Regarding the drastic increase in the number of accounts suspension

Thank you for your interest in this thread. :slightly_smiling_face:

Are you aware of the frequent account suspensions by Niantic management in Japan (and maybe not only in Japan) recently?
We are general users, so we cannot know everything, but we have observed that people who have had their accounts suspended are tweeting about it on X and other social networking sites, and there has been a marked increase, especially in the last two months.
As far as we know, the following people have had their accounts suspended


Image2

We do not know what percentage of PGO users use X, but it is reasonable to assume that the number of people whose accounts have been suspended is actually several times higher than the above, including those who do not use X.
We used social networking sites to access these people and interview them about their situations.
We found some strange commonalities.

Surprisingly, most of these individuals had not been sentenced to Strike 1 and were suddenly on Strike 2, a 30-day account suspension.

In addition, account suspensions could be categorized into three main patterns.

  1. Ineligible Wayspot applications
  2. Addition of images to existing Wayspot
  3. Location editing

Regarding #1, our research made us feel that these applied WAYSPOTs were not eligible, but we did not find any clear evidence as to why they were suddenly 2 strikes, rather than false or fraudulent.
In fact, if you search this forum, you will see that the following posts are ineligible Wayspot applications and received a 1st warning.

@Pennsylvania Example
@Examples from the Netherlands

I am very curious as to what might account for this difference.

As for #2, the first warning was not confirmed.
Does anyone know where the ladder strike policy has gone?

And the third pattern.
In our investigation, these location edits were not unwarranted.
In one case, an account was suspended for attempting to correctly move a Wayspot on the street to a building. This was verified by a third party user.
(Of course, they filed a complaint, but you all know the outcome of that complaint, which we won’t mention here because it is beside the point.)
We wondered. Why is this happening? :thinking:

We looked a little deeper into the third pattern of location editing.
Then another strange common denominator emerged.
The users who were performing the “location edits” in the above listings were performing one and the same behavior.

That was three attempts to edit the location in the same place.

Specifically, after the first location edit, he (or she) received an email rejection within seconds by a machine learning program (Emily). he (or she) became suspicious and repeated the same position edit two more times.
From this point on, we can only speculate, since we are talking about the internal workings of the system, but the Abuse flag was set for the location edit rejection, indicating that the third rejection may have led to the account suspension action.

Originally, it was recommended that rejected location edits be filed in this community forum.
However, it is a very unfortunate fact that very few users of the game are aware of this.
This ruthless system has resulted in ongoing, false accusations and account suspensions.

Now, let me summarize the strange phenomenon so far.

  • (1) For some reason, in Japan, there have been many account suspensions for the second strike without being sentenced for the first strike.
  • (2) If an attempt is made to edit the location using in-game functions and is rejected, the account will be suspended (regardless of the correctness of the location edit).
    1. The difference in severity of violations is not clearly stated and is opaque. Also, PGO users and Ingress users are treated differently for the same violation.

What are your thoughts on these events? :thinking:
Our investigation is ongoing, with further hearings. We hope to provide additional information on this thread as soon as we find out more facts.
We look forward to hearing from all of you.

best regards. :man_bowing:

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My experience with posts about account bans over a period of 8 years is there is always more to the story. That applies to Go users, Ingress users, Wayfarer users etc

That doesn’t invalidate anything you say or that you may not be correct but only seeing one point of view even with data makes it difficult to know the facts.

The other party who could clear things up have never been great at communication :slight_smile:

I’m not sure you can take the post from Aquablast and use it as a comparison. You definitely can’t draw any conclusions from a post relating to trail markers in the Netherlands.

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I appreciate your prompt comments.

As for the issues they raise, I don’t know if they are correct or not, and that in itself is not the issue here.
However, the fact is that they have shown evidence that they received the 1st strike.
It takes courage to accept the facts, but I believe we can do it.
Thank you. :slightly_smiling_face:

I don’t believe it’s true that a ‘1st Strike’ was received in Aquablasts Fire Station/Banquet Hall discussion. Niantic Aaron clarified that there was nothing added to the file and said that the wording in the email could have been better.

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Good luck :slight_smile:

I have a feeling you may have to look at each case individually and then go from there?

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Thank you for your information. :heart_eyes:

I see! So that was just a warning and not even a 1st strike.
Does that mean that there is a warning Step before the 1st strike…? I have not found any reports of such an operation in Japan. Where does the difference come from?

Thank you very much for the information that brings up the mystery. :thinking:

There is another common denominator regarding the account suspensions over the last two months.
That is that they all filed complaints and all received the same response. ‘The ruling is correct, wait 30 days.’
I could advise them all to open individual topics, but that would do nothing to prevent more similar victims from turning a blind eye to the strange common denominator.
Thank you. :man_bowing:

In some cases Niantic will skip the first step of the ladder if they deem that the severity of an infringement warrants a harsher punishment. For example, multiple instances of deliberately attempting to move wayspots to inaccurate locations to get them to appear in a specific game may be deemed severe enough to warrant skipping a step on the ladder. If a user has only attempted this once though, then they’re more likely to just get a warning email than a suspension.

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Hello, hankwolfman. :slightly_smiling_face:
I am very honored to have an experienced person comment.

As you say, sometimes the first step of the ladder is skipped. Being skipped…? Rather the problem is that in the last two months the first step has not been reported except by ingress users. Even the best policy is meaningless if it is not enforced as it should be. Especially the most recent account suspensions have been applied to novice wayfarers who rarely review or apply. Isn’t it time to stop looking at users with a malicious eye based on a sexist theory? It is one of the great lessons learned by mankind that all systems must be designed with the assumption that human error will occur.

Especially in the case of location correction applications, it is very likely that a novice wayfarer who received a denial notice within 10 minutes of submitting an application became suspicious and submitted two applications in a row.
If the UI is good, the second application will be rejected with the message "An application for this location has been submitted today. Please submit your appeal to the community forum or try again at a later date.

They did not do so, and applied three times in a row! It is a malicious application! Your account is frozen! This is a malicious design of the system that is not based on ergonomics in the system.
Of course, I believe that this very system design itself could be a human error. :upside_down_face:

Thank you very much for reading. :man_bowing:

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I’m not going to defend the User Experience, as I think there could be improvements. But I will point out that Niantic did say that if warranted they would go to whatever level of the ladder made sense based on the users infraction(s).

I’m very confused and upset by your implication that something sexist is occurring? Maybe this is a language barrier, but I see nothing sexist in how Niantic writes or applies their policies.

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Hi LetsRollGirl.
Thank you for your kindness and consideration of our language barrier. :man_bowing:

It is our understanding that the ladder policy does not have discriminatory language and is very agreeable.
However, it seems to us that there are a number of problems with the current situation, in which the content of the defense to an allegation is not scrutinized and the account is frozen without any third-party defense or vetting, which is important in a democracy.
We are concerned that the first step of the ladder policy is not being applied, and that users are being deprived of their freedom and rights to play, leaving the possibility of false accusations.

I am not saying that discrimination is occurring. However, I am only referring to cases in Japan as far as I can observe.
I apologize for any misunderstanding.

I sincerely hope that when there is a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, the system is designed and operated from the perspective of the weak and ignorant egg. :egg:
Thank you for reading.

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Niantic is a business, not a democracy, so they are able to set their own terms of services, and per them, a user’s account can be terminated at any time for any reason. They are not required to use the ladder policy at any time for any of their products.

I have worked for many companies that have banned people from using their online platforms because they violated the terms of service, and it’s something that is allowed. Besides, we all agree to them, but how many actually read them? Not many, not many at all.

I’m going to encourage everyone to read the terms of service for all Niantic products, especially part 3, Use of the Services, and part 6, Conduct, General Prohibitions, and Niantic’s Enforcement Rights:

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Yes, it is. I think you are right.
If that is where this issue ends up, many will be disappointed.

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Can you 100% vouch for every account and say they haven’t been engaged in any other form of abuse?

I think something that would really help would be clear communication.

  • be clear from the games that you are nominating Wayspots for the database that (based on inclusion rules) can show up in game(s)

  • bring back the test, people don’t understand the rules with the current onboarding

  • update the reported reasons why something was rejected so people have a better idea how to improve

  • update the wording in educational emails from Niantic - they shouldn’t sound like a strike, they should help the nominator or reviewer understand where they went wrong without scaring them

I’m sure there are more but these could help so many participants.

Don’t give up trying to make things better.

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Using just tweets as a reference point? That’s already a slippery point for making comparisons.

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I agree that the communication from Niantic needs to be better, as most do not know how they violated the terms of service.

I remember on the old forums someone who was banned for 30 days thinking it was Wayfarer related, but turns out they were logged into a game on 2 devices in 2 different locations quite a long ways from each other, which is against the terms. Eventually, the thread was closed, since it wasn’t Wayfarer related, and they were directed to appeal the decision with the game that they did this with.

Yes, they admitted they didn’t know they couldn’t be logged into multiple devices at the same time in multiple locations, but that is altering your location, which Niantic sees as possible cheating.

I would also be cautious about talking about any bans on social media, since Niantic may see them. A private message may be ok, but a public post may not be the best thing to do.

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Thank you for your comment.
If it’s one or two account suspensions, that comment would be a good place to start. However, in this case, there could be more than 10 accounts suspended on X alone, and dozens if you include accounts outside of X.
If you think that is a problem, can you prove that the dozens of violators are 100% involved in other fraudulent activities?
That is not the issue. Please don’t let this distract you from the real issue.

LetsRollGirlさん、再びありがとうございます。 :man_bowing:
私はとても示唆に富んだあなたの意見に同意します :+1:
ただ、今起こっている本トピックの事象とは別の問題なので、ぜひ別トピックを起こしてください。賛同いたします。
私が投稿した十数件の問題については、いずれ本トピックに直接の被害者達が状況を説明することでしょう。少々お待ちください。
ありがとうございました。

Yes, it is.
A deeper investigation and analysis of this issue may be necessary.
I will post a text link to the tweet I posted with the text of the image I posted, as it may be needed for those activities.
://twitter.com/mothionmax/status/1784797187412816363
://twitter.com/endsakusaku/status/1784945731385888921
://twitter.com/GotohHisoka/status/1782418142222070225
://twitter.com/KonchikiChihiro/status/1784238807463890975
://twitter.com/WayfarerBAN/status/1783895246772007350
://twitter.com/tak0018/status/1778758043444076667
://twitter.com/M_I_Z_4/status/1778717245541339359
://twitter.com/5FzVSmBqZtu4qfR/status/1771439678421365098
://twitter.com/cb23kg/status/1770802112768745580
://twitter.com/MameOjaru/status/1769531526797210047
://twitter.com/tanupontanupoko/status/1769416932330205469
://twitter.com/wakewakaran2/status/1767655374088528277
://twitter.com/CipherPol009/status/1755452894974013787
://twitter.com/wokusiro285syun/status/1755217348188102796