Another large Pokestop "cluster" found
TheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
Just saw this posted on r/NianticWayfarer and thought I would report it here.
One poster in the thread identified it as from Zaragoza, Spain, though I don't know which part of the city it is in.
This discussion has been closed.
All with photospheres, almost all submitted by the same person in 2019: https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B039'41.8%22N+0%C2%B053'36.0%22Wemail@example.com,-0.8932155,19z/
That doesn't mean he's the culprit, though. There are also several things with photospheres from him that aren't in Ingress.
Those might be the results of systematic abuse back then. The fact that the location left undiscovered until now mean many players especially locals keep hiding this place away from Niantic.
And I heard that Zaragoza is one of main 'hotspot' for spoofers.
may be there https://intel.ingress.com/intel?ll=41.661479,-0.893143&z=17&pll=41.661479,-0.893143
Thank you for bringing this to our notice, @TheFarix-PGO. We have reviewed this location and have taken appropriate action in accordance with our policies.
Let's see if many mad players would complain to Niantic for what they done.
There are many places lacking a pokestop or gym, especially mine no gyms around 60km & no pokestop around 15km
Seeing this types of places, i had thought of quitting pokemon go, however i am still trying hard to reach level 38 and to nominate one.
Thanks niantic for taking action against such places
Another location you may look into is Las Palmas, Spain (https://intel.ingress.com/?ll=28.1302,-15.4472&z=18) and Bornova, Turkey (https://intel.ingress.com/?ll=38.4634,27.2163&z=18) as both are given as alternative locations on the spoofing subreddit.
Checking for this sort of cluster could easily be automated.
Yes, Niantic could just easily reassess all stops to the spacing algorithm. Not sure why the don't as it would clean up all of these hyper-dense clusters.
He visto muchas personas en muchos grupos quejandose de que los wayspot de esa zona desaparecieron, Yo quiero felicitarte por haber hecho lo que muchas personas ignoran, reportar el abuso.
I just find it funny that they are blaming AR scanning instead of someone finally reporting the area to Niantic and Niantic reapplying the spacing algorithm. It's as if they thought no one would ever report these clusters.
Ima quickly showing you something.
This is an official TG sticker on the Sevilla official PGO community group:
Left: My village went from nothing to 78 PokeStops and 24 gyms
Right: My submissions are getting rejected because I tried to report "Plaza de Espana"
This was the Plaza de Espana in Sevilla before the report:
This shows the abusive behaviour of the players and trying to influence the players to "be quiet".
En mí ciudad pasa algo similar, la comunidad local quiere hacerme ver cómo "el Grinch" por siempre denunciar lo que no va, es triste ver el nivel de abuso en el cual actualmente se ha llegado y como ciertas comunidades pueden fomentar lo que está mal sin saber que arruinan la experiencia de juego
Si, he estado leyendo comentarios de ese tipo y no pare de reírme de lo que un simple mito puede llegar a causar
Found this recently in Twitter, which happens to be that location after Niantic took a look at them:
@NianticAaron-ING @NianticEG did you guys really adjust Pokestops in that location? Many of them still clustered, yet it's not as many as before.
And BTW, would anyone check this location for another cluster of Pokestops? It's still located at Spain (found this from a reply from that thread):
28.48915,-16.31670 San Cristobal, Spain
@NianticCasey-ING can we really have a dedicated section to report massive abuse in Wayfarer, especially to report massive clusters of Pokestops like these?
I saw those spoofers are just trying to find another hotspots to play after cluster of Pokestops in Zaragoza were took down.
Sãu Luís, Brazil
Slightly wrong, the right meme says (with deliberate spelling mistakes): As they don't accept my nominations I'm reporting Plaza de España
I'm surprised these haven't been systemically hunted down rather than relying on player reports. Detecting them would probably be a pretty easy project for an undergrad-level intern in data science or computer science. Obviously I'm not privy to Niantic's internal data so I could be wrong about that, but at a conceptual level it seems pretty straightforward.
Why doesn't some Niantic employee dedicate just one hour a day to read and note down the list of locations provided in spoofing groups?
They are so helpful to quickly find out those sites with abuse...
Although Niantic could run also an algorithm on their database to find out locations with wayspots closer than 20 meters and find out by themselves.
Yeah, I'm reading now a thread (thanks for pointing out how to search) and it's hilarious that they claim that the stops might have been removed due to AR Scans.
AR Scans are evil, don't do them or you'd lose all the locations with abuse of wayfarer! 😂🤣
At the momenent. I say let them continue believing their myth about AR Scans. It just gives us cover to continue collecting the coordinates to other clusters while they share them with each other in the scramble to replace Zaragoza. I have about 30 of them so far, though I think some are repeats.
Zaragoza already has few stops since yesterday, thanks to the complaint
That cluster might have fewer pokestops although I remember that when I used to review, that city was a constant stream of misplaced nominations with wrong photospheres. So many places with nominations out of place in order to later move them to another cell that had an existing pokestop. So the main cluster of abuse might have been cleaned up a little, but I doubt that they have fixed all the abuse that exists in the city
Another thought: So now we know that such locations are a central hub for spoofers.
Does it make sense that any clean up of clusters is restricted to pruning some extra pokestops, or would it make sense that Niantic takes a look at the accounts of people that one day they are playing non-stop in Zaragoza, the next they they are in Turkey, then Canary Islands, etc...?
We're in a global lockdown, traveling is severely restricted worldwide, so besides the fact that it would be highly suspicious for anyone to move exactly to those specific spots around the world for traveling, the current situation makes it impossible for anyone to travel in that way.
It seems that it should be so easy for Niantic to get a list of spoofers checking the people that have been catching at those reported locations.
Are the reports of abuse clusters restricted to wayfarer or can they have consequences in other games @NianticCasey-ING ?
Unfortuantly, I don't think Ninatic does not go after individual spoofers, but instead, relies on automated systems to detect and block it (which always ends up failing). That is part of the reason why the spoofers have been so brazen about their activities.
I was going to sort through this list as I'm sure there are many duplicates, but here are the clusters I've collected that the spoofers are sharing with each other as alternatives.
Sãu Paulo, Brazil
São José, Brazil
Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
San Cristobal, Spain
Sãu Luís, Brazil
Canary Islands, Spain
Santa Catarina, Brazil
In the continuing mad scramble to find a "replacement" for the recently cleaned up Zaragoza and Sevilla, Spain clusters, the spoofers keep exposing more hyper-dense clusters of Pokestops that could only have been created through Wayfare edit abuse. This time in La Laguna, Spain. https://intel.ingress.com/intel?ll=28.49037,-16.32084&z=18
Another cluster of PokeStops in Brazil gave out by a local spoofer group, some are calling it "new home".
I'm baffled that these are not caught at the edit stage. Surely it would be easier (and better for the games) for Niantic to detect edits intended to create absurd densities of pokestops and investigate (or block) at that stage than to allow them to be created and then try to sort through the mess afterwards?