ML crossing the line - bring back actual Niantic team reviewing, please!

While it’s nice to get your nominations and edits resolved quickly, the AI thing quickly ran amok. This was foreseeable.
In the current state of things, submitters have to adjust their submissions to the AI/ML, not the other way around. This is absolutely unacceptable.

The AI was clearly taught to “react” to certain words. Like ‘cemetery’ or ‘burial’. Anything - anything - with the words cemetery or burial in it will get auto-rejected in the blink of an eye. No reviewing is taking place, at all.

Generally I agree cemeteries are not good places for Niantic game activity. But this is beyond the point, as there are always exceptions.

Like this amazing place I found in the forest.

I spent a lot of time and effort to present this as awesome as possible, since I was so excited to find the place and wanted to share it with others through Niantic games and Wayfarer. I provided links and great supporting info and my honest thoughts about how this would be (is!) a great and unique place to explore.
Note that the ground is not ecclesiastical consecrated land (this was Google translated, hope it makes sense) and everyone can be buried here. Note that the place is also an open public forest. Anyone is free to use the forest for walks. There is not even a gate.

It’s painfully clear that neither the insta-rejected nomination itself or the appeal was reviewed. A bot reacting to a word is not a “review”. It is not done by a “team” either. That phrase triggers me, have to say. At least be honest about the AI, Niantic? :pray:

I decided to resubmit the nomination, since there is NOTHING wrong with it and it would make a great addition to the map.
I chose to avoid words like cemetery and burial. The title is the first line in a classic Danish song. The description is vague and unprecise. The supporting info translates into:
“This is an attempt to see if the company’s latest addition to the workforce - the artificial reviewer - is just reacting to the word that we will not write in this nomination. You know the one. Blah blah, hiking - blah blah, nature. Wonderful. Scenic. A great place to explore!”

This is bad news. Wayfinders should NOT have to adjust our submissions to the AI - it should be the other way around.
The fact that the AI does appeals is the last drop. Why should we even appeal something to “someone” who can’t even read and understand what write?

This is about time, effort and fairness.
The AI has to go, at LEAST in appeals.

Oh and it accepts some messed up things too. I heard from someone that they submitted a test with a random photo of soccer goals placed on what was really just a green lawn’ish spot with no soccer goals or anything. This was insta-accepted by the AI.
It’s important to note that this is not about the submitter in question violating Wayfarer rules, this is to prove a point. The AI is out of hand and abuse will go through the roof now.

If changes are made to the way Niantic uses the AI, then I will try to send in text edits for the forest cemetery Wayspot to correct the vague and unprecise text. But for now that would just be a waste of time.

This can’t be what Niantic was going for.

Let me know if anyone needs any translations for the Danish text parts.
Thanks for reading.


This isn’t strictly true. I’ve had Emily accept the gravestone of an historically important figure, whilst my nomination definitely included both of those words. So there is something in the coding that can distinguish certain things and won’t always auto-reject them. It is a little bit more nuanced than you give it credit for.

I do feel that the appeals team could do with being more in touch with current criteria and clarifications though. Sometimes it feels like they’re reviewing based on old OPR guidance.


It’s based on my experiences with the AI and what I hear others report in the local communities i’m in. I’m surprised to hear something cemetery-related was accepted by ML (I refuse to use cute names for that thing lol).
You might be right about a detail in the coding, perhaps we should all just write ‘historically important figure’ in all cemetery nominations from now on.
The point, however, is still that we shouldn’t have to even spend this much time trying to predict what the AI will react to. This 100% takes from Wayspot quality, and it puts the focus on the wrong things.

Edited to tag @hankwolfman since I recently learned that replying to someone won’t actually show up as replying to someone unless you jump back two of their comments.

Oh and the AI also rejects correct spellings, Danish as well as English.
Someone here tried to correct ‘playingground’ to ‘playground’ (apparently Danes are horrible at English but determined to use it in nominations anyway).
This was rejected. ‘Playground’ was rejected.
What is that even?

I’ve had what feels like a trillion text edits rejected, like trying to correct the street name that is RIGHT THERE on the map if one would just look… And lots and lots of trying to put words together that was wrongly divided. (In Danish, compound words are written in one word, no space).
Rejections, rejections, rejections…

IF it’s not the bot’s work but actual team reviewing, it says a lot about the lack of effort put into it. It’s not hard to look up stuff like this to see if submitter is right in their correction - AKA actually “reviewing”.

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I’m pretty sure staff would come back and assure us that it is “human” staff doing appeals reviews. As much as we want to believe that they know what they’re doing, they have less opportunities to learn, are not submitters, and not as emotionally invested in the system as we are. It’s a job for them, one without a good QA system, where they can mindlessly work through the piles and get hung up on one-off statements and not pick up on the nuance of the written criteria or the local culture.

By the way, it was Niantic reviewers who approved the dentist office, Men’s Warehouse, and gas stations in my area, not ML.


@Gendgi (argh they need to fix the thing where you can’t respond to people via their first comment :joy:)
I don’t think this will even be rewarded with a response from Niantic.
But I will say that if a human reviewed this, they did some sloppy work. Both for the appeal as well as the re-submitted Wayspot that got accepted.
Both because of the info that clearly was not read in either case. If the info was actually looked up in the appeal, it could easily be confirmed what I was “suggesting”.
The “supporting info” I made in the re-submit pretty much speaks for itself. No “team” read that. They would have caught it and blocked it - as they should have.


I’m pretty certain you’ll get a notification that I’ve replied to you, even though it won’t show in the corner.

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@NvlblNm True, but for everyone else it can be confusing to read a thread where they can’t see who responds to who. :sweat_smile:

Okay so now I’m actually really p1ssed.
I finally earned an upgrade after the “Wayfarer rating incident” (that is perhaps still taking place!?) and I put it on a nomination that is a picnic table area visible on Google Maps.
Two seconds after I use the upgrade, it gets auto-rejected by “THE TEAM”.
I don’t know who to tag. But there are not enough appeals in the world!
And even when I earn another appeal as well, after the last one was used AND AUTO-REJECTED, the same will just happen there!
The picnic area is not bolted to the ground (but as said, visible on satellite photo AND streetview). I wonder if there is some kind of wording about that particular picnic area/gathering place/socializing concept anywhere… (Hint: there is).
God, I’ve had it with this nonsense.
@admins… oh. I see. I cannot mention group @admins. :face_with_spiral_eyes:
No, of course I can’t…

I don’t know if this is happening to anyone else, but AI is taking EVERYTHING I submit.
There is not even a point in earning upgrades (and thereby no point in reviewing).
And I know this may seem like a silly thing to some, but I kinda enjoyed having a Showcase feature from time to time. This won’t happen when none of my submissions ever make it to actual reviewers? What gives??

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I can’t say about the picnic area but definitely wait at least a few days after submitting something now so you don’t upgrade something Emily takes a shine or not too.


Great advice, and I submitted it on July 28th and waited until now to upgrade for the same reason. It was standing there in queue the whole time. It literally took just a few seconds after it was upgraded and the rejection was there.
I always wait at least 5 days to upgrade something, because in my experience that’s how long it takes to “fall into the system”. I have no idea why. Because Niantic, I guess. But ok, so we do that. Then ML still does this!? UGH.

Huh…I though it was always within at least 48 hours then it is safe after that.

Nah, I just had 6 nominations reviewed by the AI, some from a couple of weeks ago!

Yeah, 22nd June, decisions from today

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I get delayed edits. I guess one more reason to devalue upgrades even more for me.

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I just received Niantic Wayfarer email number 26 for today. 7 of the emails are connected to the forum. The remaining 19 are “team” and “community” decisions.
I don’t know what to think at this point.
The results are so random too.

Yeah, mine were all very close to each other time wise, all “our team”

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I’ve had the same a few times in the last few months. Up to 20 in a day all usually within 5 or 10 minutes and usually from the same time period.

To be honest I was getting a bit paranoid :fearful:



Dear 26thDoctor

Hello FrealafGB

Why’d you get the more formal approach? :laughing:

Me and Emily are fam :heartpulse: :robot: