Since its launch earlier this month, Pokémon GO has encouraged players to go out and explore real-world landmarks marked by PokéStops. However, some of these stops are located in places that many have deemed inappropriate, like cemeteries, and others are located at local businesses who may or may not want to be included in the game. According to The Pokémon Company’s consumer marketing director J.C. Smith, Niantic is working to update PokéStop locations to respect the wishes of real-world entities.
“When something is really popular, we have to figure out the most respectful way to deal with it and make sure that everyone is playing safely and doing things in a respectful manner. It’s only been two weeks since it launched, and there’s been so much attention and so many people playing that it’s tough to think of all the ways it could affect the world.
“For us, we’re making sure the play experience is done right. Initially, there was some server overload, which we’ve worked on. Now, we’re looking at features in the game and how to fine-tune them so that it’s appealing to the fans but also respectful of the private institutions that are affected by it.” — J.C. Smith
Multiple sources are already reporting that Niantic has indeed removed some PokéStops from the game; U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum spokesman Andrew Hollinger has stated that the museum has been removed from the game per its wishes, and users on Reddit are also reporting that PokéStops have been removed from some of their local cemeteries. I can also personally report that a few PokéStops located on a busy highway at entrances to a local shopping mall have been removed from the game, likely due to safety concerns.
Source: Los Angeles Times