An outside view on generic businesses?
SiIverLyra-PGO Posts: 929 ✭✭✭✭✭
So there's a specific area where, recently, there's been a noticeable boom in ridiculously generic businesses getting accepted as wayspots.
I have been considering reporting it to Niantic, but I'm wondering. How difficult would it be to convey to the Niantic team that businesses in a different culture/country/continent are as generic as they are? Do you think it's possible or even worth the effort?
What kind of generic businesses? Like chains such as McDonalds or Walmarts, or independent stores that aren't very distinct?
If it's the second type, you probably would have very little luck since it was the local community that decided it was important enough to be it's own wayspot.
Both, but mainly independent stores that aren't distinct.
That's a bit disheartening, mainly because I strongly suspect that these wayspots are approved only due to multiaccounting and not genuine community decisions (this specific area is a huge abuse hotspot). But I appreciate your opinion in any case.
Having nominations for businesses be approved is very difficult - I could see some of the ones I've nominated be considered "generic" and wish to have them removed. It would be very disappointing to have my hard work punished.
Niantic has also typically maintained a "as long as it doesn't meet removal criteria, it shall stay" stance and would be unlikely to actually take action.
However, mass approvals of ineligible candidates can be a sign of at best misinformed voters and at worst coordinated abuse. Like mentioned above, I'm really curious what these look like and just "how bad" they may be.
If there are multiple chain stores in the area being approved, you could compile a post of all the wayspots of chain/franchise stores and post it on the forum to ask Niantic to investigate. You could also make a second part of your post of non-chain/franchise, but non distinct stores that are also wayspots that may have also been approved by the same abusive reviewers. (You'll probably have better luck if the independent stores aren't restaurants/social areas too.) That way the most prominent part is the obviously abusive stuff, which is more likely to be looked at by Niantic.
That's very reasonable. As someone who's had hard times with business nominations, I totally get that. I'll get some examples and post them here shortly.
Thank you. I'll go collect some examples from the area. Hopefully I'll manage to convey why I see them as generic.
I saw your clarification to GearGlider and subsequent posts after mine. It definitely sounds more like the abusive side, which is unfortunate. Hopefully you can convey what is necessary and Niantic will fully explore those nominations.
Do they fit removal criteria?
If they exist and they are correctly located even if they are not interesting, there's no reason to remove them unless you want to hurt other people.
If people are purposefully approving wayspots that don't meet approval criteria, that hurts the wayfarer rating of every good-faith reviewer.
To provide some background: the city where this is happening is one of the biggest in the country (8th in population) and the biggest in the general area - and as such, it's naturally flooded with businesses: far from an "only Starbucks in the village" situation.
Apart from the list above, there are several examples of bars, which are usually nominated as "popular places of meeting for students and therefore with cultural value and fit Niantic's criteria". Do those fall under adult locations? Since they're mostly about serving alcohol?
I'm gonna specifically address me saying before that this city is a known abuse hotspot, because I can show that really well with a very specific example (there are several others, but this one is just ridiculously obvious). There's an individual who tends to put their distinctively-colored car in their nominations, as a recognizable sign for others. You can see it in several wayspots:
If anyone needs more information or wants more examples, I'll try my best to provide. I hope I made my point about the businesses across despite the culture differences.
This is a big question. Say something that doesn't fit the acceptance criteria gets approved, but doesn't meet the removal criteria. For instance, graffiti tags. They're not eligible, but you won't find them on the list of removal reasons (not K-12, not a duplicate, etc). Does that mean that those wayspots should remain in the system?
I cannot answer to everything, but bars are not prohibited. Obviously things like stripper clubs are, but say you have a very popular bars with theme from the 80s, it could be accepted
Good to know, thanks!
On the other hand, what about alcohol shops (like the "Beer Point" wayspot I've linked above)?
I did my best to review the store's website, but of course it isn't my native language. Looks like you can both eat & drink there? If so, I could see it being similar in idea to a brewery or pub that are typically acceptable. If it's just a market store, I can only think of one that I have ever been to that I would even remotely consider eligible - it sold handcraft & small batch beers and brewing equipment and hosted community learning & networking events.
Anyways, I don't want to distract from the general spirit of this thread. Most of those appear subjective and potentially misguided at best.
Given that we cannot even get abusively-created wayspots removed (ie. the submitter used forgeries for the images), and no amount of pestering of @NianticCasey-ING or otherwise has led to removal, I don't think there's going to be any good end to this.
That's odd - reviewing the website, all of the chain's location seem to strictly serve beer. No food. I wonder what part made you think there's food too - did you use Google Translate?
Then again there's the point of it being part of a chain...
Huge varieties of beer and snacks!!!
I interpreted the "snacks" as meaning they may have a food menu, and saw the inclusion of the word "restaurant" & "menu" to come to my conclusion.
I did just find my way to the actual chain website (https://beerpoint.co.il/) and retract my earlier opinion that it could be similar to a pub/brewery.
Ah, I see! Sorry.
I didn't even go to their Facebook page(oh oops, for some reason I thought that was their FB. I see what that is now).
This is unfortunate. I'm worried that this "boom" in generic business wayspots will continue - I even saw a nomination for "the second location of [generic street food place] in the city" (in this same city).
Anyone in the mood for some wild conspiracy theories on this fine evening?
I had the General Discussion tab open as I was doing stuff on my other monitor. Every once in a while I'd refresh the tab, curious to see if there were more replies on this thread.
I noticed something odd.
Some user was leaving comments on several threads. My curiosity was peaked because their username sounds like a Hebrew name. The user's profile on the forum is brand new - created just a few minutes before the first comment was made. Then a comment every a couple of seconds or so.
Then that user stopped commenting.
Then another user - also brand new on the forum, created just a few minutes prior - showed up. They also started producing comments, also one new comment every couple of minutes or so. I was especially interested in the fact that they appeared, at one point, to reply to their own comment.
Then this user also stopped commenting.
Then a 3rd user showed up, and also produced several comments - more than the previous two. Also at the same pace. Commenting on threads from a couple of days ago, threads that seemed pretty dead. Just writing a few words or a short sentence.
As for this user, it didn't just join the forum. It actually joined a few months ago. And it made 1 comment in the past.
On one of my previous threads.
Specifically one about abuse in my community. Similar to this thread. A thread that received some interesting feedback.
For instance, the one comment from this user, saying I "have betrayed my community" and "terrorized it".
So I kept watching this activity. I had a suspicion about where this was going, but I wanted to see if I'm right.
Then, after about 30 minutes from the minute the first user started posting, the moment I waited for happened - this thread was pushed from the 1st page of the General Discussion subforum, to the 2nd one.
I waited. Several minutes have passed. More than between all the comments made in those 30 minutes.
My suspicion turned out to be correct - the moment my thread disappeared from the front page of General Discussion, the comments have stopped.
To wrap things up, I went and looked up the 3 username. One, I couldn't find anything about. The other 2 seem to have a little activity on Ingress, months ago... in portals located in the same city I've been talking about in this thread.
...Funny how coincidences work like this, isn't it?
Right after that, I've encountered another submission which I think would be helpful to illustrate my point.
This is another business nomination from this city. The title is the place's name - Atias' Skewery. Skewered meats (kebabs, etc) are an extremely common type of street food in Israel.
The description says: "A quality skewery in Oren Center".
The supporting information says: "A skewery, located in a central place of soldier transportation, Oren shopping center"
As you probably notice - no context as to any kind of notable cultural or historic importance that this business holds. Googling it led to nothing either. It's not part of a chain, but its "uniqueness" seems to stop there.
This is what most business submissions in this city look like, too, in terms of context given in the description/supporting info.
Given this information, would you have accepted this?
Green Car Person is still an active submitter, by the way. Just encountered this (the subject of the nomination is another hookah bar).