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Once again news like this drops late on a Friday so the community can get all riled up and then have the weekend to calm down.
While I typically hate "what-about-this" spacific questions there is definitely some need for a Q and A on this.
I like many think there needs to be a process where we can get submissions that should have never been accepted removed.
Also, as one of the no-no's is the use of 3rd party software, recently we had a challenge that people were encouraged to add openly 3rd party software to help keep track of voted on nominations developed by an ambassador. Is there exceptions for some?
Is there maybe another round table scheduled for getting feedback from some wayfarer users on what solutions could be offered to some problems?
Why does @NianticTintino-ING usually post late on Fridays and then goes away? Wouldn't it be better to post on Mondays?
The ambassadors are always open to listening and taking suggestions forward.
We spend a lot of time making various points, spotting issues and making suggestions.
Note that a ban is on a PERSON. Opening up another account to continue abusing the system is THEFT OF SERVICES. Maybe AI can detect repeat offenders.
Remember when we'd get nominations with 2 or 3 (seemingly random) initials at the end of the description? Surely those are filtered out by now. And photoshopped pictures. Maybe photos that all have the same dog or stuffed animal or some kind of pattern.
Niantic seems to want to protect their database, and we know they use AI... if we then make the leap in logic that they want to be a real company and use software like normal places (*)... - they are probably using AI to address abuse.
(*) sending out hundreds of thousands of lying emails makes it seem like they do not want to be a real company or use software like normal places (IE since December 2021 we've been told we can see our edits on the Contribution page)
I have seen a lot of terrible abuse and generally agree.
It is also important to give them a chance to explain and reflect. What should be added is a detailed statement of the reasons for the punishment. If you don't tell them which wayspot and which actions violated which criteria, the alleged offender can't defend himself, and the violator can't reflect on his actions.
By the way, is Niantic able to tell if a wayfinder violation is due to malicious intent or a misunderstanding of the standards? If it is a severe case, it is clear, but if it is a mild case, there should be no way to tell. Right now, participation is allowed casually with insufficient understanding of the criteria. The difficulty of the test should be increased by a factor of 5 or more to correct this first. This is necessary to determine if the abuse is malicious or erroneous. This will allow us to determine if it was done intentionally by a wayfinder who fully understands the rules.
Unfortunately, no matter how much you try, a truly malicious wayfinder will mass-produce accounts for abuse with multiple accounts, location spoofing, and bots that are undetectable. In some cases they will even do it by purchasing accounts from the offender. It seems absurd that wayfinder, which has been healthily keeping its pledge to niantic, should be treated like such a violator if it fails.
The beta apps that the Lightship team is offering are also problematic to continue in their current state. The lack of any collateral has led to the surprising result that niantic itself is now officially providing an abuse tool. Either the app should be updated immediately to prevent any and all additions and edits, or the creation of an account that grants the ability to add and edit should be subject to the provision of personal information and identification to verify it. Or perhaps require a deposit to be held as collateral.
However, I have heard people lament that they cannot level up in ingress or Pokémon GO due to lack of wayspots, and that they have no way to improve the environment themselves. They need to take a ferry from a remote island to the city to have fun, but they can do nothing when there are potential wayspots right in front of them that meet their criteria.
It is all the fault of those who abuse it. I know it is a lot of work, but please listen to the participants so that we can continue to have a fun wayfarer.
I don't see this going anywhere. Adding more teeth on the punishment side rather than the rewards side is already scaring off more people than ever. And as everyone has said, being told that I'm incorrectly reviewing nomination/submitting ineligible nominations and not giving me any details as to why is not conducive. I've already had to overturn two previous bans in the last couple of years.
Does the Wayfarer abuse enforcement ladder apply to outsourced Niantic staff who incorrectly review appeals too? You should look inward too given the many incidences of poor invalid appeal responses and appeal texts.
A serial abuser who himself mass-submitted two POIs at a school/daycare is trying to get them removed but can't because they both fell afoul of inclusion rules. Only for him after they are removed to spam resubmissions into a blank S2 cell to get them into the game. As long as his accounts live, this policy is meaningless.
@NianticTintino-ING what are your team gonna to do against multiaccounts in Wayfarer then? As long they can create new accounts and level up by whatever methods they do, 10 years—no, just 30 days ban is a joke for them.
The example is very clear in this forum: you've made some submitters from NL really panicked because you send them warning messages for them submitting ineligible nominations, yet the review bots are still there. And we still don't know how many bots worked there...
I agree with this guy. I also have taken the time to submit pokestops on legit hiking trails and been rejected when all were compliant. The fact that his comment has is being ratio'd 2:1 tells you that the problem is really this 'community' itself. You've encouraged nuts to take it over and they have.
The new help page states "accessing Wayfarer clients or backends" (emphasis added). As far as I know, the Wayfarer plugins, such as the one recommended by Tintino et al during the Spain/global challenge, don't access the backend, but I'm not a programmer or computer scientist, so I don't know for sure. I also am not 100% sure what constitutes the "Wayfarer clients." Most explorers (or wayfarers, or wayfinders, or whatever term they've decided on) probably won't know what this means either. Some clarity would be appreciated. Also, if the plugins are no longer allowed and those who use them will have action taken against them, then please, Niantic needs to incorporate the quality of life improvements that the plugins provide into vanilla Wayfarer. If they won't or don't have the resources to do this, then they should have "approved plugins" (since some of these are from very trusted users), with any necessary disclaimer like "Niantic is not the creator" or whatever.
(Apologies for the vague "if you know you know" tone of this post, but not sure what's cool to say.)
Someone had to call out and trigger those who love to make their own rules, support the lazy, submit coal, are faker, botters, etc. and it worked. Everyone who disagrees that people should use the system accordingly is usually one of them. Probably they are all afraid they lose access. :'D
Ignorantia juris non excusat, Ignorance of the law, is no excuse. We all are recommended and pushed to read the community criteria aclarations, but many peopple says: "I didn't agree, so my criteria comes first". Or the recent problem of the german botnet... These are examples of why the team has to take this step up to prevent the trash aproved and good propossals rejected. I think too that wayfarer must to upgrade the system to becoma a wayfarerer and make a rexamination time to time for all, including updated criteria.
One way that I always evaluate rules changes is to think about what a bad actor would do in the face of these changes. In this case the answer seems obvious to me.
As others have said I hope that this punishment extends to all accounts owned by an individual. Technically having multiple accounts for the same game is a de facto violation of the terms of service but we all know that multi-accounting is rampant in Pokemon Go. If the punishment only extends to the account that is directly involved then you've just created more of an incentive to spin up lots of throwaway accounts for abuse purposes. There's a clear track record of this with Ingress spoofers... people just start up a new account or buy one to spoof and their main account suffers no consequences.
rather there should be a way to report random rejection reasons deployed
More effective use of Appeal resolution in the education of abusive reviewing.
so wayfarer should have a AI to scan the forum?
1) new phone
2) random new email deployed
3) new IP acquired
People who are proud of duplicate accounts for various reasons are loud, even in their discontent for getting a duplicate account locked.
You are submitting Wayspots. Like @Kan1ck-PGO says I hope you get banned for submitting coal.
The differences between users who create problems like Gdansk, Netherlands etc to users who actively go against the criteria to those who lack knowledge on the criteria is huge.
For Niantic who are complicit in adding large amounts of coal to their map, who happily flip the criteria when they like, who have been indifferent to many of the problems you mention to suddenly decide to ban the latter group above doesn't achieve anything useful.
i will never create anything for wayfarer/Niantic ever again after my situation.
See? @NianticTintino-ING this is just one of the example of submitters being terrified to d-e-a-t-h after you send them warning messages or 30-days ban. Meanwhile the key actors (the bot reviewers and people who running them) still remain untouched.
Or another example, many submitters now stop nominating new Wayspots or stop participating in Wayfarer because the reviewers are misusing rejection reasons including being rejected for fake. The replies from @NianticWayfarer latest tweet post already show this.
If previously you can "educate" 67 reviewers incorrectly rejecting nominations from a single person then you can do this again now, Niantic.
Why would AI be needed to scan the forum?
Niantic staff have read and replied to some of the posts where people talk about using add ons. No special technology needed, just the same eyes that read those posts. SMH
This may be a dumb question, but does using IITC fall under this criteria?
Again, my main issue is transparency. Decisions (especially disciplinary decisions) should be transparent, that's a minimum requirement for trust in the system. People being warned/banned should be told exactly what they did wrong and why. (The emails I've seen so far are extremely vague and don't educate at all.) All they get is that Niantic, in their endless wisdom, has decided that they abused the system.
But we have seen a lot of cases on this very forum where Niantic reviewers rejected nominations that were successfully appealed later. We have seen Wayspots being incorrectly removed, only to be reinstated later. We have seen appeals rejected for nonsensical reasons. We have seen official Niantic statements contradicting each other. This, combined with dishing out bans based on nothing else but "trust us, we're sure you committed abuse" does nothing to increase trust - as a matter of fact, it does the opposite.
Besides, we don't even know what you consider abuse or what infractions can lead to warnings/bans. Is it nominating hundreds of ineligible pieces of coal? A dozen? A single one? Is it enough if reviewers flag it as abuse? Is it enough if one of your nominated Wayspots is reported and removed (sometimes years later)? Is it enough if one of your Wayspots is misplaced?
I mostly nominate stuff in smaller, rural communities. Several of these things (information signs, outdoor sport equipment etc.) are regularly maintained and removed/replaced/moved to a different location. I know about a nature trail in my area that has been redesigned and refurbished 3 times in the last 15 years - which included removing all previously existing information signs and placing new ones. I am now pretty scared that one of the signs I nominated years ago might have been removed/replaced since and someone coming across the Wayspot may report it as non-existent (which, by the way, is fine and should be done). Can I get banned because the object I nominated in 2021 has since been removed?
Transparency and clear communication should be the very foundation of Wayfarer. Instead, we get vague statements, threats and retaliation based on unknowable "past infractions". How can you expect people to continue nominating and reviewing stuff for you if you don't communicate you expectations, rules and decision-making processes clearly (or at all, actually)?
I used to love Wayfarer, I spent a lot of time looking at interesting stuff in areas I would probably never get to visit. I used to be very active on this forum as well. Now I'm considering not even nominating anymore because I don't want to risk my account, even though I have always tried my best to respect the rules I accepted when I signed up. This is not the direction you should be going, at least in my opinion.
IITC simply reformats a webpage and does not access the servers' backend.
Instead of Banning the players ingame, Niantic should just put there submissions to 0 or remove there nomination button for a month and educate what they did wrong. I agree with the 1 month wayfarer ban but Banning people ingame is way to harsh. It has nothing to do with cheating within the game. Niantic should look at this as a seperate thing. If someone is a Multi accounting, botting, account sharing, spoofing turbo nerd, then yes you should ban them from the game but not for making content!
Most players only care about their game accounts but they don't care about Wayfarer. So unless disciplinary actions affect game accounts, it will be toothless and ineffective. In fact, the primary reason we see so much abuse in Wayfarer is that players don't care about Wayfarer's mission. Instead, they are using it as a way to gain an advantage in their game.
""As for add ons and other ways of accessing wayfarer being punishable, there are plenty of examples of people using add ons on this forum. ""
Do you have any data (from a survey or so) which supports your claim? In my local community (~2500 active players/Wayfinders) it is the complete opposite. By the way, most of them stopped submitting and/or reviewing Wayspots.
Spot on. I enjoy Wayfarer, for sure. I like finding great things to submit, and reviewing wonderful things from around the world. But more than that, I love playing the games I play. Since I got one of those "educational" emails some time ago, I've scaled back my reviewing because I still have NO clue what triggered the email. I review on my single account, I keep up with criteria, I haven't used plug-ins since Wayfarer+ was sunsetted. I can only think that I was "educated" because of a disagreement over what constitutes a "great" place to do something....so, a subjective measure. I worry not about punishing abuse: it should be done! I do worry about Niantic's ability to define abuse, or to identify abusive patterns. I'm not willing to risk my in-game accounts (accounts as in multiple games) very much, so I don't anticipate a return to a full reviewing workload. As for submissions, well, I've always been more of a "quality over quantity" type so I don't plan to change my style there.
I know a few Niantic reps have assured us that the "educational" emails were just that, meant to educate and inform. Since my "educational" email was received about a year ago, and I'm still confused about what I did wrong and angry about the threats made (this was before they cleaned up the language of those emails to remove the more threatening parts), I can attest that this intent was not realized. The only thing I learned was that it's not enough to keep up with criteria, to review honestly, to judge each nomination on its individual merits and flaws, to follow the rules...you can still be somehow in violation of something un-named.
I think when acceptance rules are changed, we need an email notification about the specific changes AND a review of what's currently and not currently accepted. Some people still follow old guidelines because new guidelines never were pushed publically.