LBP Moderation Remains Inscrutable, Unaccountable

Do not take this as precedent, that Kotaku is going to get involved in every level taken down on LittleBigPlanet. But the demise of Azure Palace seems newsworthy for a few reasons - one, it's well made (a little too fly-and-grab for me, but still a good level); two, there seems to be no apparent reason for it; and three, it's the big stink in any forum now discussing Media Molecule's heavy-handed moderation.


This article was updated to include the following.

Update: I made changes to this story that removed direct references to Media Molecule, as I am not certain who exactly is responsible for the moderation of this game, be they MM or Sony employees. I put that back on Sony, as the publisher, in the above paragraph.

Further update: It is indeed Sony who handles the moderation. My apologies to Media Molecule for the misunderstanding.

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PirateThom3621d ago (Edited 3621d ago )


The Azure Palace is one of the best user created levels yet, it was created during the beta and is still widely played.

JD_Shadow3621d ago (Edited 3621d ago )

This is exactly what I WAS thinking this was: That some idiots on there are flagging things to be d!cks and MM isn't even looking into if the flagging is legit or not (exactly like what YouTube was doing with removing videos because of copyright. They weren't even investigating THERE, and MM caught that modding bug).

They really need to SERIOUSLY addressing this because there are an increasing number of people that are getting pissed off about it and it seems like all the outrage is falling of deaf ears (or ears that just don't give a sh!t).

EDIT: Just saw this was approved by the Mart. While I'm flattered, I don't want people to think that I hate LBP (I do and think that it is a GOTY candidate, so please don't make me guilty by association because some 360 fanboys will approve this because they think this is a way to make LBP burn or something, I'm not on their side by any means and my viewpoint of the Mart as a member of N4G remains the same. Basically, HIS reason for approving it is not the same as MY reason was for submitting it).

Also, remember this IS Kotaku (home of the 360 fanboyish news that may or may not be accurate) and I'm probably going to check this out myself because I hearted this level and will see. However, hopefully this raises awareness to what they should change nonetheless.

But again, I don't want people approving this for the same reason they rated the game down on metacritic.

PirateThom3621d ago

I think you're right.

Media Molecule is a small company and I think their view of moderation is if it's reported, they remove it.

Frankly, they need more moderators or something.

thor3621d ago

You can post a sticker of something "inappropriate", report it with the "Good Grief" tool, and if MM don't check out the level itself, they could see that and then remove the level. The lack of communication is what really annoys me. If he'd been told, and then had some sort of appeal procedure, that would be more fair.

CEO OF N4G3621d ago (Edited 3621d ago )

LBP was hyped up to the limit and since it has come out it is not havin the impact most people tought it will have.Bad online(i think its fixed) sales are not that great(u would expect it to sell alot more even tho it was delayed and thats the truth) and now levels getting deleted......

I just hope sony dose not mess up killzone2 when it comes out,that is the gamE im waitin for.LBP is not my type of game, i dont know why most people tought every one fell for a cute puppet.Well not me!!!....LBP is not getting my £40.KILLZONE2,GOD OF WAR3,UNCHARTED2,RESISTANCE2 AND M.A.G will all get my £40 but not LBP.

ultimolu3621d ago (Edited 3621d ago )

Someone is reporting these levels for the sake of it to ruin the game. Something malicious is going on and MM needs to get to the bottom of this or this game will be destroyed.

I love this game, but if this keeps up I'm gonna give up my copy.

Bodhi3621d ago

Wow, after playing this game at my friends, the best levels in the game are the ones online. Such as this one, if more of these get removed, I see no point of LBP. The entire concept of LBP is to create, share, play. Not create, share, remove.

callahan093621d ago

In my opinion, the grief just needs to correspond to a level of maturity. If there is nudity, language, violence/blood, whatever, in the level, then let the grief ratings reflect this and contribute to a maturity score. Parents can then pre-set what is the maximum maturity-score a level can have in order for their kids to play on it. Just like the PS3 console has levels of appropriateness for all games and the parents can set a password-protected maximum level so kids can't play inappropriate content that the parents don't approve of... they can do the same thing for levels in LittleBigPlanet. That way if I want to create something more mature that reflects my own creativity, it isn't out-right banned, but merely restricted from others.

The only levels they should be deleting are those containing copyrighted materials and those that are made improperly that cannot be beaten or are designed to freeze the game (I've seen such levels). Get rid of those, that's understandable, but all content should be screened when "griefed" not just indescriminately eliminated.

Shadow Flare3621d ago

This is ridiculous. Azure Palace was in my mind among the best levels i've played on lbp. The style, level design and polish it has is amazing. There's NO reason for it to be deleted. As great the game is, media molecule is handling the online really badly. The 'Cool levels' page is full of CRAP that doesn't represent how good LBP can be. It's full of "Get Trophies here!!!" levels and "World's Fastest Sackboy" BS. Yet some of the best levels i have played have a stupidly low hit/heart rating, while stupid crap levels that contain ONE lump of wood with a rocket receive 300,000 hits (and 8000 hearts?!?). It's messed up. I created a much lesser known level called "illumina garden" and i don't find the way the online is being handled very encouraging. I could spend 2 weeks on a level for it to get:

a) Very few hits
b) Moderated / Deleted

It hardly makes me want to create anymore levels and i'm sure other gamers feel the same. Sort it out Mm. Get Azure Palace back up as well. I don't care what anyone else does but im not publishing anything else till this is fixed. I completely understand how much this hacks off Azure's Palace's creator

swissarmyshank3621d ago

Guys remember, Sony mods the levels not MM. I really don't think that MM would take the same stance as Sony when it comes to taking down levels. They created this game with the intent to have great levels created and published for the community. They wouldn't just swing their ban hammer at any level that was reported by someone. Sony, on the other hand, probably doesn't care whether a level gets banned as long as the game keeps selling.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 3621d ago
Dragunov3621d ago

So you prefer to play with macho marines with cheesy talking? Wow, you're so mature and manly

The Matrix3621d ago

To be honest Sony has the right to do whatever they want. We'll just have to deal with it and not make levels that might be offensive/racist/inappropriate until Sony gets a handle on the situation.

skillshot3621d ago

@ The Matrix...

Stupid reply. Dictators in countries have the right to do what they like. It doesn't mean it shouldnt be argued.

Shadow Flare3621d ago

Thats the kind of reply from a person who hasn't spent alot of time creating a lbp level. I can tell you straight off, Azure Palace must have taken around 2/3 weeks+ to make, FULL of a headache of problems to fix. The end sea monster must have taken a good few days to make. Then there was all the artistic styling of the level. Then bug testing to make sure everything works everytime. A level like Azure Palace is ALOT OF WORK. Which is why the creator is so understandably pissed off. And there is nothing that should be of concern for moderation in that level. So thats why your reply sounds so stupid. Because basically, you've no idea the work that goes into these levels. The moderation system as it is is a complete joke. Sony are wrong to moderate this fiercely

The Matrix3621d ago

And you shouldn't have to worry about your creations being destroyed if you're not making offensive levels. It's the idiots making penis's, racist levels and 9-11 replicas that are going to get their levels moderated.

thereapersson3620d ago


This isn't even NEAR OFFENSIVE. This level doesn't even contain any copyrighted material, nor does it borrow from any outside published work. Azure Palace is one of the best user created levels to ever exist, and to have this happen is a gross oversight one someone's part when it comes to dealing with moderation.

Jesus Christ, do you even pay attention to what you are commenting on? At least watch the video, for crying out loud!

Armyless3620d ago

And Matrix's comments are the height of ignorance.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 3620d ago
CEO OF N4G3621d ago


For ur info i dont have a 360 so dont think im a 360 fan boy trying to be funny(read my profile).....

Not all gamers follow hype and forget what they like.From day one i have always said LBP is not the type of game for me even tho it is packed with innovation.Yes the game will be loads of fun to otheres but not me.I am more of a FPS,ACTION ADVENTURE,RACER GAMER...not one who has time to create a level then post it up E.T.C

And yes i will be buying a 360 for christmas to sit along side my ps3.For all of u who think gears2 is chessy talking with macho men are the ones who are immatuer,gears2 is fun and im buying it.I dot care if u ps3 fanboys take my bubble;Im buying a 360 for christmas and u cant stop me.

PS360 FTW....The WII can kiss my a$$

CEO OF N4G3621d ago (Edited 3621d ago )

No one is reporting nothing.For some reason MM is taking down levels.Only GOD knows y!!!!!well all of u who bough LBP should have fun creating levels....

While i play killzone2 beta... :)


JD_Shadow3621d ago (Edited 3621d ago )

Since you never played the game, obviously, let me inform you of what exactly HOW a level gets reported:

1. Someone pressed "Select" during a level which brings up a "Good Grief" menu.
2. They then can give they reason why they think that the level is inappropriate and is given a set of tags to say why.
3. They submit it.

That's it. That's what amounts to "flagging" a level, something you obviously can't grasp (and don't try to say that you were being even remotely joking about your attitude about this. It's not only irritating and untrue, it's not funny in the slightest). MM is obviously the ones that are removing the levels because the users can't do that (only flag them), because if they don't, who is going to? They just don't investigate the levels themselves before they pull that trigger, as you have seen.

Part of me thinks this is something that is REALLY devious on the part of some people that I think it could be that are flagging these things because they KNOW it might ruin things and are taking advantage of how little MM doesn't even investigate the levels themselves (or WHO is flagging them). I won't say who because I'll start a HUGE firestorm if I say what I thought it could be just about 5-10 minutes ago, and if it is, then I'll really be dressed down here...either that or there'll be something HUGE being blown open by me, so I'll wait until I know people will want to hear my conspiracy theorist-type reasoning. That and if it would be even remotely possible that a certain group of people would be able to do something like that, then it would be absolutely disgusting and a new low on SO many levels.

ultimolu3621d ago

That's exactly what I think is going on darkpower and if MM doesn't do something about this, it will ruin the game for others.

cliffbo3621d ago

actually it's Sony that are moderating it. this does need to be sorted out though, i agree. i would give the game a try if i were you... maybe you know someone that has it? seriously, i have friends that saw me playing LBP and laughed at it simply because of the childlike presentation, but after a while ALL of them changed their minds and wanted to play more. give it a go

Raz3620d ago

@ darkpower:

What conspiracy, exactly? Are 360 fanboys going to go out and spend $700+ on PS3s and copies of LBP just to mess it up online in some militant Metacritic-type attack?

..silly. Assuming that's what you mean. If there's any douchebaggery going on, it originates from certain PS3 owners and finishes in the hands of totalitarian Sony moderators.

Speaking of which, I'm going to go to Sony's blog and complain right now. Who's with me? Let's flood the buggers with negative comments and emails until they relent and give us back the Azure Palace and our creative freedom!

Armyless3620d ago

Immature idiots are flagging good levels out of jealousy, and to increase the "chances" that their absolute crap levels get more play.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3620d ago
MaximusPrime3621d ago

LittleBigPlanet is still the best game of the year

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