get it you’re sticking by your red herring argument ecause you don’t have a better one and you’re dug in. May be time to move along.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well its not an excuse. They arent required you are correct on that. BUT! You need to show how your local hotspot is indeed a unique spot that people want to gather with. Just saying “this bbq spot is a local hotspot” is not enough. Its like cool great youve told me absolutely NOTHING, about how this restaurant stands out from every other restaurant down the street. See where im getting at here?

    this is under the “help” and “what makes a good wayspot” in the wayfairer website

    High-quality nominations are those that help users discover and enjoy their community, such as:

    • A hidden gem or hyper-local spot
    • A popular local spot that you would take a friend visiting your community for the first time
    • A popular spot where locals gather, but may be lesser-known outside the community
    • Tourist spots that showcase local flavor and culture and that make your city/neighborhood unique
    • More off-the-beaten-path tourist attractions (i.e., if you weren’t a local, you wouldn’t necessarily know to go here)
    • Adventurous tourist attractions - think lookout towers, observatories, signs or markers atop mountain peaks, etc.

    How does good bbq good beers describe anything thats a hyper local spot???

  • Oakes1923-PGOOakes1923-PGO Posts: 419 ✭✭✭✭

    It’s was in the supporting text dude move along. Try adding something to the actual conversation.

    red herring is a fallacy argument that distracts from the original topic. Some may refer to this type of argument as a "smoke screen."

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I gave suggestions on how the op can improve his nomination where you are focussing on wrong rejection reasons that niantic doesn’t appeal anyways. One seems more productive than the other 🙄

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