What happens when a reviewer rejects with "abuse" as the reason?

itamernz-INGitamernz-ING Posts: 49 ✭✭
edited May 14 in General Discussion

I get a lot of reviews for survey markers - cheap bits of metal embedded into footpaths at frequent intervals. They're coin sized. Many are stamped with a number but they're mass-produced, not visually unique and do not encourage exploration. I've been 1* as "fake nominations" because I'm sure the nominator knows they're not OK and is just taking a punt.

So, I'm curious.

  • Does a human at Niantic ever see these reports?
  • Does Niantic look to see if there's any common features between the abuse reports for a country?
  • Do they take any action to remove nominations that are still in the system?


  • Shilfiell-INGShilfiell-ING Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭

    I'd likely not report these as abuse: it's hard to read minds, and I know submitters get no training besides a few hints on what might be eligible. Generally, I reserve my Abuse reports in nominations for those that demonstrably attempt to subvert the rules intentionally: manipulated images, map locations conveniently placed away from the POI to scatter into separate S2 cells, insertion of trainer names or IRL names, images from a computer screen or obviously third-party source, and the like. As to whether Niantic reviews, I have no clue: reviewers get no follow-up reports on Abuse complaints, or even any acknowledgment that the report was delivered. I have seen cases where obviously fraudulent waypoints have been removed after abuse reports, but usually only after a public posting on this forum and not as a result of form submission (although if the process worked as expected they would not make it into game in the first place).

  • Elijustrying-INGElijustrying-ING Posts: 109 ✭✭✭

    If you search for survey markers here you will see regular discussions.

    The ones you describe should be rejected as they are common however I do not think it is correct to reject as fake as they are real objects.

    You are making assumptions about the actions of the person doing the nominations for which you have no proof.

    They may well have seen one of these accepted somewhere and assume all is well.

    It might be annoying but, Simply judge the nomination.

    I do suspect that if something gets 1* rejects quickly the scoring algorithm means it reaches overl rejection status quickly.

    The problem is there is no clear feedback to the submitter that will educate them for the future.

  • oscarc1-INGoscarc1-ING Posts: 250 ✭✭✭✭

    I mark those as abuse as well, simply because they purposefully twist the original guidance in order to mislead reviewers into accepting them (so not only is it wrong, it's also influencing reviewers). Unfortunately that deception has grown so much where the markers are constantly appearing on the featured wayspots that NSW folks seem to just accept them, leaving the rest of the Australia and New Zealand into dealing with them properly.

    There's a good reason why these submitters never appear on the forums, they know they are in the wrong and don't want to be challenged. For them, it's just another Pokestop/gym that they can benefit from, doesn't matter what the wayspot is.

    As for the rest of your questions. Unfortunately not. Niantic doesn't do anything or take a proactive approach on such abuse, this means that no action is taken on wayspots in the system unless there is some trigger to do it, eg. public identification of mass abuse or internal Niantic changes (such as the confederate wayspots they removed).

  • WheelTrekker-INGWheelTrekker-ING Posts: 1,529 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I hope that Niantic checks those reports and then acts against those that abuse their review privileges.

  • Stephyypooke-INGStephyypooke-ING Posts: 213 ✭✭✭

    I don’t click the abuse option too often because I thought Niantic was reviewing them and the submitter could be punished. After seeing people I know or on the forum get abuse rejection reasons for non abusive things, it seems like some reviewers click the abuse rejection reason a lot more than me. This makes me think Niantic might be bombarded by these and might not actually review them.

    The people I know personally who have received that rejection reason we’re not submitting abusive things though so maybe Niantic does review the reports and only takes action on the truly abusive ones.

  • Roli112-PGORoli112-PGO Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I hope Niantic takes action against those abusing the abuse rejection

  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 1,705 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Does a human at Niantic ever see these reports?

    Does Niantic look to see if there's any common features between the abuse reports for a country?

    Do they take any action to remove nominations that are still in the system?

    We don't really know, and Niantic is typically pretty closed-door with how they handle abuse reports. In my opinion, Niantic doesn't look into rejection reasons and therefore wouldn't dole out punishments to people who receive "1* - abuse" rejections. However, in a different thread about trail markers being flagged for abuse, we were given this snippet which kind of applies to your question:

    Just because something was flagged for abuse, however, doesn't mean that we're automatically going to be issuing warnings, bans or suspensions to the potentially offending account. Our abuse team carefully reviews these reports to make sure that punishments are doled out appropriately. Additionally, you have the opportunity to appeal any strike or suspension against your account.

  • oscarc1-INGoscarc1-ING Posts: 250 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 14

    I should add these are intentionally and repeatedly submitted, with the same or similar influencing statements with incorrect guidance. Not to mention most are on the road curb outside residential homes and are only the size of a large coin or the base of a drinking glass.

    Refer to this post to see how extremely common they are and for more information.

    I agree that fake isn't the right rejection reason, however, abuse is certainly a consideration since it has become a legitimate issue with ongoing deceit applied within the nominations. If you actually saw these in your review queue, constantly, you would understand how bad it is. Would be nice if @NianticGiffard or someone could wipe them all away, or at least reviewed the full extent of these misleading nominations.

    Edit: Had a couple appear this morning, so thought I would add a screenshot. Take a look at the nearby wayspots too, it's really bad!

    Post edited by oscarc1-ING on
  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 1,705 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's worth pointing out to those who disagree with the post earlier the number of FDNY call boxes many US reviewers have been forced to review with seemingly copy & paste descriptions and nearly (if not actually) identical photos used - "A relic of a bygone era" that often appear on every corner. Many UK reviewers would likely share similar sentiment with post boxes.

    There has been lose definition from Niantic's side saying that spamming the same ineligible nomination or "fringe eligible" nomination without attempts to improve upon it may be rejected for abuse, however there isn't really an appropriate "1* - abuse" option for that.

    I don't think it's necessarily appropriate to start out rejecting these types of nominations for abuse, but the general suggestion is that if you see the same one(s) repeatedly, see them with lies/misinformation/misrepresentation, or with erroneous pleas/telling reviewers how to rate, they certainly can be considered abusive nominations.

    It's also worth noting that 3.1 criteria refresh meant to lead reviewers away from categorical eligibility, yet the criteria page itself gives examples that certain masses choose to take to mean as being categorically eligible.

  • HaramDingo-INGHaramDingo-ING Posts: 539 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The real answer regarding any sort of Niantic response is, well... nothing. I had a nomination rejected as offensive (plus all the explicit content locations and nominations erroneously flagged as explicit) but nothing ever happens. Statue that has visible breazts? A plaque which remembers whose livelihoods were lost in domestic violenze situations or cancer? A playground? Award-winning restaurant? All offensive/explicit.

    But fake? That's actually quite messed up. Yes, often survey marks are featured in Sydney (and now, for some reason in Singleton and even Dubbo). I've noticed that most people are actually and honestly trying their best to make their nominations as accurate as possible, they check the NSW six.maps and cross-reference. In fact, it's quite the opposite of the real sort of exploration that we should be doing. While these suburban markers are getting through without a hitch, it's the real trig point obelisks that most people will just assume are excessively difficult to get to, look sketchy for pedestrian access and for the most part, people have no idea what they actually are, and therefore get rejected. "If I can't reach it, why should anyone else?" Also, "if they already exist or accepted elsewhere, why can't I remove them?"

    If you really feel that their efforts are wasteful and deserve to be marked as abuse, then that's actually a terrible attitude to have. But half the time, reject reasons really fall on deaf ears: if they are continually featured, accepted and visible within the 'check for duplicates' map and there IS no recent current Niantic advice (you've been asking for so long for Niantic admin to chime in, yet you STILL fail to get any sort of response), then it will continue and be resubmitted. Not every survey mark nomination is as bad as you make it out to be.

    If you don't want to review survey marks from Sydney, then:

    • Set your bonus location away from Sydney (probably already has enough reviewers as is), and maybe to Tonga or Sudan or something who actually needs more reviewers, or
    • Don't review.

    Note that if you're reviewing outside Sydney and the eight surrounding cells (e.g. Melbourne or New Zealand based on some people here) chances are you are reviewing an Upgraded nomination. That means the submitter IS also reviewing and giving their fellow survey mark nominators a good score. So there is an intensive feedback loop occurring in this situation.

    Meanwhile, places like St Cloud in Florida, the Foursquare Niantic bungle, people who submit photos of their computer screen or their children, and the random 7-Elevens being approved everywhere (including in Maitland!) are other examples of actual abuse that is probably worth reporting. Remember, Niantic education is sketchy at best. And all you need to do is to do a quick Google search to garner the general sentiment of a specific nomination. And from what it looks like, there is a vocal minority who are overly against these.

    Of course, popular restaurants that are good places to socialise are now eligible under updated criteria but do people really follow guidelines anyway? Try something better to do than marking someone's efforts as abuse just because you're taking a review about a single survey mark personally to offense or it really doesn't exist (although there are some God ugly attempts where they try to pass off a Stop Valve as a SurVey marker, or a gas lid).

  • itamernz-INGitamernz-ING Posts: 49 ✭✭

    Set your bonus location away from Sydney (probably already has enough reviewers as is), and maybe to Tonga or Sudan or something who actually needs more reviewers, or

    I've had the Cook Islands as my bonus area in the past and the only time I got submissions was when I was actually in that country (most were rubbish, one literally). I doubt Tonga would be any better. There seems to be some sort of distance criteria when deciding what to serve up. That said, I've just booked tickets to Raro, so why not!

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