mission authoring rejection email clarity

phthoruthphthoruth ✭✭✭✭

Could you change rejection emails to cite a single field? e.g. the Title

Currently rejection emails say there could be an issue in the art, title, description or waypoints, and then list various possible issues. Here's am example from Feb 23, 2021

Thanks for submitting 2-6 #MP Year of the **** Theme US - Eagle Park, CA. Unfortunately, we were not able to accept your Mission. Your Mission may have one or more of the following issues:

  • A lack of a clear and informative description and/or title
  • Mission Image, description, and/or title are unrelated to the Waypoints chosen

All 4 fields are mentioned with 'and/or' implying there could be more than 1 issue.

If there is 1 field wrong, there are 4 possibilities.

If there are 2 fields wrong, there are 6 possible combinations of 2 fields that could be wrong.

If there is 3 field wrong, there are 4 possibilities. Only 1 is right.

Or all 4 could be wrong.

For a total of 15 possible combinations of fields that could be wrong.

There are also many reasons for rejection, but they are less important, because whatever it is, we'll be changing a field, to avoid all known issues.

To resolve the rejection, the author changes 1 thing, taking a guess as which of the 4 things it could be.

If there are truely multiple fields that require changes, I would still prefer the email only pick one reason, and then when that is resolved, move onto the next field. Worst case, thats 4 rejections.

So far I've tried 11 times on this example. And the reason is unrelated to what the email says. Its not the description or title being unclear. Its not the image, description or title are unrelated to the way points. The real reason is the art contains the chinese symbol for ****, which falls into the single letter rule that isnt written.

This example being a mission project, we're also given art, and a template for what the title and description should be. So it would be nice if the art, which is not copyright, and created expressly for banners, were preapproved, so a large number of people submitting the same banner around the world, didnt all have to go thru the reject/resubmit process.



  • phthoruthphthoruth ✭✭✭✭

    Thats interesting. The word that is being censored here a p i g. is that why my mission is being rejected too. Sorry for the profanity.

  • Missions are using the Vanilla Forums filter? That's going to make things so painful.

  • ZeroHecksGivenZeroHecksGiven ✭✭✭✭✭

    Maybe someone from Niantic can step in here and offer us some guidance...

  • Neku69Neku69 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2021

    In my case, I had to delete this banner because they said it was offensive, I admit that I started to speak in the descriptions about LGTB members along History, some of them were pretty shocking. For instance, in my hometown a ruling king was dethroned and among the accusations they told the public that he was ****. Therefore, the name "Wrath Pride" refers to how they were treated.

  • grsmhikergrsmhiker ✭✭✭

    Maybe they just need to clarify the wording of the rejection reason a little bit. How about this. 😆

    Unfortunately, we were not able to accept your Mission. Your Mission may have one or more of the following issues:

    • We flipped a handful of coins and one or more landed on tails

  • phthoruthphthoruth ✭✭✭✭

    Agreed. It could be a feature of 'C.O.R.E.' subscription. A place to report issues that requires membership, but ensures Niantic responds to issues reported. That should probably be a separate feature request.

  • phthoruthphthoruth ✭✭✭✭

    Totally agree. Experienced authors have a pretty good idea of what a good mission is. And still it appears random when something is rejected. We are told it could be any of a number of issues, and it may be the title, description, art or waypoints. In otherwords, it could be anything. It could also be something they haven't listed as a reason, such as containing art that appears to be a letter.

    My proposed solution is pick one thing to reject it on. title, art, description or way point.

    Just one of these 4 things.

    It doesnt really matter what you say is wrong with it, at least we will know what to change.

    Once that one thing is good, you can reject based on another single thing, if there is more.

  • +1 on this. I recently had one mission in a 6-mission series rejected. The mission was in a former amusement park that closed down in the 70's then was converted into a park with informational signs about some of the more famous attractions that used to be there. My only theory was that the park's name was somehow objectionable, but almost all of the Portals in the mission had the name in their title so I had figured it was pretty self-explanatory.

  • phthoruthphthoruth ✭✭✭✭

    unclear mission rejection emails are still a problem.

    I've got one that is getting this rejection: 2-6 #MP Year of the Pork Theme US - Eagle Park, CA

    A lack of a clear and informative description and/or title

    Mission Image, description, and/or title are unrelated to the Waypoints chosen

    Its a mission project Year of the **** banner, and previously was rejected (for everyone) due to 'copyright', which I think really meant it had art that appeared to be a (chinese) letter. The email is misleading and unhelpful.

    Saying there is an issue in the image, description, title OR waypoints means we have to guess which of those 4 things and resubmit. Please tell us 1 reason, so we know what to change. I continue to resubmit this mission, attempting to resolve whatever it is Nianitic thinks is wrong with it.

    My most recent banner was rejected for copyright:

    • Use of an image or text that isn't yours or that you don't have rights to use or that consists of a logo
    • Use of official Niantic logos or event names (NL1331, Mission Day, etc.)
    • Use of Image or Text that claims the Mission as "official", otherwise implies it has special designation, or is endorsed by Niantic (e.g., "The Official Ingress London Mission")

    In nearly all rejections, I think Niantic is simply wrong. This was a photo I took myself. The text of the title is generic, containing no trademarks or copyright words. The description is similarly generic, referring to what the picture is and the city. The picture had some shrubbery. No people, signs, or text of any sort... just scenery.

    The rejection email is unclear where the issue is. I would guess the image, but I have seen missions rejected for the text in the description. It would be helpful if the rejection specifically said the reason for the rejection is a copyright violation on the mission image. Then we wont need to guess and try changing the title or description.

    Are rejections done by a bot? My low quality photo of scrubbery should be clearly not copyright rejected, if a human took a look at it. Or was the real reason that it wasnt a great photo, and copyright is only way to reject based on image? A couple words typed into the rejection reason, similar to OPR, would be great. reason: ugly picture

  • This was my exact experience with mission denials as well. I'm convinced the first layer of review is an algorithm or bot that needs some serious adjustment for the silliest reasons for denials. The appeal to support to a human (supposedly) is always just as generic and no help at all. This experience really deters me from creating mission banners for local agents to do for things like Second Sunday.

  • I've found, if you change the mission to Sequenced, it's more likely to go thru. Then edit it to Any Order.

  • phthoruthphthoruth ✭✭✭✭

    Nearly all my recent banner submissions have been getting rejected, and the emails are less than helpful.

    My last 2 banners had all missions rejected for

    • A lack of a clear and informative description and/or title
    • Mission Image, description, and/or title are unrelated to the Waypoints chosen

    The title and description mention the location. The description mentions a way point you'll see that relates to the image. I resubmitted one of the banners with a different description, and it got rejected a 2nd time for the same reason. I really have no idea what the issues could be.

    The banner prior to those 2 had 1 mission out of 6 rejected for copyright. It was a photo I took.

    Its a bit discouraging investing time into authoring missions, and most are getting rejected for unknown reasons.

    I've submitted another. There is some urgency to getting new missions live, so there are some to do for 2nd sunday.

  • Here's my long list of mission tips, that I've collected for six years:

    New Mission Reject

    • Add REJECT to its title, and create a new mission for your next try. This gives you a record of what happened (in case it’s rejected again and you want to try again, or you have a new theory later). Plus, the rejected version might be “tainted”, so go in a slow track.
    • Generally, the reason cited in a rejection notice is usually, but not always, connected to the reason a mission was rejected. Get experienced mission creators to look at anything that is rejected,
    • Now your focus is to get it approved, even if it means making temporary changes you don’t like. Get a skeleton approved, and plan phases of edits to make it better.

    “Use of image or text” Email


    • Try a portal key picture as badge. Niantic already owns it. (You’ll probably need to edit it to make it work.) Or use a picture you took yourself. Pictures from other sources could have an embedded copyright, causing mission rejection. 
    • Any individual mission whose icon is a single letter, or looks like it might be a single letter if you squint your eyes, will be immediately rejected with an unrelated reason cited on the rejection notice.
    • Last resort:  submit without a badge. Add it back after it’s published! 


    • Remove words (even the name of the town) that in your wildest imagination might be a person’s name.
    • Don’t use song lyrics, product names, TV/movie lines, etc. Google phrases used. Ask someone older/younger than you, who would know a different decade.
    • Make the title and description boring, and remove portal descriptions (so definitely no potential copyright infringement). Like: “Hack these things to earn a badge.” You can edit it after it’s approved.

    “Quality issues” Email

    • Remember each mission is judged as stand-alone. Maybe the portals aren’t relevant to each other and the title, description. 
    • Your chances of approval go up if each mission says where the banner starts, and/or describes what this specific mission explores.
    • On the Preview page (4th screen), read the text below each portal. Maybe a portal’s nominator used some text that the mission approvers don’t like.On the Waypoints tab (3rd screen) you can click a portal and change or ignore its text.
    • Rearrange portals, even if Any Order. Optimize the order (from the approver’s standpoint) anyway. I have seen rejected Any Order missions accepted after merely changing portal order. One way: Temporarily set to Sequenced and rearrange to have the shortest route (lines), ignoring roads. Then set it back to Any Order before submitting. 
    • Avoid starting on the same portal as another mission (some approvers allow; some don’t). 
    • Add and drop one or more waypoints. 
    • Maybe your title, mission description, and/or portal descriptions are clever, but your approver didn’t ”get it”. Try making them boring for the initial approval, then edit. 
    • Your chances of approval go up if the name of the city or region is in the TITLE of the mission.
    • Maybe you used a boring all-white photo, or something else that looks pointless by itself. Sometimes a plain tile ( for example a blue sky tile in a banner) can be replaced by a city seal or something standalone.
    • Niantic greatly favors missions from people who have submitted none, or very few, already. If all else fails, find a pal to submit it for you.

    Other potential pitfalls…

    Ambush Portals

    • Omit Fire stations, hospitals - anything that might raise a red flag for an approver. You can always try to add it after the initial approval.
    • Try to include 7 or more waypoints. Several times, I had missions approved minus a portal, and my edits to add the portal back were rejected (a store, a clubhouse, and a church). Best guess: these portals have been reported (so Niantic doesn’t want them on a mission), but not processed (so are still in play). If this randomness puts your mission below the 6 waypoint minimum, it will be rejected - still showing your original portals, so you won’t know why. Better to start with too many, then do the mission, and potentially edit to remove some. 

    Wording Tips

    • Do not use an at sign - not even “Closes @ dusk.” (Yeah, the character limit is killer.) Avoid other special characters too, as they could be flagged by a security program as a possible attempt at code injection. 
    • Minimize/remove acronyms. They’re not looking them up; just assuming the worst.
    • Be clear when using a city or county name – the approver doesn’t know what Barrow is, or that Helen is a town.
    • Clarify/remove anything a non-local might not understand, like A1A => Hwy A1A.
    • Avoid words that MIGHT mean you’re marketing something. I used “Banking” in a title, and every portal/fieldtrip was about a long-gone bank, but I think they suspected I was trying to get customers. Changed title to “Historic Bank”, and it was approved.
    • Don’t assume that something in other missions - or a portal name - is OK for your mission. They were approved by somebody else. Your approver is not researching what’s already out there. Example: A mission named after its first portal, with that portal key as mission badge (BMW Water Tower) - was rejected. Changed only title - accepted. Another: Used identical description as another mission - rejected. Description changed - accepted

  • phthoruthphthoruth ✭✭✭✭

    Although your list of tips is good, what I'm looking for is Niantic to cite a specific reason for rejection.

    1. Instead of saying there could be an issue in the image, title, description OR waypoints, cite only 1 of these so we know what to change.
    2. Instead of a list of possible reasons, give 1 specific reason. The 'tips' list is roughly what we're looking for.

    Once the resubmitted mission passed criteria for that one field, if there are additional concerns, repeat with a failure of the next field. This should reduce the number of resubmits, saving everyone time and frustration.

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