The entire Wayfarer system is horrifically broken - An Objective Analysis
Since signing up for Wayfarer a year or so ago, I have reviewed 495 nominations, with a Wayfinder rating of "Great", and submitted 3 nominations of my own. Of the three I'd submitted, each has had a completely different outcome;
1) Initially rejected by the community, subsequently accepted by Niantic on appeal, only to be completely removed from Pokemon Go a couple of months later completely out of the blue with absolutely zero notification provided. Admittedly this nomination was a bit of a longshot, as it were my first and I hadn't fully familiarised myself with the nomination rules. But even so, why would Niantic accept it after the community rejected it, only to later agree to reject it after someone reported it?
2) Accepted by the community.
3) Initially rejected by the community for reasons; "Private Residence or Farm", and "Obstructs Emergency Services". Both of these reasons are wildly inaccurate and completely unfounded. The nomination was a Family Therapy Centre, placed at a place name sign at the corner of the property which could be accessed from the pedestrian footpath that wraps around each of the streets that bound the property. It is not a private residence, as the public can walk through the carpark of the therapy centre at any time, and as previously mentioned, the place name sign where the wayspot was placed was easily accessible from outside the gate of the property. For similar reasons, it absolutely does not "obstruct emergency services" in any conceivable manner. Naturally I elected to appeal this ridiculous rejection to Niantic, who almost 5 months later finally provided their decision. Their response was as follows; "Thanks for the appeal, Explorer! The object in question does not meet the Wayfarer criteria as it is a normal therapy center with no significance. If this assessment is not accurate, please resubmit the nomination with additional context. We recommend you review the Wayspot criteria before submitting your next wayspot contribution."
I find this appeal rejection reasoning from Niantic laughable for many reasons. Firstly, how is there absolutely no reference to the fact that the two reasons provided for rejection by the community are both completely untrue and irrelevant to the outcome of the nomination review? If anything, Niantic should be saying something to the effect of "whoops, yeah, we agree - the community got it wrong on this one. This nomination is clearly neither a private residence, nor farm, nor does it obstruct emergency services in any way." Secondly, and this is the main crux of my problem with the entire Wayfarer system; "does not meet the Wayfarer criteria as it is a normal therapy center with no significance" - Are you kidding me with this? Since when does ANY wayspot nomination have to be "abnormal" or possess any amount of significance? The sheer number of wayspots that exist in my city of over 2 million people which are just a "gazebo", or a children's seesaw, or in some cases literally just a tree - is absolutely astounding. NONE of these wayspots are in anyway "not normal", or possess even the smallest iota of significance. Subsequently, HOW is this justification provided by Niantic for rejecting my wayspot nomination in any way reasonable or consistent with the current plethora of unarguably insignificant wayspots that exist in Ingress/Pokemon Go? If the Niantic appeal post-community-rejection part of the Wayfarer system is designed to serve as a point of quality assurance/governance for wayspot nominations where the original community rejections were absolutely bogus, as is the case in this instance, then it is unequivocally failing to serve this role. What hope do I have to have any nomination ever accepted if not only can the community not be trusted to get it right in the first instance, but the quality control system provided by Niantic is ALSO providing whimsical, made-up justifications for getting it wrong a second time, without even addressing the fact that the community got it wrong for completely DIFFERENT reasons in the first place? Thirdly, I genuinely disagree with and reject the statement that this specific wayspot nomination represents a "normal therapy center with no significance." As provided in my thorough and detailed wayspot nomination, the centre was "established in 1987" (over 35 years old!) "to provide counselling and therapy for individuals, couples and families. Housed in a classic Australian Federation 'turn of the 20th century' building" (unusual but aesthetically pleasing classic architecture, complete with stained glass windows, high ceilings, polished wooden floorboards, etc.) "in keeping with the early 1900s homes of the surrounding area." (There would not be a single other therapy centre in my city of over 2 million people that was housed in such a magnificent, architecturally unique style of building).
As a result of this whole debacle, I have absolutely zero incentive to want to contribute anything to Wayfarer any further. What hope do I have if I cannot trust the system to "get it right" in the same way that I've been able to for almost 500 nominations in order to achieve my "Great" Wayfinder rating? The system is completely broken and needs a massive overhaul if Niantic ever hopes to build a community of wayfinders who actually have any motivation to do their wayspot reviewing for them. In a similar vein, the current wayspot criteria are being applied in a horrendously inconsistent manner if all currently existing wayspots are supposed to be "abnormal" and "possess some level of significance".