St. Cloud Abuse Update 3: Tarpon Springs and continued abuse in St. Cloud.

AisforAndis-INGAisforAndis-ING Posts: 875 ✭✭✭✭✭

Really wish I wasn’t reporting this issue again but despite Niantic taking action on 27+ accounts, the abuse hasn’t stopped, so here we are yet again. This post starts a little different, because yet again, the abuse has evolved.

About a month ago, a person who is known to have been behind a large portion of the St. Cloud abuse took a little vacation to the town of Tarpon Springs. The person then left this message in Ingress comms for everyone to see:

This was clearly a taunt, something along the lines of "Haha, I can still submit even though you reported me". Several days later, myself and other local reviewers began to notice several historical plaques coming through their review queues from Tarpon Springs, all with very suspicious descriptions. These descriptions in their entirety read “For all to enjoy”.

For the uninitiated, “for all to enjoy” has been a generic phrase used in a lot of the abusive submissions coming out of St. Cloud. We have thought for a while that it may be some sort of identifying phrase. In fact @grendelwulf-ING actually called it on my very first thread about St. Cloud without me even mentioning it, having identified it long before I ever found this abuse:



This is important because a few weeks later, one of these nominations would not only go on to get approved, but it was abusively moved out of downtown Tarpon Springs and into the middle of a nearby lake. The nomination then ended up in our wayspot showcase for two weeks:



https://intel.ingress.com/intel?ll=28.14613,-82.755431&z=17&pll=28.14613,-82.755431

Because it took some time to research the rest of the information contained in this update, someone else seemingly reported the lake portal and it has been moved back to it’s submitted location, however, I doubt the people responsible were held accountable and linked to the extensive history of the St. Cloud abuse, including the reviewers who moved the POI. Another one of these plaques was approved in it’s correct location (and also appeared in the showcase), and at least two other plaques were submitted and are currently unaccounted for.

Approved in correct location:


https://intel.ingress.com/intel?ll=28.146143,-82.755507&z=17&pll=28.146143,-82.755507


Unaccounted for:

The people behind these portals, and the portal being moved, need to be thoroughly investigated.


Abusive Portals in St. Cloud

And of course, if the abuse is going on outside of St. Cloud, I’m sure no one following the situation will be surprised to find out that it is still going on within St. Cloud. In addition to location abuse, there has also been a rise in wayspots being approved that blatantly do not meet criteria. Notably, an aerator fountain (in the middle of a lake) was recently approved, as well as two neighborhood signs (one of which is abusively located in someone’s driveway), a temporary statue, and a number of highly generic shopping plaza signs. While I am aware that plaza signs can potentially be eligible if they meet Niantic’s social criteria, the supplemental information included in these nominations used deceptive language to wrongfully tell reviewers that these are flat-out eligible nominations. I hope we can all agree that an Ace Hardware next to a Subway, or a Mattress Firm next to a lawyers office aren’t the type of eligible "plazas" that make a great place to be social. I would ask that in addition to resolving location abuse, that Niantic look to see if the reviews on these nominations appear genuine or not. I have a feeling people from St. Cloud are seeing nominations from their town and conspiring to give them perfect ratings regardless of their actual eligibility.

Below is yet another list of abusive portals:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mseEeG_kuPgJXTQDziqZnFR96hBy6Lsx2o9BUsLsSWs/edit?usp=sharing 


Final Remarks

Fellow wayfarers: Please stay civil in the comments. If (or when) people from this area begin their regular habit of harassing me in the comments, drop them a disagree, flag their comment, and just move on please.

Niantic: Please ban these people for real this time. Maybe they will finally get the hint. Given that this is now the 5th post relating to the St. Cloud abuse ring, I feel like they have had plenty of warnings. Thanks, love ya.

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