Niantic messes around with their community...business as usual.
Niantic first disabled portal edits in Ingress and in Pokemon GO to stop abusive submissions and edits. Then, after the downtime, players could move Waypoints again in a 10-meter-range. This is, what Niantic announced to the community. Players then noticed, that gyms, which were moved in a S2 lvl 14 cell, which already had three gyms, will disappear. And now, stops, that get moved in a S2 lvl 17 cell, will delete all stops except of one in that cell.
I have several problems with those specific steps, that Niantic took to stop the abuse, Niantic's definition of "abuse" and the way Niantic communicates with their community about all that:
1.) The "abuse"
First things first, Niantic wants to stop the abuse, meaning they want to avoid the situation, that there are more than three gyms in a lvl 14 and more than one stop in a lvl 17 S2 cell. Why?
Why shouldn't be there more gyms and stops, that fit the portal criteria, in a certain area? Is it a danger to the game balance? Theoretically, everyone could profit from cluster areas. Everyone has got the same chances to use them, as they are not in a restricted area. And what about home-gyms and -stops? Everyone could visit them either. Their "owners" have just the advantage, that they profit more permanently from "their" clusters. Are there more home-stops to a person, that person can get more items, than others in a certain period of time. But, there are already limitations ingame. No one can carry more than 3000 items at a time and there is always a weekly item limit. If someone reaches that, one cannot spin Pokestops anymore. In addition the items have no end in itself, e.g. you can't catch more Pokemon at home, just because you have more balls. This is just determined by spawnpoints and spawntimes. Only if that player is willing to spend money on the game to use more inscenses, he really would have an advantage. But what about a player, who "owns" more than one gym? He can't get more coins from them either. Theoretically there are more chances to him for raids, but again, only if he spends money on premium raid passes. Concluding the biggest danger to the game balance are ingame purchases.
Is it an abuse to have more gyms and stops in a cell than usual then? It was a trick to the system, that Niantic uses, yes. But it can be considered as an improvement of the local community's gaming experience, as long as the Waypoints fit the portal criteria.
Now, Niantic wants Pokemon GO trainers to discover interesting spots in their area...but only as long as these have a distance of 20 meters to each other and as long as they are not in the same invisible fantasy cell, yeah.
To make one thing clear: This are my thoughts on Waypoints that fit the portal criteria. If you want to trick Waypoints into the game, that doesn't fit the criteria, this would be an abuse for me as well.
2.) The steps that Niantic took to stop the "abuse"
You can only move Waypoints within a 10 meter range. You want to move a Waypoint to its correct point, but you can't. 10 meters are nearly nothing. You can move it 20 times to a location, that is less incorrect until you finally reach the correct position. Or you can submit the Waypoints deletion in a form. When this is rejected, you can beg in this forum for the movement. Easy!
You move a Waypoint into a full cell, bad luck, all stops and gyms are gone. No Pokemon GO player wants ever to move a Waypoint to its correct position again.
But do we need these steps to avoid a real abuse, e.g. moving a gym 5 km to a totally incorrect position, right into a clusterfield? No! The wayfarer community has to verify this submission. Good reviewers will see the fraud. Bad reviewers will accept it, but in the end, it is Ninatics job to get those out of the system, e.g. they should implement a harder test at the beginning, or do random inspections on reviews. The fact, that Niantic has worked on the current steps instead, shows, that they cannot or don't want to rely on the wayfarer community and that the community isn't worth the effort to change that situation.
But speaking about abusive edits:
Whenever a trainer doesn't want another player to have his home-gym or -stops he can put another Wayspot in the full cells. Don't care about the correct position, revenge is a dish served cold!
3.) The communication
Niantic brought games to a massively huge community. Their games are great and the game system is...interesting.
But Niantic did never ever inform their players about those systems!
The transition of portals from Ingress to stops and gyms in PoGO depends on S2 lvl 14 and 17 cells. So many PoGO players don't understand this system, they don't even know that cell-thing at all, because Niantic doesn't tell them a bit about that. These cells are invisible! They might be a useful mapping structure, but they are totally imaginary in the end. Ingressplayers instead, they can give a **** about the cells, their game is not affected by all this. Even the new mechanic of disappearing gyms and stops in PoGO was not communicated by Niantic, it just were the players, who noticed the changes (when it was already too late).
Overall, Niantic runs three games (Ingress, PokemonGO an Wizards Unite). Every Wayspot submission and movement counts for all three games...but not in the same way. In Ingress there are no cells, in PoGO, there are lvl14 and 17 cells and in Wizards Unite...I don't even know what cells there are...but they are, of course, different from those in PoGO.
It would be good to inform every player about what Niantic is doing, before they are doing it. In this way, Niantic could get some feedback from the community and the players finally know about the extend of their actions in their game and about the implications in the other games.
Niantic, you may talk to us!
To me, stops disappearing, because of a Waypoint movement, is an example of missing expediency and a lack of communication.
The newly implemented restrictions punish PoGO players as they must fear to loose stops and gyms as well as Ingress players, who could not edit Portals for month and cannot move them further than 10 meters, even if it needs to be more to be correct; and all this just because Niantic doesn't do a thing against the real submission abusers as well as against unreliable reviewers; and the community in it's entirety will realize it when it is far too late to make things undone (notice: every discussion in this forum is a discussion set in the ivory tower, 99% of the players out there won't read this ever.).