Nintendo shut down the 3DS's Swapnote SpotPass messaging service last night at 10pm EDT due to an unspecified number of users using Swapnote via SpotPass to send offensive material.
Nintendo released the following statement on its website:
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
Specific details on what offensive content caused the shutdown. Swapnote was commonly used to send drawings and handwritten messages, but photos and sound bytes could also be sent, so the possibilties are horrifying.
Swapnote can still be used to send messages locally or through StreetPass.