Nintendo suspends Swapnote due to the exchange of “offensive” photos

Friday, 1st November 2013 03:12 GMT By Ewan Miller

After thanking us for our support, Nintendo has announced that it has suspended the Spotpass feature of its 3DS messaging application Swapnote (Nintendo Letter Box) due to the company discovering that some people have been “exchanging their friend codes on Internet Bulletin Boards” and then using the service to “exchange offensive material”. While the announcement doesn’t specify what the offensive content is, it heavily implies that it’s photographic in nature. This suspension includes all regions and Nintendo doesn’t have an ETA for the service’s return yet.

In the announcement, Nintendo apologised for the “inconvenience to the many consumers who have been using this service responsibly”, but pointed out that the company’s ultimate responsibility is to the “many minors” who also use the application.

Even though I didn’t write many notes using the app, I certainly enjoyed all the cute pictures more creative people would send out. Hopefully Nintendo figures out a way they can relaunch the service soon.

Thanks, Polygon.



  1. Ewan Miller

    Photography is ruining the youth of today. They grow up obsessed with big apertures and deep focus, leaving them unable to relate to most images.

    I for one am glad Nintendo are taking a stand against this terrifying trend.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Telepathic.Geometry

    Oh Nintendo. -_-

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Hyperx64

    Nintendo really needs to group adult and child accounts seperatly, same as Xbox Live. Trying to monitor on a case by case basis just would take too long. Have a general level of security, with flagging options and so on.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. The_Red

    Wow, thank god Nintendo is not the government. I mean, people can exchange offensive words or drawing so they would probably ban talking or painting.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Telepathic.Geometry

    What Nintendo needs to do is look at the travails of their competitors for the last 6 or 7 years, and see how they dealt with HD, online connectivity, accounts and services and so on. At this stage it is just a fucking embarrassment.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. SCAssassin

    I wonder if this is just to phase it out for Miiverse.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. salarta

    Only Nintendo is so obsessed with their “child-friendly” image that they’re willing to shut down a feature people seem to like so they can censor what people say on it.

    This would be an understandable move if the Swapnote problem came from random people sending other random people messages when they’re nearby with no need for any other aspects, but when a person deliberately seeks out a friend code, deliberately adds it and deliberately converses with these people, it’s no longer an issue of sending offensive material to people that don’t want it.

    This is another case of why Nintendo is going to end up like Sega very, very soon. Sony and Microsoft don’t shut down services just because the users might be rude to each other. At most, they get reports from people and maybe ban someone. Sony and Microsoft know how to handle one of the most important aspects of future gaming, the social aspect. Nintendo has no idea.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Telepathic.Geometry

    They really don’t. The depth of their nanny state thinking is disturbing. But look, I guess we just have to accept that Ninty won’t change. They’ve been like this since ages past, and I guess that they won’t change until it’s too late.

    Anyway, sorry for yet another rant from on the topic of Nintendo. I love Ninty games so much that it especially hurts me that they won’t reform their ways, (not just on this issue but on a variety of issues). I WANT to return to the fold. But i just can’t as things are…

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Dragon

    Very accurate description.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. salarta

    @10: They want to keep the culture that built the company to what it is today, which is understandable, but Nintendo neglects that the only reason they ever built that kind of culture was because the video game industry fell into severe disrepair in the United States to the point that the toy industry was the only way to sneak back in. At the time Nintendo entered the video game industry, catering solely to families and kids was the way to make money. The brand image they had back then served their needs and chances of earning a profit back then.

    But it’s not 1984 anymore. Everyone but Nintendo and some really, really obsessed family-minded types know it’s not 1984 anymore. When faced with a choice between a media platform that can offer everything from mature thoughtful content to innocent child-friendly content, and a cheaper toy that’s almost entirely about appealing to children, people are going to spend more for the option that will give the most bang for their buck. Outside of very specific circumstances, the pick will always be the former.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. SCAssassin

    3D Dick pics are ruining the souls of all society.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. zinc

    They just don’t want to see the 3DS linked to any “Pedo’s using Pokemon!” stories in the press.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Fin

    Christ, Nintendo have NFI what they’re doing.

    Proper moderation and grief reporting should take care of this.


    #13 1 year ago
  14. zinc

    ^ By moderation, you mean the monitoring of private messages?

    The issue isn’t unwanted pics, its the private exchange of explicit material.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Fin


    By moderation, I mean someone sends an offensive picture, or whatever, the other user is like “shit, that’s offensive, I’d better report it”. It’s then looked at by the mod team and the sending user punished, if required.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. TheWulf

    I can understand their worry, but it’s a shame. My lady friend and I had a lot of fun exchanging little comics back and forth about the games we were playing. It was a really nice feature. I hope it returns.

    #16 1 year ago

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