Is reviewing commonly organized?

I don't want to go deeply into speculating, but very short; I do see advise given to others and I have been personally told by Niantic staff to search out local groups who reviews to find out what makes an eligible waypoint.

The idea of a self proclaimed "council" conversing in a private forum and/or chat to boost their own stats sounds probable, but is it?

If there is, is it really OK?


  • Maxyme99-PGOMaxyme99-PGO Posts: 917 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think Niantic staff gave you this advice about local groups because some nominations are known only to specific countries and global reviewers might have problem of understanding them and give you correct answers. But it mostly was rather meant of local country group (Like Italy Wayfarer Group or Japan Wayfarer group) that can help you as locals, not local city group that make they own rules ;)

    Yes, there are local groups that sometimes try to make they own rules about rejecting and accepting nominations, but it's not ok and often might cause abuse and accepting ineligible things that only these locals wants. Making up rules by locals is wrong and shouldn't be accepted. It can also be problem for all community, as they will reject things from other places by they wrong made up rules, it's definetly not ok.

  • pkmnsearch2-PGOpkmnsearch2-PGO Posts: 249 ✭✭✭

    @MilesMitsurugi-PGO what you mean?

    Join your national wayfarer group because they know valid examples there. since each country has their unique rules/laws.

    For example, rural europe area normally doesnt have a sidewalk, so more people are prone to bypass the need for "safe pedestrian acess" since the road itself is the "safe pedestrian acess".

    And they idea of a national group is to educate reviewers and submitters of that country.

    trust me, nobody likes to 1* coal or a bad sub. Most of reviewers would like to 5* all the way great, in-criteria subs :)

    There is only ONE page about criteria.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,869 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MilesMitsurugi-PGO I don't have first-hand experience but I've certainly seen and heard plenty of evidence that such self-proclaimed councils exist. I call them local cabals. It seems like some have good intentions and others work together to subvert the rules in a variety of ways.

    I wish Niantic would work to minimize their influence, as the problems seem to be well-documented at this point.

  • MilesMitsurugi-PGOMilesMitsurugi-PGO Posts: 67 ✭✭

    @Maxyme99-PGO Yeah, I see that, it was more of a way for me to introduce the topic really. 😄 I have friends who find their local chat to quite reasonable and follow the rules and keeps themselves updated on Naintic guidelines instead of making them, I personally like to go here to lurk and check updates from Niantic.

    It's the more conniving ones who is my worry to me. And I just had to laugh becuase they even decide on the same rejection reason here. I used to get thers a lisence plate, emergency area, waterfall all in one, but now most recently I get for instance a large metal mounted sign of a map over a wast sportsfield as a temporary/seasonal display, that was the only reason. 😆 But I heard that people can reject metal signs because it's massproduced, or made up a rule based on their own feelings and not Niantic guidelines.

    You also see how people compete in the games and can be obsessive, like the POGO spoofers who thankfully got dealt with a couple months ago, it's been wonderful here since! Now imagine that obsessive mindset in a organised group who want their own upgrades ASAP and their (probably mostly valid) nominations through.

    @pkmnsearch2-PGO I mean if it's common that people group up to decide which to reject or approve to gain an advantage vs ask for guidance and make a personal judgement call. :) As people use upgrades it seems like a easy way to for those who wants to organize to organize who to reject/approve.

    @Hosette-ING It's good to get it confirmed because I think there is a group here who has their own mindset. like I mention to Maxyme99, last year for me everything got instantly rejected, and there was bogus reasons and made on a whim. I would make a new nomination and it would use 2-3 days to go into voting and it was rejected in a couple hours. So I took a long break when this started. but since I started again some months ago I tend to get 1 rejection reason on the rejected nominations, which is just as bizarre, it wouldn't be natural if it wasn't heavily organized.

    But now I started to see a pattern to what times they like to get together, so I get the less popular eligible nominations (like trail markers) through when I upgrade them at certain times, so if I'm lucky it actually goes through and pass the "Brain trust" I call them.

    A friend of mine has the same exact problem, like submitting a historic listed building where they do handcrafted work, suplies a link in the support info to support the facts, and rejected because it was a bad photo, period.

    The sad part the only easy/lazy way I can see for Niantic to control the abuse is to remove the upgrade feature, it would be allot harder to organize that way and yet it removes our bonus for honest reviewers...

    But as someone who seem to be personally affected by it, I rather not have the bonus to get unorganized reviews 😥

    Maybe that way also some of the years old nominations would get finally get out of voting 😆

  • rodensteiner-INGrodensteiner-ING Posts: 1,580 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In our Areas, here is always a Person or a Group of Persons that is active in Submitting and Reviewing. You can ask these people. You dont have to think of a Mafia or a Cartell when you think of those people.

    We are infact really nice people that want a good Database.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,869 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Rodensteiner-PGO I suspect most reviewer groups have good intentions, and probably reasonable execution though I bet the latter is a bit less reliable than the former. Clearly some don't though... witness the clusters of fakes or incorrectly-placed wayspots that we've seen over and over.

  • MilesMitsurugi-PGOMilesMitsurugi-PGO Posts: 67 ✭✭

    @Rodensteiner-PGO Hehe, believe me, Mafia nor Cartell is even close to what I'm thinking 😉 What I am questioning is if it's OK for people to organize who to approve and not to approve to either boost their own stats, get faster upgrades or take advantage in their favoured Niantic game.

  • rodensteiner-INGrodensteiner-ING Posts: 1,580 ✭✭✭✭✭

    yes, and i do not have the slightest idea why niantic isnt stopping this.

  • SeaprincessHNB-PGOSeaprincessHNB-PGO Posts: 948 Ambassador
    edited April 2021

    I try to lead our locals for submissions, not so much for reviewing. I think it makes sense for the few who are active to be aware of what we are each submitting so we don't work against each other or duplicate each other. If we both nominate the same tennis courts, that's a wasted nomination for one of us (which happened to me recently - I had it upgraded, approved and flipped to a gym before the other guy got it out of voting). We have various tools for trying to map out the area and identify good POI candidates. We chat about which things should be upgraded versus which things should stay as local submissions (since upgrades only pass if they are 5* candidates these days). We talk about new things being built and who's going to submit what.

    The only time we talk about reviewing is when we are looking for feedback on something we've found and want to submit. I might throw up a photo and ask what they think. If I get feedback of "I'd 1* that" I go back to the drawing board and look for other stuff to submit or think about how I can improve it. We do not pressure each other to vote on things differently just to get a POI approved or to improve our stats.

    That's how a local group should work - feedback and coordination of effort.

    Also when I am reviewing if I find truly horrendous submissions in our playing area, I will take a screenshot and post it to our local discord to discuss why it is not eligible. The reality is that the people submitting these really horrible things are not participating in our conversation so I'm not really educating the right people. But there's always a chance one of my locals might recognize the place and know who did it and can give them the proper feedback on why a garden gnome in their front yard is not a valid submission.

  • KetaSkooter-INGKetaSkooter-ING Posts: 167 ✭✭✭

    Reviewing is commonly discussed in discords and other social platforms. Mass collusion can happen in the smaller communities but its really hard to maintain for very long.

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