Reviewing nominations with copy/pasted description

I see a LOT of nominations with copy/pasted descriptions currently, like long word-to-word passages that are pasted directly from a given website about national hiking trails (mostly). I'm a bit unsure about what to do with these. I started rejecting them all some time ago, since Niantic's rejection criteria is quite clear:

Ineligible text or description

Title and/or description seems copied and pasted from other sources, includes emojis, tags, or personally identifiable information such as codenames, personal names or initials, or addresses.

A lot of the copy/paste nominations, mainly trail markers, find their way to 'accepted' though, and I'm honestly really curious about how we should handle the copy/paste issue in the reviewing community? Should we handle it at all?

It feels wrong to have to reject these, but again, the rules are clear on this. But I can't help but think that quite a few Wayfarer users (both submitters and reviewers!) don't know about this? But maybe not too many people care about this either, I don't know?

My question is mainly for the Niantic Wayfarer team, but there seems to be very little response these days...?

So I'm also curious to hear from other reviewers. Thoughts on how to handle this will be welcomed. I guess I'm looking for a bit of inspiration from other users, and maybe someone has a good idea or something.

I admit to being a total nitpick with my own nomination text quality and I focus quite a lot on text creativity and quality when reviewing also. What got to me about these trail markers was that there are so overwhelmingly many of them in Danish Wayfarer right now and they stick out in such a strange way because they are mostly just a wooden pole with an arrow's end in some color, and then the text is like some doctoral thesis, both in length and phrasing. It's just a bit much at this point.

Feedback? Thanks if you have some! 😊


  • Johnsonsine-INGJohnsonsine-ING Posts: 256 ✭✭✭

    I don't care too much about my rating, I care more about submitting and reviewing properly. In this case the problem is just so huge. It's not just a few nominations with copy/paste text. There are so many of these trail marker nominations, sometimes it's even 2 or 3 in a row from the same submitter, in a review session of maybe 40-50 reviews, 10 could be these. I have no idea how to communicate to the submitter that what they are doing is 'wrong', so that's why I tried asking here. 🙂

    Okay, admitted - it's also the principle for me. I don't appreciate getting punished by dropping to 'Good' because I review properly.

    I thought about if there is some way to report the submitter for this, but it seems a bit overkill. On the other hand, they might learn something and we'd all get better nominations to review (yes, it's one submitter in particular, not that I know the person).

  • Johnsonsine-INGJohnsonsine-ING Posts: 256 ✭✭✭

    I really like your ideas! I wish there was an efficient way to communicate this to Niantic, not just cross our fingers and hope they stumble upon this post randomly... (That is how I vision it anyway). 😁

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,279 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It depends where the text came from. If it comes from the entity being nominated, it's not plagiarism.

    If the nomination is a historical marker, it's fine to transcribe its text into the description. For a park or trail, it's OK to quote its official website. If it's a restaurant, it's fine to quote that restaurant's web page. In fact, they'd all LOVE the extra advertising Niantic would give them for their product.

    The problem is if the nomination uses third-party text. For example, if a restaurant nomination quotes a local newspaper food critic. That critic makes a living off their words, and didn't give Niantic permission to publish them without paying.

    Niantic is just trying to avoid legal problems.

  • Johnsonsine-INGJohnsonsine-ING Posts: 256 ✭✭✭

    Are you sure copying (or quoting, but same-same?) from a restaurant's website is acceptable? Do you have a link or something? 🙂

    I can see why the restaurant would be interested in a quote or copy/paste, but I really can't see how it is good Wayfarer use, or even in accordance with Wayfarer accceptance criteria or reviewing guidelines. But maybe I missed something.

  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If the description is a direct copy /paste from a website / guidebook / information sheet then that is 3rd part text and should be rejected.

  • Johnsonsine-INGJohnsonsine-ING Posts: 256 ✭✭✭

    Exactly. And this one is even very clear from Niantic's side. Getting everyone to actually read, understand and follow guidelines is another thing...

    It's funny how someone disagreed with your comment. But it just kinda demonstrates the problem. 🙄

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 3,978 Ambassador

    Often, I’ll do a half-way on this. I’ll have something about the POI and where it is that I’ve typed. But then I’ll also have something like “The plaque reads; <copy text from plaque>” after it.

    So most of it is copied off the plaque/sign etc. but some of what I’ve written is my own. I think it’s a good way of making sure it’s described right.

  • Johnsonsine-INGJohnsonsine-ING Posts: 256 ✭✭✭

    The way I see it, one thing is to add essential text from a plaque or sign, adding 'credit' to that plaque or sign, another thing is to steal whole passages, like seriously filling up the Description area top to bottom with 100% rip-off AKA copy/paste, presenting it like it was written by you. That is not okay to do. We don't even have to like it, the criteria there are very clear. So it should be a no-brainer, but is obviously not. Honestly many are just like "The more Pokéstops Wayspots, the merrier!" - totally disregarding what goes and what doesn't from Niantic's side. No hate for PoGo players btw (there's enough drama dividing the different game groups)! Just an observation, and it is understandable, since that is how PoGo works. But that does not make it 'good Wayfarer use'.

  • Greg89G-PGOGreg89G-PGO Posts: 1 ✭✭

    Hmm... When I submit a new nomination for review I create my own description & supplemental info. text. I don't copy/paste existing descriptions/details from the internet. However, I often Google the place/object I'm nominating prior to pressing submit. The main reason for this is to verify certain details & confirm I've entered the correct info. into the description box. I also search Google for details about existing blank & low quality POI's to find & confirm the details I add to the new description prior to submitting as a description edit. I'd rather a portal/PokéStop/gym have no description than an invalid one so I fact check everything before submitting it to ensure everything I've entered is correct.

    When it comes to reviewing nominations containing a likely copied/pasted description I'll consider a few things before deciding. ① Overall nomination quality ② Surrounding waypoint density ③ Supplemental Info. details ④ Photos used ⑤ What is it? How badly is it copied/pasted? If it's something simple like a trail marker & the photos seem original but the description seems copied/pasted I'll likely still approve it. If it's a monument or something more culture oriented & the copied description is a heavily detailed essay informing us of the entire history for the subject in review I'm more inclined to deny it. When I send in new submissions of plaques or memorials I often enter the plaque text word for word in the description box.. Though I make sure to give my own brief description telling what it is & I add the text "Plaque reads" prior to typing in what it says, I also make sure to add quotes (") at the beginning & end of any text I copied from the plaque. I hope it's acceptable to do this.

  • niktero-PGOniktero-PGO Posts: 348 ✭✭✭✭

    The issue here is that Niantic does not want to be accused of plagiarism. As we learned in writing class you must cite your sources always or else you are stealing other people's work. So if you are quoting another site or something not written on the object being nominated then you must give credit to where it came from. If you reword and abbreviate what someone else wrote then you are ok. Just give credit where credit is due.

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