Invalid Wayspot Report - faked, does not exist

0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 335 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 2 in [Archive] Appeals

Title of the Wayspot: Bruce Trail Sign - Niagara Escarpment

Location: 43.136005/-79.20001

City: Thorold, Ontario

Country: Canada

Screenshot of the Rejection Email:

This wayspot “Bruce Trail Sign - Niagara Escarpment” was falsely created. The player took a closeup photo of a Bruce Trail guidebook and submitted that.

Other indications that this submission was a fake include: ALL Bruce Trail trail marker signs are either at entrances to the trail (ie from the street), or where the trail branches off to either another trail or to a “spit” or “side trail”. THIS location is very far away from all such spots, which is extremely clear when you view it on Google Maps.

Additional Information:

sample book (yellow)

sample REAL Bruce Trail sign,-79.20001&z=15

falsely created portal:,-79.20001&z=15

This wayspot “Bruce Trail Sign - Niagara Escarpment” was falsely created. The player took a closeup photo of a Bruce Trail guidebook and submitted that.

Other indications that this submission was a fake include: ALL Bruce Trail trail marker signs are either at entrances to the trail (ie from the street), or where the trail branches off to either another trail or to a “spit” or “side trail”. THIS location is very far away from all such spots, which is extremely clear when you view it on Google Maps.

sample book (yellow)

sample REAL Bruce Trail sign

falsely created portal:

More books (the cover design hasn't changed in decades):

There are many more sample "real" signs I can point to, NONE of which resemble the book covers,-79.240831&z=17,-79.243845&z=17,-79.242832&z=16,-79.351209&z=16,-79.352764&z=16,-79.101093&z=15,-79.11319&z=15

And those are just some of the "local" ones I've visited personally.

Post edited by NianticGiffard on


  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 335 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020

    I apologize for the weird formatting, it's some kind of weird interaction between how iPhone copy/paste worked between my Notes app where I'd written it all up, and the Google Chrome browser's way of pasting into this text box. I promise, it LOOKED fine before I submitted, but it apparently came out all weblinky.

    I've edited that to be more presentable, but that edit is taking its sweet time getting re-approved by the mods.

    update: formatting fixed

    Post edited by 0X00FF00-ING on
  • Insufficient Evidence - Resubmit Appeal- Thanks for the appeal, Agent. Due to insufficient evidence, we’re unable to remove the Portal in question.

    If you have additional evidence to share, please submit a geotagged image of the POI location and we’ll take another look.

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 335 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Yes, I am especially frustrated when the Pokémon player (that I know the name of) was bragging to all his friends about this, laughing at how easy it was to take a picture of a book in order to be able to spin a stop from his back yard.

    I am especially frustrated when I show MULTIPLE photos of the same books from throughout the years with the exact same cover, unchanged save for the colour.

    I am especially frustrated when I show MULTIPLE examples of what the trail signs and markers DO look like, and this evidence is ignored.

    I am especially frustrated when it is IMPOSSIBLE to take any kind of photo of ANY object at the location, as NONE EXISTS. Do you literally want me to upload a new photosphere at the location? That would attach my real name to the complaint, AT the site of the abuse, leaving me subject to abuse from the other local players.

    In short, please please PLEASE tell me the one thing more that I can do in order to prove that the Pokémon player abusively made himself a fake pokestop.

    @NianticCasey-ING @NianticKN-ING

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Apparently I need to take a “geotagged photo” of nothing in what amounts to the middle of the woods for them to even look at anything. Oh well it’s only a ~12km round-trip walk during a heat wave, or else a public bus trip across the city and back during a pandemic (with no publicly available bathrooms). But at least I have a cloth mask. Gah.

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Further to this issue, where Niantic staff seems unable to apply any “common sense” to these removal requests, I can only assume they are using some version of a script/guide that they must follow before allowing any removals to succeed.

    Meanwhile, the ONLY instructions we actually have for players is here:

    There are NO instructions therein about any requirement for any such “geotagged” photos. Nor are there any instructions in this forum or its description as to the same requirement.

    I could relatively easily made an excursion when I first attempted to bring this to your attention, LAST YEAR. Mind you, at that time, I had still been optimistic enough to hope that the then-new “abuse form” would have been enough.

  • Gravemint-PGOGravemint-PGO Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited August 2020

    Probably shouldn't berate Niantic on their own site

    Post edited by Gravemint-PGO on
  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well gee, what's more dangerous? That by holding Niantic staff to account, they'll continue to ignore some relatively major concerns? Or that by not holding Niantic staff to account, nothing will improve with regards to some relatively major concerns?

    I was the very first person to bring up one specific concern, that when reviewers continue to select spurious reasons for their rejections it harms us all. The longterm effect of my concern being (mostly) ignored is becoming glaring, in that submitters are NOT learning from their invalid rejections, and are being taught that ALL they need to do is resubmit, resubmit, resubmit. But with VALID rejection reasons returned to them, with some proper feedback, then they can start to learn.

    (One specific example, if you're reviewing something that is NOT a business? Even if the nomination is merely in/at/near the business? Do NOT select "Generic business" for a reason. Usually a "Does not meet criteria" is more appropriate. Other pet peeves examples include choosing "Poor quality photo" even when the photo is fine, but it's just your subjective opinion that the nomination happens to be ugly.)

    Other things I've brought to their attention include that when attempting to request a removal, the initial step being in-app, it is utterly impossible to give any description or reasoning at that time, which only serves to prolong the process for everybody.

    And the other thing I'm holding them to account about, is that their internal procedures for wayspot removal DO NOT match what the players are being told. Specifically, that new fraudulently-created wayspots, ones that DO NOT MEET CRITERIA, are not only being left in their database, but are also being restored into the database??! The specific example for that, a pair of common, non-eligible UK postboxes were found to have been submitted with fraudulent photos. Upon discovery by players, both were requested for removal. One was removed. The other was left in the game. And then. THEN! when the Wayfarer team was informed about this incredible discrepancy, they not only did NOT remove the second wayspot. They actually restored the first fraudulent wayspot back into their database!

    I play these games because I truly enjoy the "discovery" aspect. Without the foundation laid by Niantic's Wayfarer database, and without the benefit of other players like myself who enjoy finding and submitting new things from their community, most of it is fairly pointless. When my family travels, we use these games to discover some of the most awesome things in the world, literal Points Of Interest. And my brother even has some nominations accepted on a different continent! How cool is that?

    But if you don't particularly care about the quality of nominations, all you want is more things in the game to click on, then feel free to just let Niantic make their own mistakes without being called on it.

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @NianticKN-ING I finally had that combination of decent weather and my brother’s availability for a drive over to the spot. I stood exactly at the location, as seen by my Ingress screenshot. I took several photos at the location in many angles, with my Camera’s permission set to allow Location access, which you can match against the newly approved photosphere.

    Do I need to start a THIRD removal thread now, or is this enough information now FINALLY?

    Unsurprisingly, there was absolutely nothing even close to the area with any kind of signage whatsoever. I looked some fifty metres up and down the trail from the location. Unsurprising to me at least, because I used to OWN a copy of that vinyl-plastic covered book myself (in dark blue) before it was a several years out of date and then donated to a local Goodwill or Value Village.

    I did also take the time to submit a new wayspot a short distance away, of an ACTUAL Bruce Trail sign, this one being a smaller “diamond” sign that they typically use only at trail branches. But of course you will be able to see that MY photo and MY supporting pic actually show some of the background, and was not an intentionally-zoomed/cropped pic that completely obscured all background details.

    photos follow:

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    (this comment may be somewhat of a duplicate; I'd included a screenshot of the email previously some hours ago, and so that comment is being held up in moderation.)

    The first email with the "doxxing" was already a federal crime, but the harassment continues:

    Subject: Rules, as a concept in general, are VERY, VERY important.

    This message was sent via anonymousemail

    "The context of situations do not matter. Rules are rules, doesn't matter their effect, their creator, their enforcer, their perpetrator, their implications, their significance. I am pure good. YOU are pure evil. YOU are rule-adjacent.

    Unrelated, I have undeniably broken Wayfarer's community rules on the usage of profanity because I believe that the context of the situation made it reasonable to do so.

    I am very smart."

    Hopefully that portal doesn't get removed...

    The act of "doxxing" is considered to be a threat, as in "I know where you live, so I'm making sure you're worried about what else I can do to you." And the continued harassment speaks to their character.

    With the pseudo-anonymity allowed on forums, where we all hide behind NICK names, it's very easy to get CARRIED away.

    But fortunately for me, I have a strong and healthy community, I've been a leader in the various groups (Ingress, Pokemon Go, Harry Potter, all), and a Precious few other leaders have my back.

  • Thanks for providing the additional information @0X00FF00-ING, I've asked the team to take another look at your report. I also hear you about the disconnect between what is being asked for in this category and what's listed on the Help Center and am talking to the Wayfarer team about updating that page to be more accurate.

  • Circling back to this request as I have closed the discussion: after an additional review of the new information provided by @0X00FF00-ING, the Wayspot in question has been removed.

This discussion has been closed.