Polygon’s Samit Sarkar reported today that Niantic Labs has started the process of removing Pokémon Go features from certain locations of cultural importance. People have taken offense at the idea of places like memorial sites and serious landmarks becoming part of a playful game ever since the app’s launch. Niantic has just recently started to deal with the backlash.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was the first spot to be cleared of all Pokémon Go content. Park officials asked that the memorial site be removed from Niantic’s app before the 71st anniversary of August 6th, 1945. History buffs will recognize this as the day the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Every year, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park holds a service for the victims that they didn’t want disturbed by people wandering through the park catching Pokémon. The park was no longer the site of any PokéStops or Gyms by Thursday the 4th. However, it wasn’t until six hours before the service that Niantic confirmed the full removal of all Pokémon Go features.
Niantic is now accepting further requests to remove PokéStops or Gyms due to issues of private property or tact. Pokémon have already been removed from the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. Anyone can fill out a request form here. Niantic promises to begin reading these requests soon.