People Send Pictures of Dongs on 3DS, Nintendo Stops Swapnote Feature

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Nintendo is suspending its popular Swapnote service completely, as a measure to stop all of the offensive material being passed around amongst users.

Though we haven’t gotten specifics, I can only imagine that images of penises have been sent to minors from gross, crusty pedophiles. Any platform in which pedophiles can anonymously and directly interact with youngsters tends to see this kind of thing, but still, removing the service entirely is kind of a bit much.

There’s a couple of key things to take into consideration here, however. In order to exchange messages between two people via the Swapnote service, one person would have to add the other as a friend. Nintendo acknowledged this a bit when they mentioned the fact that minors were adding strangers as friends via internet message boards.

So, these users were willingly adding complete strangers to their friends list, only to (probably) receive pictures of said stranger’s penis, or maybe worse. The parents of said minor must have been alerted to this, only to freak out and blame it on Nintendo not properly moderating their service, when honestly it should be a parent’s job to monitor their child.

You can view the entire press release below:

Thank you for your support.

Nintendo has learned that some consumers, including minors, have been exchanging their friend codes on Internet bulletin boards and then using Swapnote (known as Nintendo Letter Box in other regions) to exchange offensive material. Nintendo has been investigating ways of preventing this and determined it is best to stop the SpotPass feature of Swapnote because it allows direct exchange of photos and was actively misused.

Nintendo always wants to provide a positive experience for all consumers and limit the risk of any inappropriate activity or misuse of a service. We feel it is important on this occasion to take this action.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience to the many consumers who have been using this service responsibly; however this decision was made considering the point that many minors also use this feature of Swapnote. Thank you for your understanding.

Nintendo will continue to work to ensure more consumers are aware of our Parental Control features, which allow parents to manage their children’s experience on our systems. For more information, please click here.

  • Service stop date: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, 7 p.m. PT
  • Service being stopped: Nintendo 3DS software Swapnote – Sending and receiving notes using SpotPass
  • Affected regions: All regions where the service was offered

Special Notes services are also stopped

So this is pretty lame, as it probably only took a fraction of the userbase to ruin it for everyone else. What do you guys think, was Nintendo’s decision rash, or just?

Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer, Nicchiban, and Pretentious Media. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.