Bans for submitting invalid nominations?

Nadiwereb-PGONadiwereb-PGO Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭✭

In the last couple days, I've seen various reports in different local groups about Wayfarer bans being handed out for submitting nominations "that do not meet criteria". Here is an example from one of these groups - I made the email anonymous.

There are two major issues with this in my opinion.

First of all: the emails don't give any specific information on the actual issue that resulted in the ban. One person said that they've submitted a local memorial plaque several times (and it was rejected several times), but other than that, their acceptance/recejtion numbers seem to be average and they didn't have any nominations that were rejected for being fake or abusive (allegedly - I don't have access to their Wayfarer, so I'm just reporting what I've been told by those affected).

This is an issue because I don't think there's any active submitter out there who has never had anything rejected. Even if you're super careful and only submit explicitly eligible stuff like public playgrounds and statues, even those are rejected sometimes. There are also borderline or notoriously hard-to-get-accepted nominations (restaurants, gyms, objects at apartment buildings etc.) that might take several submissions to get accepted. There is no indication in the e-mails that this ban is tied to any specific nomination behaviour (like nominating the same thing several times or nominating a certain type of ineligible object).

Second: nominating ineligible (or even questionably eligible) things should not be treated as equal to abuse. The point of Wayfarer is to filter out the ineligible stuff from the eligible. Nominating something that the community deems ineligible is often (in my experience, most of the time) done in good faith. Submitters actually do think that the park/memorial tree/lookout platform/building they nominate is eligible, I just don't agree with them. If it's not abuse (they don't try to misrepresent the location, influence reviewers, lie about the object, submit a fake etc.), I see no reason to punish submitters beyond having their nominations rejected. As an educator, I am vehemently against treating people who make a mistake the same way as abuse. This current situation, to me, seems very dangerous and counter-productive.

In conclusion, the way this is handled does nothing at all to educate nominators or help change the behaviour that led to the ban in the first place. The only thing it does is plant doubt into anyone's head: "will I be in serious trouble if reviewers decide to reject my submission?" That's not a great thing for the future of Wayfarer.

@NianticTintino @NianticDanbocat @NianticGiffard, I'd like you to share your opinions on this matter, because I feel that this is a very important and serious issue.



  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2021

    Also, was this new way of having one's account suspended ever communicated on this forum? If it was, I know I'd have seen it. People would have complained for sure, like we are doing here.

  • HaramDingo-INGHaramDingo-ING Posts: 1,289 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wrote about this a couple of months ago based on someone else's issue with getting the same email by Penny. I assume that Penny is one employee out of a few doing the Niantic review decisions. Considering that the OP had 15+ emails simultaneously rejected recently with a Niantic review decision, this is probably the Niantic operative's doing. The last time this happened, someone else had reported a numerous amount of "." (dot) rejections, which was then followed by this same email (by Penny, if I might add). The dot rejection (and now, the Niantic review decision) were always a common denominator when this email was sent out.

    Methinks that this is just an in-house Niantic reviewer dishing out heavy-handed punishments by mass-rejecting their nominations after they saw one they didn't understand, and then banning them from Wayfarer for ten days. If the OP can maybe give us a subset of some of the Niantic review decisions (preferably your more clearer ones eligibility-wise), we might be able to infer something, and Giffard, who is great at shining light and clarity on things might be able to review as such.

    The concept of security via obscurity.

  • jaimelee81-PGOjaimelee81-PGO Posts: 158 ✭✭✭

    I hate to break it to you but being banned from wayfarer you can still submit

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 779 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am in favor of giving warnings to players who repeatedly make false or inappropriate nominations.

    I think the inclusion of categories in the nomination process will reduce this kind of spam, but I don't think it will eliminate all of it, including the false ones. Disabling nominations from such players is an important part of keeping Wayfarer a positive environment.

    In the future, we believe that grossly misrepresenting categories will be included in warnings, and will become increasingly important.

    Also, the reason why we don't tell you the reason for the ban is to let you think for yourself.

    Normally, any sensible player with social common sense will realize this.

    Unfortunately, players who can't understand that shouldn't play Niantic games, which require them to play in the real world.

  • mortuus-INGmortuus-ING Posts: 177 ✭✭✭

    well ppl do submit too much garbage poi just to get a new random portal in pogo or whatever so i think thats good.

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 779 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The reason they don't say why is so that the cheating doesn't become more serious.

    This is the case with location falsification.

    They are different but the same kind.

    And let me answer one more thing.

    "explicitly eligible", this is not a free ticket to approval.

    You can be rejected for any number of reasons: title, description, photo, location.

    It just means that it is not ineligible.

    I've seen examples of Pokémon trainers being denied multiple times in local parks that should have been approved anyhow.

    But that rejection was inevitable.

    This is where a lot of players get it wrong.

    It means that an immediate rejection is wrong and should be reviewed carefully.

  • Kawhinot-INGKawhinot-ING Posts: 157 ✭✭✭

    To continue on the general concensus from most of the other posters, it is not helpful to the people in question receiving the email since they aren't informed on the specific reason(s) that led to the suspension. So not sure exactly if they are going to learn anything from receiving the email.

    Yes, there is a lot of **** out there to review and it would be great to not have to see this garbage, but I'm not sure this really will solve anything. Plus all the punishment does is prevent them from using wayfarer, and not actually submitting new nominations. I suspect most of the garbage nominations are from people that don't use Wayfarer or even have no idea what Wayfarer is.

    I've had to resubmit some nominations on multiple attempts because of strange decisions (people are clearly NOT looking closely at the photos or reading the supporting information), so I would be more than upset if I was punished for reviewer mistakes, not my actual quality of submissions. And then not even knowing what was the nomination(s) in question that led to the suspension.

  • jaimelee81-PGOjaimelee81-PGO Posts: 158 ✭✭✭

    Maybe they nominated a pond fountain

  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2021

    I'm waiting for the day that the people advocating for randomly suspending Wayfarers with no due process and no accountability, to randomly have their accounts suspended for a reason they cannot figure out why. Then maybe those users will come crying back to this very forum and the people who were very clear that reprimanding and censuring people without giving a reason will say "we told you so". This is a dangerous step by Niantic.

    The police would never arrest anyone without telling them what crime they are accused of committing.

    I ask again: why are there people making an exception for Niantic here?

  • Raachermannl-INGRaachermannl-ING Posts: 1,019 ✭✭✭✭✭

    at least in most 1st world countries. But think about Russia, Belarus, Turkey ... not really ....

  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yeah but some people look at a game like Cyberpunk 2077 and think to themselves: "that looks cool, I'd love to live there!" They are happy to sleepwalk into that kind of reality. I look at the cyberpunk genre and see it is as a reality to be avoided!

    These "the end justifies the means people" make me sick.

  • X0bai-PGOX0bai-PGO Posts: 1,334 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2021

    This isn’t a court of law, this is a video game. If you randomly get banned from Wayfarer and Ingress and Pokémon Go and HPWU and Pikmin all at once, the punishment is not incarceration. The punishment is to go about the rest of your life without Niantic on that one Gmail address you used to create those accounts. So stop with the legal arguments, they’re totally inapplicable.

    If your underlying argument is ‘Niantic does a poor job communicating with their player base and an even worse job of educating their Wayfarers,’ then of course there’s no argument against that. There’s about 100 other threads that say the same thing. Anybody with ten minutes of experience with Wayfarer has figured that much out.

    But if your argument is ‘Niantic shouldn’t be handing out ten day bans for piles of coal,’ then you better be arguing that the ban should be bigger and longer. Garbage submissions have been the number one problem with the Wayfarer experience for, maybe, ever.

    I get this particular one just about every day.

    And just about every day I tag it as abuse and just about every day there’s another one just about tomorrow.

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