Niantic has adopted a strict policy of late when it comes to imposing permanent bans on Pokémon Go players that it believes have infringed its terms and conditions. However, according to The Verge, it appears that Niantic may be softening its hard-line stance somewhat for a specific group of players.
Writing in a blog post today, Niantic CEO John Hanke said that some permanent bans had been issued by his team to players that were using tools that broke Niantic’s terms of service. This included third-party mapping tools such as PokéVision, which was a tool that showed the location of Pokémon. Niantic started shutting down those tools at the beginning of August, and then permanently banning users of said tools two weeks after that.
However, Hanke says that it may have been hasty in banning users of certain mapping tools that initially appeared to be DDoS attacks, but were in fact much more benign. “Because of this we have had to ban some accounts associated with using these add-on map tools, leading to confusion by some users about why they were banned,” said Hanke. “This is a small subset of the accounts banned.”
Having realised its mistake, Niantic is now looking again at the accounts it wrongly banned and reinstating those that did not deserve to be banned. “Add-on maps which scrape data from our servers still violate our terms of service and use of them may still result in an account ban going forward,” said Hanke. “Our main priority is to provide a fair, fun, and legitimate experience for all players, so aggressive banning will continue to occur for players who engage in these kinds of activities.”
Source: Niantic is reversing bans for some Pokémon Go users