"Offensive Material" Gets Nintendo's 3DS SwapNote SpotPass Shut Down

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"Offensive Material" Gets Nintendo's 3DS SwapNote SpotPass Shut Down

Don't expect to get SwapNote's internet functionality back; Nintendo thinks this is the best way of dealing with the problem.

If you're a 3DS owner and you've become used to SwapNote, the service that lets you pass notes and pictures to other 3DS users, bid its online functionality a fond farewell. It's gone, and it won't be back. People have been using it to exchange offensive material - including photographs - something that Nintendo really doesn't want, particularly given that many of its users are minors. "Nintendo has been investigating ways of preventing this," says a Nintendo spokesman, "and determined it is best to stop the SpotPass feature of SwapNote because it allows direct exchange of photos and was actively misused."

The service stops as of October 31, 2013, at 7 p.m. PT. SwapNote is a free Nintendo-created app that's been going since 2011, intended to let users create 3D images and send them to friends. "You can snap a photo with the Nintendo 3DS Camera application and place it into your note," says SwapNote's information page. "If you took the photo in 3D, it will show up in 3D on the recipient's system too." You could also record up to five seconds of audio and add it to your note, a system feature that Nintendo might be regretting right about now.

SwapNote got its start when Nintendo asked its team to come up with something new for its downloadable software shop. "The idea for a picture diary came up," says Daji Imai, Director of the SwapNote team, in an Iwata Asks segment. "It would be perfect for downloadable software, so I raised my hand and said I'd do it. And that's how this project began." It began as a kind of mini-diary, handwritten, the better to express the sender's feelings since typeface was thought to be impersonal. The idea came from Imai's sister's experience with her baby; Imai wanted a kind of maternity record book, something that people like his sister could use to keep track of her child's development.

"I hope the users will put it to unimagined uses," said Satoshi Takenouchi, programmer not only of SwapNote but also its SpotPass functionality. "That was a goal from the start." A sentiment that was echoed by other members of the team, but it's unlikely they ever anticipated anything like this. There's no indication that SwapNote's SpotPass functionality is ever coming back; Nintendo's already had its fingers burnt, and doesn't seem keen for another go.

Source: Nintendo

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Was it senor coqonface?

Oh Yahtzee, you scoundrel!

It's funny how Nintendo didn't anticipate this happening though.

"Nintendo has been investigating ways of preventing this," says a Nintendo spokesman, "and determined it is best to stop the SpotPass feature of SwapNote because it allows direct exchange of photos and was actively misused."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't email also allow "direct exchange of photos"? And email is used by minors, correct?

I don't see how this is any different, Nintendo.

IceForce:

"Nintendo has been investigating ways of preventing this," says a Nintendo spokesman, "and determined it is best to stop the SpotPass feature of SwapNote because it allows direct exchange of photos and was actively misused."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't email also allow "direct exchange of photos"? And email is used by minors, correct?

I don't see how this is any different, Nintendo.

Wat?

Email requires knowledge of the recipients email address, spotpass is just random people, that's kind of VERY different.

it's unlikely they ever anticipated anything like this.

Those poor, naive souls.

Removing the internet functionality altogether is a blunt instrument, but probably the only option they had. I'm assuming there was already a "report abuse" feature, but by the time you've seen a picture of a stranger's business, with accompanying audio, the damage is already done. Short of pre-screening every single message, I don't see that Nintendo had any other way round this.

They drew dicks didn't they?
*sigh* Of course they did.
Stay classy, world.

People? Abusing anonymity?

No way, that would never happen.

image
It's kind of funny and sad Nintendo didn't see this coming.

Nosirrah:
They drew dicks didn't they?
*sigh* Of course they did.
Stay classy, world.

Hey, that was an entire game!

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/show-about-games-show/2922-Soccer-Kicks-Drawing-well

OT: Well, I don't believe they never expected people to do this but maybe it was how often it was happening that was the issue.

IceForce:

"Nintendo has been investigating ways of preventing this," says a Nintendo spokesman, "and determined it is best to stop the SpotPass feature of SwapNote because it allows direct exchange of photos and was actively misused."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't email also allow "direct exchange of photos"? And email is used by minors, correct?

I don't see how this is any different, Nintendo.

The difference is that you need to know someone's email address before you can send them any sort of material. Appropriate or otherwise.

Unless when you come back from work/class and you find 10 emails from random people you don't know, but you did pass by on your daily commune, this is quite different from email.

Ladies and gentlemen: the internet. Boundless freedom of expression and instant communication used to draw or otherwise display dicks.

Captcha: Class Exclusive. It is indeed, captcha.

I find it odd that Nintendo didn't anticipate this happening. After all...

Phrozenflame500:
image
It's kind of funny and sad Nintendo didn't see this coming.

This really comes as no surprise to me.

Although shutting down the service altogether does seem a bit drastic.

I'm pretty sure that they anticipated people doing inappropriate stuff with the Swapnotes feature (given that they ask you politely NOT to do it when you boot it up)

However it must've been really bad (and horribly disgusting) and done in such high frequencies that Nintendo had to stop that particular feature all together.

Clearly this is beyond your standard scribble dick nonsense.

Some class A sick fucks must've really raised the bar in terms of disgusting and pornographic materials. Especially when your allowed to use photographs.

Can't you basically do the same things with a standard mobile phone?

Terramax:
Can't you basically do the same things with a standard mobile phone?

Yeah sure. If your phone is able to send messages to other phone users without any sort of information about them like their phone numbers.

Nosirrah:
They drew dicks didn't they?
*sigh* Of course they did.
Stay classy, world.

I suspect people were actually sending photos of their dicks. Probably in 3D.

canadamus_prime:
I find it odd that Nintendo didn't anticipate this happening. After all...

Phrozenflame500:
image
It's kind of funny and sad Nintendo didn't see this coming.

This really comes as no surprise to me.

Although shutting down the service altogether does seem a bit drastic.

Since it was a free app, they may have simply decided that it would cost too much to adequately fix the problem.

MetalMagpie:

canadamus_prime:
I find it odd that Nintendo didn't anticipate this happening. After all...

Phrozenflame500:
image
It's kind of funny and sad Nintendo didn't see this coming.

This really comes as no surprise to me.

Although shutting down the service altogether does seem a bit drastic.

Since it was a free app, they may have simply decided that it would cost too much to adequately fix the problem.

Fair enough, but it still seems rather harsh to punish everyone for the actions of a few douchbags.

My girlfriend is going to be pissed. She sends swapnotes to her friends all the time. Seems like a pretty silly overreaction to me.

I honestly hope there is a lawsuit over this, as it strikes me as a blow against freedom of information. In general if people are concerned about the potential abuses they should choose not to use the technology and set it up to get stuff sent from total strangers, we should not see it ruined for everyone because of potential abuses.

I say that I'm hoping for a law suit because this kind of thing was a key feature of the 3DS. It seems very similar to when Sony decided to remove the multiple OS features from the Playstation 3 due to "potential abuses". Some kind of massive hacktivist strike would be nice too, but honestly I'd prefer legal action forcing them to change as it's liable to have a more lasting impact and sent a better message about freedom of information and the removal of functionality from devices that have already been sold.

Therumancer:
I honestly hope there is a lawsuit over this, as it strikes me as a blow against freedom of information. In general if people are concerned about the potential abuses they should choose not to use the technology and set it up to get stuff sent from total strangers, we should not see it ruined for everyone because of potential abuses.

I say that I'm hoping for a law suit because this kind of thing was a key feature of the 3DS. It seems very similar to when Sony decided to remove the multiple OS features from the Playstation 3 due to "potential abuses". Some kind of massive hacktivist strike would be nice too, but honestly I'd prefer legal action forcing them to change as it's liable to have a more lasting impact and sent a better message about freedom of information and the removal of functionality from devices that have already been sold.

That is not worthy of a lawsuit.

I'm sorry, but if people are going to abuse the system THAT MUCH to the point where Nintendo has to shut down the entire feature, then that is the fault of the consumers. Not the company.

For instance, I've gotten plenty of vulgar words from streetpass Miis. However Nintendo isn't stopping that feature.

Honestly their biggest mistake was allowing photographs. It's one thing to draw a shitty dick. It's a whole nother ball game to take a picture of your dick (and for extra laughs make it in 3D) and send that off to unsuspecting swapnote users.

At that point it becomes full blown pornography in a very real sense, that can get Nintendo in a lot more hot water than some user angry over the loss of one of swapnotes features.

On that note, no, nobody buys a 3DS because of swapnotes. They got it for it's games.

IceForce:

I don't see how this is any different, Nintendo.

If Nintendo didn't utterly baby its users, they wouldn't be Nintendo.

Nosirrah:
They drew dicks didn't they?
*sigh* Of course they did.
Stay classy, world.

Once again... this is why we can't have nice things.

Dragonbums:

Terramax:
Can't you basically do the same things with a standard mobile phone?

Yeah sure. If your phone is able to send messages to other phone users without any sort of information about them like their phone numbers.

But don't you have an ID on the 3DS also? And is there any kind of system to accept or deny from people? I mean, on the PS Vita, you have friend requests, which you need before sending messages to people.

Wait, Nintendo say they didn't anticipate it being used like that?

image

They had the ability to add photos and voice, what did they think some people were going to use it for?

when developing a product rule one should be to ask " how can people possibly abuse this and make us look bad"

I can see how difficult of a position Nintendo was put in on this matter, but on the other hand, I would like to know for absolute sure that there were no other options left for the company to explore before deciding to do this. I realize this won't cause any real large outrage across the internet (although there is already a petition to bring it back, a single day after this has happened), but how many users have used to responsibly and actually have need of it to speak with their friends on the 3DS? I am probably one of the few, but I am really disappointed by this decision.

The 3DS already feels extremely limited in terms of direct communication with your friends as it is, and now they're removing one of the few ways you can do so. I realize there are plenty of other ways to speak/chat/talk to friends via the internet: email, skype, message boards, chat rooms, other messenger programs, etc; this just feels like a wrong solution, especially considering that -as is the case with many 'problems' in the United States- it all comes down to parents not being parents and monitoring/limiting their children's access to potentially inappropriate material.

Summary (TLDR): While the decision is understandable, I feel as though there were other options, or at least add in another way of directly communicating with your 3DS friends on the 3DS.

Terramax:

Dragonbums:

Terramax:
Can't you basically do the same things with a standard mobile phone?

Yeah sure. If your phone is able to send messages to other phone users without any sort of information about them like their phone numbers.

But don't you have an ID on the 3DS also? And is there any kind of system to accept or deny from people? I mean, on the PS Vita, you have friend requests, which you need before sending messages to people.

No.

It's works like this.

All you have to do to be able to send notes to somebody is to add their FC. It doesn't matter if they don't add you back. At all.

I know for a fact that people throw their FC's out there online for anyone to add because they don't give a fuck. That leaves it wide open for some trolls, or sickfucks to send some real nasty stuff. Especially when you can send a single letter to everyone on your friends' list.

Dragonbums:

Terramax:
Can't you basically do the same things with a standard mobile phone?

Yeah sure. If your phone is able to send messages to other phone users without any sort of information about them like their phone numbers.

Actually if people leave their bluetooth turned on there are ways to do just that, though it will prompt them to ask them if they want to recieve something.

The memo Nintendo sent out says "Nintendo has learned that some consumers, including minors, have been exchanging their friend codes on internet bulletin boards and then using swapnote to exchange offensive material". So yeah, it would be exactly like people sending pics to your phone or email. The streetpass function is where to pass stuff to people you pass by randomly.

Talk about the old saying 'you abuse it you lose it" going on here

Andy Shandy:
Wait, Nintendo say they didn't anticipate it being used like that?

image

They had the ability to add photos and voice, what did they think some people were going to use it for?

I agree they should have thought this would happen. They were fully prepared for keeping the internet safe for young Pokemon users by blocking users from using swear words (and words like Viola, Violet,& Therapist)as pokemon nicknames in X and Y.

Nosirrah:
They drew dicks didn't they?
*sigh* Of course they did.
Stay classy, world.

Actually, some children where sending their nude pictures to pedophiles in exchange for Pokemon. Not even kidding.

Desert Punk:

Dragonbums:

Terramax:
Can't you basically do the same things with a standard mobile phone?

Yeah sure. If your phone is able to send messages to other phone users without any sort of information about them like their phone numbers.

Actually if people leave their bluetooth turned on there are ways to do just that, though it will prompt them to ask them if they want to recieve something.

At that point, anyone who accesses emails from someone they don't know, then they are idiots.

portal_cat:
Talk about the old saying 'you abuse it you lose it" going on here

Andy Shandy:
Wait, Nintendo say they didn't anticipate it being used like that?

image

They had the ability to add photos and voice, what did they think some people were going to use it for?

I agree they should have thought this would happen. They were fully prepared for keeping the internet safe for young Pokemon users by blocking users from using swear words (and words like Viola, Violet,& Therapist)as pokemon nicknames in X and Y.

Therapist I can understand. But what's up with Viola and Violet?

I never had any problems with Nintendo Letterbox (as it is known in the UK). Mostly because everyone on my friends list is an actual friend of mine that I know in real life, I don't see the point of filling the friends list with hundreds of people you don't know.

BiH-Kira:

Nosirrah:
They drew dicks didn't they?
*sigh* Of course they did.
Stay classy, world.

Actually, some children where sending their nude pictures to pedophiles in exchange for Pokemon. Not even kidding.

So what you're saying...Is I could have sent tit-pics out for my shiny vulpix instead of hunting for weeks?
SIGH. NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU'VE GOT TIL IT'S GONE.

But no, in all seriousness this is a huge overreaction by Nintendo and any kid who was sending their FC out onto the internet needs a swift smack across the chops. Or at least an education in internet safety.

But not from Nintendo. From the people who should have taught them better.

Nintendo already police their online services like Nazis, why did this have to go get kicked in the balls because of stupid kids(And their alarmist parents) and sick weirdos? I mean... come on.

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