November AMA - Topics Thread
NianticCasey-ING Posts: 538Niantic › admin
edited December 2020 in General Discussion
It's that time again, time for another round of AMA questions for the Wayfarer team to review and reply to. This is the last AMA of 2020 and the answers will also contain another update to the roadmap.
Please drop your questions as comments in this thread by November 11, after which we'll have 1 week of voting to determine the top 15 questions.
We have a big update coming regarding the criteria coming soon, so we will be sourcing criteria-related questions in a separate thread after that goes live. We'll essentially be doing two AMAs this month: 15 questions from this thread AND 15 questions from the criteria thread.
Thanks again for your excitement and all your great questions!
Post edited by NianticCasey-ING on
This discussion has been closed.
Many of us on the forums feel we don't get timely responses from the Wayfarer Team with many issues languishing for weeks, if not months, before hearing anything from Niantic. When will there be a dedicated staff to handle the forums, especially answering questions in the Guideline Clarifications and addressing and closing out ports in Bug Report? Especially since the latter has become filled with non-bug reports.
When will "Generic Business" be removed as a rejection reason? Generic business is not listed in the guidelines as an ineligible condition that overrides all other eligible criteria, and too many reviewers use it to reject anything they deem "generic" regardless of whether it is a business or not.
I see many people complaining that submission candidates that meet criteria are incorrectly being rejected. Often reviewers are misunderstanding PRP, safe access or other guidance.
What about introducing an option to use upgrade points to send a rejection directly to NianticOps to take a look at (maybe for 300 or 400 agreement points as it needs to be a high enough number that it’s not something people do for every submission but keep it reasonable to achieve for people struggling)
This would improve people’s wayfarer experience by giving people some hope that the more challenging submissions have a chance since some reviewers don’t take the time to properly review and on the other hand if someone is insisting something meets criteria when it doesn’t then NiaOps can let them know why so they don’t keep spamming the same submission again and again.
A common frustration when reviewing is seeing fake submissions being accepted. The lack of options for rejection criteria means that if any submitter intentionally fakes a submission and it gets accepted then it is almost impossible and incredibly stress-inducing to get it removed.
An example of this is on this post:
The submitter lied in the submission, essentially abusing the Wayfarer System, to create the illusion that they were submitting something of cultural and historical interest, when actually it is an item that is neither of cultural or historic interest, and is an item which very likely falls into the mass produced section. It was appealed and removed but then the removal was reversed, with the new instruction was to just submit a new photograph instead.
As I stated at the start of this inquiry, it is very frustrating for those who review legitimately to see fakes get accepted. The reversal I mentioned comes as a massive slap in the face to the community as Niantic, or at least a representative of Niantic, has sided with submitters that are abusing the system and have effectively gave them unspoken permission as it would seem that there will be no punishment for these actions.
Can NianticOps come out and say with 100% certainty, that you intend to do whatever you can within reason to stop fake submissions and take action against those who attempt to use wayfarer to fake wayspots? Also, is there any chance of taking a look at the example I have given above as well as I, along with many others, really don’t like seeing cheats prosper, especially in cases of the Wayfarer system being abused.
Is there a reason that Pokemon GO emails are more ambiguous than Ingress emails?
Currently, Ingress players can receive four different emails: Accepted, Not Accepted, Duplicate, and Too Close. Meanwhile, Pokemon GO players only receive three: Eligible, Ineligible, and Duplicate (missing the "too close" message).
The “eligible” email covers three different possible outcomes and causes needless confusion among new submitters (accepted and will become a Pokestop, accepted as a non-Pokestop wayspot, and not accepted due to proximity). The most common question in Wayfarer channels by far is asking why they can’t see their submission even though they got an email saying it was eligible and making the emails more clear would help.
What steps are you taking to punish reviewers who wrongfully reject valid objects like trail markers because they think their local convetions are more important than the rules and the AMA's?
Please can we have some form of rejecting submissions for worthless supporting statements? right now it's a free-for-all with no ruling whatsoever, there's far too many "need more pokestops", essentially making their entire submission into a Redacted submission since their supporting is completely useless and worthless and frustrating to many reviewers.
I have sent a couple of Wayspot Location edits via the form, but I have not received any responses about whether my edit request was accepted or rejected. How would I be able to follow up on a request in case I need to appeal it when I don't have a response?
Are there any plans to address the severe backlog that exists in certain communities? There are reports of submissions being In Voting or In Queue for more than a year after they were originally submitted. Meanwhile submissions a few town away receive a decision within one or two months. From experience talking to other players, this slow response time has contributed to less activity on Wayfarer.
Why does Niantic not let us track our edits (title, description, location, etc.) through Wayfarer? There have been several cases where I've received results for an edit, but the email did not provide any information as to what the edit was for.
Over close to a year ago, the new form "Wayfarer Criteria Clarifications" (https://wayfarer.nianticlabs.com/help#wayspot-acceptance-criteria-clarifications) was launched, presumably as a location to ask for updated guidance.
Have questions asked there been compiled and are being considered for future guideline updates? Can we expect to see any of the frequent asked questions on that form to be acknowledged?
"Answers to frequently asked questions will be posted on this page periodically."
Are the previous OPR Candidate Action Guides and Ingress OPR related "AMAs" still valid reviewer guidelines except where contradicted by current "published" Wayfarer Guidelines? Where might a new reviewer find these guides?
Should comments made by Niantic staff on this forum and "selected answers" by the community be taken as new review criteria? Several comments have specifically endorsed and/or condoned eligibility that may not reach a widespread audience. How might this affect reviewer ratings for those who try to review with Niantic's new stances but are drowned out by the masses?
What are the next steps on your roadmap for handling abuse reports and location edits? The google form feels like an interim and lacks transparency. Are there plans to implement the feature into wayfarer? Hopefully with the ability to track whether reports have been reviewed yet? 🙃
What has been the proudest achievement from the Wayfarer team thus far?
We see a lot of questions about reviewer education in these AMAs, how much is done to educate the Niantic employees who review abuse reports? Are they kept up to date with the latest clarifications for pedestrian access and the like? It's very common to have to report POI multiple times, and the handling of invalid reports on the forums is inconsistent at best.
Is there any plans for "trusted reviewers"? sort of like Wayfarer Vanguards?
Will there be future updates involving the rejection criteria of rejected nominations in all languages or will is stay in english emails only? It would be definately better to show everyone what they did wrong and not only all with an english set mobile.
You've previously been very clear about how and when a memorial bench should be accepted, however there's never been any clarification on commemorative benches. Are you able to confirm whether these are acceptable or not, and if they are, on what grounds should they be accepted? For example, a commemorative bench commemorating an event relavant to the local community.
Can the Niantic-profile displayed in Ingress and in Pokemon GO get combined with the name shown on the pictures of POIs? In this case, no one can stay anonym and connections to other wayfarers are easier to find. Also, is there a posibility to link the "discovered Portals" with your total amount of discovered portals? This would be a great change for your statistics. More interesting features would be a "Translate" button for Wayfarer like currently in WF+, to improve the review. If you do not understand the language, you are most likely unable to review it correctly.
There seems to be a huge level of inconsistency as to what is accepted and what isn't. I personally feel that a lot of this is due to the acceptance criteria rules being very unclear and ambiguous. It means that reviewers have to interpret what the rules mean which leads to this inconsistency. What is being done to address this, as it's leaving many nominatorss feeling very frustrated.
Would it be possible for more posts from Niantic through in game announcements and social media posts highlighting what Wayfarer is? It is very clear in my local community that many players still believe Wayspots are created wholly by Niantic. I think it would be an incredible thing to highlight how (almost) every Wayspot exists because somebody found it interesting enough to nominate it and it was reviewed & approved by the community of players. Similarly, it would be very easy for a few sporadic posts such as "Trainers, did you know that Starbucks are placed in game by the Niantic team and should not be nominated in-game?" and "Agents, have a Portal without a photo? Upload a new one for 500 AP!"
Don't know if I should put this into clarification bit or here but
Trail markers that should be accepted are still getting rejected. It feels the guidance kn this is still not helpful with people only interested on accepting ones that look exactly like the one example given, and even they are still 50/50. Could we please get proper, in depth guidance on these, with proper examples. Preferable examination g and showing if
1. Street sign ones are acceptable
2. If the stickers used in many countries are acceptable
3. Is the discs that are placed on walls or lampposts/streetlights (as well as wooden posts) are acceptable
As these are the ones that in most peoples minds should be good but continually get rejected
The Wayfarer team have acknowledged that URLs in the supporting information are a good way to provide additional evidence about our nominations, but often URLs take up a lot of space in the supporting statement, which leaves next to no room to type why the nomination is important in the first place. A separate field exclusively for URLs (or an increase in the amount of text that you can type in the existing supporting information box) would very much help with this. Therefore my question is whether this is something the Wayfarer team could look into doing?
Can we please have some feedback from Niantic into how reviewers can improve their submissions. Currently we have no idea of how we can improve our acceptance ratios. If we vote "incorrectly" on a POI submission, we have no way of seeing which were "wrong" - it would be useful to see which submissions we reviewed "didn't make it". This would allow us to see if we can spot a trend, are we not understanding some particular part of the guidelines, or perhaps ask for advice in here. I think the majority of people would like to improve, and it would certainly be beneficial to Niantic and cut down of some of the appeals issues. At least let us see a percentage of out "incorrect" reviews.
Will there be any further input from Niantic on those reviewers still stuck in "The Red" / with "Poor" scores. For some of us, we have been there for months, despited reviewing in the same way and having the same sorts of acceptance ratios as we did in when we spent several years "in the Green".
Would it be possible to include some sort of validation / confirmation when reviewers select specific one star rejection reasons?
Many rejection reasons which I receive back do not necessarily correspond to the submission I have made. It makes it look as though some reviewers may be selecting a random reasons for rejections and have not really taken their time to truely consider what they are looking at, instead, opting for a quick 1 star agreement.
What I am proposing is a follow on question which asks the reviewer to consider their rejection reason and reminds them when this rejection reason should really apply.
Location - Private Residence or Farm:-
Is this point of interest on the grounds of a single family property? Please remember that points of interest within multi family property such as appartment blocks or terraced housing is acceptable.
No pedestrian access -
Is this point of interest not accessible? Please remember that a point of interest only need to be accessible to some people at some time not everybody all of the time.
Generic Business -
Is this really a generic business?
Is this a business or a generic object?
If it's an object perhaps it doesn't meet criteria.
If it is a business;
is it a common business in the area? Remember unique businesses are acceptable and can be considered community assets.
Hopefully if something like this was implemented it might clarify some of the borderline rejection reasons and stop the amount of wrongful rejection where some reviewers may net be aware that points of interest are acceptable on mrp or within business premises.
Will you ever reconsider recreational pools? We have athletic fields, volleyball and tennis courts etc. Is it a safety or privacy issue? I don't see the problem with for example placing a POI at the entrance of the pool building.
Would it be possible to lower the number of reviews required to help clear the backlog of submissions?
Could Niantic revise the wording on the wording on the "Submitting a PokeStop Nomination" in a couple of places.
Please reword this in some way such that we do not keep getting a photo of a pavement or footway as the supporting photo, presumeably to "prove" there is "pedestrian access". Stress the supporting photos should show the POI in order to help the community reviewers place / locate the POI.
Say up front "Your sbumissions will be reviewed by the Wayfarer community" (with links) so they know that Niantic does not have the responsibility for this.
Say up front "Pokestop submissions should be real and with the POI placed at the correct position on the map. Do not use photos from an existing POI to create a "fake" submission in an incorrect location. Do not place objects, signs or unofficial Trail Makers in places in an attempt to create a "fake" POI. Deliberate submission of "fake" POIs or POIs at misplaced location can result in your Pokemon account being suspended for a period of time or closed by Niantic"