COPPA stands for Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). It is a law active in the United States of America which keeps kids who are under 13 years of age from posting online without their parent or guardian's permission. To remove a child's COPPA status, the parent or guardian must fax or mail a permission slip to the site so that Chicken Smoothie can legally remove the restrictions. The ultimate goal of these laws is to protect children from those who may mean them harm online, and also token the kids from giving out personal information by accident, not understanding the potential consequences.You can read even further about the COPPA law from the official website.
On Chicken Smoothie, the players who have active COPPA protection are usually referred to as "COPPA players," or even just as "COPPAs" by members with forum rights. The difference between a regular account and a COPPA account may not be immediately obvious, but it can be checked by examining the user's member group. COPPA-protected users are a member of the group "Registered COPPA Users."
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Since mid 2014, COPPA users have been able to make stamp collections, which would be displayed on their profile page. They are unable to upload their own graphics and text, but can choose from a variety of provided images to make a "stamp collection", all of which can be found here. Stamp collections become default signatures for COPPA users, but they can be disabled on the profile page.
COPPA users cannot post in any forum except for on the Oekaki, Dress Up Challenge , and Dress Up Scene boards. However they can read all forums except for the Adults Chat 18+ and the Human Roleplays.
They can view anyone's profile but they are not given the option to send private messages them.
Oekaki and Dressups
COPPA users are allowed to post both drawings and comments in all areas of the oekaki, including the adoptable oekaki forum. They may also submit dressups to any open category in the dressup section, and can reply to other peoples' dressup submissions. They can also post their own scenes, and contribute to the collaborative projects happening in that board, including leaving comments.
These posts are all looked through and approved by moderators to make sure that they do not give out any personal information and aren't spam, before appearing publicly. The posts therefor may take a while to appear, and might pop up behind the posts made by registered users if the thread is busy enough.
COPPA users are still able to trade pets and items, but they cannot write trade rules and custom messages (they can read other peoples'). Pet names also do not appear in the trade, and are deleted upon arriving to the recipient of an accepted trade.
However, COPPAs can choose from a provided set of messages allowing the recipient of the trade to understand what they want from the trade, and if the trade is intended to be a gift or a suggestion. This feature was implemented in 2014.
COPPA users are unable to edit these messages at all - they may only select one they want to use (or choose not to use a message at all).
During 2018, COPPA users received the ability to send pre-made messages for accepting and cancelling trades.
COPPA Trade Messages
Some examples of COPPA trade messages for the curious:
"Hi there, I want you to have this as a free gift from me :) I hope you like it!"
"Hi, I'd really like this from you, but I don't know what to give you in return. Please edit the trade to make it fair :)"
"Will you please accept this trade?"
"Is this okay? Please edit it if you don't like it :)"
"I saw your post saying that you were giving away free stuff, so can I please have this? I can't add codewords or post in the forum, sorry :("
"I think you might be looking for this. If you want this from me, please edit the trade to show me what you'll offer for it :)"
"I saw that you were having an auction! This is my bid for that auction :) I am a COPPA member so unfortunately I can't PM or post in the forums"
Common Misconceptions About COPPA
COPPAs can't/don't ever read trade rules and send bad trades!
While it's true that some COPPAs may not read trade rules because they're not old enough to understand the importance of them, many are old enough and do read the rules and try to follow them.
And again, while some kids aren't old enough to care about rarities and don't understand how demand works, but are focused on the looks of the pet or the species, others are - and if you were to link them to a guide they'd be able to learn from an accidental bad trade.
There's no point in generalizing or putting down an entire user group based on a couple bad trades, because at one point we all sent bad trades, especially when we were new or younger users.
If you get an unfair trade just be gentle and try to cancel nicely rather than making fun of the user or becoming snarky.
All COPPAs are stupid!
COPPAs are kids, and while that may mean they don't completely understand some things, they're not stupid - just younger. Some COPPAs will understand rarities and trade value, others won't at all and might be young enough that they're only interested in how a pet looks, not what it's worth.
That means you've got to be kind and gentle, even though you may get frustrated. We were all kids once, so there's no point in bullying or acting high and mighty.
COPPAs never have anything good to trade.
Some COPPAs value appearance over value - and that's perfectly fine! They're allowed to play however they want, just as Registered Users are. Furthermore, there are some COPPA players who actually do have quite extensive collections. Just as with all users, COPPA players are individuals and they all have their own ways of valuing things and prioritizing their collection.
CS doesn't even have that many COPPA players.
You'd be surprised at how many users are under COPPA protection - it's just hard to realize they're there when they can't post in most areas of the site.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does COPPA affect users outside of the United States?
No. COPPA only affects those under the age of 13 in the United States. If you're under 13 but from another country it won't affect you. This means you may still come across very young children from other countries who are not under COPPA protection, and you should treat them with patience.
If you live outside the United States but have mistakenly been put under COPPA restrictions please contact staff through a help ticket.
What happens when you turn 13?
When you turn 13 your account will automatically become unCOPPA'd, and you will be moved into the "registered users" usergroup instead of the "registered COPPA users," allowing you to now have full posting and profile capabilities as all other users. You will no longer have restrictions on your CS usage.
This is of course assuming you provided the correct birthdate when signing up for Chicken Smoothie. If the date was incorrect you will need to wait until the birthday you provided reaches 13 years of age. We will not change the listed age on COPPA accounts due to the fact children who should be COPPA would claim they entered the date wrong just to get out of their protection earlier.
What if you join CS a day/week/month before turning 13?
No matter how close to turning 13 you are when you join, you're still going to be COPPA'd until it's your birthday, even if it's just a day or several years!
I entered my birthdate wrong - I really am over 13!
Unfortunately we are not able to verify that. We have to treat you as the age you enter upon signing up. If you wish to remove the status before the entered age reaches 13, you will need to send a permission slip.
I'm not COPPA but I can't post/my post won't show up!
When you first join CS, your first forum post must be approved by a moderator to make sure you are a real person and not a robot attempting to spread advertisements or spam in the forum. This can take some time as our staff is often very busy, unfortunately. Until the post is approved, you also won't be able to send private messages/trade messages.
Once that first post is approved, you'll be able to post freely from that point on without posts needing moderator approval. It does not mean you are a COPPA user.
Help! I accidentally became COPPA'd but I don't live in the USA!
If you think you or someone you know was given COPPA protection but lives outside of the US, get in touch with CS staff through a help ticket. Occasionally it can be given to members from other countries by mistake if the forum has trouble working out which country you're logging in from when you sign up. It may also be applied to children if they've visited the US temporarily and logged in while there, even if they're not there any more.
Be sure to explain your problem and why you believe the account has been given COPPA protection accidentally, and the team will get back to you as soon as possible with more advice and information about what happens next.
My account is from 2010 or earlier but I'm still COPPA'd!
Please send a help ticket so the Chicken Smoothie staff can sort out that mistake.
I thought COPPA player couldn't customize their accounts or post - how come this one can?
You may have found a user who had COPPA applied to them after registering, most likely because they entered the wrong birthdate originally. These users have their customizable fields frozen until the COPPA status is removed again.
Removing COPPA Status
You can only access the permission slip if you have a COPPA'd account.
If you want to become unCOPPA'd before your 13th birthday, log into your account and download/print the above permission slip. Once this permission slip is completed and filled out by a parent or guardian, it either needs to be faxed or mailed so that the account in question can have its COPPA status removed. Addressing information can be found on the permission slip. Unfortunately email and other electronic means are not acceptable.
Parents may wish to send in a ticket when not logged into any account, in which case they must provide a working email address and should include the username of the account they are referring to in the description box or in further information.
When a user turns 13 after previously being COPPA, they automatically become a registered user, and are given full privileges. Keep in mind that this only works if you gave the correct birthdate when signing up for your Chicken Smoothie account. If you did not you will have to wait until the date you did enter reaches 13 (or submit a permission slip as mentioned above).
It is also worth noting that if the account hasn't already had a post approved by the time it has been unCOPPA'd, it will have the same posting restrictions as a newly registered user. This means that you will still need to have a post approved by a moderator before you can unlock full rights.