St. Cloud Abuse Update 7
They're back at it again!
Because my last few reports had a relatively small number of portals, I was hopeful that the abuse was beginning to end and effective action might have finally been taken. It seems that unfortunately that is not the case as the group behind this abuse is back to working in full force. This time around, I was able to find over 50 abusive portals for this report. I would imagine that the uptick in abuse is based on the Ingress alt accounts that have been observed in the area clearly operating for the purpose of Wayfarer.
This round of reporting includes all kinds of abuse, such as nominations on private residential property and schools, nominations being excessively moved miles away from their location during review (cc @NianticDanbocat, are you still investigating this?), blatantly ineligible things like a pond aerator fountain getting approved, previously removed wayspots getting resubmitted and reapproved, etc. It also includes me revisiting a few abusive portals that Niantic previously neglected to remove, with some new evidence such as that pesky "conservation sign".
The full list of abusive wayspots can be found here:
I'd also like to share a couple other things, of note:
In this abuse thread about Winter Garden, which I am fairly confident is linked to St. Cloud anyways, a user posted a couple comments praising the abuse in St. Cloud. One of the comments is now gone, but the other is still there. That needs to be fully investigated if it hasn't been already.
Additionally, a few days ago, a user known to be deeply involved with the St. Cloud abuse with a rampant number of alt accounts, and who was known to have received punishment on at least some of them, sent me the following message/picture in what I can only imagine was a failed attempt to try to taunt me and rub in the fact that they are still reviewing:
Note that they themselves blurred out their own account identifying information (the circle in the top right), in what was likely an attempt to help prevent the account from being identified, however I would highly encourage Niantic to look at the accounts that reviewed the "Promenade Footbridge" submission at 252 New York Ave, Dunedin, FL 34698, USA, and correlate the reviewers of that nomination to those involved with St. Cloud. This person should be banned from reviewing.
Lastly, I imagine this will likely be my last St. Cloud abuse report on this forum prior to Niantic launching the new abuse reporting form (assuming they actually meet the deadline this time and the form is actually effective). I know that following the St. Cloud abuse has been important to many of you, and that the severity and continuing extent of the issue is commonly used as an example of why abuse needs to be taken much more seriously. I know many people are eager to see how and if Niantic resolves it, and likely especially how they will handle it with the new reporting system. Just to keep the community informed, I will still make a post some time in the future with how combatting the abuse is going, but likely that wont be for a while. Thank you to everyone who has provided support in unraveling this issue over the past 9 months, and shamelessly, make sure to throw my proposed AMA question some likes if you would like to see Niantic truly acknowledge this type of issue.
Not that’s it’s in my area but north lake park is a community. You truly believe that a small elementary school has its own YMCA and all of those amenities that you listed? That is a public use for the community YMCA most of that stuff that you listed is just community amenities it doesn’t belong to the elementary school it’s for public use. Lol I wish our schools had that kind of tax dollars to spend
Do I think that the Elementary school owns the YMCA? no. But the Elemantary school operates out of the same facility, and that makes it ineligible. Regardless, almost every POI at that location is deliberately misplaced even if they were eligible in the first place. I would imagine they were placed outside of the facility because of the elementary school making access to them unavailable otherwise. At the end of the day, the facility is jointly used by the elementary school. It's not eligible.
At least I can always count on you to come defend you and your friend's abuse though. Maybe Niantic will finally take notice that that is your only purpose for ever posting on this forum and ban you from here like they did with your friends.
This is the community
Man it’s not even in my county. Just seems like the reports are getting smaller because you’re grasping at straws. I’ll truly miss reading your long winded reports lol
from NinaticCasey in June 2020
“Agree with @NicoSolheim-ING here, so long as it's a separate location from the church itself and is not on the grounds of a school or daycare it could be an eligible nomination”.
the word “could use” is used to state as an eligible nomination To me that is a little confusing. I read it as if there is a separate enterance or separate building Really asking for clarification
@NianticGiffard you denied this appeal for removal and Grace Luthern, North Lake amenities and other churches fall under this same classification. This was from August this year Has it changed?
Clarifications from prior to November 2020 are invalid.
Furthermore, I would highly encourage you to keep my thread on topic, or you may wind up banned like many of your cohorts who have attempted to derail my threads before you. It is very clear that those of you from the St. Cloud community brigade my reports every time they occur. Believe it or not, it's not a good look.
If you want clarification about other threads, appeals, and situations, the place to seek that would be on those threads.
The place in question is very clearly an elementary school, per their own website:
There is also literally no way to argue against the fact that the POIs there are abused locations. They deserve to be removed.
I’ll just ask here it will be discussed well. Also please do not threaten me. This is a public forum and let’s please treat all with respect and kindness.
as I always said if Niantic deems what you have reported for removal founded. That is the decision.
August 2021 was from this year and @NianticGiffard denied something that was similar. You have portals on your list that., to me are very similar. Thus the clairifaction
These are the best threads in these forums. Andis walks in with mountains of data and clear evidence, then a few of the cheaters stick their heads up ****, try unsuccessfully to hide their personal offense and how invested they are in this scam, and everybody who’s not cheating hopes anew that Niantic will finally do the right thing.
I would like to comment on a few things that strike me as odd (not a comprehensive list, just the most egregious
1)You would like niantic to “fully investigate” a comment that a user made in the forum? Investigate what exactly? And for what purpose
2) You stated that a user was known to have received punishments. How on earth would you know that? I thought Niantic was committed to keeping users information private
3) You encourage niantic to “look at the accounts” that reviewed a particular submission. So, you would like niantic to look at probably hundreds of accounts that reviewed a submission? (Of course, we can’t know an exact number since the numbers are never publicized) I sure hope I wasn’t one of those accounts that reviewed that submission. But then again, I’m not sure what, exactly, niantic would be looking for here.
4) Lastly, I find it quite humorous that you call bike racks “mass produced” since I believe that it is fairly well known that you love to submit bike racks.
Also I hope you enjoyed your trip to Saint Cloud and took it advantage of all the cultural opportunities. We have lots of parks and playgrounds and historic buildings to explore.
private/anonymous reporting can't come soon enough. funny seeing all the comments questioning everything about this every time Andi posts from accounts we never see here otherwise. maybe this time Niantic will take stricter action against those involved or find ways to stop literally the same bad behavior on the same locations from happening again.
It's quite alarming to see the reports from @AisforAndis-ING is quite frequent in regard to this area.
I have escalated this to the appropriate department and will certainly take stricter actions against all the accounts that are found responsible in course of the investigation.
For me it was alarming everything after the second one. That showed that Niantic didn't take action properly on abusers.
Make sure to take a peek at the people who decided it would be smart to brigade this thread in defense of the abuse as well. They don't have a place on this forum. Thanks for escalating this. 🙏
I have to agree. If it takes seven reports (each detailing several abusive wayspots) for Niantic to start taking one case of abuse seriously, then the company's current abuse-battling program needs some serious changes.
I do think there's some overreach regarding the playfields and the YMCA, though. They don't belong to the school, and we need to clarify how K12 rule applies to amenities that are open to general public and can also be used by schools.
And before people start the "anti brigade", no, I don't have ANYTHING to do with this area at all.
Its actually been more than 7. There, was the original post, and there have now been 7 updates on top of that. There was also the report on Lebanon, MO which was directly related (same person who moved), and then the 2 Winter Garden reports that also are likely related. So somewhere between 8 and 11 depending on which way you look at it.
As stated before, whether or not Niantic determines that the POIs aren't suitable due to K-12, almost every POI related to facility is deliberately misplaced outside of it. That is abuse by itself. If the POIs were valid and not subject to K-12, the fact that these people intentionally placed the POIs in the wrong place outside of the facility yet they claim the facility is openly accessible it extremely questionable as well.
Any updates on this? It doesn't seem like the escalation has done anything yet. @NianticGiffard
It seems the first four (and maybe a few other, as the "Grace Lutheran Church") were removed. All the rest is still there.
We want to make sure proper actions are being taken to curb the recurring abuse in the area, hence the delay. However, we'll make sure to have this investigated ASAP. Your patience is appreciated until then.
So, they Take another one of their Accounts and continue from there.
This needs to be taken Care of by people that have experience in this situations.
Why Not make a Phone call to those people? Or send Them a Letter by an attorney.
Heck, i would even send an offical that Talks to Them in Person.
Hello @AisforAndis-ING! We have reviewed the report and have taken action on the 33 Wayspots and 6 Wayfinders in accordance with our policies. While we are unable to discuss our actions in detail to protect the submitter’s privacy, they may include, but are not limited to, sending a warning message, placing restrictions on their Wayfarer, Pokémon GO, or Ingress account, putting their account on probation, or placing a temporary or permanent suspension on their Wayfarer, Pokémon GO or Ingress account.
However, due to insufficient evidence, we’re unable to take action on the Wayspots "Ball Chapel Bell, Crosses Under Trees, Church Fountain, Sharing Library, Pavilion For Little League Field, The Gatherings Bocce Court, The Gatherings Fire Pit, Purple seahorse, Eagle Creek Pavilion, Information Board At Turtle Creek". If you have additional evidence like the geotagged images of the current location of the Wayspot or the actual location of the object, please resubmit with additional information and we’ll take another look.
Also, based on our research, we can confirm that the Wayspots "Ashley Oaks Information Board, North Lake Park Tennis Courts, Saint Cloud Little Free Library, Saint Cloud Fire Department, French Soldier guarding Entrance of Belle Vie, Decorative Bike Rack, Bike Design Bike Rack, Conservation Area Educational Sign, Blessing Box, Pots Of Sunshine, Pavilion A, Pavilion B, Godwin Park Pavilion, Antique Plow at a Catfish Place, Eagle Creek Time, Basketball Court Narcoosse Rd, Occasional Alligator, Sunbrooke Park, Mild, Hot, Diablo, Fire! Mural " are at their correct locations and it does not require any adjustments at this time.
@NianticGiffard While I certainly appreciate the action taken on the 33 wayspots you did address, this is a highly embarrassing response that overall showcases just how terribly and ineffectively the abuse team handles abuse in general. I understand that you were likely not the one who investigated this abuse and are just acting as a messenger, but please understand that this reflects horribly on you when you present this type of response as a resolution, especially after your prior response indicated how alarming this was and that you were looking at taking stricter action against these people so that the abuse might finally end. It seems the concern you previously expressed should be redirected back at the abuse team, because this is inexcusable. Let's pick some blatantly obvious examples off of your list of wayspots that Niantic didn't take action on to dive into:
Godwin Park Pavilion
Not only is this wayspot not located at Godwin Park as the name would indicate (which is several blocks south of this location), but this is a classic example of a wayspot being submitted in it's correct location and having been abusively moved during review by colluding reviewers. If the abuse team had taken the time to properly investigate how this wayspot got to this incorrect location, which is a parking space where clearly no pavilion exists, they would clearly see that the location was abusively moved during review. It is also worth noting that the photo for this portal showcases other objects in the background such as a playground, tennis courts, and bathrooms, which do not exist here and there clearly is not enough room for in reality due to the lake at the supposed location. There is only one pavilion at Godwin Park, located at 28.255152,-81.271835, and it can be seen on street view here. Please take notice however, if the abuse team moves the portal/pokestop from it's current location, back to Godwin Park where it was submitted, it will be within 20 meters of multiple other portals and within an occupied level 17 S2 cell within Pokemon Go. This will result in you stacking yet another pokestop for these people, and rewarding the abusers.
Basketball Court Narcoosse Rd
This is a very clear case of photo abuse. The portal photo shows a permanent basketball hoop cemented into the ground on a court with painted lines, with some bushes and a stone wall directly behind the basketball hoop, and some modern/newly developed houses beyond the wall. In reality, what exists here is a temporary (moveable) basketball hoop in a parking lot, and none of the rest of the things that should be here according to the photo. No such bushes or brick wall exists, and the houses in the background are nowhere to be found either. That is because this is an abusive photo and not a permanent location. This submission uses a fake photo of a different location to try to illustrate this basketball court as permanent, when it is far from it. This is an ineligible and fake submission.
The Gatherings Bocce Court
This location is in the middle of a dead end / undeveloped street and quite literally intersects with a crosswalk. There is no Bocce ball court at this location, and it should frankly be incredibly easy for anyone to determine that. It is embarrassing that Niantic could not come to this same conclusion. After about 30 seconds of looking further into this one, it became apparent that these Bocce courts belong at 28.299088,-81.239666 in the nearest neighborhood. Once again however, this is an occupied level 17 S2 cell for Pokemon Go, and moving this pokestop/portal back to this location will result in a stacked Pokestop that rewards the abusers. I would guess that this POI was abusively moved during review, similar to Godwin Park Pavilion, as discussed above.
Crosses Under Trees
The photo for this wayspot showcases a single wooden cross under some very tall trees, in the middle of a large grassy field, with a church visible in the distance. In reality this is not a grassy field and there is no church, it is a fully paved car impound lot, that can very blatantly be seen on both satellite and street view. I would once again guess that this POI was abusively moved during review, similar to Godwin Park Pavilion, as discussed above. The title of this wayspot also seems designed to abusively influence people to accept the location of this non-existent wayspot simply because it should be under the tree (as indicated in the title), or perhaps, if there was collusion to move this wayspot, the title and location was designed to help ease doubts about it post-move. Also note that, the title indicates that there should be multiple crosses, when the photo only seems to showcase one. At the end of the day, this is a car impound lot; no cross, grassy field, or church exists here, and the location where this cross supposedly would be, also happens to be in a drainage ditch:
French Soldier guarding Entrance of Belle Vie
For this one, yes, the statue does exist at this location. That is not what makes this abuse. The statue is very clearly in the middle of the road, in the median, with no path leading up to it, and no pedestrian access. This POI never should have been approved, and is one of many ineligble POIs that has been brute forced through the system by a group of reviewers who are colluding to accept basically anything while ignoring the rules. Frankly, had Niantic properly confirmed this location, they should have just as easily been able to confirm its lack of pedestrian access which was the entire reason this location was reported. This not only was an ineligble nomination when it was accepted, but it meets current removal criteria and yet was still not removed.
Pots of Sunshine
For this one, yes, the pots do exist at this location, but again, that is not what makes this abuse. These pots are literally in someone's front yard. This is blatant private residential property. This POI never should have been approved, and is one of many that has once again been brute forced through the system by a group of reviewers who are colluding to accept basically anything while ignoring the rules. Once again, this not only was an ineligible nomination when it was accepted, but it meets current removal criteria and yet was still not removed.
If you are truly telling me that the abuse team was unable to see an issue with these locations, much less the other ones that I didn't dive into, then you need to get @ace-ING on the phone and ensure that the entire abuse team is fired for gross incompetence. This is an absolute embarrassment, especially ahead of you all launching the new abuse reporting process that is supposedly being released any day now. The list of wayspots that you did not take action on all need to be reevaluated, and the full list of submissions from the users found to be involved need to be evaluated as well. These people need to have their reviewing and submitting privileges permanently taken away, and frankly they deserve to have their entire Pokemon Go accounts banned as well.
I understand that providing proof to back the claims of abuse is important. I always try to provide sufficient proof with my reports, and I have never had an issue with providing additional evidence when it is needed, however I have been providing extensive proof of this abuse for nearly 10 months now, and Niantic has entirely failed at stopping the abuse. The amount of abuse in this area is so high and runs so rampant that it is difficult to keep up with. There are obvious patterns of abuse that have been well established, and multiple different forms of abuse occurring all at the same time, intertwined within each other. It seems like when evaluating this report, Niantic only looked to see if locations were correct, ignoring whether or not things were legitimate or ineligible in other regards, and ultimately Niantic even failed to correctly determine the proper locations of many of these objects. I should not need to provide such detailed explanations on a silver platter for every abusive wayspot created by this community as I did above, at this point. The abuse has gone on for so long, that the fact that it is continuing is solely because of lack of action by Niantic. Frankly, the abusive accounts should be well established by now, there is zero excuse.
If Niantic does not acknowledge this and reevaluate the wayspots that were not actioned upon, I will certainly create a new post that examines them all in depth (even though I should not need to at this point), however I imagine that showcasing such widespread gross incompetence on Niantic's part will only reflect incredibly poorly on the Wayfarer and Abuse teams, and will contribute to the increasing distrust that is growing between the Wayfarer community and Niantic, which I imagine that none of us want. Please take proper action to address these wayspots and end this abuse permanently.
cc @NianticTintino @NianticDanbocat @NianticAaron @NianticAtlas @NianticBrian-ING @AnsonNIA-PGO @NIACHAOSMONKEY-ING
It's absolutely embarrassing that @AisforAndis-ING can just hand you all these abusive and fake nominations on a silver platter like this, and directly point out the cheating method, and the Wayfarer Team has just taken no steps outside of slapping the wrists of what is likely a lot of multi-accounters who will keep making new accounts if the old ones are banned. And THEN say multiple of these obviously fake/abused wayspots are valid. How could you not limit the distance you can move wayspots in the review process? It's been done in both apps already for edits. Is Niantic just not giving the team the money to care? Is this just not a priority compared to giving everyone 40 nominations while the queue is still backlogged?
Dear lord, soemtimes it really does feel like just submitting everything in the hopes of something slipping through and cheating your way to a stop would be easier.
I convey my apologies if according to you the actions taken were not satisfactory. The team had analyzed all the parameters and evaluated the evidence while taking the decisions.
I also appreciate you for sharing more information on the Wayspots, this will definitely help the team for their scrutiny and take appropriate actions. I'll write back here once the investigation has been conducted.
Thank you for taking a second look.
If there are any your team are still unsure about from this batch of reports, is it possible to give feedback to @AisforAndis-ING as to what was the factor in the team confirming a Wayspot does indeed exist or that you could not confirm it's ineligibility? It would possibly make future reports about ineligible wayspots a lot smoother.