2nd wave of massive rejections in Germany
We had a 1st wave of massive rejections in southern Germany during October and November 2021 out there.
What was observed back then?
- a large scaled region in southern Germany faced nearly 100% rejections, but also surrounding area was statistically significant influenced
- most effected area could be identified as 3x4 large S2 cells (so 12 S2-cells of level 6),
- due to the comparatively short timeframe of a few weeks the massive rejections were observed at candidates with comparatively short In-Voting-phase (so especially for upgraded candidates or for candidates, that are in a region with very high prioritization of the distribution algorithm)
- some people claimed, that some regions became significantly faster concerning their reviewing timescale
What happened here in the forum?
There have been at least two very big threads for this topic:
In both threads Niantic staff wrote, that they want to look into it:
There was never update posts and the bug-section-thread has still the label "new" ....
Somehow during December the rejection-spam had an end, and I guess the people were appeased due to the release of the appeal feature ...
During the last 2 weeks the thread got a revival, and again only a similar statement:
What happens now?
Nethertheless all this stuff now comes back. We have again lots of crazy rejections, but this time it seems to be not only southern Germany. At the moment we don't know much and we can't do more than collecting examples.
But since this is the 2nd time, that this happens:
- lots of expierienced reviewers quitted
- we have found either a troll, a freeloader or maybe a root of this - so there is a lot of toxic stuff going on in social media platforms right now, including threats with bot networks and threats of organized downvote for special towns
So if Nia doesnt act fast, they can sweep up the remnants of Germanys wayfarer volunteers on their own. I'd like to remind, that German wayfarers have to deal with lots of very special problems. So the stability of the wayfarer platform is weak here anyway. What I mean:
- Germany has nearly no streetview, only in big cities google started that project, but stopped it then because of some strange clauses in our laws. So reviewing is different here .... and fakers can do their business very easy ....
- all our neighbour countries (except Austria) have totally different languages, and nearly evry region in Germany has foreign reviewers in range, that usually dont understand German, and way around
These are problems, that can't be solved by Niantic. But even those, that Niantic could solve, are not adressed. So the criteria page has lots of very bad translations (for example inappropriate location and sensitive location have in Germany the same title) up to logic problems in the introduction sentence of the rejection criteria. Evrything was pointed at multiple times in this forum. Nothing happens.
Further now the ambassador programme fully neglected Central Europe. You chose someone from UK, that is not representative for our problems here. And then there is the poor guy from Ukraine, that has to deal with way worse things now ....
So pleae @NianticDanbocat @NianticTintino @NianticGiffard start to talk to the people - there are lots of possibilities: write updates to existing threads and not only excuses, create PM-threads, maybe a hidden subsection, or choose a 12th ambassador. We know, that there was at least one suitable application out there from Germany.
Examples from social media:
playground equipment .... unsafe access?
bust of a famous german poet ...... not culturally significant?
rejection reason "Nummernschild" = license plate
memorial plaque for this guy
an additional memorial plaque for the namesake of a street-name-sign .... you can discuss, whether this is enough to fulfill the critiera, but the rejection reasons are a farce. "Ausrichtung" = Orientation, "Nicht übereinstimmender Ort" = mismatched location. It is a street name sign ..... how can reviewers not find that street?
This building is part of a former military base, that is nowadays in civil use, but evrything in there is public accessible:
Following one are biking trail markers. This type of signs is difficult, since they are close to generic street signs, but when there are the small additional plaques at the signs, they are undoubtfully recreational trails and so undoubtfully eligible:
Infoboard about a town hall and a statue next to it .... how can someone not find the townhall?
infoboard and plaque
(Zugang für fußgänger = pedestria access)
Entrance sign of a community garden:
infoboard about a kind of apple tree:
You can see the location in the second picture. Very clear because of the houses arround (Also you can see it on Google Maps)
Well - what to say? The reason for rejection is absolut **** (1 meter next to it is another portal - this is not a rescue alley?) and I don´t know why it is not historically significant
At the second picture you can see the surroundings with other portals
The fountain is called "Milchlingsbrunnen" ask the people in 1926 why it is called like this
It is in the middle of the Pedestrian zone
In the middle of the Pedestrian zone
On the second picture you can see the surroundings with the street and streetnames
The second pictures showes that it is not an unsafe access - it is directly at a traffic- calmed street
Second Picture shows the street and the old town hall (you can see the old town hall also on google maps)
Not that it's gonna make anyone feel any better, but Sonoma County, California has been suddenly hit with a massive rejection wave, too. It's ridiculous. Nomination types that before were going through with no problem are now being rejected for the most asinine reasons. (Gotta love something being rejected for lack of pedestrian access when both the nomination and a wide, clean sidewalk are visible in the supporting photo.)
Because of this, I've decided to stop nominating and reviewing until this **** gets fixed (again). The whole system needs to be rebuilt. It never has truly worked well (and still isn't). Oh, well. I'll just invest my time and money into other endeavors and companies.
And now examples:
Stuff from me and my folks:
Silver Smeltery from 15th century, unique object in Europe. Has an own wikipedia article, that also declares, that it is by far not a private residence. 2xrejected.
Staff building of a 15th century silver and cobalt mine; nowadays building from 17th century; today entrance of a visitor mine: 2x rejected now, 3rd attempt in pipeline.
Two old border stones. I cant say for sure how old exactly, but most likely around 1470 when the town Schneeberg was founded because of the deiscovery of the silver deposits there. Even if they are not such old, then nethertheless at least 200 years. The color at the stone is only a chalk marking of the forest rangers. Both 2x rejected:
Central object of a small park. It is a direction marker to the sights of the town, for example medieval market place, the nearby castle ruin, the community pool, and another still existing castle. The signs for the sights have wood carved ornaments and so on... in the picture you see the one of the marketplace with town crest as ornament, and the one for the community pool with a bathing ring and a beach ball as ornament. So perfect proxy for the park, and even without that it's an art object ....
Old ski jumping hill; out of order since 1990, but today used by mountainbikers instead of ski jumpers. 2x rejected.
Description tells in detail, what to see here: the platform is the starting platform, and on the right side the little step there is where the flight starts. So although it's a natural ski jumping hill, it can be identified with a closer look.
Border marker of Saxony (duchy during medieval ages, later kingdom) with Saxonian crest on it. At least 200 years old, and since it is sandstone it is very weathered, but nethertheless identifiable:
Another bordermarker, now for duchy Saxony-Weimar (for that the very special W stands for):
Body part reason might be the supp pic, but it's nethertheless ridiculuosly stupid:
We have more examples of such rejected border markers, but the other examples are more weathered, and so the rejections arent hard enough to underline this threads topic.....
Hiking trail markers:
The next bunch of examples is also difficult, because hiking trail markers are very often rejected in Germany. So I start with those, that are should have been accepted without any doubts and that are far beyond the minimum level, that was defined back in OPR-days (direction marker with proper path name). A few weaker ones at the end...
weaker examples, that nethertheless fulfill the old minimum:
#1 and #9 of this set of trail markers are already mentioned above. #2-8 are only of this kind (directional sign and trail name, and nothing more). #2 and 5 were accepted; 3,4,6,7,8 rejected ....
It's not just in Germany, this last week most of mine are coming back rejected again in the UK. Last one with the rejection reason 'no pedestrian access' despite it showing pedestrians sitting at tables drinking at the outside bar.
Either Niantic has tweaked something to make rejections happen again or there are groups of serial rejectors working in teams to troll submitters.
Wth the way Niantic keep breaking things like POI nor appearing, in begging to wonder if Niantic is at fault rather than serial vote abusers
.... this post was a missclick on a saved draft ...
Nobody are going to mention how this massive rejection wave is related to abuse reports?
Between the wave when many submitters were stopped to nominate new Wayspots, every German reviewers were expected to review fake nominations or abusive photo edits that contains Mara skin from Minecraft. The abusers have been sanctioned by Giffard (or at least, until their 30 day ban period expires).
Later in February, somehow this Mara abuse was back, but this time not in Germany, but in a remote island near Antarctica.
There are not only two Mara Wayspots that were accepted, but also another Wayspot that using @LukeAllStars-ING 's profile picture in Telegram! Description is clear that he's 'fake hunter #1'.
Surely there must be a connection between this rejection abuse and abuse reports over Germany.
@patsufredo-PGO to add to that, I have recently seen a bunch of abusive nominations with @LukeAllStars-ING as target, either photo edits with his profile picture or completely new submissions with a screenshot of the existing Wayspot including his picture and the "fake hunter #1" description.
That is included in the bullet point from my initial post:
"we have found either a troll, a freeloader or maybe a root of this - so there is a lot of toxic stuff going on in social media platforms right now, including threats with bot networks and threats of organized downvote for special towns"
a troll account admitted all this stuff. Evrything is screenshotted, and now it would be Niantics part to look into this.
Next stupid rejection, again the staff building of a former silver and cobalt mine:
(nowadays a holiday appartment, so eligible)
And it's only UNESCO world heritage .... but lets reject it nethertheless...
And more stupid rejections:
again a border marker, that is at least 300 years old ....
As a submitter and reviewer in North Germany, this is disturbing for several reasons:
1) Wasted upgrades, which I used only for what I thought would be "sure things" - some are just as incomprehensible as the ones posted here. But two of my rejections were approved on appeal.
2) Recently my rating started dropping from Great to Good, so I felt compelled to be more strict in my ratings. After a set with more rejections, my rating was back in great.
3) I remember voting to approve some of the items shown above, and if they were rejected, it confirms that my rating has been sabotaged.
4) Many of the rejected items in this thread are similar to submissions of my own, from recently and through last summer. The submissions that were decided were usually rejected, or approved only after multiple attempts.
It's time for another break from Wayfarer. Only chance for my remaining nominations is either appeal or to wait out approval without upgrades.
Boy, now that discussion has been closed...
Let's hope they can resolve this ASAP.
maybe just giving a feedback on a daily basis would help there. Many people are p** beyond your imagination.
Next hiking trail marker rejected for no reason ....
intermediate targets with plausible distances fit the marker. Mount Auersberg ~5km on nearly straight way. Way to Sosa is very curved, so 2.5km fits. The other path to Sosa with 7.6km says, that it goes around the water reservoir .... so wherever it goes exactly, 7.6km is also plausible from that location.
One can also idnetify from the supporting picture, that south is at the right side. This fits, that the forest road here is in west-east-direction....
So .... this is the only location, that fits all these criteria.
Even if a reviewer doesnt have such geoguessr-skills, then it should be easy to find Sosa at the map to at least give 3* on location .....
... and a 3rd time rejected:
My impression from this thread is that something is going on in Germany with bots or coordinated abuse. So it makes sense to wait it out. But I was positively impressed with the result of two of my appeals.
I live in Ingolstadt near Munich in Bavaria and have the same issue. The first time I was affected by this mass rejection wave was in November/December. Before that time, it took many months for nominations to go through the whole voting process, often even over a year. So there was usually one acceptance or rejection email per week, or even less. When the mass rejections started, I suddenly received 60-70 rejections in less than one week. Most of them were ridiculous, like playground, information signs, historic buildings, sculptures, and so on. And by having a look at the reasons stated, you quickly saw that something wasn't working well. Playgrounds were rejected for not having safe access. Information signs and sculptures were rejected for not being culturally relevant. POIs on sidewalks were rejected for no pedestrian access. Not a few but literally all rejections had totally ridiculous reasons. And this was all over southern Germany, Austria, parts of Switzerland, even northern Italy.
It ended some time im December so after withdrawing my nominations that were still in queue, I started submitting again and it worked well. Just as before, I had around 70% of them accepted. It also worked much faster than before. Before the rejection wave, as mentioned above, it took many months for nominations to be accepted or rejected, after that wave it took them around 1-2 weeks.
Then, in the end of February or beginning of March, the second rejection wave started and it was even faster. Sometimes my nominations were rejected right the next day or no later than 2-3 days after. Among them were many "safe" nominations like information signs, playground, sport field, and so on. I know that there is no streetview in Germany, so I always take my supporting picture in a way that the surrounding can be compared with what you see via satellite images, and this has usually worked well, so unverified locations are definitely not the reason behind this.
I am now back again at having withdrawn all my in-queue nominations and stopped submitting. I also stopped reviewing, as this doesn't make sense anymore.
There is so much work and efforts behind all our submissions. Looking for ideal photos, searching the internet to find out more about specific locations or POIs so you can add that to the descriptions, explaining in detail how to verify the location.. hours and hours of efforts wasted, for the second time now. And no motivation at all to participate in Wayfarer until this has been solved.
I have posted so many comments on this in the old thread that has, ironically, been closed now due to "toxic" comments. Those comments aren't toxic, they are angry and annoyed that five months (!) after the first post, there are still very few comments by Niantic, still no progress on this issue. In between, even 2.5 months passed without anyone from Niantic leaving any comment..
I really hope you guys understand that in the end, Niantic is the one suffering from this the most. All your games only work because of a great infrastructure provided by thousands of players. In the early days of Pokemon Go, the lacking infrastructure caused millions of players to stop playing (among other reasons, surely). So this is actual cash that Niantic is loosing here. One nomination can be enough to create a new gym somewhere, which can be enough to keep players in game because they can play in their village and do not have to drive anywhere else anymore. This infrastructure is worth a lot and I do not feel that Niantic is appreciating or valueing this enough. The two rejection waves have destroyed thousands or even tens of thousands of great potential wayspots. Sure, many of them will be resubmitted at some point, but many others won't. So please take this serious.
I am absolutely not tech-savy, but I can not imagine that there is no technical solution to find and ban these accounts. Accounts that constantly reject everything, accounts that have suspicious reviewing times, accounts that use totally inappropriate rejection reasons, accounts whose Wayfarer activity suddenly increased a lot..
Thank you for this post. There is nothing to add. I'm not giving up hope that the problem will be fixed.