Portal exploits are unpunished and unaddressed
What do you do when there is no way to report a bad actor who understands the ins and outs of the system? What is there to do when there are no criteria to report an offense? Bear with me and see for yourself if my interpretation of offense is justified.
Under the Terms of Service, 3 Use of the Services, 3.1 Cheating, cheating is defined as—but not limited to—using third party tools, using more than one account, sharing an account, and trading accounts, and spoofing. There is a heavy emphasis on accounts in case that isn't clear. However, there's no mention of manipulating OPR or Wayfarer. Wayfarer has a report form, but even that is unable to vet coordinated tampering.
I have been trying to find ways to stop an agent from exploiting the PoI network. The exploit works like this: portals are created in an area and moved to one person’s home. Simple enough, right? What’s not so simple is how it’s impossible to set things straight.
I worked hard to restore or remove these portals. I visited these sites multiple times to take photos and photo spheres. All of my appeals were approved by NianticKN. But because there are no safety measures to prevent further abusing, those portals are now back in the rogue agent’s home and office.
I’ve spoken with three community leaders and they’ve all but given up. I thought it’d be worth discussing this issue here with a broader audience in the hopes of finding a better way to address cheating under the radar.
Players use chatting apps to notify their communities about nominations and edits. The system can be gamed by setting a bonus location. Here’s an example of how they shut down edits. In less than 10 minutes of my submitting an edit request, it was rejected.
Sun, Mar 1, 1:51 PM PORTAL EDIT SUGGESTION RECEIVED: 해. 구름. 땅.
Sun, Mar 1, 2:00 PM PORTAL EDIT REVIEW COMPLETE: 해. 구름. 땅.
Once they learned that I was appealing their rejections, my edit suggestions were collectively ignored. I now have to wait for three weeks or longer, while their own edits are approved within hours. Of the five illegitimate house portals I relocated, three have been moved back to this person’s apartment.
Below is a short list of portals that the bad actor relocated even after NianticKN moved them to their correct locations.
1. Title of the portal: 귀여운 뿔 사슴
2. Title of the portal: 비밀의 문과 꽃
3. Title of the portal: 거북이 놀이터
I wonder if this bad actor gained insight of all the flaws and exploits as he was earning his onyx medal. Maybe he was disenchanted and decided to take advantage of what he knew.
Speaking of gaming the system, agents who have been caught using multiple accounts are avoiding punishment by using one account per portal. What this means is there is no way to report them using the format provided by support.
This is discouraging. The inaction of the developers sends the wrong message and harms the game in the long run. The three-strike policy sounds good in theory, but it puts the burden on reporters like me. I spent days of my free time trying to correct what I deemed a problem. I love Ingress and feel saddened that much of its potential is damaged by bad behavior of a rotten few.
What should be done about cheating that cannot be adequately dealt with?
TL;DR: A bad actor is exploiting portal edits. Players feel Niantic is ignoring their reports and condoning cheating.