Some Pokémon GO bans are going to be reversed following Niantic’s attempts to punish players who used 3rd party tracking apps.
Via a post to their website, CEO John Hanke said that they are now going to start lifting bans of people who did not realize were doing anything wrong. He says in the post:
Some players may not have realized that some add-on map apps do more than just show you nearby Pokémon. Each end-user app can be used as a collection tool by the app creator, invisibly collecting and forwarding data to the app creator with or without the knowledge of the end user. These apps can have an effect similar to DDoS attacks on our servers. 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. This is a small subset of the accounts banned.
As a result of some changes made to our infrastructure, we are now able to unban this set of accounts. 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. Accounts whose sole purpose was to scrape data are not being unbanned. Accounts which used apps or websites to remotely capture Pokémon, battle or deploy on Gyms, or harvest resources from PokéStops are also not being unbanned. 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.
Pokémon GO at this point is limping, and is almost beyond redemption. At this point, adding features that player’s want like trading and one-on-one battles still might not be enough to engage the player’s who feel like they were massively let down by Niantic. Many players who spent money on the game just to see numerous features they love be taken down have expressed distaste, and the game’s popularity has dropped significantly.