Coming Changes to LEGO CUUSOO

LEGO CUUSOO has seen quite a bit of early success since opening up to a public beta just three short months ago. Hundreds of new projects have been started, with many of them being very high quality, creative, and intriguing. Witnessing the enthusiasm for the Minecraft project from Mojang and the Minecraft community, we’ve learned what can happen when you throw the gates open wide and encourage people to freely post whatever they like on a site that’s still very decidedly has “beta” level features.

We really appreciate all of the enthusiasm you have put into projects and comments. However, with the fun projects, comments, and collaborative efforts but we’ve also seen some undesirable behaviour. We believe very little of the undesirable behaviour came with truly malicious intent. To encourage the behaviour we want, we have to be sharper at setting standards, setting examples, and shaping the constraints of the site.

We are now rolling out a series of changes to LEGO CUUSOO, the Terms of Service, and the Guidelines as the first step of a longer-term effort to foster the vibrant and creative community we are looking to build here. The changes you will see are a part of a short-term effort to fill in some of the gaps we’ve uncovered on the site since it opened. The gaps have allowed for frequent plagiarism, negative comments and comment spam. We are also actively working on improvements to the website, design, user experience, and crowdsourcing model that will benefit you in the future, though these major changes will take a bit longer before they are ready.

Today: Removing Users Under 13 Years Old

Though the site rules and Terms of Service clearly state all users must be 13 and older, we discovered a technical glitch on the sign-up forms that did not prevent children under 13 from signing up. The form has been fixed and we are removing these users’ accounts and deleting their personal data to comply with the US Child Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).

We apologize for the error that allowed for this in the first place and the resulting disappointment that this will cause to the users affected. LEGO.com and the LEGO ID system has complied with COPPA for years, however LEGO CUUSOO is a site designed for adults and purposefully developed outside of the LEGO ID system.

If you are under 13, you are welcome to browse the LEGO CUUSOO site, but cannot create a personal account to vote, comment, or create projects.  If you are looking for fun LEGO activities on the Internet, LEGO.com is specifically designed as a fun environment for kids of all ages. Please ask your parents to help you create an account there.

Next Week:

Raising the Project age to 18

From next week Thursday (January 12), you will need to be at least 18 years old to create a Project on LEGO CUUSOO. As we considered the various changes needed to the Terms of Service (TOS), we have determined that users must be at least 18 to enter into a legal agreement with the LEGO Group that allows us to produce their idea as a LEGO product should it reach the 10,000 supporter threshold.

If you are under 18, your projects will remain online and visible until Midnight, January 12 GMT.  You have between now and then to save any images and text you’ve uploaded to LEGO CUUSOO.  After that date, your projects will be unpublished, and you will not be able to re-publish them until you are 18 (according to the birthdate you have provided us).  Once you turn 18, you’ll be able to re-publish your projects—and we hope you choose to do so!

If you are under 18, you’re still welcome to have an account on LEGO CUUSOO and you may keep supporting others’ projects and are welcome to comment on them.

Updating Guidelines and Adding House Rules

We will release the new Guidelines that provide clearer guidance for creating your Projects. Also, we’ll add the new House Rules that were originally posted to the CUUSOO blog to the website, so we can continue to encourage positive behavior on LEGO CUUSOO.

Improving Project Publishing and Reporting

When users publish new projects, they will be asked to check a series of boxes that confirm they have read and agree to certain provisions within the Guidelines. It is our hope that this quick additional step will cut down on the number of projects that violate the guidelines going forward. We’re also improving the reporting mechanisms for projects; You will now be able to specify the type of inappropriate content when reporting Projects, so we can better handle issues as they arise.

Updating the TOS

We are improving the Terms of Service and basing them on an updated LEGO template. In conjunction with the new TOS, we have collaborated with the ReBrick team and are implementing their provisions and web form for submitting a formal take-down request, similar to what YouTube does for copyrighted videos.

Improving Moderation Capabilities

We have discovered opportunities to improve how we moderate on LEGO CUUSOO, to help our users receive a better experience, and improve our moderation response times.  Most of these positive changes should be transparent to you, and you will start to see more consistent and timely moderation on LEGO CUUSOO as we add to our capacity.

In the Weeks and Months to Come

In the medium and long term, we are looking for ways we can encourage users’ wishes for various LEGO ideas they see posted online to be made into LEGO products. We’re also looking into better ways to facilitate collaboration between users so that good builders can team up with good promoters to shape and grow the fan base of individual ideas.

We’re also actively working on a redesign of the LEGO CUUSOO site, based on what we have learned from the current user interface and the way people use the site. While we wish that we could take what we know now and implement it overnight for all of you, design and development takes time, so we’re thankful for your patience.

Finally, we understand that some of these changes will make certain people happy and other people upset. It’s our goal to learn, continuously improve, and make the decisions we believe are right to build a vibrant, creative community that yields many excellent user-created LEGO product ideas. Thank you for your continued interest in participating with us in this great experiment for product co-creation, and we’re looking forward to your input and your ideas!

Thank you,

Tim, Ken, Troels, Paal and the LEGO CUUSOO Team

 

19 thoughts on “Coming Changes to LEGO CUUSOO

  1. I have mixed feelings about all of this. I am really happy to hear about the improved moderation system and the cutting down on spam, but I know the age restrictions are going to hurt a lot of people. I know that this will improve the overall standards of projects on Cuusoo, but some projects, such as the Phineas and Ferb one, have had an amazing amount of effort put into them, and have recieved a considerable amount of votes. I just know those kids will all be heartbroken.Anyway, I hope the new moderation system is well in place, because I forsee a significant backlash from this…But I am looking foward to the later updates- I hope they include a PM system, and extended forums, so that we have places to communicate other than the project comment system.

  2. I have mixed feelings about the 18+ age for making projects, on one hand it makes sense about having to be 18 or older to enter into a legal agreement with Lego, but on the other their are plenty of younger teens who make some pretty awesome projects. But it would also make sure that not as many "not so great" projects get made either… I know when I was younger I hated people having an 18+ rule, knowing that I would have to wait anywhere from about 2-5 years to do what I wanted. Not so much anymore (as I’ll be 18 in 9 months). But I think a lot of teenagers under 18 are going to be discouraged and disappointed, especially if they have been part of this website for a while, or even from the begining. So there are pros and cons to it, it’s going to take some time getting used too, and I’ll have to see if I like it in the long run.

  3. The thing that is bugging me is restricting project age to 18. I think that is a really bad idea and some people will not accept this. I am turning 16 this year and I think I am old enough and I have some great ideas stored within my head as well. I hope you can rethink that… ^_^

  4. I agree with the new rules. I have to ask though how the Cuusoo team plans on enforcing them. I have been running online communities and sites for nearly a decade, and it is next to impossible to verify the age of someone through the internet without requiring a credit card validation. Even then a kid can swipe his parent’s card.My worry is a project is going to hit 10,000 and then everyone who got their hopes up and celebrated the goal finds out the creator was a 13 year old posing as an adult.Good luck with the new rules, I thoroughly back you guys with them.

  5. The more I think about it, the more I like the 18+ rule. In my post above I mentioned pros and cons, and now thinking it over I think the pros out-weigh the cons by a lot.

  6. I understand the no 13 and under clause, but for the no posts under 18 rule, I really think some revision could be done. There could be some sort of contract that requires Parental approval or something along those lines, or the parents could sign the contracts.

  7. As unfortunate the over eighteen rule is, I completely understand Lego’s stance behind this. There is no legal way for them to give these rights to children. I suppose we’ll all just have to wait awhile. Quick question about the site though, if we are under eighteen will we still be able to access the site as normal just without the ability to create projects?

  8. I think it may have been a better idea to get the new moderators in BEFORE you made the big, controversial announcement, judging by the new "No to 18+" project that has just appeared.

  9. I think you should just make the under 18 ideas invisible to anyone but the creator until they are 18, then it would reappear with the supporters they used to have.

  10. I hate these new rules they kicked out two of my friends and now my little cousin is heart broken because he use to make tons of project and they all got deleted because of the new rules.

  11. I’m very happy with these new rules – it will cut back on the plagiarism of AFOL’s MOCs by young children.For those of you complaining, it doesn’t matter if you have the best idea in the world – take note that under-18’s are far too young to be entering into legal contracts, such as CUUSOO project commissions.@Speedy38 – More projects aren’t necessarily better. The new rules are to ensure that only the best projects by mature FOLs are proposed.

  12. Personaly i think childeren under 18 years old realy have no reason to post a project… considering if they finaly DO get to 10k supporters they can’t sign a contract.

  13. Thanks everyone for writing your comments and questions here. We have read through each one of your comments both here and on the LEGO CUUSOO site. We’ll post a response to this blog sometime tomorrow (Central US Time).For those of you who participated in the "No to 18+!" project, we allowed the project to stay online so you could express your opinions, questions, and concerns. We’ll remove the project tomorrow before posting the blog post, because it isn’t an actual LEGO product idea and doesn’t belong on the site long term. After we remove it, please keep your future comments and questions here on the blog. Thanks!Tim

  14. Tim,What is Lego’s plan for a project that reaches 10,000 supporters only to find out the creator is under age?

  15. Users must be 18 or older to be able to enter into the agreement with us per the TOS. Just make sure you’re in compliance with the TOS, and you’ll be OK. Let us worry about the other users. :-)

  16. This is really dumb. If the problem is that you can’t pay kids, why not just have their creations profit go to LEGO instead of them?

  17. I understand that kids can’t sign a contract. I really REALLY understand that.But wouldn’t getting parents to sign it solve a lot of the problems? Or, like the comment above me, just don’t let them have ANY of the money! I don’t want to have to lie, JUST to be able to post a project. It makes me fell nasty!Please reconsider this.

  18. Just realised I can get my parents to make me an acount (I’m thirteen, so that’s okay, right?) so i can STILL make my projects! YAY!

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