How is this rejection reason triggered exactly?

Maarblee-INGMaarblee-ING Posts: 24 ✭✭✭
edited November 2021 in General Discussion

According to the answer to question 8 from the recent AMA in September, the rating for Cultural and Historical significance doesn't appear to affect the final decision for the eligibility of a nomination. This lead many Wayfinders to focus only on the first question during the review process, which appeared to be the most important and perhaps the only significant one to establish whether or not a Wayspot should have been approved in the first place. Assigning a 1* rating to the question "Should this be a Wayspot?" would in fact bring up a list of possible rejection reasons, and more often than not this would align with the original intention of the reviewers on the actual eligibility of the nomination. This meant that any candidate could only be judged either as perfectly valid or horribly disgraceful, with no other option in between, otherwise each review would only count as a potential agreement which you had missed out on.

However, during the past few months and especially now that an official rejections list has been made available on the nomination page, a lot of people from our local communities have reportedly noticed a particularly incoherent behaviour regarding the approval of several of their nominations, which would appear to be different from the process higlighted in the earlier paragraph. Take a look at this rejection reason, for example:

Now, if you excuse the language for the email and focus on its structure, you can notice that the reported reason for the rejection of this nomination is the following: "La proposta non sembra avere un'importanza storica o culturale", which corresponds to saying that the nomination has been deemed as historically and cultural insignificant. This hasn't been the first time that someone has received a similar e-mail, but the most interesting aspect about this is that the reported reason is not one of the options that you can choose from while proceeding towards the overall rejection of the candidate. In fact, the only parameter related to this aspect in the whole review page is only the 5-star evaluation that comes later on in the page.

Continuing our curios analysis of this issue, we've noticed that the only ineligibility criteria displayed on the review page was not one of the options we're accustomed to, but rather this weirdly formatted string of text, which is obviously referring to a variable without an explicative description attached to it. Scrolling throughout multiple lists of previously rejected nominations, we've been able to identify the following variables:

  • reject.reason.opr_cultural.short
  • reject.reason.opr_uniqueness.short
  • reject.reason.opr_safety.short
  • reject.reason.opr_location.short
  • reject.reason.not_found.short
  • reject.reason.description.short
  • reject.reason.animals.short (???)

Although it would honestly be the most responsible way to handle it and the one that would make the most intuitive sense, this evidence would point towards the importance of other parameters throughout the review process which is not how the system has been officially disclosed to work, at least according to the recently published information. And at this point I'd like to ask: so, which of the two interpretations should we as reviewers attain to?

If I can suggest a personal interpretation on the matter, it doesn't really make sense to split each review into this categorical and systemic process. The historical significance of a nomination is obviously an extremely important parameter for establishing when a nomination should be approved, but as soon as you come across something like a playground, this category would be the first one to fall flat, and as such it would be unfair to reject the whole candidate because of it. In a similar fashion, I was wondering what the purpose was for the evalutaion of pedestrian accessibility as a separate 1* to 5* question, as there would be no instance where a reviewer should decide to accept an inaccessible nomination, assigning 5 stars to everything except for this one category: as a matter of fact, the lack of pedestrian access towards a Wayspot is enough of a reason to render the whole submission invalid, as demonstrated by the fact that this option is among the ones you can choose if you give 1* overall. In conclusion, I understand that multiple times in the past, Niantic has mentioned about their intention to move away from this kind of question-based system, but in the meantime it always feels disappointing to see how poor decisions like these are affecting the nomination experience for a lot of people.

Post edited by Maarblee-ING on


  • Oh man, it's HILARIOUS to see Niantic reps not KNOWING how their own system works. Not even clear cut evidence is enough for them.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 1,412 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Maarblee-ING writes:

    The aspect that still leaves me the most perplexed is how these reasons can be the only motivation behind the rejection

    Let's go back to the old AMA question where someone asked what would happen if every reviewer rated every field 2* for a candidate. The answer was that it would be rejected. I think this answer makes logical sense and it certainly seems correct to me, so I believe it was accurate at the time and still is.

    But now, let's play the role of the rejection email algorithm. You need to tell the submitter why their thing was rejected. You look at the 1* rejection reasons and there aren't any because literally nobody rated it 1*, but you've been programmed to try as hard as possible to include three rejection reasons. I think what is happening is that the email generation algorithm is programmed so that it first looks for 1* rejection reasons and if it doesn't find enough of them it looks for other categories where candidate got low star ratings and includes those too.

    I'm not sure if it looks at all of the other star ratings or just some, but I think maybe just some-- I don't remember ever hearing people complain about bogus rejections for title/description. On the other hand, maybe it is all of them. The other categories are title/description, safe pedestrian access, and location accuracy, and those three all overlap with 1* rejection reasons. So maybe it's the case that you can get a rejection reason for safe pedestrian access either because someone chose 1* for "Should this be..." with "Location / Pedestrian access", or because it just didn't get enough votes to pass and the pedestrian access category got a low star rating.

    And thus, I think that the reasons given in email are a combination of, "Here's why reviewers rejected this candidate", and, "Here are some things they didn't like about it."

    I agree with you that having two different ways to vote on something's safe pedestrian access, text quality, and location accuracy is a bit weird and confusing.

  • Nadiwereb-PGONadiwereb-PGO Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2021

    This is the theory I subscribe to.

    My one and only nomination that got rejected like this was was a tennis court. The only rejection reason I received was "not culturally or historically relevant".

    The interesting part: there's a sports hall in the next street that's home to the local basketball and handball teams. I believe that some reviewers thought that the sports hall as a Wayspt covers the entire sporting complex that's in the surrounding area, which includes football fields, tennis courts and other sports facilities.

    I can see no other credible explanation but what you've just written here.

  • feliscybernicus-PGOfeliscybernicus-PGO Posts: 76 ✭✭✭

    If this is the case, it certaily would explain a few of my "not culturally significant" rejections.

    Another option might be that when there is another similar target close-by, some reviewers might mistakenly believe it would lower its visual uniqueness/cultural significance. Which it doesn't, but, I can see why someone might think that way.

  • toniukupaoni-INGtoniukupaoni-ING Posts: 41 ✭✭

    From my experience, that's not the case. My nominations that were rejected for those reasons were in cells that didn't had any similar portals. I can always blame reviewers, but I really don't believe they would mistaken a playground for a mural or a statue.

  • Nadiwereb-PGONadiwereb-PGO Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If the mural and/or statue are actually situated inside the playground area, I can see them getting marked as duplicate by some people. I have seen people argue that there's only one object allowed per playground, no matter if they're play structures, sports fields or artwork. (This argument was about a statue in the middle of a playground, actually, in a local Wayfarer group.)

  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 2,296 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I really don't believe they would mistaken a playground for a mural or a statue.

    Willing to share examples?

    As mentioned just above by @Nadiwereb-PGO, some reviewers are quick to duplicate anything in a similar location and/or anything with a similar name.

    There was a time when having playgrounds or athletic fields duplicated to the park sign was common.

  • tehstone-INGtehstone-ING Posts: 375 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When I first saw @Gendgi-PGO 's theory I was skeptical, but I have gathered a ton of examples and in every single case there is a nearby waypoint that could plausibly selected as a duplicate. I'll post a long list of examples collected from others on discord after this, who knows how long it will take to get through mod review.

    IMO this theory is far more plausible than @Hosette-ING 's

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