Pokémon

Pokemon GO Trainers Are Allegedly Receiving Unjust Bans

Several Pokemon GO trainers are protesting bans which have allegedly been handed down without proper reason.
Several Pokemon GO trainers are protesting bans which have allegedly been handed down without proper reason. / Niantic Labs

Several Pokemon GO trainers are protesting bans which have allegedly been handed down without proper reason.

In the midst of ongoing gameplay issues with Niantic Labs' augmented reality (AR) title, Pokemon GO, its player base seems to be suffering a wave of unjustified bans. The recent tweets published on the game's support page are peppered with such responses from worried parties. Trainers have come forward asking for clarification on the status of their accounts following a consecutive series of bans that put them at risk of permanent suspension.

Pokemon GO Trainers Are Allegedly Receiving Unjust Bans

While some have openly admitted to violating the rules in the past, the majority are claiming innocence.

"Can you please fix this bug now @PokemonGOApp @NianticHelp ? So many trainers are affected. I am afraid to get a 4th ban now." wrote user @BusseClaudia, "When will you finally listen that this is a glitch in your anti cheat system????"

User @Sossio15 wrote, "I got 3 shadow-ban of 7 days in a row.. But it I can assure it is a bug because I stopped to use third party app right after my 1st ban."

Unfortunately, it appears their plea went unanswered, as they followed up 3 days later stating they received their fourth ban in a row. They noted that the service seems to almost exclusively use automated messages—a frustration echoed by others.

"My 12 year old's account is banned. He doesn’t cheat...he’s 12...Reported it to no avail. They don’t care," wrote user @tmsmith131.

Not only is this harmful to players, it also goes against Niantic's own anti-cheat policy. The developer employs a "three-strike" standard. The first strike takes away their access to rare spawns, the second suspends them for 30 days, and the third permanently deletes their account. Obviously, this string of seven-day suspensions is far from normal.

Niantic has yet to issue a statement acknowledging the issue or offering a fix. Their standard response is to explain they aren't at liberty to review ban appeals over social media and that another team reviews them inside the app.