Concerns re: Spoofing [A Dedicated Thread]



  • TheKingEngineTheKingEngine ✭✭✭✭✭

    Like I said, nobody was against the decision of whiting out the codenames. I even expressed that I do not have objections to this rule in the comment here, and in comments of other posts such as . There is no ambiguity.

    But, what does "Posts containing information beyond support ticket numbers will be edited (possibly deleted) and will be issued warnings." mean? Will "discussing and developing further information (why players report specific accounts, of course not mentioning the codename of the accounts) that are not included in the original report ticket (because we cannot send a lot of content there)" be considered as SPAM and receive warnings here. Can we use this thread like how previously we use the TR Telegram bot? This question is very importantly and judging from post reactions, obviously not only me myself is doubting this because this rule is ambiguous.

  • This is why I don't engage with you. I've answered the question repeatedly.

  • TheKingEngineTheKingEngine ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2022

    This is why I raise the question in the comment. I for the interests of anti-spoofing reporters, need a formal anwser from Niantic official, because Niantic made this formal thread. Also a formal anwser from someone who is really listening instead of assuming things and making false criticism. If nobody's listening it's fine because we are accustomed to it but we don't need someone telling us "hey if customer support ticket does not provide the feedback you want then whis thread won't either" again.

    You as XM Ambassador told me several times that "not banning spoofers does not mean Niantic did not take action on spoofers or the reports were not reviewed". After I proved with data and historical cases that this anwser may not be accurate, my posts were reported and closed. And another vanguard told me that "even with canned response, Niantic will review EVERY report". After I proved with data and numerous reports for blatant impossible action spoofers' not being banned for quite a long time at all, my posts were reported and closed and I was trolled by multiple vanguard and XM Ambassadors.

    Well, I don't write anything substantial regarding anti-spoofing reports since then because of this while I don't care about it at all. Afterwards, more and more players worldwide who encounter similar situations as me have come to this forum for help. Guess what, instanly nobody continue to tell them like above because inaccurate therioes and harmonious stereotyped expressions were flooded with truth and fact and more and more players come to disagree the "Niantic All-Time Doing Good on anti-spoof reports, stop complaninning and keep reporting" propaganda. I as a single player can be silenced easily but the masses have sharp eyes.

  • I believe that a report through remy goes directly through an anticheat system, but there is no manual review. It is only an assumption, because the results speak for themselves. That system is outdated. What annoys me is having to bother other agents to make sure someone reviews the information I have. And it annoys me that after several reports (about impossible actions, with clear evidence), Niantic decides that traveling 2 km through the mountains with 500 meters of elevation gain in less than 10 minutes (for example) is totally normal.

    I do not like being lied to. The phrase "we have carefully reviewed your report" cannot be true, or at least it cannot be true in most cases.

    I am not a computer engineer, I do not know if the application can ask the device for the information it collects to determine the position (at least when starting), instead of the geographical coordinates. I don't know if there is a (legal) possibility to get the device ID to check how many accounts are used from the device. Logic tells me that the new spoofers use a program that mimics the typical vibrations of a normal GPS and it is my understanding that the programmed randomness is not 100% random, so there should be a way to detect that.

    As I say, I am not a computer engineer and I may be talking nonsense, but something can be done.

  • UltraViolatorUltraViolator ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2022

    But you see yourself what happens at the moment in Moscow, for example. The-still-not-banned-not-to-be-named-agent who exists since October has just heavily crossed the last remaining enl BAF in my area. I know you care. But except you, nobody does. The thing is, Nia doesn't want to hear us. Not even through vanguards.

    I'm with @LuoboTiX on this issue.

  • MoogModularMoogModular ✭✭✭✭✭

    Regardless if it's a Vanguard, XMA, Trusted Reporter, person with a heightened XM sense, Niantic wants the reports through the support bot.

    I don't get it either, I don't understand it, but that's what Niantic wants. Maybe it's needed for the audit but who knows? Niantic never tells us anything. They have made it clear they don't want them posted here. Creating a fight about it isn't productive for anyone involved. It's not even supporting Niantic with this decision but ultimately telling you not to waste energy on something that most likely won't change.

  • TheKingEngineTheKingEngine ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2022

    In following post of mine

    Everyone on the forum can see it very clearly that this post regarding blatant impossible travel spoofer's not being banned at all, was reported and closed for no reason, irrelevant to "disagree" (I don't know why you talk about disagree here, which seems that you are assuming things, again), after I do not agree with your idea that "not banning spoofers does not mean Niantic did not take action on spoofers or the reports were not reviewed". In that post I've clearly expressed why I think your idea is not accurate, with solid proof and professional experience of filing reports of spoofing actions.

    Of course all spoofing relevant posts outside will now be closed and probably merged into this thread but that's if it's published as new posts. That post of mine was in 2021/Apr. Obviously my post was reported by someone who is not happy to see me disclosing the truth. Or, do you think it's normal and natural for posts to be closed as long as you have made comments there and others do not agree with you?

    Everyone can see how unreasonable I was silenced in that post. I don't care about it, i.e. how I was treated when trying to prove that Niantic customer support was not reviewing my reports at all. I'm not here to cry about something like "unfair treatment". Instead I'm moving forward and asking about questions that many players also want to get an anwser for. This thread is also not for "players' being treated poorly by xm ambassadors and vanguards when they try to get help to stop blatant spoofers" drama

    But please do not distort the fact and make it look like "I choose to take XYZ as personal attack" or " trading "belief" for "truth" (as you said) which actually does not have any relationship with XYZ and was written from undeniable data, not my own imagination.

    The masses have sharp eyes.

  • TheKingEngineTheKingEngine ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2022

    Oh, then I have to apologize for my assumption that Vanguards and XM Ambassadors should "land a helping hand" in a variety of ways when they see players suffer from malicious spoofing actions, including and are not limited to:

    1. Not always tell them to file reports via customer support channel again and again, when numerous tickets have been done but are in vain
    2. Not always begin with "There is nothing wrong about current anti-spoofing reporting channel and procedure. It works definitely well"
    3. Not always question the integrity ("the videos and photos can be edited easily and thus they are not convincible, that's why it's 100% OK for nobody from NIA OPS have ever opened the link of your videos and photos") and thoughfulness of players who file reports ("have you ever thought about the possibility that they can be just normal human behavior, maybe a little more energetic than you?")
    4. Not always fool players by saying something like "Please rest assured that your tickets are 100% reviewed and actions are 100% taken" when actually nobody is doing a manual review (and also) when it's not technically possible to do so
    5. Not always flag the posts and ask the moderator to close posts instantly after the publishment of posts regarding spoofers, instead of guiding the players through possible means ("please first white out the codename of the suspicious accounts, and then we can make several attempts, here is how, etc")
    6. Not always start discussion of the difficulty for Niantic to improve the anti-spoofing algorithm and the robustness of the reporting channel

    Ok. Vanguards and XM Ambassadors are not obliged to do any of these. They could say whatever they want and they don't need to talk in a way that would help and encourage players, out of the sense of justice. They don't have to stand (firmly) on the side of players when players are merely asking for a retrofit of a failing system to achieve a win-win for both players and Niantic and on the contrary they could deny the "failing" and throw all kinds of questions and doubts towards players that may despair anti-spoof volunteers but almost no questions towards Niantic. I get it.

  • edited February 2022

    Yes this is a calm rational response to your hyperbole. You've been "silenced" regularly on the forums, because your posts get out of hand the moment anyone disagrees with you.

    The entire reason for this thread is to avoid people immediately relinking a closed thread and starting the same argument up immediately again. I imagine they hope they can avoid having to actually ban people from the forums, while having the conversations that need to be had.

    The masses have sharp eyes

    They do. I do not think that "the masses" are rallying behind your position though. Spoofing is not going to be fixed by people yelling at Niantic constantly. That will simply make them ignore you, even when you have legitimate claims, because of the "Boy Cried Wolf" situation. Its a situation we all want Niantic to fix, but they also have their own rules on forum behavior and player guidelines. Things like accusing specific players of spoofing in a public Niantic forum (or over COMM) are considered harassment by Niantic, and they act appropriately. That's why there's often an issue where a spoofer isn't banned but the person yelling at them over COMM is at least COMM banned. It feels like an uneven punishment, but handing Niantic obvious evidence of what they consider harassment vs spoofing they haven't been able to detect on their own, it's easy to act on one and not the other.

    Turning everything into a personal argument and assuming everyone that disagrees with your point of view is somehow attacking you, does nothing but make less people willing to listen to your position. People don't want to read thousands of threads of people bickering.

    That's why this thread has been created.

  • SSSputnikSSSputnik ✭✭✭✭✭

    Can we close this thread too? ;)

  • I'm all in favor of confining the discussion to one place. It gets harder when you have to repeat the same points in a new thread, because someone didn't like you raising them in the last.

  • SSSputnikSSSputnik ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm unsure what there is to discuss.

    All points made, repeatedly, for years.

  • While I agree, people keep making the same ones in new threads. Thus one thread is the better option. 😁

  • Otrera35Otrera35 ✭✭✭✭

    Does the status of spoofing or the game itself look like the image below? Is that the reason why one is unsure if there is a need for this discussion?

  • SSSputnikSSSputnik ✭✭✭✭✭

    Haha see my big post a cpl pages ago.

    Also agree, some sort of agent real person verification would be good.

  • It's the "somehow" that's an issue. So far things like SMS verification or credit card checks either present no barrier to spoofers, or too high of a barrier to new players. There hasn't been an effective middle ground option found yet.

  • Otrera35Otrera35 ✭✭✭✭

    Real person verification done through real-time stalking done by veteran agents and their minions to the new agents out there. This is another problem that goes with the spoofing and cheating problems. Those were addressed in Ingress Prime reviews...

  • SSSputnikSSSputnik ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2022

    NFT's tied to devices?

    (Though i disagree with NFT power consumption).

  • You're expecting Niantic to successfully roll out NFTs given what the current Shop is?

  • SSSputnikSSSputnik ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just throwing it out there :)

  • In terms of verification the issue is the balance between a low barrier to new players, and a high barrier to spoofers.

    1. New players will be turned away by needing a credit card, or buying a physical authenticator (waiting for delivery etc).
    2. Things like 2FA don't stop extra accounts, they just protect accounts that exist.
    3. SMS verification can be easily overcome with online SMS services and other methods of receiving a number.
    4. Families who play (not just backpackers) will often have multiple children without phone numbers, so limiting 1 number to 1 account prevents young children (over 13, for legal reasons), from being able to join in. Without the kids joining in, the parent's options are more limited.
    5. IP address blocking is relatively pointless, since most spoofing is (or if they're smart is) done via VPNs. The same VPNs that all Chinese Agents and some of those in other countries require to play the game. They tried it at one point and it damaged the game for more legitimate players than it helped spoofers.
    6. Human verification suffers from both the bootstrap effect and issues of infiltration into the trusted sphere. If there's no-one else playing near you, it's super hard to find someone to verify you. If a spoofer is verified, they can then verify a ton of other accounts. And that's not even starting on the malicious or clique effects.

    Simply put the problem is hard. I don't know of a zero-contact solution that's ever been implemented in any environment. Because if it's important, they'll use a hard barrier method like a physical authenticator. And if it's not, then they won't do much.

    Ingress needs new players. That above all is the primary thing that will bring it back. And while new players are also impacted by spoofing, they're less impacted by that than a number of other issues, and the barriers to entry need to be kept low enough to not push them away before they even get hooked.

  • edited February 2022

    The game will end with restricting trading between players. Why? Because active agents handing gear off to more casual agents, so that they always have R8s, or always have enough bursters to help deal with the opposition, is a key part of the teamwork that Ingress has lost a lot of over the years.

    Trading is not the issue, and multi-accounting will just become "Multiple accounts are now attacking" instead of one account and backpacks.

    As I've said a number of times in chats:

    The easiest way to end all cheating is shut down the servers. But not every solution is a good one.

    Also, I'd like to have a Core Level 4 subscription that gives me +2000 slots 😁

  • NoctarionNoctarion ✭✭✭
    edited February 2022

    Of course the teamwork is gone lost, there's more people quitting than new people playing (at least in my area) and that leaves little space to teamwork when there's nobody or few people playing.

    And well, sincerely I think backpacks should be legalized to stop toxic people calling them out in comm, just for the sake of being toxic, while they or their close teammates/friends have dozens of backpacks.

    Right now the only thing stopping people to get one is public shaming and some people don't give a sit about it.

  • SSSputnikSSSputnik ✭✭✭✭✭

    Re childrens accounts. If I were Niantic I would discount this one.

    You have an age window of 13-17 in most countries where they are classified as kids. 5 years.

    Then a smaller subset of those without own phone.

    I'd say, tough luck. Only a single account per phone.

  • Otrera35Otrera35 ✭✭✭✭

    @SSSputnik , not everyone is willing to burn their phone data plans for this game. Like other savvy consumers; players need to be able to find a way to play without breaking the bank. Make the single account per phone restriction and one can imagine a Titanic-like scenario happening to this game. Tough luck with this surviving product of Niantic... Wasn't there a meme about this in Reddit?

  • TheKingEngineTheKingEngine ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2022

    No offense, but we (many players here) do not care about "How Niantic could solve the spoofing issue for good". Not to mention the VPN things. We've been told for endless times that "there is no simple solution", "it's difficult for Niantic to stop spoofing" while we do not care about that because we had those kinds of replies enough. If they can't do it then they should say that they can't do it rather than always telling us that they have done something appropriate but for privacy reasons cannot let us no. And we don't need players that are not formal team members to tell us that "Niantic can't do it".

    Not to mention that there are many in accurate expressions in your theory. For example:

    At least I do not care about that at all. I won't develop this topic further in this thread. This thread is obviously not directly relevant to "verification" because "verification" is merely a corner part of "anti-spoofing" concept. Please refrain from making this thread into general anti-spoofing brainstorming discussion post (telling us "Niantic can't do it because it's too difficult") which we already have a lot.

    What we care about more is when could Niantic assign someone to really handle our spoofing report seriously and is Niantic really trying to solve the problem by starting from reviewing our reports instead of automatic response with no review at all and can we use this thread as a detail-providing channel. Thank you!

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