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Here's why Nintendo halted Swapnote services

We knew that there were some lewd acts involved with Swapnote, but Nintendo wasn't letting on what exactly caused them to shut down the service. Now we have details from Japanese publications.

- two men have been arrested
- they were alledgedly performing "improper acts" in hotel rooms with a 12 year-old girl
- this happened multiple times
- the men are aged 49 and 36
- this was facilitated through the 3DS
- child pornography charges have also been filed against another man, 44
- he allegedly had an 11 and 12 year old girls send him nude pictures through Swapnote
- other men have been charged with statutory rape and indecency through compulsion

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52 total comments (View all)
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 10:02

So pretty much what I belive most of us suspected. Pretty par for the course on the internet if you ask me. This could've very well happen on these people's home computers, Vitas, tablets and wherever they can swap information using the internet.

If Nintendo wants to be the only squeaky clean company out there that's fine, but they should've thought before hand that something like this could have happen, and I bet that they did, before offering the service and save themselves and everyone involved the trouble.
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 10:06

Madman Ideas wrote:Blaming the parents here I feel is a little harsh. 11 and 12 Year old children shouldn't need constant supervision.

It's quite difficult for some parents as well. Lots of kids will know more about computers and the internet than many adults. The internet is after all still a fairly recent thing. Unless the parents are fairly young themselves they haven't grown up with the internet. So will be less educated on it's uses and dangers.

I'm 25 and I didn't have the internet in my house growing up. I had Dial-up when I was 12 I think. My parents have never felt the need to put any blocks up or anything with my younger siblings. Far as I know they've stayed out of trouble. It's a matter of keeping kids educated on certain dangers. That is parental responsibility yes but also the responsibility of schools and to a certain extent companies who produce online services.



I have an 11 year old son. I have put parental controls in his computer. I have taught him right from wrong. I check to see what he is doing, but I had no idea he was still using Swapnote unitil I told him about the shut down of the service in this case thankfully, he was sending notes to a friend (and nothing improper).

It would be nice if they brought Swapnote back without full photo sharing. But I imagine that Miiverse will take its place.
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 10:23

ridleysaria wrote:It's entirely possible that there is nothing Nintendo could have done to prevent this. No matter what, no matter how well a piece of technology is designed, there will be someone who abuses it. However, Nintendo is very much to blame for this because they didn't care enough about online to create a community and police its activities. Instead of taking the time to design a common sense online system, they threw together a Mickey Mouse solution and washed their hands of any responsibility. By forcing users to exchange friend codes they abandoned their responsibility. Nintendo could have been controlling the matchmaking, friends lists and messaging services but they took the quick and most rudimentary solution possible. Friend codes were designed so that child predators could not meet their victims on a Nintendo device, however they did nothing to prevent a Nintendo device from being used as a tool once contact had been established.

Nintendo screwed up big time. Thankfully Miiverse seems to show that Nintendo is being much more responsible as of 2013. However, the 3DS is only a few years old.... I can't believe it took them this long. Who knows how many children were needlessly abused because Nintendo didn't take responsibility for their online services.


I see a lot of blame being thrown around in your post, none of which is directed at the sickos. Instead it's Nintendo's fault for not creating a system they can monitor endlessly. You are right though, even having a "competent" online communication system in place probably couldn't have prevented this, especially if the company just didn't give a shovel: http://kotaku.com/microsofts-slow-response-to-xbox-harassment-leaves-one-1139807887/1149006412
No Avatar
06 Nov 2013 11:14

I....I got nothing. There's really no arguing against this, so I'm just going to nod my head.
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 11:27

No arguing here. Glad they just stopped swapnote for now.
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 11:44

Glad they've been arrested.

Really when something like this happens can you blame Nintendo for temporarily shutting down the service? Trust me when I say it's better for the shutdown to happen for now, because otherwise Nintendo would probably be all over news channels like CNN and Fox News with people going "why doesn't Nintendo do something right now?" Damaged reputations with the average public are usually worse than damaged reputations with loyalist fans. Look at BP, the oil spill was years ago and they're still feeling the hurt from it (a quick Google search brought up a news story from just last month on the subject). During this temporary shutdown I'm sure Nintendo's trying to implement a better solution that will at least try and prevent this in the future. (when is Miiverse coming to 3DS again? I swear that was supposed to be an update this year)

So yeah... glad these men got arrested, I can understand now why the shutdown happened, and hopefully when the shutdown ends things like Swapnote will have better monitoring in order to prevent this crap from happening again.
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 11:47

This is disgusting and horrible and I need a shower, but I still don't think it was a good decision to terminate Swapnote entirely At worst they should have just gotten rid of the photo sharing.

Sisibakbak wrote:I can't imagine letting my kid run amok on the internet knowing full well of the kind of people that lurk out there.

Image
No Avatar
06 Nov 2013 11:47

ridleysaria wrote:It's entirely possible that there is nothing Nintendo could have done to prevent this. No matter what, no matter how well a piece of technology is designed, there will be someone who abuses it. However, Nintendo is very much to blame for this because they didn't care enough about online to create a community and police its activities. Instead of taking the time to design a common sense online system, they threw together a Mickey Mouse solution and washed their hands of any responsibility. By forcing users to exchange friend codes they abandoned their responsibility. Nintendo could have been controlling the matchmaking, friends lists and messaging services but they took the quick and most rudimentary solution possible. Friend codes were designed so that child predators could not meet their victims on a Nintendo device, however they did nothing to prevent a Nintendo device from being used as a tool once contact had been established.

Nintendo screwed up big time. Thankfully Miiverse seems to show that Nintendo is being much more responsible as of 2013. However, the 3DS is only a few years old.... I can't believe it took them this long. Who knows how many children were needlessly abused because Nintendo didn't take responsibility for their online services.

This is absurd. Nintendo isn't to blame for the fact there are some sick individuals out there who abused a service Ninty offered in conjunction with their criminal acts. That's just the bottom line.

I know you're one of the resident negative ninnies here, constantly bashing Nintendo for this and that, but what you said here was completely out of bounds. They're no more to blame for the abuse of children here than Dell would be when a pedo uses one of their computers to target kids.
No Avatar
06 Nov 2013 11:51

NeroSuferoth wrote:
If Nintendo wants to be the only squeaky clean company out there that's fine, but they should've thought before hand that something like this could have happen, and I bet that they did, before offering the service and save themselves and everyone involved the trouble.


So, because the possibility exists that some sickos could abuse the service, they shouldn't have offered it in the first place? Where exactly do you draw the line, because all sorts of technology out there would fall under that umbrella.
No Avatar
06 Nov 2013 12:10

that's horrible. Criminals should be severely punished.

clearly they should close everything down. It's not a matter of being responsible, the criminals are the ones who made the criminal acts, there's no way around it. It's just not worth it . I hope the victims will receive long time help .
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 12:15

@changer1701

That was exactly my point in the first paragraph of my comment.

This type of stuff likely happens on a daily basis on other devices and services yet you don't see the internet being shut down. So, they shouldn't have offered the service in the first place if they knew this was bound happen and they wanted to maintain their family friendly image, or they shouldn't have taken down the service entirely and just find a way to cover them up or keep them to a minimum.
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 12:15

I think just disabling Photoshare outside of game shots would have sufficed.

Then again I think some overzealous justice people would have flipped shovel and demonised them to all hell if they didn't 100% censor and if Nintendo doesn't have good PR with parents then they're fucked
No Avatar
06 Nov 2013 12:28

mock turtle wrote:
Sisibakbak wrote:I can't imagine letting my kid run amok on the internet knowing full well of the kind of people that lurk out there.

Image


:lol: :lol: :lol:
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 12:44

I think Nintendo shut down the service because people would blame them. I imagine this same stuff happens via Skype, email, etc. where people exchange private info online. But those services aren't shut down because people aren't likely to blame the service providers.

If I neglect to use parental controls on my kid's tablet and he downloads thousands of dollars worth of apps, I think most people would point the finger at me.

Regardless, these are awful criminal acts and I feel bad for those directly harmed by them.
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 12:54

HOLY shovel!
And people said they were over-reacting.

Jesus.
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 12:59

MetroidMan5000 wrote:HOLY shovel!
And people said they were over-reacting.

Jesus.


It's just normal to assume that Nintendo is the one at fault nowdays. ^^
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 13:00

Looks like some of the resident "vocal loyalists" are using this article as a soap box to vent their little frustration and anger at Nintento... like they always do.

Anyway, Wow....this is one the reason why we can't have nice things. There's always...ALWAYS some losers that ruin things for everyone. Which is a total shame. Hope Ninty fix this problem soon.
No Avatar
06 Nov 2013 13:43

For those blaming the parents, stop. Just stop. Loving parents do what they can to protect their kids, but it is unreasonable to know exactly what's going on in your kids' life 24/7. Weren't you all kids once? Didn't you attempt to outsmart your parents?

Though I don't blame Nintendo that this happened, I do think there is a technical solution. Event based monitoring. So the parent just has to put in their email address or mobile number and then when certain events occur such as attempting to add a friend, changing parental controls, etc... an email or SMS is sent out to alert the parent. It is much harder to defeat such a system.

This just goes back to Nintendo needing a tiered based account system. A parent account with sub accounts. It would allow something like this to work well and automatically when new consoles come out and allow parents to be able to buy a game once and distribute on multiple consoles rather than buy the same game four times (I'm looking at you Animal Crossing and Pokémon!).
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 13:54

These men are terrible for doing such things, but these girls should have been taught better as well... I don't understand how it goes from talking on swapnote to getting these girls alone at some place. Surely, the parents must gave known if they were alone with some really old guys? If not, obviously they need to keep a better watch of their children and teach them right from right again.

Banning the whole service because of this is a bit extreme though. Things like this happen all the time over all types of communication services. It is inevitable, which is very sad. :(
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 14:39

Ok listen up!!!

For everyone who thinks they know best what Nintendo should do, for all here who have a negative response towards nintendo, listen up!

First,
This is now a federal case and as a federal case everything must shut down, this could be a traffic ring involved there could be all kinds of problems an evidence that the common blogs in here don't know of, this could be world wide big!
so if swapnote needs to be shutdown to save innocent lives then that is the RIGHT an appropriate thing to do!

Now how muxh are you paying to use swapnote????
Oh that's right it's a free service!

NINTENDO made a free service for us all us gamers, without fees without ads, without micro transactions that was updated improved all so FREE of charge

swapnote was not just some side service slapped together it was a live app that was used by game develpers for gamers to express themselves to Nintendo gamers.
it was a game in its self like the street pass game are!
All of this was free from Nintendo.

So those of here who are complaining are complaining about a service that Nintendo created freely without ads or microtrans actions for the Nintendo users!

Many here should be ashamed of posting their selfish reasons instead of thinking of the poor damage that the victims are going through!

So let me end my rant by saying this!

Thankyou Nintendo for the time we had with swapnote,
Thank you for creating a free service dedicated to us 3ds gamers.

Thankyou for not charging us or using are devices as a ad machine to use this service.
Thank-you Nintendo for updating an improving the service for free with new ways a using swapnote much like how game characters in animal crossing communicate with each other,
Thank you for treating us gamers with free services, discounts, an options!

Thank-you Nintendo for what you have done for all of us through out the years with free gifts services and apps I hope you will continue to offer us more free services free GAMES an apps in the future, for this is one of the reasons why us appreciated gamers here like myself stay with Nintendo as a supporting fan because you are really and possibly the only game company left who think of gamers first without charging us later.

Thank you.
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 16:05

Rsmith7 wrote:Looks like some of the resident "vocal loyalists" are using this article as a soap box to vent their little frustration and anger at Nintento... like they always do.


Yeah, it's pathetic. Without looking at the issue from all sides, it's sad that they react 'only' on hating.

3dimension wrote:Ok listen up!!!

For everyone who thinks they know best what Nintendo should do, for all here who have a negative response towards nintendo, listen up!

First,
This is now a federal case and as a federal case everything must shut down, this could be a traffic ring involved there could be all kinds of problems an evidence that the common blogs in here don't know of, this could be world wide big!
so if swapnote needs to be shutdown to save innocent lives then that is the RIGHT an appropriate thing to do!

Now how muxh are you paying to use swapnote????
Oh that's right it's a free service!

NINTENDO made a free service for us all us gamers, without fees without ads, without micro transactions that was updated improved all so FREE of charge

swapnote was not just some side service slapped together it was a live app that was used by game develpers for gamers to express themselves to Nintendo gamers.
it was a game in its self like the street pass game are!
All of this was free from Nintendo.

So those of here who are complaining are complaining about a service that Nintendo created freely without ads or microtrans actions for the Nintendo users!

Many here should be ashamed of posting their selfish reasons instead of thinking of the poor damage that the victims are going through!

So let me end my rant by saying this!

Thankyou Nintendo for the time we had with swapnote,
Thank you for creating a free service dedicated to us 3ds gamers.

Thankyou for not charging us or using are devices as a ad machine to use this service.
Thank-you Nintendo for updating an improving the service for free with new ways a using swapnote much like how game characters in animal crossing communicate with each other,
Thank you for treating us gamers with free services, discounts, an options!

Thank-you Nintendo for what you have done for all of us through out the years with free gifts services and apps I hope you will continue to offer us more free services free GAMES an apps in the future, for this is one of the reasons why us appreciated gamers here like myself stay with Nintendo as a supporting fan because you are really and possibly the only game company left who think of gamers first without charging us later.

Thank you.


Well put.
No Avatar
06 Nov 2013 21:35

This is all because of these pedophiles ruining everything
User avatar
06 Nov 2013 23:30

Really wish we would could just hand these kind of people the death penalty so they can't repeat offend.
User avatar
07 Nov 2013 06:42

I can't believe this! Why does Nintendo have to shut things down all the time?! First it was the Wii channels and now Swapnote! Stop taking away good stuff Nintendo. You need to figure out how to PREVENT someone from abusing your service not completely shut it down! It isn't fair to the people like me who use the service as it's intended. This **** happens with Sony & M$ and you never see THEM completely shutting down the PS Store and XBOX Live, respectivally. Nintendo needs to realize this ain't the 90's no more and we live in the information age so they need to figure out how to prevent this so they don't have to take away good things!
User avatar
08 Nov 2013 07:54

mikurotoro wrote:I can't believe this! Why does Nintendo have to shut things down all the time?! First it was the Wii channels and now Swapnote! Stop taking away good stuff Nintendo. You need to figure out how to PREVENT someone from abusing your service not completely shut it down! It isn't fair to the people like me who use the service as it's intended. This **** happens with Sony & M$ and you never see THEM completely shutting down the PS Store and XBOX Live, respectivally. Nintendo needs to realize this ain't the 90's no more and we live in the information age so they need to figure out how to prevent this so they don't have to take away good things!

The shutdown is only temporary UNTIL they do find how to prevent abuse...

mock turtle wrote:This is disgusting and horrible and I need a shower, but I still don't think it was a good decision to terminate Swapnote entirely At worst they should have just gotten rid of the photo sharing.

Sisibakbak wrote:I can't imagine letting my kid run amok on the internet knowing full well of the kind of people that lurk out there.

Image

OMG that brings me back! xD

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