Some players have found their uploaded LittleBigPlanet levels are being vaporized without warning. What gives?
Much of the fun and mirth in LittleBigPlanet comes from creating your own elaborately designed - playful or demented - levels and uploading them for other players to send their their Sackboys charging through. The LittleBigPlanet user community is in an uproar over uploaded level creations unexpectedly receiving the hatchet from Sony.
Most of the levels being affected appear to contain content deemed by Sony to be inappropriate for all-ages audiences, or that infringe on copyrighted intellectual property. Using copyrighted logos, music, and other elements in level creation seems to be the quickest way to get them sent to the garbage bin. Regardless, players who spend many hours concocting such creations for others to enjoy aren't taking too kindly to having them canned unexpectedly.
"My level was moderated (read; deleted) and now I can't re-publish," one user posted in a thread on the LittleBigWorkshop forum. "There was absolutely nothing offensive whatsoever in the level at all and I was given no explanation as to why they moderated it or why they won't even let me republish, even after making changes." The poster went on to say, "this totally kills the enjoyment I was getting out of this game."
Many others on the forum have responded in similar fashion, directing their wrath at Sony for cutting their creations without prior notice or and explanation and for being a general killjoy. Much of the criticism has been over the lack of clearly defined criteria for what will cause a level to be deleted and what is deemed acceptable. In a separate thread, Sam Bennett, senior community development manager for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, said the company is in the process of making those definitions clearer.
"We have been looking into the current issues surrounding the moderation of LittleBigPlanet levels, as it is clear that we're not currently going far enough to inform users who have had a creation moderated why the action was necessary," said Bennett. "We are moving towards a system whereby rather than receiving a generic message any affected user will also receive an indication of what was found to be infringing on the EULA. We're additionally looking to provide clear, plain language directions on what is and is not acceptable to be published through the game."
Until the changes are put in place, Bennett recommends players steer clear of publishing levels with content that infringes on existing copyrights. They should also ensure the creations published are appropriate for all ages.