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ALL 17 Wayfarer Emails are Wrong and/or Misleading

MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 2022 in Report a Bug

APPEAL emails originally had these things correct (thru August 6):

  • Appeal results' subject said "Appeal"
  • Appeal results' body said "Niantic has decided"

APPEAL emails changed as of August 30 to: 

  • Appeal Result emails' subject says "Nomination" (ruining email filtering)
  • They say "The community has decided" 
  • Results now say: "These nominations may be appealed to Niantic"
  • Results also say: "Thank you for your appeal on" and then give the date it was submitted (not appealed). Thanks to @dustinyeeaah-PGO for this addition.

Unchanged: Appeal Received emails say “reviewed in the order it was received."


APPEAL RECEIVED - "Your appeal will be reviewed in the order it was received" AND email subject does not say "Appeal" (same for all Appeal emails) - so impossible for users to filter from first-time nominations.

APPEAL ACCEPT - "The community has decided" AND second paragraph should not have rejected info

APPEAL DUPLICATE - "The community has decided" AND "These nominations may be appealed to Niantic" AND second paragraph should not have accepted info

APPEAL REJECT - "The community has decided" AND "These nominations may be appealed to Niantic" AND second paragraph should not have accepted info


OTHER emails, as of the December 9, 2021 change to [email protected]:

  • Received EDIT and PHOTO emails - confusing “submissions take approximately 30 minutes to sync with your contribution management page.”
  • Edits and Photo emails say you can track them on your Contribution page. These are NOT on the Contribution page.
  • Results emails from Appeals, New Wayspots, and Removals - text mixes accepted and not accepted.


NEW WAYSPOT RECEIVED - Emails link to the Contribution Management page, actuallys link to the Featured Wayspot page (same link mismatch is in ALL types of emails EXCEPT Removal requests/results)

NEW WAYSPOT DUPLICATE - Second paragraph should not have accepted info

NEW WAYSPOT ACCEPT - Second paragraph should not have appeal info

NEW WAYSPOT REJECT - Second paragraph should not have accepted info

EDIT Title/text RECEIVED - "check the status of your suggestion in your Contribution Management page" (edits are not on the Contribution page), AND “submissions take approximately 30 minutes to sync”

EDIT Title/text ACCEPTED - "check out th full details in your Contribution Management page" (untrue)

EDIT Title/text REJECT  - "check out the full details in your Contribution Management page" (untrue)

PHOTO Media RECEIVED - "details in your Contribution Management page" (photos are not on your Contribution page) AND “submissions take approximately 30 minutes to sync.”

PHOTO Media ACCEPT - "details in your Contribution Management page" (false)

PHOTO Media REJECT  - "details in your Contribution Management page" (they're not) AND "may be appealed to Niantic."

REMOVAL RECEIVED - Link https://wayfarer.nianticlabs.com/new/help has nothing do to with removals

REMOVAL ACCEPT - “Note that not all available Wayspots are used across all Niantic games.”

REMOVAL REJECT - Double negatives AND “Any changes based on reports take up to 48 hours to be reflected in Niantic products that use this Wayspot. Note that not all available Wayspots are used across all Niantic games.”



Appeal Reject - 3 errors (4th error not shown - saying nomination date was appeal date)

New Wayspot Accept - 1 error:

Edit Submit - 3 errors:

Photo Reject - 3 errors:

Removal Reject - THE most confusing:

Post edited by MargariteDVille-ING on


  • dustinyeeaah-PGOdustinyeeaah-PGO Posts: 526 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the breakdown. If I can add something, the date in the emails for accepted/rejected appeals is also wrong/misleading. I submitted this nomination on March 17, which the appeal-received mail correctly states. This mail is from March 30:

    I got this mail last week. The appeal was accepted, but I submitted the appeal on March 30. March 17 is the date of the original nomination:

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Photo submissions email subject starts "Thanks! Niantic Wayspot Photo received".

    Photo results emails subject starts "Niantic Wayspot media submission decided".

  • HaramDingo-INGHaramDingo-ING Posts: 1,710 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If I may pile in, the reinstatement of a duplicate Wayspot as well because it only currently falls under the "Not accepted" email stream which is a shamble.

    This is a great summary though. C'mon Niantic, do something.

  • The26thDoctor-PGOThe26thDoctor-PGO Posts: 4,248 ✭✭✭✭✭

    C'mon Niantic, do something.

    Thank you for my new catchphrase.

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭

    "Not all accepted nominations will appear in all games" - is nonsensical in an acceptance OR rejection email. And it's mean to wait that long, to give that information to the nominator.

    It should be much sooner in the process - in the initial nomination screens (in game). Also (secondarily) in the nomination received email.

    Also, I found this Feb 2019 AMA

    • Q39: will there be a system that checks to see what categories that something has been tagged with that are legitimate, but rejected due to people not following guidelines or not up to date with them? For example Art galleries seem to be a mixed bag of approvals and rejections. Maybe there could be a monthly automatically generated report emailed to reviewers that lets them know where reviewing deficiencies may be and keep track of that? Also it would probably be good to let them know what they’re doing well on; no one wants a monthly fail email.
    • A39: From the OPR Team, “Good feedback. We do want to add engagement emails.”

    NooOOOOooo! People who can't make a decent, factual email - should not make more emails!

    But if Niantic could get someone who understands the process end-to-end, AND can write clearly - it would be AWESOME!

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Know what I completely left out.

    Emails about nominations that were reviewed by Niantic (appeals, or regular nominations) say that they were reviewed by the community. That's especially confusing on appeals.

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭

    By now, I'm sure Niantic has sent over a million lying and misleading emails. The edit-on-your-contribution-page, and appeals-process-in-order-received, lies are 14 months old! And this email has been ignored for 5 months.

    It's a shocking way to do business. It's a lesson for anyone who thinks Niantic means what they say. They don't care what they say. That's how they roll.

  • Johnsonsine-INGJohnsonsine-ING Posts: 395 ✭✭✭✭

    I want so bad to upvote this, but there's no upvote button.

    I guess I will just have to sigh twice as hard instead.

  • NianThibNianThib Posts: 49 admin

    Thanks for reporting these inconsistencies. @Tintino001-PGO and I will work on rewording those emails and we'll make sure to take all those into consideration.

  • kawin240-INGkawin240-ING Posts: 737 Ambassador

    Oh too bad I only found this now. This might only be slightly related for now as I could not check everything yet, but there are the same or even more issues in the translations of these mails. I would need to compile them again as I have them saved in a very chaotic manner on my PC:

    -The date in all Emails in Thai language is wrong

    -French Appeal acceptance mail actually congratulates you for your appeal being rejected (there is a "ne" too much in there, which doesn't actually mean anything, but looks like a copy paste error from the rejection mail)

    There's probably more but the only way outside of getting mails of others donated is to change the system settings of my phone, submit in that language, collect all possible templates like submission confirmation, appeal confirmation, all acceptance mails, all rejection mails etc., and then there's a bunch of supported languages I don't speak, I don't know Swedish for example, and we don't even have a list of languages that are supported, e.g. Turkish is supported but doesn't seem to have any Email template (I couldn't trigger one)

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I hope you're right this time, finally after 16 months.

    The "new" email saying that your 2021 nomination has been put on hold - also has falsehoods. It says you can change location and photos on existing nominations! Shows that the Wayfarer team doesn't know how their system works:

    This status change moves the nomination from active voting. We’re asking for your help to determine if the nomination is still valid, and if not, make any necessary improvements (i.e., title, description, locations, photos, etc.). This will ensure your nomination is up to date and will improve its chances of being accepted by the community.

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Annnd apparently EVERY rejected Lightship nomination says it's "in an unsafe location or that is inaccessible to the public" - even if pedestrian access has nothing to do with the actual reason for the rejection.

  • Johnsonsine-INGJohnsonsine-ING Posts: 395 ✭✭✭✭

    But please don't change the emails, rather make what they say come true! We want & need edit suggestions included in our Contributions. That is such a huge black hole that there is no reason for. 🙏

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 29
    • Maybe Niantic's business plan is "Keep your contributors confused and frustrated."
    • Or maybe they don't care that they send out hundreds of millions of lying emails.
    • Or maybe they know it's a problem, but are not competent enough to change their own text. Or make it true.
  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Coming up on 18 months of saying edits can be found on your contributions page - and other falsehoods.

    It's not even in the "Known Issues" forum. Niantic really doesn't care what they say to their contributors and users.

  • HaramDingo-INGHaramDingo-ING Posts: 1,710 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm under the impression that this is on a 2-year backburner. Working in IT back-end systems, this would fall under the "if you can do this in under 2 minutes, do it now" sort of methodology. This is probably bogged down by a severe lack of workforce or extensive bureaucracy.

    I am reminded of the statement (not sure if true or not) where someone got an engineering job in Niantic to fix one critical glitch in Pogo only to quit as soon as it was fixed.

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Bump. Niantic does not care about people who volunteer to contribute to their database. They have been lying to us tens of thousands of times per day for 19 months.

  • HankWolfman-PGOHankWolfman-PGO Posts: 4,308 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't know if this email was one of the ones you had on your list of inaccurate ones @MargariteDVille-ING, but it also lies.

    In this case, the issue is with the text in the red box. It states that the team found that the nomination didn't meet criteria, when in actual fact this specific message is sent when the automated system rejects a nomination before it even gets the chance to be seen by anyone. Therefore it's a lie as the team never actually looks at it.

  • rufoushumming-PGOrufoushumming-PGO Posts: 1,257 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting. Not sure it is IT related all the way. But I agree @HaramDingo-ING in terms of IT prioritisation - this would be on the priority of scale of what point does not fixing it stop the system and work back from there :-)

    I would say - It is a system built up over time without an ability to scale appropriately to increases in depth of audience and audience breadth let alone product complexity

    I can picture a raft of people - doing their best - with a host of default answers (that they either click box option or copy and paste) - that have been written by people who are not experts or great help desk/query answer wordsmiths - working at speed.

    As for translating. In this day an age why bother. I know harsh. But most browsers and some email clients come with inbuilt translators. So I would spend my money on other local needs. Sure translators are not infallible but that is no different to humans.

    Back to this point - It is a system built up over time without an ability to scale appropriately - The problem in not addressing it - is it just gets worse as you continue to scale or (as now) you have financial flow issues and you wish to spend your money else where.

    It is not a big fix to amend the text but it takes time if you want to get it right. It takes time to train people. It takes effort to have checks and balances for people to keep doing it right. And most support centres I have seen - depending on the role - high turn overs.

    Unless someone explicitly states how the system works (with work flows) then it is hard to know what bit to fix first! All we can do is say - it broke for all - and it very broke for the pedants..

    @HankWolfman-PGO your last point re the team. OK. I am going to be a pedant. What is the definition of team in your view? IE the make up of the team. I read that and think they are including all reviewers as part of a team. OR do you mean team to mean paid for Niantic staff. OK OK. Am off to be in my pedant corner :-) Hat on too.

  • HankWolfman-PGOHankWolfman-PGO Posts: 4,308 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When I see "our team" in this context, to me that would imply people who are employed by Niantic and are assigned to work on the Wayfarer project. So Tintino, Aaron, and all the others we see on here and don't see behind the scenes would be part of that team. This definition would not include a bot which doesn't like the colour green, as a bot is not a person. A bot is part of the system, not part of the team.

  • rufoushumming-PGOrufoushumming-PGO Posts: 1,257 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @HankWolfman-PGO agree. But I think they are using a catch all term for elements of the system. Which is language, I would say, nearly all support based systems would use.

    I was going to say "catch 'em all" term... Oh I just did oooops.

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,665 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think it's clear that Niantic thinks non-communication and miscommunication are "business as usual". Documentation, emails, clarity, and truth are not important to them. They don't know, or don't care, what this does to their volunteer workforce and general corporate integrity.

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