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Problems with quality of new accepted POIs in (southern and eastern) Finland during past weeks
Something really odd happened in the beginning of May in Finland. Many players had their nominations disappeared from their list. This problem itself has been solved since then and most of those disappeared ones have even been processed with extraordinary speed. This includes many good/great/excellent new POIs.
But this has caused some problems. POIs with super low quality and places that are explicitely stated in Niantic rules not meeting acceptance criteria have been accepted. These include many ordinary grocery stores, totally ordinary supermarkets, Burger Kings, POIs on the grounds of Kindergarten - 12 grade schools etc.
Experiences of players show that those never went through any normal Wayfarer voting process but were processed manually somehow, perhaps by Niantic staff. I understand that reviewing these correctly is almost impossible if you don’t know the language. 🤔
I would like to see that POI quality matches the actual criteria. That has been in a good shape here for many years already but that is clearly not case after past 3 weeks anymore.
What to do if you observe that POIs that don’t fulfill absolutely no acceptance criteria are accepted? There’s no such removal reason.
A few examples, these are just rare examples of many:
Super ordinary grocery store:
A kindergarten, even description explicitely says (In Finnish) that this is a kindergarten:
Read the current criteria then you could understand, schools aren't eligible though but have been formed due to problems using the methods as niantic was trying to implement things for having more wayspots to help places that lack wayspots.
Rest if you are facing no existence of those wayspots near the location then you can submit it on the link niantic provided for removing the wrongly placed ones but be careful and insightful of everything before doing.
Can confirm that this is an issue. Many new waypoints have been recently added in Finland that don't meet the acceptance criteria, have poor quality text, are on invalid locations or are fake.
Such as, one example of a wrongly accepted waypoint is this neon name sign of a generic grocery store, part of a large and generic chain. The name signs are mass-produced and can be found in each store, which can often be found in multiple locations within a town or city. It was wrongly accepted as waypoint as a piece of art, as stated by its fake title, though in reality it is anything but.
Also a playground was added that had a title "our yard" and description "going home my place", both in bad Finnish and mispelled on top.
There are many more to add.
This has been a recent change, as new waypoints have appeared in many areas en masse all of a sudden. We believe these were reviewed by Niantic staff and were wrongly accepted in the game.
Is there anything we can do about this to get the message to the team on Niantic responsible for these, so that not only the wrongly accepted ones could be removed, and so that this wouldn't keep on happening in the future? This phenomena doesn't seem to be random, nor stopping any time soon, so many of us are understandably quite worried.
For some reason, I can't upvote the original post.
Anyways, here's another example:
It's a recently opened "Bar Wizard" but the title and description are horribly misspelled. Its description (translated) says "old baarl wizsarld [sic] from 2020". It was spotted as a wayspot on 15th of May 2021, though many saw it as a nomination few months before that.
If this kind of stuff is what gets accepted these days, I'm really disappointed in the system as a whole. This doesn't seem to be an issue specific to Finland, here's a forum post of the same thing happening in Japan: https://community.wayfarer.nianticlabs.com/discussion/17417/convenience-store-nominations-were-accepted-in-japan
From the link you posted I can say that photos have face without a focus or posing, and licence plates if are blurred and not completely visible are eligible.
And another, a restaurant but the image has a recognizable face in it:
Kiva korean kitchen
This one is actually next to a generic grocery store wayspot (https://intel.ingress.com/intel?pll=60.251998,25.013912&z=16) that was already posted here.
@NianticGiffard @NianticCasey-ING please take a look, with each passing day more of these poor wayspots pop up and we really don't want any more.
Yet another, this one is also next to an already reported poor waystop S-market Lehtomäki (https://intel.ingress.com/?pll=60.888166,26.723465)
It's a generic sign for betting and gambling services of the Finnish agency Veikkaus.
These were featured as screenshots before so I'll post the intel links for them:
Neon Light Art Design by SOK
not previously featured:
even more chain grocery stores...
Hotdogs on Sale
This one is on single-family residential property
Ogelin oma pikkupekka
This is a temporary ad for a chain grocery store
It is very unfortunate that such wayspots are getting approved. 😔
Even if most of the people that are submitting new nominations know the criteria, there are always some that will refer to already existing wayspots. "If that got accepted, so should this." Letting such poor wayspots go through to games will only increase the amount of as poor nominations in the future, which will cause extra work for reviewers and eventually to Niantic.
I hope Niantic finds out 1) how and why these examples got accepted, 2) if there are any other poor wayspots accepted due to the same bug and 3) removes all these poor wayspots from giving bad examples and to improve the PoI network back to where it was.
I should add that these unfortunate recent events have been followed by an observable decline in reviewer activity and motivation in Finland/the affected area.
Upgrades are taking around three times as long to achieve than normally. We have witnessed several reviewers stating their disappointment in this system and these decisions, and also stating that they would not be submitting new waypoints or reviewing more submissions if these clearly poor quality ones keep getting accepted by Niantic, or whichever cause was behind it, or if nothing was done to the already accepted ones.
We have worked hard in our respective local communities to ensure the quality of submitted waypoints would go up in order to help reduce the workload on reviewers and to reduce queue lenght which in many areas is still around two years even. Many feel this hard work has been for naught if poor quality ones keep getting accepted in by Niantic (or whichever cause) that clearly go against the criteria anyway, and in my opinion their feelings are fair. Many have started to fear, as was already mentioned, that these poor quality waypoints would increase the submission rate and approval of additonal poor quality waypoints that don't meet the criteria, undermining their hard work of many years, which I feel would indeed be very unfair on them.
We respectfully request that the newly added waypoints in affected areas would be re-evaluated manually starting from around mid-April or so, to make sure the wrongly accepted ones were removed and any possibly wrongly declined ones were accepted instead.
I'd also like to suggest that you would hire trusted locals to help you evaluate these waypoints as they would know the area best, know the language best, are familiar with the culture, local specialities, and the like.
Not knowing the local language at least has presumably been one definite observable downfall of the system you have in place currently and helping you work around this issue I'm positive would benefit everyone.
A generic low cost pizzeria at the local mall.
A similar situation is happening in Japan.
The thing that really irritates me about situation, is that the clearly harmful Waypoints are difficult to get rid of.
Hospital portal, (emergency unit), removal requests denied.
An emergency hospital waypoint in Helsinki, directly in the path of emergency vehicles and with mention of pokestop in description, and grammatically poor Finnish-English mix description saying it is important.
Some more gems: