Recent wave of bans - too many false positives, or legitimate actions by Niantic?
We found 4 ENL accounts in our area banned. All new agents. I don't really know them at all, and obviously they would not be reporting their problems to our community, but we have no significant reports of problems with their play, and are not aware of anyone who from our side who reported them for anything. From some second hand info relayed to me, at least one of the agents is completely unaware of what actions they may have done which violated the four broad categories from the email they received:
- Unofficial software
- Location falsification
- Selling accounts
- Multiple accounts
So are are these ban actions by NIA to be considered reliable? So if the players claim they are innocent, are we to assume they are lying when they claim they don't know why they got the ban? If these players actually want to keep playing and start new accounts that we know about, are we supposed to report them and keep them out of Ingress forever? Or if they are unreliable, should we be accepting these players back into the game?
I know that if it happened on the RES side, we would typically have more insight into their integrity, play and location and meetup activities IRL and we would likely support them if there is no reason to believe their play is suspicious.
I understand for various reasons Niantic does not comment on specific cases, but has there been any official statement from Niantic on this general wave of bans and whether there are potential problems with it?
Why should we suspect Niantic has erred here?
There seem to have been quite a few deletions of inactive agents, I know of several friends who haven't played in a long while that had their accounts terminated. They never did anything questionable, but they also didn't care too much as they had lost interest in playing.
The bans do not appear to be reliable.
That would be inaccurate, i havent played in like 6 months, and my account didnt get deleted, but @Lukidus was playing, and the evening he got banned, so that wouldnt be correct
They stopped to play and keep on sharing keys and others stuffs?
@TGCFabian1 Pretty much yeah. Was helping a visitor of the town set up a farming portal for his stay, and one to two hours later I got the ban mail.
There were a couple players recently banned here (Alberta, Canada), one res and one enl (totally separate people!) who don't seem to deserve getting banned, except that they weren't the most active players. Its frustrating!!
We've recently taken action on accounts that have violated our Terms of Service based on ongoing internal investigations aimed at promoting fair gameplay. An update will be shared next week on the impact of the actions. In the meantime, if you believe your account has been terminated in error and you haven't already, please submit an appeal via the Ingress Help Center.
Thanks for reply but two agent no stock item, no stock vr, casual player no share account, no multi account no spoof no drift , one is alive and one is ban, support respond and confirm ban, is strange.
I view account in farm never play never pop, only up the farm with R8 and this account is alive.
@nuxurien The only account you can 100% vouch for is your own. You don't know how other accounts are being used in private. Speculation on why some accounts are banned and others are not is not constructive as you don't have all the facts.
I was wondering.... wasn't there such a thing as the 3 strikes you're out method? As far as I heard none from the banwave got this warning.
@kenbeimer the 3 strikes system.isnt in use yet.
And even if it was, there are TOS violations that result in an immediate ban regardless of previous warnings
Does this violating include the use of IITC? I know of at least one banned player that i just don't believe cheats.
The upcoming policy changes forum post was meant to inform people that this will be coming in a future version of Prime. It hasn't shipped yet, but it's coming soon and we'll update the forum when it does go live. That said, depending on the specific TOS violation, there are scenarios where we'll take action to try and preserve fair gameplay and the integrity of the game.
Funny they banned my wife and one of my daughter I'm quiet sure that both of them doesnt know how to cheat 😊.
For me is ingress dead as well, I see no sense to spend more time for it and then you get a random ban. We played for about 5 years had a good time but now is time to leave.
I am looking for the "next week announcement". Is it out yet? I wasn't banned myself but 75% of the Guam Resistance was which led to a several other res not playing. There was only one ENL ban and he seems to be confused as well.
@Dirtyjoe619 the announcement was item sellers and more importantly buyers got banned.
Do I think 75% of one faction in your region did buy items - unlikely. But if just one player started it and was ‘generous’ in hand-outs then a small group that shares everything can be nearly wiped out.
it also tends to spread by example. That is likely the reason that in some areas lots of player are affected while I’m still waiting to hear for anyone in my area to be banned.
If your appeal via the official process is denied, if you are well-connected you may be able to get your account reinstated through back channels.
This seems terribly arbitrary and unfair to more casual players, but I have multiple reliable reports that this is the way it works.
Someone I trust says that they mostly don't play any more, but enjoy going to farms, glyphing towards Onyx Translator, and giving gear away. Fun social activity, helping the team, all that.
Well, they did enjoy that.
They think that they got banned for sharing gear with their friends. They think that their pattern looked like a gear seller. Ban appeal denied.
This worries me; I've gone to farms at cap and given away a thousand items. And people I give gear to often go home and share with players in their neighborhood who can't make it to farms. I used to regularly give buckets of gear to a friend who passed it off to a co-worker who distributed it at home.
I'm worried that Niantic's new cheat detection algorithms can catch some of the legitimate common gear sharing patterns. I heard a report of a 5% false positive rate -- that's truly shocking. Even 1% is incredibly disruptive to communities.
People are in shock that long time legitimate players are being banned. Sure, probably some of them aren't as innocent as they claim... But I can't believe that so many honest-acting people are lying about why they are getting banned.
So, a specific tangible question for @NianticBrian : what are you doing to ensure that players feel safe sharing and trading gear? It's a really big part of teamwork and community building that I'd hate to see go away.
" are we supposed to report them and keep them out of Ingress forever? "
I really hope no community is doing such thing.
Only NIA OPS can overturn a ban. Escalating anything to any other employee, including myself, has no bearing or outcome on NIA OPS's decision. Nor does anyone but NIA OPS have access to the information about the account and why it was banned.
The only thing an employee can do is ask NIA OPS to take a second look. This is the same as submitting an appeal. NIA OPS may or may not do anything and is under no obligation to do so simply because someone asked. Particularly if there is no additional information provided. In fact, when people reach out to me I always tell them I can't promise anything and that they should appeal through the traditional process as NIA OPS will usually communicate with and update the player first per our internal policies. Meaning, if an appeal is successful, I'll likely be the last person to know.
So no, there isn't a secret backdoor way to get unbanned. That would be, as you clearly state, unfair to casual players. It would also put a burden on employees that are not NIA OPS to essentially become tier one NIA OPS support. There is a process in place and clear boundaries established for a reason
Two agent in my community is banned for unknown reason, any can help?
Tell them to Submit a Ban Appeal and follow up.