Trainers, we resolved the issue which added a small number of Wayspots to Pokémon GO that violated our inclusion rules. We’ve also addressed an unrelated issue affecting Wayspots syncing to Pokémon GO, which resulted in a net increase of 11,588 Wayspots. https://t.co/dc5wQVdBts
— Niantic Support (@NianticHelp) November 12, 2021
Hello Trainers! At some point on October 29th, a massive Wayspot sync happened that resulted in a lot of new Pokéstops and Gyms. Niantic was radio silent until November 10th when they updated us indicating that the sync was done in error and they would be correcting them.
Fast forward to today, as Niantic has released a tweet indicating that they have completed their review of the Pokéstops, and subsequent gyms, that were created in error. Niantic has also made a blog post in the Wayfarer community forums with a few questions and answers.
So, What happened?
In the blog post, Niantic doesn’t go into too much detail, for obvious reasons. However, they did reveal that the issue was due to “a database error” that they have since corrected. They revealed that approximately 45,000 Wayspots were created due to this database error.
Why does it matter?
Maintaining the integrity of the gameboard is very important to Niantic, and many of the new Wayspots that were created violated their own predetermined rules for inclusion. IE: More than 1 Pokéstop in an S17 cell, or Wayspots that were too close to already existing wayspots, so they had to be removed. You can read all about S2 cells and how they determine what Wayspots become Pokéstops, and how Gyms are created here.
What’s the end result of all this?
Niantic indicates that they didn’t implement any new rules or new criteria, they just set out and enforced their own rules that they had been following since they were first created. They go on to say that as a part of them correcting the issue that created all these extra wayspots, the end result was a net gain of 11,588 Waysposts globally.
My Pokémon was in a gym!!
Don’t worry, Niantic indicates that once they finalize all of their work your Pokémon will be returned to you. If you don’t see it back in a day or so, reach out to Niantic support and they’ll fix you up!
While Niantic wanting to maintain the integrity of their gameboards is not surprising, it likely wouldn’t hurt them to revisit the rules by which they maintain that integrity and loosen the reigns a little bit. It is encouraging to see that they just didn’t blanket remove them all, they actually took the time to review them based on their rules and kept the ones that were actually valid.