The Boston Wayfarer Queue Remains Broken

The Global Wayfarer Challenge helped make a big dent in Boston’s queue, but it was fascinating to see that Los Angeles, a city that is 1,200km2 with 4M people was cleared prior to Boston (125km2, 700k population) being cleared.

Regrettably, the Global Challenge failed to completely clear Boston’s queue, and several bad-faith reviewers created situations where re-submissions were required. The good news is that we organized a local Wayfarer Challenge with rewards distributed out-of-pocket (almost $200 in prizes!) and recruited 30 reviewers to participate!

Over a period from May 24th - June 2nd our community completed over 10323 reviews! Of our 30 participants, 26% had nominations still in queue from the Global Challenge, and 50% submitted nominations in the week of our challenge.

Unfortunately, this has made it abundantly clear that the queue in Boston is still broken beyond reason. During this time period we had reported only 10 nominations within the City of Boston from our efforts resolved via Community Review. Outside of the city there were 25 nominations approved by the Community. This data should be subject to scrutiny because while we know of over 90 nominations submitted by our group, many others who were not participating in our challenge could have been submitting stops and getting them approved.

What we discovered doing reviews was that a majority of our reviews were coming from places like Mississippi, Texas, Arizona, and New York and were not local nominations. In fact, an overwhelming majority of our users (79%) said that fewer than 20% of their reviews came from the “Home,” “Bonus,” or “Play Area” review areas. This was while local nominations languished in voting, or reviews without adjacent nominations were stuck in queue.

In post-event polling, 43% of users self-reported that they did not feel like the Wayfarer experience allowed them to have a direct impact on their local community. This is particularly concerning to me, because it truly isn’t fun seeing one local review every 116 nominations reviewed and having to sift through dozens of low-quality nominations in Mississippi or give attention to other major cities on the other side of the continent. There had been some speculation that some of these were from the Upgrade Queue, but the chance of people with Wayfarer Upgrades submitting and Upgrading street name signs and light posts had better be slim.

The good news is that 82% of participants said that they would be somewhat likely or very likely to continue reviewing nominations in the future. 20 of our participants were reviewers with fewer than 500 lifetime reviews, and 11 were first-time reviewers.

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Great leadership here. Way to organize your local community!

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Thank you, my initial post should have thanked the person who originally had the idea, the senior Wayfarers who’ve helped tremendously such as @spd85 who was instrumental both in organization/support and being a helpful and encouraging influence on new reviewers, and our great Wayfarer Ambassador @SerAmanda who provided some much-needed guidance and shared incredibly helpful ways to make it interesting for people.

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I have followed your reports from Boston over time. As someone who lived in a Blackhole/ submit and forget it area you have my empathy. It is frustrating . However a previous challenge made a big difference for me. Something very odd that Boston is still bogged down.
Great idea to focus effort like that well done.

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I am not familiar with how to find this information but how do you know the a specific area was cleared? Is there somewhere you can see a current log of nominations/edits in the area?
I have the Boston area as my bonus area, but have been doing less reviews per day than usual due to life demands. Way to go, organizing this.

One point that I’d like to reiterate is the impact on the new participants. As was mentioned in the OP, we had many new reviewers, which is great. However, many of them didn’t see any decisions made. This can be very discouraging with one of our community leaders making a big effort.

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There are browser extensions that can show you a map of your recent reviews, which I know images from others posted after someone from the Boston area asked if anyone was getting reviews during the challenge.

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That was @eneeoh who asked. Eventually Boston did start seeing reviews and resolutions, but we literally had people waiting 17 months(!!!) for resolutions.

We had an opportunity to capitalize on the success of the Global Challenge and ensure we kept our queue up-to-date, but the Wayfarer Algorithm is not functioning at its best for Boston. Other parts of the country are seeing nominations resolve via community review in days, and we’re finding it impossible to find local reviews via concerted effort. I don’t expect Niantic to respond and set the precedent that every time someone complains they get a response, but I have provided some data. I would expect that if this many community members made a direct effort and did 10,000+ reviews we would see more than 50 local resolutions. Something is wrong.

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Thank you, I am repeatedly grateful for your poise and support. This remains a frustration, and we have done our best to collect some level of data to prove that there is a problem.

The fact that we accomplished over 10,000 reviews would have been good for Tier 1 Community Rewards during the official Niantic Wayfarer Global Challenge. Our community did an amazing job but have very little to show for it.

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@NianticAaron are you or anyone else on the team able to look into this and see if this is working as intended?

Thanks for reporting the situation in Boston. I heard similar feedback from @BlameJamal.
I asked the engineering team to look this known issue which should be solved for some situations (including Wayfarer challenges, where we pull the submissions to review at the country level instead of the local level).

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You lovely person.

What data, if any, can we provide you or your team to demonstrate the problems we’re having?

That sounds like such a frustrating experience to have to deal with the stuck backlog. Great job to you and your group for taking such initiative! I hope you guys get some actual support from Niantic so it can all get taken care of.

I’m just curious, is it just Boston proper or other spots in/all of Massachusetts, too?

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It seems to be impacting all of the high-population density areas: Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Malden, Quincy. This is one of the most densely-populated parts of the entire United States.

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Thank you! Please keep the community posted on what you find!

Agreed that it is the Boston metro area, not just city limits.

I’ll withhold my own opinions until I see some more results, but there was some discussion earlier with people upset that it seems like local reviewers still aren’t reviewing the nominations.

Hi @smantz0rZ
So do you mean those in Boston are still trying hard but are not seeing Boston nominations?
There hasn’t been any update yet so they probably haven’t changed anything.

Will do my best to give a detailed answer once we’ve gotten more info. :slightly_smiling_face: