Nintendo has suddenly closed their SwapNote service, and child predators abusing the service may be the reason why.
On October 31st, Nintendo announced they would be shutting down the free messaging app SwapNote for their handheld console, the 3DS. Nintendo has stated that the service had been “actively misused” to send “offensive material” to users, including minors. Nintendo hasn’t been more specific than that, but some disturbing cases have surfaced from Japan, which may explain exactly how badly the service was misused.
Most recently, child pornography charges have been filed against a 44-year old man in Japan after he used SwapNote to solicit nude photos from two girls aged 11 and 12. The man has confessed to the charges. This isn’t the first time the 3DS has been used for such things: Previously, two men aged 36 and 49 were arrested for performing inappropriate acts with a 12-year-old in a hotel room after meeting the girl through her 3DS.
Looks like some people need more than a friendly reminder…
In the earlier case, the men reportedly met the girl through a dating site she accessed through her 3DS, but other reports do mention SwapNote there as well. In both cases, parents had turned off the internet connectivity on the handhelds, but the kids figured out how to turn it back on.