Day 1 of me creating a new thread until @NianticCasey-ING acknowledges the problem and provides a real solution to the systematic abuse that's seen in here day in and day out. We the community are tired of seeing it and seeing the abusers get a slap on the wrist, if anything, as seen in this latest example
To summarize, offensive threats mockery, admittance of abuse and ridicule to us and to even Niantic were allowed to be live for hours until @NianticAtlas finally took action and banned the user...from the forum. Their Ingress account is still active as I type this. The users laugh and say their "alt" accounts got "warning" and they vow to continue the abuse and retaliate against the person who reported them. Meanwhile @NianticEG comments that the situation is handled and "appropriate action" is taken towards the abusers.
If you validate you POI database and the Wayfarer Community, you would see that something is done about this. You punish everyone by changing the location edit rules, but refuse to punish the people that caused this in the first place.
Sincerely, The Wayfarer Community
Its a big issue, of course. But there needs to be harder punishments for fakers, not collective punishments. If you wayfarer ban every user who submitted multiple fakes, maybe faking will get "too risky" fot the fakers.
I know the side of the community. But I can also understand Nintic here, that some actions would be too fast or inappropiate. Its hard to find a system that works well, but the current system isnt super bad. Not super good aswell but it could be worse in my eyes. Maybe try a report system ingame like currently in the Forum, that you can add a picture. This would be a small increasement to report Fakes and other invalid stuff. A friend tief to report a POI obviously being on schoolground around 30 times. Super sad. Another player got 300 rejection Mails for a fake I habe now appeared via this Forum. There is a lot to improve and the next AMA will be funny for Niantic :D
The fact that we as a community have to even start something like this to get Niantic's attention is horrifying. The fact that we have to almost turn into bullies to get a company, that is supposedly anti bully to do anything about it, is wrong just wrong. We have screamed over and over and over again on actual issues. You know that several of these posters are legitimate and know what they are talking about, but that you can't even look when they tag you is not okay. If you are understaffed then something needs to be done about it. If Niantic bosses won't listen then something needs to be done. But the abuse we saw in st cloud is not isolated and the abuse that comes out of doing something about it, should never be tolerated. Those comments should have resulted in immediate bans on all platforms but instead you bury your heads in the sand. Finding ways to improve the game play in my community used to be fun, now I worry that someone is going to be so upset as to verbally or even physically **** me because I had the Gaul to do what you asked and report it. I am so sad to see that it has come to this.
It has always been clear that Niantic undervalues the free labor they get from reviewers, submitter, and those who go above and beyond to help others learn and report issues of abuse, but it has never been as clear as today.
300+ fake Wayspots and these people didnt even get a proper ban from the games. Homophobic slurs and harassment and they only got a warning on the forum. Honestly, if these aren't ban worthy offense, what are?
If I would have reported these 300+ wayspots in 10 different abuse reports of 30ish fake Wayspots each, would you have taken real action then? Your treatment of these people makes them seem like they are first time offenders, when there is evidence that they have been faking Wayspots since 2019 when Ingress players were using Scanner: Redacted.
What is being done to combat the pending retaliation from these people? What is being done to prevent it from happening again?
This forum is overrun with reports of abuse, more than it ever has been, and the reason is because it isnt taken seriously. Abusers need to be permanently banned. They need to know that there is a consequence for their actions.
We have seen how they reacted to the reports of abuse in Zaragoza.
First they delete the post reporting the abuse, after some complains it's restored and some of those wayspots are removed, and a few days later everything is back again.
@AisforAndis-ING you are lucky that it isn't you the one that Niantic is banning
The refusal to take action against these players also goes against Niantic’s stated mission, “to use emerging technology to enrich the experience of the physical world while encouraging exercise, exploration and social interaction on a global scale.”
Niantic has an entire page devoted to the positive social impact, including empowering people, and creating community. I have witnessed positives first hand, but there is also a darker side, so as the behavior taken against the person who reported the massive abuse, which destroys any sense of community that the games have helped to create, while disempowering the people who raised important issues.
The Zaragoza case made me lose a lot of confidence in Niantic - even more than what I've personally experienced with abuse reporting.
What's the point in us doing all the hard work of collecting information and reporting it only for it to be proven useless? Furthermore, becoming targets of abuse and harassment from local abusers without them getting any kind of lasting/effective punishment? Even our work submitting wayspots gets harmed with these people promising to reject them as payback.
My personal opinion is that we need:
A) Easier, safer ways to anonymously report abuse so we don't have to keep exposing our real IGNs.
B) More effective action against abuse.
We need to know that our hard work is leading to something. That it's worth it.
The Zaragoza case is a good example to why reporting abuse feels utterly useless right now.
In addition to the obvious need for abusers to lose their Wayfarer privileges so they don't just re-submit their abuse (as they often do), we also need to be safe from abusers and their threats of payback via their own Wayfarer reviews of our nominations.
Right now it just doesn't feel like Niantic is even interested in ridding their database from mass abuse. Small cases here and there? Sure. But widespread cases that involve a large number of users? Maybe the traffic they generate in PoGo/Ingress/etc takes priority. I just wish we could know for sure. Would've saved a lot of wasted time.
Seriously—is Niantic shortstaffed? I’m trying to figure out why the laissez-faire attitude. I can understand the lack of action and attention if they have a staff of 10 to handle issues around the world.
Or perhaps it’s just a disorganized company, with strengths in software development and not maintenance.
Anyone know? Such a strange lack of company response to so many big complaints.
I do really wish Niantic would take a more hands-on approach with Wayfarer community management. They have no presence anywhere aside from this forum for that, aside from the time they had to scold the Facebook group. And even then, you still have people on facebook pages, subreddits, discords, etc either completely not understanding wayfarer or purposefully abusing it.
Why not make official videos on a Niantic youtube channel how to review? Or make official FB or Subreddits, or at least have a presnece on them? Especially with the incredibly vague "criteria refresh" you have more confusion then ever.
Niantic needs to do more in promoting Wayfarer for those outside of the forums. There are still portions of the community who are unaware that the forums exist and that new criteria can be found here. Echoing @GearGlider-PGO, it really isn't difficult for the creation of various media to promote good review culture as well as various outlets to showcase the new criteria.
Furthermore, it took way too long for the ban hammer to be dropped on those involved in the mass abuse listed above. It clearly isn't a case of reviewers not knowing the rules, this was a mass coordinated act by various rogue reviewers that, had it not been for @AisforAndis-ING, would have left unchecked.
I've been asking for months for Niantic to have a Wayfarer Twitter (or other) precense.
My exact question was here
where I asked for Tweets about how Wayspots are created and random snippets about criteria (including pleads for people not to nominate Starbucks "plz make EX").
The response leaves me less than hopeful that they'll ever consider it.
Can more awareness of Wayfarer be spread through in-game announcements and game-specific social media posts? Not only would this help spread awareness of the work that Explorers do but it will also open the door to more contributions by interested players.
This is a good question, we are absolutely talking about ways that we can recognize and celebrate the contributions that Explorers make to all Niantic Apps. The biggest challenge with this specific suggestion is the sheer amount of things happening in all of our apps and not every player is eligible to contribute, while all of them are eligible to participate in in-app events or initiatives.
Seems to. They don't always check every appeals in this forum, leaving some appeals left unanswered for weeks.
I've reported a huge cluster in my play area in this forum, and this will be my last hope to trust Niantic at abuse handling. Right now, the team had already checked this but still no decision from them. After they put their decision, I would like to see that cluster after the decision by myself and see if Niantic really take action against abuse.
If nothing happened to that cluster, then so be it. All my reports are worthless.
I got this for clear fake duplicates. Even the forums are going down..
Niantic had plenty of opportunities to stand by the side of the people that want among other things fair gameplay and accurate set of PoI.
Anyone would expect that a company would promote that kind of attitude, but unfortunately we've seen over and over again the lack of real action against cheaters, be it spoofers, multiaccounters, bullies or abuse in wayfarer.
They sometimes reply "we have taken actions", but the problem goes on and on, so it's clear that those actions aren't effective and strong enough.
I wonder why people keep providing them with their time for free.
Yep. The Wayfarer community creates immense value for Niantic. Adding a few dozen POI to an underserved region can be enough to develope an active - and paying - player base. And they don't even have a social media presence.
What really frustrates me is the lack of social media presence was even taken advantage of before. Remember when the Facebook page was doling out criteria clarifications saying they were talking directly with @NianticCasey-ING, but refused to say where and refused to show proof of conversation? And people believed it because Casey had to intervene because people thought the page was an official Niantic page and they were spreading incorrect criteria about reviewing?
And now with the “Criteria Refresh”, you have people, once again, telling other to approve chain stores, regular benches, and things in sensitive areas. I really really wish there was more active community manamgement and presence.
Do you mean when they claimed that "featured Wayspots" should be considered valid eligible candidates specifically curated by Niantic? Rather than the poorly implemented system we've been promised would be improved since it was implemented - though the only change is that now or shows PoGO (not Ingress) user name. These have often highlighted third party photos including Google watermarks, sensitive (cemetery) locations, and military bases. To which Niantic has typically said "oh well, it slipped through, nothing we can do about it, education is important to us and we'll see what we can do-" nope, no action.
Even as recently as December i had to make a forum thread about features Wayspots by a known abuser that ended up being at a k-12 school.
Not to mention that people having to go through the forum to report things are now being threatened with abusive rejections and reports against hem them.
Reminds me of how on the Ingress Forum there was the user who made multiple accounts to flag all of our comments, and while some of his accounts got banned we all got hit with warnings and account locks because of all the flagged comments instead of Niantic actually dealing with the the flag abuse.
@NianticCasey-ING Please allow my St. Cloud thread to be reopened. Closing the thread disables me and my community from continuing to provide new updates and evidence on the abuse. While there are times that I have been frustrated and felt similarly, I don't condone the long, non-constructive comment in the thread that was likely the reason that got the thread locked. The community also clearly disagreed with it given the number of "disagrees" the comment received and the lack of any "likes".
We all want to see the abuse solved and we can only do that together. Please remove the non constructive comments on the thread, unlock it, and allow us to continue documenting the incident and providing evidence for the good of everyone. There is more to share.
The thread has over 2000 views for good reason. People are watching. It has garnered a lot of attention both because of the scale of the specific issue, and the weaknesses in the wayfarer system at large that it has brought to light. With any issue of that size, one or two non-constructive comments are bound to show up. Please do not allow such comments to prohibit us from working together to solve this issue.
Is your last comment the person who made tons of abusive & ineligible nominations in your general area, who continues to spread misinformation on Reddit & Facebook (although fairly well kept in check on Reddit), pops up in here every few months to make a mockery and is left to spew their abuse for days to weeks? And who, even today, is still allowed to make nominations?
Hard to keep track, since there is less documented but similar abuse that often pops up.
That's the guy. I've reported a ton of his submissions on wayfarer for abuse (using support to tell people how to review, linking to fake criteria and lying about criteria, submitting graves calling them statues, editing google maps to make schools looks like parks, etc). He never got dinged to my knowledge and many of his wayspots were approved and exist to this day.
Exactly. That is a perfect example of an abusive person that has been allowed to go on with his manipulations for years.
Niantic hasn't done anything about the problem and we can see it surfacing again every now and then.
So many obvious problems reported too many times and Niantic is always ignoring the reports. They provide a form that it's totally useless and the alternative is to expose the legit players in the public forums while keeping total silence about the abusers.
...and to prevent future issues of abuse, I'm going to close this once again.
I assume this text is a reply to this statement.
Apparently this person has seen a severe increase, which is difficult to believe as the thread overall has only been open for less than a month and didn't get into the details of "how" until recently - far less time than should be increasing noticeable abuse, but sure, this thread is the reason of all current abuse.
However, it is a great example of what has been noted by others: the lack of action from Niantic shows the community that abuse is okay.
I seriously doubt there is "an increase in abuse because of a thread".
The forum isn't used by many people, and I don't think any abusers would visit it and suddenly be struck with inspiration for more abuse.
It sounded to me like an attempt to shut up any discussion on abuse, especially one that might lead to more action from Niantic against abusers. I saw similar comments on my own threads... The brand new account that only made that one comment on the whole forum also sparked my suspicion.
No, I think that all in all it's definitely important to keep the discussion on abuse going - as long as mass abuse itself is still happening.
Yes, that thread is a good example of what happens with Wayfarer abuse.
Even if it's obvious (like editing the location hundreds of meters while reviewing, or re-adding wayspots to a place where they have been removed), Niantic doesn't do anything on its own.
They tell us to use the report form, but I don't think that anyone has reported success after using it. It seems to go to the bin trash.
So the option is to report here in the public forum, exposing yourself to the abusers that will go after you.
So you need a lot of time and effort as willingness to risk a hunt from the people that have learned how to abuse the system, that have tons of accounts and will be mad at you.
If they popup in the forums, then Niantic might give them a warning and close the thread. As explained by Casey, a massive case of abuse like that one might end up only with 4 accounts banned from wayfarer, no action on the rest of involved accounts.
Yes, that thread is indeed a good motivator for abusers because they can see that they will achieve their goals. In general all these forums are great proof that Niantic doesn't care at all about abusers, it's so easy to find thread after thread with lack of action from Niantic.
Well, regarding to Zaragoza. We have 'some' good news.
A friend of @LukeAllStars-PGO has shown to us that Niantic has removed most of the Pokestops there. So yeah, we still had some hope to fight against those abusers?
Niantic should be paying all of us by giving us items in game or tickets to events at discounted prices for doing this kind of work. Other companies pay their employees because we are doing free labor. If people were getting paid matters like this wouldn’t happen. A company like Google would never let something like this happen. Niantic needs to hire more staff to fix the problem. Definitely understaffed. A city nearby to me has mass clusters of fake locations submitted that I plan on visiting to have removed soon. The bad part is I personally know the users that submitted them so I am a little worried that they will retaliate physically against me or my family
@Roli112-PGO Thank you for creating this thread. Do it everyday
In my discord community I ban people for spoofing even once. I’d ban for this as well. There needs to be consequences
nah, that would be too much spam. One discussion should be enough for now.
They have removed some of them (let's see if it's for real this time), but clearly not enough as several spoofers state that now it's better as it's not as cluttered as before.
There's still an overload of pokestops in that location, and so many other places with lots of abuse if they prefer more dense setups.