Niantic Appeals - Will they lead to improvements?

RandomExploit-INGRandomExploit-ING Posts: 892 ✭✭✭✭✭

I would like to know how many appeals get accepted by Niantic after being rejected by wayfarers & if the stats are being used to improve the system in any way?

Maybe this is something ambassadors like @Elijustrying-ING could bring up with Niantic.

I have just had yet another appeal accepted meaning I have had only a couple rejected out of about 30 or so appeals. Appeals take so long and obviously most of these shouldn't have needed to go to appeals stage so it would make sense for Niantic to do something about these initial bad rejections.

Personally I think educating all the people who rejected something that got accepted by appeal should get an email telling them why it was accepted so they know for the future. Individuals shouldn't get a lot of emails if this is just for overturned appeals.

People who rejected a lot of things that got overturned on appeal should get closer scrutiny and potentially warnings and ultimately voting rights removed if it continues to be a problem. Obviously this needs to be balanced well so it doesn't wrongly target just people who vote more but at the same time doesn't let habitual voters get away with pedantic voting.

The stats obviously need to be looked at in a nuanced way too. Someone who may only have submitted 10 POI in total is going to have a lot less experience and if they appeal they will get a higher appeal rejection rate than someone who has created hundreds of POI. It would be interesting to see the appeal overturned stats for just experienced submitters without the newbie submitters appeals altering the percentage...

Area and voting cells can also make a difference and I think using the stats could help identify problems in certain cells and potentially some voters which could help Niantic direct their attention towards to help improve the situation and weed out abusive voting.

Niantic could even potentially look further and see patterns in voting for POI in certain areas by the different teams if they were so inclined. I am sure you would see patterns where one ingress faction always rejects (or accepts) POI submitted in an area (of other faction players) while voting the opposite in their own. But going that far is just a dream of fixing things in an ideal world maybe. At least the other things are more easily doable and results achievable.

Or we could just keep going how we are currently going with a high percentage of submissions wrong rejected, people getting frustrated, lots of Niantic tune spent on appeals that will take many many months, all for something that should have been accepted the first time.


  • RandomExploit-INGRandomExploit-ING Posts: 892 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One would expect Niantics own teams mistakes to be minimal enough to not make a big difference in the great scheme of things.

    Potentially stats could be used to help and give Niantic voters extra information.

    For example their voting screen could give additional info of: 80% of people who rejected this have never had a rejection overturned on appeal


    70% of people have not had an appeal overturned in their last 350 votes.

    Only include people who have voted on 100+ submissions maybe

    This could give Niantics voters a confident score on the voters for that submission.

    I would also list in the Niantic voters screen the extra info given for rejection if any wayfarers filled that in. So say a couple of voters rejected saying people visible in the background, Niantic could choose a box saying accepted for "good place to socialise" and another text entry box where they could add "unidentifiable people in image is OK"

    10 more seconds work for Niantic reviewers but if they introduced a feedback system the amount going to appeal would drop so much that it would be worth it

  • HankWolfman-PGOHankWolfman-PGO Posts: 4,305 ✭✭✭✭✭


    For example, this is a recently accepted nomination through a Niantic appeal after correctly being rejected by reviewers for being a generic street name sign with no actual significance:

    The person (let's call them Person A) who submitted it told me it was rejected and that he appealed it. I expected Niantic to uphold the vote of the community because it is just a generic street name sign, but apparently the Niantic reviewer thinks generic street name signs are eligible.

    This isn't the only instance of this happening in the local area either. This one was submitted by a different person in the same area (Person B), and is the reason Person A got the idea to submit the other one in the first place. Again, it's not something I would see anyone in the UK voting to accept, as we all know that it's just a generic street name sign. Sadly I don't know Person B in person to ask them if it was accepted on appeal or not.

    Additionally, Person A submitted another nomination that is just a parking bollard, and that too got accepted.

    I can't imagine regular reviewers accepting this either, so it makes me suspicious that Niantic also had a hand in that.

    If Niantic want street name signs and parking bollards as wayspots, there are literally millions of both such things within the UK and I'm sure we could submit them if Niantic does want them. I don't think they actually do want them though, so I think the Wayfarer team should be sending themselves educational emails in this case and maybe taking another look at some of these nominations, given that it's encouraging people to submit more of the same.

  • RandomExploit-INGRandomExploit-ING Posts: 892 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is why the feedback on appeals would be useful.

    For your examples @HankWolfman-PGO it might be that Niantic is correct and the community is wrong. But the community wrongly thinks they are correct.

    If Niantic put that it accepted the appeal for the first one because it encourages exploring (The lake & nature reserve) but added that "The sign post is OK for an anchor for the lake walk" then people would understand that their rejection for mass produced was wrong and the reasons why.

    At the moment people are assuming Niantic have voted wrong but might just need educating....

  • Elijustrying-INGElijustrying-ING Posts: 4,808 Ambassador

    Thanks for these examples @HankWolfman-PGO I shall use them. I think I rejected Rowan Way.

    I am a firm believer that the way to drive up quality is to be able to have an open approach to mistakes…..

    saying we got this one wrong is a starting point.

    And then understanding why to stop it happening again.

    The appeals process is something that the Ambassadors have been trying to help with, so I am interested in points made.

  • HankWolfman-PGOHankWolfman-PGO Posts: 4,305 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For the first one, I've marked Bar Lane with two red dots at either end of the lane. Most of the lane is just vehicular access. The footpath on the road only goes as far as the yellow dot (from the western red dot), and then at that point it's just a narrow country road all the way to the eastern end of the road.

    As you can see, the road doesn't encircle anything. It's slightly crooked, but it's mostly a straight line. And it's not even the road that is closest to the nature reserve in question.

    So it wouldn't make for a good nature reserve walk given that it doesn't even go into the nature reserve/around the lake in the first place, and around 80% of the lane doesn't even have safe pedestrian access.

    Like I say, I actually know Person A who submitted this. He only did it because the other sign for Rowan Way that Person B submitted was accepted (which again, isn't encircling anything, contrary to the description - it's a 50 metre long residential cul-de-sac that didn't even exist 10 years ago).

    They're both just generic street name signs that do not represent anything of value beyond letting people know what street they happen to be on.

  • RandomExploit-INGRandomExploit-ING Posts: 892 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @HankWolfman-PGO I only gave that as an example, I wasn't trying to debate wether any individual rejection was correctly appealed or not as that's a whole different thread /topic.

    I was just pointing out how Niantic could give feedback on appeals and that wayfarers could potentially be wrong in their thinking but informed this way.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,976 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The "review team" is actually a third-party group that Niantic has outsourced appeals to. It is not Niantic themselves reviewing the appeals or the nominations. That is why they often get things wrong and should not be used as a basis for whether any actions should be taken against the volunteer reviewers.

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The appeal team does not see the same thing the original reviewers saw.

    1) The appeal has an extra text box where the nominator can explain away the original rejection reasons, and add information they may have forgotten the first time, or learned since then.

    2) Google maps, satellite, streetview etc have probably been updated. Appeals take at least six months. Especially if it was originally in voting 6-18 months - everyone's seeing something different.

    Currently, appealers can choose from more maps than the original reviewers could (OpenStreetMap, Intel, Bing, and Yandex have been added).

  • RandomExploit-INGRandomExploit-ING Posts: 892 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Obe would assume this 3rd party has been trained by Niantic. Going by their action on my appeals, one mistake out of many appeals is a small amount and tells me they mostly know what they are doing.

    While the basis of my post was education, I can see why fear of punishment terrifies you. Serial bad rejectors should be worried and weeded out for everything else to prosper.

  • RandomExploit-INGRandomExploit-ING Posts: 892 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You quote these often @MargariteDVille-ING but I don't think they are relevant.

    The reviewers could tick a box to say the decision was based on the additional information given. That submission could then be left out of people's bad rejection stats.

    Street View can easily be checked to see previous dates and differences so if people have rejected based on location, that could be considered.

    So far I see mostly people replying who often post that they reject things with any reason they can find, worried about being punished by Niantic after over turning many of their rejections on appeal.

    Instead of people wanting to make the system better so people don't need to appeal, they attack Niantic as being at fault. This is the toxic side of wayfarer that needs fixing and education + punishment is probably the only way to do as nothing will change if left to the few local loud voices who feel they are more correct than Niantic. Recurring issue...

  • Elijustrying-INGElijustrying-ING Posts: 4,808 Ambassador


    you wrote:

    Currently, appealers can choose from more maps than the original reviewers could (OpenStreetMap, Intel, Bing, and Yandex have been added).

    I don’t understand this.

    I take it “appealers” refers to the wayfinder making the appeal

    When I put in an appeal yes there is a map there but it is the one map there is no choice, and I’m not sure why it would be significant as the appeal is only the text box. I have no way of knowing what map information that those reviewing are seeing by the time it is reviewed.

  • Leedle95-PGOLeedle95-PGO Posts: 489 ✭✭✭
    edited September 9

    In my case it was a little free library, clearly in someone’s front yard. It was correctly rejected, but it this was early on for me and there was another similar in the neighborhood so I appealed it and it was accepted.

    I actually wished they had an option to withdraw an appeal because I would have.

  • Ochemist-INGOchemist-ING Posts: 353 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There are many more reasons why something might be allowed on appeal after a completely good-faith, legitimate rejection. For example, at one point trail markers had to have a trail name on them. This was clearly stated in the criteria. Nobody who rejected a trail marker without a name on it during that time period should be punished in any way for reviewing according to the then-current criteria. There is no way the appeal reviewers will know this history, so it would be unrealistic for them to check a "never mind" box.

    I doubt I would ever review again if I were punished for something like this.

    Furthermore, Niantic reviewers are hardly infallible and regularly approve things like mattress stores and Aldis. I would cut all ties whatsoever with Wayfarer if I were punished for rejecting a mattress store.

    >So far I see mostly people replying who often post that they reject things with any reason they can find, worried about being punished by Niantic after over turning many of their rejections on appeal.

    This statement is completely unfair to the many good reviewers out there who aren't out for blood because they understand that there a lot of reasons why things might be rejected that don't involve bad faith on the part of the reviewers. Heck, simple difference of opinion alone happens a lot, and nobody should be penalized for acting in good faith in believing that a restaurant or the like doesn't make the cut.

    I say all this as somebody who generally wants to accept things, has had many "bad" (IMO) rejections, and who would be at 100% success on appeals if an appeal reviewer hadn't been utterly clueless and for no apparent reason incorrectly decided that one of my appealed locations was on school grounds.

  • RandomExploit-INGRandomExploit-ING Posts: 892 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My comment originally was mostly about knowing the appeal success stats and education but I got the opinion that people think they know better than Niantic and wouldn't be happy their rejections got overturned...

    I just had another appeal back today, accepted. As someone who has complained about bad rejections and had the same people in the forums tell me that my submissions are at fault, I see my almost flawless appeal rate as vindication and that these serial rejectors + the system is flawed. There us no reason why the ones I appealed shouldn't have gone through the first time.

    Let's use these stats and appeals to better the system. Those against improving it, are part of the problem.

Sign In or Register to comment.