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There we go. But many thanks for your transparency and honesty.
The Portal and the links have been restored. Huge thanks to the Vanguards and the local Agents for their support.
The new, new pin
Is it still a hot topic? We used to have that before, with Ingress players stating "pokemongs accept every portal without even caring about quality, they just want stops".
Few days later, their submission gets rejected: "pokemongs dont know criteria and reject all valid portals".
Boy, did i laugh during those times.
Can't believe this but i have to fully agree with you here.
@Nysyr-ING do you understand now what i meant on my posts? While all evidence pointed towards malicious intent, it actually was quite the opposite.
If that's the current pin placement, it's just a matter of time when this thread gets continuation.
Unless the POI was locked in place preventing further location edits. I've sometimes wondered if that option exists in Niantic's tool box. :)
The Wayspot has been locked to prevent any further location edits. Satellite View in maps can have a slight offset in certain areas. If you switch to Map View, you'll notice the marker is at the right location :-)
Was the portal retired because it is an inaccessible portal? Many people have made reports stating that it is invalid. Yet, by coincidence, you had an “error” on your end. Is it possible that someone on your end decided to override it because it blocks the entire West Coast from linking to Hawaii due to the Enlightened links? That portal is completely inaccessible because of “restricted travel due to the Hansen's disease colony”, the tour companies were contacted to inquire about access to the lighthouse & they all say that the grounds are completely closed, and that flyovers are not possible either because the lighthouse is so close to an airstrip. In addition, The Kalaupapa Pali Trail is closed indefinitely due to a landslide. You can not boat to that island. No one can access that island, let alone the lighthouse. It sounds like the invalid portal report was accepted, but overridden by an enlightened Niantic employee.
I know that I might be poking a wasp's nest here, but this brings up a huge discrepancy between the two games. When a Gym in Pokémon Go is (accidentally or due to a false edit/report) deleted or dowgraded to a Pokéstop, the answer in this Forum has always been that its status as a Gym cannot be reinstated.
For those of you who only play Ingress: this is a major problem because Gyms have their unique badges in Pokémon Go that can be leveled up (to bronze, silver and finally gold) by interacting with the Gym. Aside from all collection-related goals, getting a gym badge to Gold has very real gameplay advantages: the better the badge, the more items you get when interacting with the Gym. This can be very valuable, especially in areas with very few wayspots.
There have been quite a few threads on this forum about malicious wayspot reports aimed specifically at deleting Gyms. This is similar to deleting strategically important portals in Ingress. My problem is that apparently in Ingress it is possible to restore the portal to its previous state (more or less), while in Pokémon Go, if a malicious report succeeds or a gym is deleted by accident, the damage cannot be undone at all.
While I understand that this might be an issue that's very hard to tackle due to the automatic nature of Gym creation and/or some other issues, I'd very much appreciate if the Niantic team could at least try to find a solution.
To put it simply:
They don't restore gym status because Niantic/The Pokémon Company doesn't want to.
Although I don't have any insight about the internals, I would say that restoring a portal with all the attached links and fields is at least an order of magnitude more complex than setting back the gym status to a pokestop.
When they restore such portals, (at least in the past) they had to "roll back" the status of the game, a link can cross thousand of kilometers and when it's destroyed there will be another "blocking links" thrown that prevent the creation of that same link. So they have to remove those new links, etc...
In Pokemon a Gym doesn't affect anything outside of it. They could flip back the gym status, demote the new one and you're done. Of course that would also anger those that had already started battling for that gym, fed berries, etc...but restoring a portal with tons of links angers all the community of the faction that it's blocked by that portal.
"In Pokemon a Gym doesn't affect anything outside of it."
That's not true, though. I deliberately didn't go into any more detail in my previous post beyond getting more items for bronze/silver/gold Gyms (which, as I stated earlier, can be very significant for people in areas with few wayspots), but the location of gyms does have more consequences.
First of all, gyms spawn raids. Raids require you to stand under/close to the gym for a few minutes. While I do understand (and always uphold) that limited access wayspots are perfectly valid, a gym that's inaccessible to outsiders can be problematic, especially if it's the only one around.
Second, EX gyms are very much tied to location. There are entire cities where only a handful of locations are EX eligible and often there's only a single EX gym within large areas. If the EX gym is deleted/demoted, whole communities lose access to a very important feature and all the - highly sought after - content locked behind it. (Yes, I know that due to the pandeic, EX raids are currently not happening, but this is only temporary.)
Ops, sorry, I'm only level 47 in Pokemon so I don't know how Gyms work.
I'm reading your explanation but I don't see how turning a pokestop back into a gym does affect the other gyms or pokestops in a hundred/thousand kilometers around it.
@WheelTrekker-ING Niantic doesn't roll back the server in the way that you describe, unless something has changed very recently. Originally they wouldn't restore anything, but after getting a lot of pressure from players they moved to a system where they would restore the portal to the previous faction, but owned by a Niantic account. Later they would restore portal ownership, plus resonator ownership and level, but only when players were able to provide that information with a fairly high degree of confidence.. otherwise it wound up owned by a Niantic account. The most recent change that I am aware of is that they will also restore links and fields, but only in cases where it would be possible to relink them in the wild, i.e. both ends of the link have to be linkable with no blockers. (I don't know if range is a factor in the calculation, but I doubt it.) I have never known Niantic to take down a blocking link in order to restore a spoofed link.
I've worked on quite a few of these, and in all of the cases the information needed for restoring the previous state came from players. If Niantic is now using their own internal data that's a quite new change.
(Note: I'm doing this from memory and may have timeline details slightly wrong.)
@Hosette-ING I helped with a reset back in October and it was very much a manual process as you have described it.
@https://community.wayfarer.nianticlabs.com/profile/NianticPooja I ask again, was that portal removed because it is completely inaccessible, and was that decision overridden by someone at Niantic?
Is it completely inaccessible though? I bet the people living there can access it. Not that it should make much difference as long as there's a safe pedestrian route to it.
This photo shows a fence around the lighthouse. The location was just changed by Niantic to be on the lighthouse itself, and they locked its position. What if that portal is no longer accessible because it is not open to the public and it can’t be reached from the fence line? Thus, an inaccessible portal that should be removed. As the original post stated, “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.” This little inaccessible portal is being used to block fair play, and those blockers have been there over a year.
With the trail and bridge down, and a fence around the lighthouse, I don’t think anyone can access it.
@52cucumbers-ING Based on personal communication with the park service the lighthouse grounds are not open to anyone.
There's a meta issue here that I think is becoming a larger one as the games age: Safe pedestrian access is not a permanent state, but Niantic generally treats it as a one-time snapshot. Sometimes things that were safely accessible when they were submitted later lose that attribute. I believe that Niantic needs polices for and a mechanism by which these wayspots can be identified and handled. How is safe access defined temporally? If something is inaccessible for three months is it still considered accessible? Six months? One year? Two? If it's closed indefinitely? I will admit that this is a thorny problem and within Ingress it can be the source of significant drama-- in the lighthouse case there is obviously a factional element. I'm interested in approaching the issue from a systemic perspective rather than focusing on any particular instance of it.
I've seen this happen in urban areas when a property is razed and a new one is built. This can lead to a multi-year period of wayspots on the construction site having no safe access, and the objects may or may not exist when the site is reopened. I've seen this when facilities close their doors permanently. It's happened quite frequently in the western US in the past few years due to forest fires and other natural disasters.
What happens in these situations? What should happen? In the cases where wayspots have strategic value is it reasonable for one faction to control portals so durable that there is literally no safe pedestrian access? If so, what is a reasonable length of time for this to continue? If not, how should the cases be handled? Can such locations can be identified and handled algorithmically? I posited a mechanism for this in another recent discussion but noted that my test could be easily defeated by spoofers and thus was useless.
I believe this is a hard problem, and that there are no clear answers. I also believe that it is a faction-neutral issue, although specific instances of it are absolutely factional.
I'll also note that this may be a more appropriate discussion for the Ingress forum, and I'll also start the discussion there. [Edit: Ingress forum post is here.]
 Perhaps some construction workers could access them, but I would argue that distractions on a construction site may not be considered safe.
Yeah, point taken.
I control multiple portals that are unsafe to access at certain times of year but it varies wildly from year to year just how dangerous they are and for how long so it's an interesting discussion for waypoints in general. I'm sure it's more relevant for Ingress but I also have to be careful what pokes I drop in some of the gyms that follow with those portals because I might not get them back for a year.
@52cucumbers-ING I live in northern California and understand seasonal portals. There is often a winter durables battle here between factions as people play chicken to see who can get somewhere last before it gets snowed in. I think seasonal portals are awesome. I'm thinking more of natural disasters, construction, facilities closing and having zero access... things where something fundamentally changed about the nature of the wayspot. I get the PoGo case too... that's a perfect job for one of those shiny or event double-digit-CP things that clog inventory.
Sorry, I've never been involved in these kind of situations and I mostly remembered something about this during an event in South America in the G+ days.
I only wanted to state that if Niantic wanted, they could easily turn a pokestop back into a gym and demote the new one.
Can we all agree on that?
There's nothing special about a Gym that could prevent them from doing so.
Probably you're right, they could.
And I'm also arguing that they should.