Nintendo axes 3DS feature after finding kids were sending “offensive material”

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swapnote

Nintendo has immediately suspended the ability to send messages to other users online through its Nintendo Letter Box service, or Swapnote in the United States, after finding out that some users were using the service as a 3DS-equivalent of Snapchat. The company says that some users, including minors, were swapping friend codes and “exchanging offensive material”.

“Nintendo has been investigating ways of preventing this and determined it is best to stop this service because it allows direct exchange of photos and was actively misused,” Nintendo said in a statement posted online on its websites.

“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.”

Letter Box/Swapnote is a 3DS feature where users can send each other drawn messages. It was recently updated in April to allow users to send photos and audio messages – and I’m assuming the photos capability led to some inappropriate uses with the 3DS (of course, you could have always drawn it as well).

The service has not been entirely pulled as you can still send messages through the StreetPass feature. The service suspension only applies to sending messages through SpotPass. It does, however, severely limit what you can do on the app because sending messages through StreetPass will only arrive to its destination the next time you meet up and connect.