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It's great that something meaningful has been done in the end.
However if this topic shows us anything is that the current situation can't go on like this for much longer and you guys really need to put fighting organized abuse at the top of your priority list. It's not normal the community had to argue with you over three forum pages to finally see some meaning action been taken.
Whistleblowers are spending an incredible amount of time and effort -way beyond the expected amount of work of the average wayfarer- providing you with detailed evidence of widespread abuse, for no additional reward. they are exposing themselves to harassment and insults from the group they pissed off -people who live close to them and who might even know where they live, mind you- just to keep your map to usable quality, all of this for no personal gain.
The situation has been the same for months on end, and it's getting worse. People aren't just reporting a handful of fakes, but dozens if not hundreds at once. Words aren't enough anymore, you really, really need to take action because it stops being just sloppy business practice and has become morally dubious. The current system is enabling abusers, it rewards them from feeding false information to third party app by the way of fake photospheres on Google Street View, it let them know exactly who to single out and **** in their local communities, it provides them with massive game advantage for little to no risk.
Wayfarer needs better than a lousy Google Form that lets you report abuse one at a time and who never seem to spring anything but, at best, the removal of a few fakes with no consequence for the submitter. It needs a system that let people properly document their findings, protect their identity, produce concrete results, and maybe even reward their hard work.
PS: In case this post came out more aggressive than I intended, I'm not trying to antagonize you or any other Niantic employee here. I'm also worried that you'll have to witness one too many person get bullied on social media just trying to help out keep Wayfarer afloat, all because the company can't be bothered to take the situation seriously and it will hit you like a brick wall.
This just shows how after all these years Niantic is unable to manage this community and their issues. OPR/Wayfarer abuses are not new. In this very unfortunate example, we have someone who decided to make the right thing and on top of being harrassed, Niantic's response was terrible - as they've acknowledged. That first response after that language and homophobic slurs would get that person an instant ban by any responsible organisation.
People like @AisforAndis-ING are actually looking after you, Niantic. In a way, they are curating the library of Wayspots for you. They are giving their time - just like most of us - to improve your assets. Yet, you don't care.
Your lack of proper support is frustrating. I personally feel I'm living in a kind of Stockholm's syndrome situation. When problems arise, I know that you'll fail to support legitimate claims from concerned users. And yet, I try to submit and curate wayspots I come across. I can't explain why.
AisforAndis-ING Just want to say you are doing a great job. One reason for reviewing is that I also loathe all the fake submissions so don't stop the work
Your hostile intention in this forum is just as expected. Then why did you still here?
I understand that privacy is a concern, but currently our only real option to report these kind of situations does not allow us to be anonymous. In this exact instance, the person who reported put in many hours of work to compile the report and then received threats via direct message. The abusers are not the ones who deserve privacy.
This type of abuse of the system as a whole continues to exists because the punishments or light or nothing at all. Instead, all participants are punished via changes like the 10m edit distance restriction.
We all put in many many hours keeping this system going for nearly no benefit. You (niantic) must do better.
I couldn't agree with this more. It feels like everyone gets punished for the few who cause the abuse. And those who do cause the abuse, get very light punishments if at all. As tehstone said, we understand privacy is a concern, however this also is adds to the problems of the system. If abuses occur, and the punishments handed down are not made public, there is no deterrent to other abusers because they know it's easier to abuse than it is to report and punish.
I have decided to close off this thread, but I wanted to acknowledge the very real feelings that people are expressing here. In short, we as the Wayfarer team need to do better. I need to do better.
I will be talking to the other Niantics who are active in this forum about how we can increase transparency with reporters to make it clear that we have taken action both on abusive Wayspots and on users who are not following the rules.
I am also opening up a discussion with the Wayfarer team about how to abuse can be better reported. It's clear that the form is ineffective and, while originally intended to be a stop gap while the team worked to build this in the product, it has been active for too long and in some cases is causing more problems than it is solving. This needs to be part of the work that the team does as we build out the Wayfarer roadmap and I will do my part to get this the attention that it needs.
Finally, I want to offer my personal apology to @AisforAndis-ING. This situation should have never gotten to the point that it did, and for that I am sincerely sorry.
Per @AisforAndis-ING request, I've reopened the thread for their community to continue to comment on this situation.
@NianticCasey-ING i did not even know fake submits were possible. Since this thread has opened i have seen a severe increase in invalid, false, or otherwise unacceptable submits. This thread has that many views because its giving people the idea to do this. I dont think opening this is the right way to go. If you have taken action against the guilty parties i suggest you delete this thread altogether. Your only jeopardizing and ruining ANY integrity the game has left
I got 175+ Fake POI(s) discussions and reported like 5000+ Fakes. This discussion wont be the reason for it.
So my question with all of this. It seems this andi guy is using 3rd party software to monitor new submissions/stops in this town? Thats also not allowed im pretty sure. And what the other person said about giving people this bad idea..? Valid point. @NianticBrian-ING there are apps third party that monitor your software. Isnt that against tos?
You say that. But i definitely had no idea this could be done before the post. Probably because i dont do ingress
That third party software is called "Ingress Intel", available at https://intel.ingress.com/ by a company named Niantic.
New submissions are available at https://wayfarer.nianticlabs.com/ for other wayfarers to review.
Why do I have a bad feeling with reopening this discussion?..
Maybe create a new "anti abuse discussion" and close this one?
This discussion is more likely used to "attack" @AisforAndis-ING then really discussing in general. To stop this specific abuse and create a discussion about abuse in general would make more sense in my eyes.
IITC is not a crime. You're just concern trolling.
Every time there's an abuse discussion thread I see these concerned comments. Some of them, like yours, are perfectly valid.
But other comments seem to me like very obvious attempts to shut up any in-depth discussion of abuse. Silence is compliance. The less this issue is discussed, the less cases of abuse are exposed, the safer abusers can feel. This is how it's been so far.
Of course personal attacks against abuse "whistleblowers" aren't acceptable. But I don't like the idea of closing threads because of it rather than banning trolls... The idea of a general anti-abuse thread is interesting, but I fear it'll get very big very fast and it'll become hard to track specific cases. Not to mention that it won't really stop trolls, of course.
Niantic. The company that make Ingress, Pokemon Go and Harry Potter Wizards Unite. Hardly 3rd party. Having said that, there are a few add on "extras" for it.
Why did you delete my comment once again? All i stated was the truth and nothing else. This situation continues to grow out of hand while yourself and Niantic associates remain idle.
An absolute PR joke and an absolute community management joke.
@NianticCasey-ING and the rest of the folks, would you mind explaining why you are so passive on things like this? I'd really like to understand if it's the company policy stopping you from being better, or if this really how you guys are, uncaring, ungrateful and unable to actually fix basic things that not even Activision would let slide (And trust me, if there's any company that's the undisputed champion of the F tier, it's Activision).
Please stop being rude. We as a community understand the frustration, but causing threads to get shut down is not productive. We have actually gotten some action in this thread through just being persistent and we are hopeful for more.
Perhaps the Niantic mods are "passive" because they have no guidance or even authority to interact with player accounts beyond this forum? Perhaps they are just as frustrated with the current process as we are, but are stuck within the confines of the "company rule". Been there - done that - have gone home at the end of the day utterly frustrated with work, so I have some sympathy with anyone who works in a "customer facing role" like this.
What might be useful is some insight into how the whole "Cheating / Abuse" process is currently structured within Niantic. I'm not asking for a step by step guide, as that would just encourage people to develop workarounds for it. However, it would be helpful to know how either "Fake Nominations / Abuse reports" are handled when submitted via different sources. Looking at some of the Niantic posts, I get the impression that the "Abuse Team" and the Forum mods here are different entities, and that reports in here (which actually seem to have the greatest chance of being looked at and dealt with) have to be "hand carried" over to a separate set of people. if so, some closer intergration might be helpful.
There is nothing rude about my post. It contains a question, followed by a statement, followed by another question.
Or do you deem me calling Niantic uncaring, ungrateful and unable to fix things as rude? Because these are all valid points. If they weren't, this thread wouldn't exist in the first place, neither would the other dozens of threads similar to this one.
Also, do not blame me for having the thread previously closed. I didn't close it, nor did i ask it to be closed. The Mods took it upon themselves to close the thread after being barraged with the same sentiment as mine from different users who are seeing their hard work tossed aside and ignored. I don't speak on behalf of anyone but myself, neither do i say what i say based on the feelings of the community, it's exclusively on my own sentiment. And you can be damn sure that if i had gone through as much work as the OP only to have my efforts resulting in "a warning and a pat on the back" to the offenders, it would be much worse.
However, we have a saying in my country: "The example comes from the top (of the chain of command)". If Niantic workers that get paid don't care about this situation, why would i take my time to care about it, knowing that i earn nothing from it? Not to diminish the efforts of the OP and other thread starters, as i honestly think Niantic would gain a lot from having these sort of people managing these situations rather than the current team they have now.
So, please, be so kind as to not rudely interrupt my Candy Crush spree without a valid reasoning for it. Much appreciated.
@BleedBoss-PGO please leave my thread alone. I understand you are frustrated, you are not helping.
@BleedBoss-PGO Casey deleted your comment at my request. While I understand your frustration, please remain civil in my thread if you are going to participate and keep your non-constructive comments to yourself. My thread was closed because comments like yours derailed it from the intended topic - solving this case abuse. It is important that this thread stays open so that I can continue to work with Niantic and report on this abuse.
It is probably going to be a day or two before I have more to share about the issue, but I do have a pretty insane turn of events to report on once I can get all my ducks in a row to lay out the evidence. Until then, I would ask that everyone just relax, and leave this thread alone for the sake of the thread being kept open.
Trust me, after working Retail and other jobs, i know what that's like. And i'd get asked the same question i'm asking, to which my reply was always "It's how the company policy works, nothing i can do about it". People would file a complaint at the company, and not at me. Because instead of being a coward and hiding, i told people the truth. And they were grateful (most of the times) for that.
Sometimes things are beyond your possibility of action. But once you are placed in a position of "Being the face of the company" such as the moderators here, then you have to uphold your integrity, in order for the community to trust you and believe in you. What's being done here is the exact opposite. And once the community loses faith in the representatives of a company, who are the bridge between them and the company, who else will they turn to?
Due to the increasing toxicity of this thread, and to prevent future issues of abuse, I'm going to close this once again.
I do like the suggestion that @sogNinjaman-ING offered of outlining the abuse process and I will work on preparing an overview of how that works on the Wayfarer side.
@AisforAndis-ING, I see that you're working on preparing documentation of additional Wayspot abuse. I ask that you create a fresh discussion once your case is ready to share.
Hello! We have been keeping a regular watch on this discussion and appreciate a healthy discussion in our forums as well as entertain feedback on how we can improve further on our abuse responses and actions we take. With this in mind, we will remove any posts that are found to be encouraging toxic behavior.
Secondly, regarding the abuse reports we had been actively monitoring all the abuse reports we come across and take appropriate actions wherever required. However, as @NianticCasey-ING mentioned, we are going to be refining our responses to be more transparent moving forward. Thanks for your understanding!