Extremely improper use of move requests to drop and grey high profile portal
Nysyr-ING Posts: 31 ✭✭
So someone has moved one of the most spoofed portals that has been held by NIAGameMaster for years by less than 10 meters. This portal has not been physically visited in years due to its difficulty to access. On top of this dropping the links, the portal was made grey.
@NianticCasey-ING this is becoming weaponized. This must have been a manual move request due to the portal being neutralized. Things should really be checked on the Ingress side before being touched. There will be hundreds of complaints rolling in for this portal.
I won't be posting the portal name here since this forum is lurked by people with bad intentions.
Just to be clear, was the move to a more accurate or logical location? Or was it to an equally or less accurate location?
I was under the impression that none of the games were to be considered when reviewing.
The only time I suspect abuse is when I see a move request that has all the choices stacked or so close even maximum zoom doesn't help much. Since those cases make it hard to select the original location, I mark "unable to find appropriate location" and assume that that's basically saying "leave it as is".
It's a large lighthouse, it was moved from the "edge" to the "center" from the view of google maps.
This portal had several links over 4000km and has been spoofed/reverted close to 100 times over the years of the game.
If the keys to this portal were to go missing, ENL would collectively probably call for server rollbacks.
I've seen links dropped when a portal was moved but I've never seen it greyed out. This seems to be an unusual situation.
This morning the portal was actually deleted. At 07:06 UTC-8 the portal was brought back online at a more accurate location. It appears that at 07:34 another change was made to the portal. While portal moves have been used to drop links, that is not what happened to Kalaupapa Lighthouse.
@Nysyr-ING FYI - I escalated this incident to NIA Ops directly via our Vanguard portal reset channel three hours ago, it does appear a malicious move has taken place but NIA Ops will need to investigation before further action is taken to restore the portal and associated links.
The move in question was a short distance move, personally I would lean more towards it being an equally similar location. At face value it appears to have been done maliciously to break existing links. Similar abuse has occurred elsewhere on other remote strategically valuable portals.
EDIT: Took a closer look at maps versus last known coordinates.
As an X-Vanguard, I've never seen a portal move (malicious or not) that neutralized the portal in the process. Did something change there?
This was my understanding as well. Current theory is that the portal was accidentally deleted and restored when the move was being processed.
So a move that takes it from off the the side at a distance and not on the actual building of the lighthouse, to the actual physical location that is more accurate on the lighthouse is malicious?
@Nysyr-ING At worst case you have to re-farm and re-distribute keys. I've certainly had to do that with durable portals that were maliciously manipulated, and the manipulation wiped out hundreds of legit keys that we had meticulously farmed and distributed.
I don't want to get in the middle of the argument, but the move can be both malicious and a more accurate location. It's malicious if the purpose was hurt other players, regardless of whether the new location is a better representation of the real-life location.
And you have no idea the intent behind the move. This is all supposition as to the intent.
If the portal was held by NIAGameMaster it means that it's very difficult to access, so nobody would care if the location can be "improved" by a 10 meters move in order to submit an edit from far away, unless they want to achieve a goal like dropping all the links to that portal.
The first time I pulled up this portal on the intel map and zoomed in I noticed was the pin was in the wrong location. If I was close enough and/or I had a key I would have submitted a portal move in heartbeat. It wouldn’t have occurred to me that a portal move request would drop links. I don’t get why the portal was (or still is) gray as a result of any of this. It seems highly unusual. However, now that the gray portal has stagnated for a while, it seems that Niantic has a reset problem. Just like any other portal reset incident, they’ll have to decide who the original owner is and what links if any can be restored. As far as the location update goes, the new location looks to be the center of the lighthouse as opposed to a location that was about 10 meters away. It seems that the point of allowing location updates is to improve the accuracy of the Wayspot database and this location appears to be more accurate. As a side note, I believe the current system only allows for moves within 20 meters and this falls within the permissible parameters.
The location being held by NIAGameMaster just means it has been spoofed in the past.
Seems like your own team **** already stated the name of the portal, so so much for anonimity 🤣
As for the move, as others have stated here, this is all very relative. The move might have been malicious or with good intentions, you're speculating that it was ill intent due to the intrinsic value of the portal (And i don't dismiss that possibility, trolls exist everywhere), but it might have just been someone who's nitpicky and saw the portal was slightly off and wanted to correct it because they have insane Ingress OCD and if stuff is a pixel off, it needs to be moved.
The agent that mentioned the portal was not ENL, regardless most Ingress players knew the portal but there is more than Ingress players here.
At any rate you should be careful with assuming that Google Maps views are actually accurate to real world positioning. What distance does a move on a portal stop being "accuracy" and rather malicious with intent to drop the links?
This sounds like a deletion which is extremely curious, unless this is how manual review via the form works. More than one portal I know of was deleted this morning, one of which was a duplicate portal holding many many ENL fields.
Yes, and if the portal is at a location with people around that cared about its accuracy they would have captured it.
Why leave it to NIAGameMaster instead of capturing it?
I just noticed that the filter actually censored m.a.t.e (m8). Holy christ Niantic, you've literarally hit rock bottom with this thing.
Back on point, i'm not assuming anything, before you think i'm taking sides here. I know GMaps isn't flawless, but neither are submitters. And given the tools provided, the move might have made sense to whoever requested it. You're assuming the worst possible scenario and seeing the worst of the human behaviour, which isn't a critique per se, as i also always see the worst in people myself.
But without proper evidence to back up your claim, then it's merely an opinion. I don't mean to discredit you in any way, but it's reality. Yes, it's likely that the movement was with ill-intent. But it's also possible that it wasn't. And you can't act on "perhaps" and subjectivity, we have the guidelines that do a good enough job for that already.
Blocking links were just thrown over the now open lane. The agent who threw it was informed it was legit, not sure who informed them of it.
At any rate I hope Niantic can consider rolling in tamper protections alongside their proposed extra verification measures against spoofing, because POI moves are potentially extremely problematic for Ingress.
I really have no idea how Ingress turfwars function, but i understand the basics. Once again, while i'm not discrediting you, and all the evidence so far possibly points to malicious intent, there's no way to tell. Let me give you an example: A Gym here in my city was recently turned into a stop. It was on the precise location, not an inch further. And it was moved. Some suspected it was an illicit move to get the gym removed, and all evidence pointed towards it. What actually happened was someone moved it in order to free the S2 cell, so they could submit another POI there. The person who did so came out and apologized for the situation, but he had his "best intents" at heart.
Now, i know what you might say, PoGo and Ingress are two different things, and they are, and i know that. But this is a similar story where it all pointed to A, but it turned out to be B. Sincerely hope this situation can be resolved and re-evaluated, but bear in mind that acting on suppositions could end up having a worse outcome.
Portal edits take a long time to go through. Again, you are making suppositions.
I need to bookmark this post for the next time an ING player complains about PGO location mischief.
(Ducks and covers)
I do not know whether this statement is true or not, but I do understand from my own experience that when portals are reinstated (I had a few erroneously deleted over the past couple of months), Niantic does some particularly silly things like change the description or the location. Yesterday I had an invalid portal report rejected (it was a duplicate) and upon closer inspection, they actually moved the portal location much closer to it.
For some reason, submitting an invalid portal report gives permission for Niantic to do something with it and change it. But it looks like this was incorrectly deleted and then reinstated, hence the reason why it went grey. A pure move via location edit by someone submitting a request does not neutralise the portal. Someone at Niantic likely made a booboo and accidentally accepted a portal removal request, and then trying to fix things and cover their tracks, reinstate it, while moving it.
Can only assume that would be the case that people have been reporting this as an invalid portal, and it was accidentally approved.
Thanks for surfacing this issue - I'm unaware of a situation like this in the past but I am actively discussing this with the Ingress team to both better understand what happened and determine the best course to rectify this in Ingress as well as address within Wayfarer.
If the Wayspot was moved to a more accurate location, then it should stay at the more accurate location. That is the entire point of Wayfarer, to make the game maps more accurately reflect the real world and add more Wayspots to the map when they meet the criteria. What consequences it has in a specific game are completely irrelevant. Just because some players benefited from an inaccurately placed Wayspot doesn't mean that the Wayspot's location should not be corrected. The only matter that should be looked into is how the Portal got reset.
We've seen this happen quite a bit in Western Australia to drop links instead of outright spoofer ****.
Move portal a metre or so to drop durable links.
Thanks for your patience while we looked into this. Unfortunately, this Wayspot was retired due to an error at our end. We restored the Wayspot early this morning while we investigated the issue. The location was updated during the investigation and did not cause the links to drop since there were no links on the Portal at that point.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused and are working with the Vanguards to restore the Portal and the links. As with cases similar to these, we have also locked the location of the Wayspot to prevent any unnecessary moves in the future.
If you have any further questions, please send them my way.