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Incorrect ban warning for wrongly suggesting the move of Pokestops



  • newbreedofnerd-PGOnewbreedofnerd-PGO Posts: 20 ✭✭

    You have no idea how much of a dedicated player I was and how much money I have given Niantic since 2016. I've traveled to their events and been an unofficial ambassador for the game and gotten many other friends into the game. Yes, it was in January 2020 when it was relatively new and I am sure the guidelines are much different now. It was rejected in March 2020 and should be case closed. I'd have never touched that feature had I known one and only one move suggestion could lead to a permanent ban years later. Oh well. Lesson learned I suppose. A very expensive one.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 2,416 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Let's be perfectly clear. The warning is for misusing the title/description edit to "communicate" with reviewers. I has nothing to do with the location edit itself. Had you only made the location edit, you would not have gotten a warning.

    Also, how long ago it occurred doesn't matter. Its interesting that they even discovered it after so long, but just because an abuse case is old doesn't mean Niantic shouldn't take action on it.

    And finally, how much money you spent on a specific game doesn't give you any leeway in regard to edit abuse. If you have engaged in edit abuse, then you will get a warning...eventually.

  • Raachermannl-INGRaachermannl-ING Posts: 475 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nethertheless Niantic skips the 1st strike in all the actual cases. The temporary bans are instantly step 2 of the strike policy.

    So there is now the big question, why they do this for such irrelevant reasons, while lots of fake submitters can do their "business" nearly undisturbed:

    These are Threads, where I reported lots of fakes around someones private house again and again since last Christmas. Two weeks ago I had again fake nominations from that place in review ....

  • SlicedPeas-INGSlicedPeas-ING Posts: 71 ✭✭

    I think you're giving OP some bad advice here. Obviously the move+description edit is what got him a warning due to Niantic cracking down on this(for good reason). However, despite only attempting to change three poi, every single time he did something you should not be doing.

    The move edit was bad on it's own. Convenience of spinning, hacking, tracing is not a valid reason to move the pin no matter how much sense you think it makes. Don't do it. Leaving out the influencing edit makes it less obviously reportable, but it doesn't make it a valid edit. Valid reasons to move it are if instead of the sign, it accidentally was attached to something like a random light pole, or if the sign itself was located in a potentially dangerous spot like a traffic island.

    Now business updates. If a poi exists for a business, rather than say a feature of the building, and then that business closes down or moves to another location, you should not edit to just update the poi with the new business. The poi was there for the business it was submitted as and is no longer valid. Even if the new business is potentially poi worthy, it needs to be submitted as a new poi and pass through the full review process.

    There is a very simple way for OP to avoid being banned, and that is to not edit anything. Also they could educate themselves, but just not editing seems straightforward and since they haven't done it often, it doesn't seem like they'd be losing anything and assuming there is nothing wrong about their gameplay, their account will be safe for however long they choose to play.

  • HaramDingo-INGHaramDingo-ING Posts: 449 ✭✭✭✭

    Just going to leave this example here, where a Niantic staff member actually showcased real examples of this edit abuse.

    Of course, transparency would be key and maybe showing you exactly what certain abusive edit was suggested (location/description/etc), and then showing it for public forums to see would strike fear in those who dare do such abuse again!

    If it is just a simple location edit from outside the building to like inside it, with a bundled description suggestion such as "please move this into the building so it is accessible from the inside", then yeah, it's a harmless abuse and you've gotten a warning from someone reporting it. So long as you've only done that one and you actually haven't been banned, there is nothing to worry about if you don't really have any plans to suggest more edits anyway.

  • newbreedofnerd-PGOnewbreedofnerd-PGO Posts: 20 ✭✭

    Question: is there a way for me to have that suggested edit removed? Cuz it seems the way their system works is that Wayfarers can keep reporting it for abuse which will ultimately result in a permanent ban. Seems like a completely broken system. The way I understand it based on this thread (given it's Niantic's policy apparently to not tell me why I am receiving the ban warning) is that a user can make only one move suggestion that for whatever reason is considered abusive. That one suggestion can be flagged as abusive multiple times resulting in multiple strikes on my account. It was already rejected in March of 2020. Why it can still be reported is confusing to me. It also seems to line up with the timing that there is probably a flood of new Wayfarers given they opened it up to (I think) everyone in March. With my understanding of how it works, my permanent ban is inevitable based on one edit suggestion in January 2020 because Wayfarers can keep reporting it even though it was rejected over a year ago.

  • newbreedofnerd-PGOnewbreedofnerd-PGO Posts: 20 ✭✭

    With regards to my comment about money. What I was implying that given how much of a dedicated player I was, I shouldn't be possibly permanently banned based on ONE mistake. There is no pattern of abuse. I made one mistake in January of 2020 that seemingly keeps getting reported therefore flagging my account as multiple abuse reports. Sure, if I had legitimately repeatedly flagged multiple stops inappropriately, I'd get it. But this is ONE single instance that with their seemingly broken system will ultimately result in a ban. Not a good way to treat a paying customer of 5 years is what I'm saying. Maybe I'm wrong with my understanding of how it works but Niantic won't tell me anything and won't communicate with me to tell me what is happening so I can only go on what the community tells me. Which I appreciate.

  • Roli112-PGORoli112-PGO Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As stated many time, we don't know why Niantic decided to take action now, people are not currently reporting your edit. People might have reported the waypoint... and then Niantic saw the waypoints history. But no wayfarers are reporting your edit currently.

  • newbreedofnerd-PGOnewbreedofnerd-PGO Posts: 20 ✭✭

    This comment is actually confusing. You yourself said this: "Maybe you missed my comment earlier, but maybe your edits came back into question if for some reason the validity of the waypoint recently came into question by a report. (Maybe someone reported it invalid and Niantic noticed the history of the eidts) (those edits are not valid specially since you said you asked by using what Niantic considers abusive text)"

    So if my edits were able to come back into question that would mean people are still reviewing it 1.5 years later and I am currently getting flagged.

  • Roli112-PGORoli112-PGO Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No, people are not reviewing it. Anyone can go to a waypoint and report it invalid. At that point Niantic themselves can view the history of said waypoint and took action on previous obvious if they see fit. (not saying this happened, but its a possibility).

  • newbreedofnerd-PGOnewbreedofnerd-PGO Posts: 20 ✭✭

    Well either way, I appreciate your feedback and the feedback from everyone else. Without Niantic willing to respond to me and explain the real problem, I don't trust the system. I don't believe I should be getting a permanent ban warning 1.5 years after the fact and 15 months after it had already been reviewed and rejected. I'd be crazy to invest more money in a game that I could suddenly get banned from by one mistake I made back in January 2020. It would be nice for Niantic to explain it to me so I can have a comfort level that this issue is closed but until that happens, I can't trust their system. Thanks again.

  • Elijustrying-INGElijustrying-ING Posts: 84 ✭✭✭

    The problems this raises are that Niantic have not said what their policy is on actions they will take which is not helpful.

    Edits can commonly take 1 or 2 years to resolve.

    in the meantime the situation of what Niantic will do has changed.

    Because you can’t manage your edits you are stuck with them in the system when you might want to withdraw them.

    For example you might get one of these emails and decide to follow the official line but still have a live edit which you now realise is not suitable. You can’t withdraw it and might be sitting with the threat of the loss of your main account.

    This needs to be resolved as it is manifestly unfair especially as wayfinders are volunteers.

  • newbreedofnerd-PGOnewbreedofnerd-PGO Posts: 20 ✭✭

    This captures it perfectly: "You can’t withdraw it and might be sitting with the threat of the loss of your main account."

    I suggested moving ONE stop from a sign in a parking lot to the actual venue without knowing this was considered abuse. This was in January 2020 when the feature was very new. I wasn't a part of Wayfarer and did it in the game where all the specific rules and specific guidelines weren't available.

    I am not a repeat offender. This happened one time only and in the very early days of the feature. Now 1.5 years later they warn me (with no other previous warnings or violations in the game ever) I may be banned permanently because of they way the system apparently works.

  • Theisman-INGTheisman-ING Posts: 577 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The specific rules and guidelines were available at the time you made your edit, that you didn't read them is entirety your own fault.

    And the time scale for taking action is irrelevant. If you want a real world example of abuse of a system and punishment after the fact take the case of Lance Armstrong and look what has happened to him.

    And frankly, stop making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    If you have only ever done those edits that you say, then you have recieved your warning and thats it.

    If you've not done anything else wrong then you have nothing to fear. There's nothing else to punish you over.

    Seriously you should consider the matter closed. You made a mistake, you've recieved a warning, that's it.

  • Xmacke7x-INGXmacke7x-ING Posts: 166 ✭✭✭

    I do not understand why Niantic does not tell the exact nominations/edits/reviews where there was abuse.

    This would make the process 100% more transparent to the one who gets the punishment. Another problem is that the punishment comes way to late. It could be that the one who used a description edit to have additional information learnt in the mean time that this is abuse. And now he does not do it anymore. The punishment would then only have a negative impact.

    Niantic fails at educating reviewers and submitters and this is another prime example.

    There is a lot of mystery in the whole wayfarer process which leaves many unanswered questions.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 2,416 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's a view that if Niantic reveal specifics about an abuse case, people would use that knowledge to avoid further detection but would not stop abusing the system.

  • Theisman-INGTheisman-ING Posts: 577 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In other games, CoD, Fortnite, BF, etc etc, if you get caught doing something wrong, being abusive cheating, whatever, you are just told that you did something wrong and thats it.

    Companies, game services etc, never usually give out full details of why someone has been banned or warned in order to prevent people using that knowledge to still cause abuse but avoiding specific actions that would be detected.

    You will NEVER get a 100% transparent system, nor should you. Fact of life is that people do cheat and will abuse the system for their own means, complete transparency on what causes warnings bans will only make the life easier for those that chose to abuse the system.

    As to time taken for punishment, well tough. Just becuase it was done x number of months ago does not mean that should get away with it scot-free.

    The fact that they have subsequently learned that they have previously done things in appropriately does not excuse their prior actions. The information was previously available, not bothering to read it before is not an excuse for previously performing abusive actions.

  • Eneeoh-PGOEneeoh-PGO Posts: 101 ✭✭✭

    Niantic chose to add waypoint editing capability into existing apps, accessible according to player level. They could (and perhaps should) have created a stand-alone Wayfarer program that guides, instructs, tests and informs their Wayfarers.

    Niantic did not include any training nor warning, when they allowed players like @newbreedofnerd-PGO to propose edits, nor did they constrain the edits to a single field. They could have simply required separate submissions to change Title, Description, Location, etc., but they didn’t.

    Niantic opened the doors wide in 2019 without due care. Now they are issuing threats against some of those who wandered through them.

    I’d like to see Niantic do a better job. Better thinking, better planning, better communication, better development.

    A lot of this stuff could and should have been avoided. It can still be made so much better.

  • Xmacke7x-INGXmacke7x-ING Posts: 166 ✭✭✭

    I think not bothering to read is not the right phrase.

    How does Niantic communicate about the Wayfarer program? Not in the apps where you can submit nominations and edits.

    There were those old opr amas which were in the ingress forum.How should a Pokémon go player know about that?

    Even how many wayfarers know about this forum?

    How many Wayfarers in know about the new criteria?

    I think it is only the hardcore wayfarers who know about those resources. And this is because Niantic does not display those information to a wide audience.

  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 352 ✭✭✭✭

    Exactly, 99% or so of players just nominate things or make edits and then forget about them. My local Pokémon GO community has many hundreds of players and yet out of those many hundreds of players, only a couple regularly nominate Wayspots and even fewer even know this forum exists. Only one other person I know from my local playing community actually comes onto this forum.

    There are many millions of Pokémon GO players around the globe. Sure, not all of them are level thirty-eight and above, but the amount of activity on this forum does suggest only a tiny percentage of them (like 1% as I said) actually come here, and even fewer on a regular basis. Thus, Niantic could really improve its communication.

  • newbreedofnerd-PGOnewbreedofnerd-PGO Posts: 20 ✭✭

    Appreciate the discussion though I disagree with some of the latest comments. Did any of you even try to use the feature in January 2020 in the game? There was maybe like 3 or 4 simple pages of instructions (as I remember mostly visual)? There was hardly any detail about what could be determined as "abuse". I did read the instructions. But anyway.... that's done.

    I throw this out - if this was truly a one and done issue. Why did I not the get the ban warning last March when the decision was made to reject it? I didn't receive any warning at all. Why get it now 1.5 years after I made the suggestion. And why escalate immediately to a permanent ban? If this email I got was just for the first flagged offense like many of you are saying, is their policy to threaten with a permanent ban right away? Is there really no 3 strike policy or soft warning? All I did was suggest moving a stop from a parking lot sign to the actual venue. Hardly a serious one-time permanent ban offense.

    As I have stated before, I'm not convinced this is a 1.5 year delay in their queue. I should have received the warning back in March of 2020 when I got the email notifying me of the rejection. I don't think it is a coincidence this has happened since they opened up the Wayfarer program to pretty much everyone as far as I know. My guess is there are a bunch of new over eager Wayfarers able to keep flagging or reporting this 1.5 year old edit which is adding strikes to my account. Until Niantic will actually respond to my last message to the CS agent who emailed me, I have no other reason to believe it is anything else. It makes no sense to me.

  • Elijustrying-INGElijustrying-ING Posts: 84 ✭✭✭

    from @Theisman-ING

    “As to time taken for punishment, well tough. Just becuase it was done x number of months ago does not mean that should get away with it scot-free.

    The fact that they have subsequently learned that they have previously done things in appropriately does not excuse their prior actions. The information was previously available, not bothering to read it before is not an excuse for previously performing abusive actions.”

    There are elements here that I agree with - I don’t think anyone has said that there should be no consequence for the misuse of the system and no one I think is looking excuse actions. It is not that time negates them but because it is highly variable and can be many years, I think that without a withdrawal system possible it is unfair. Your comment about the information being available and not bothering to read shows a lack of appreciation of what other players have seen and the lack of instructions ( it reminds me of Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy the Vogan response as to why humans are complaining that the Earth has been blown up.)

    It would help if there was a better understanding of the complexity of this issue as expressed by a number of people. I think having more empathy and understanding with those that have come into the system via a different route would be helpful.

    A major issue with the system that I hope everyone could agree on, is that it is too complicated, especially as it involves 2 differently formatted in-app feeders (each with different abilities), the use of wayfarer itself as a web based system and who would have guessed, from that a forum simply labelled “community”. There are several points in that chain that are not obvious - in fact I would consider some obscure- in order to correctly process an edit. This lack of clarity could catch anyone out, but it is actually discriminatory to those with a brain that is neurodiverse. For example those with dyslexia could find it difficult and those on the autistic spectrum would also find it troublesome. Perhaps Niantic should stop to consider their obligations to all their players.

    A simpler universal system with actual clear instructions would be a good start.

    A way for a player to withdraw an edit is essential. Not only for the player but for those reviewing so that we are not wasting time on useless edits or those that are misusing the system.

    A clear statement of what the various sanctions are, the escalating nature etc. My understanding is that because they were challenged over this sort of issue in PoGo they had to publish the system of sanctions and publicise it.

    As the system is already clogged up perhaps a one time amnesty inviting people to confirm they want their edit to stay in or be removed would be start.

  • Oakes1923-PGOOakes1923-PGO Posts: 194 ✭✭✭

    Most RPGO's who issue bans will at least be able to quantify the ban with details on the infraction. I look to WoW and LoL as examples of folks glitching a game; especially for PVP purposes; and there would be a warning and then temp ban and then permanent. They would also quickly update or edit certain aspects of the game to do away or fix the glitch that was being exploited.

    Tough to tell what is truly happening without more details from Niantic; we are all speculating, but the player affected should be able to know what happened so they can appeal if they feel it is unjust. Really every player/poster on here should be asking for that or we may be next without warning or justification.

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