Accused Child Predator Allegedly Used Nintendo's SwapNote Service

Accused Child Predator Allegedly Used Nintendo's SwapNote Service

On October 31, Nintendo suddenly announced it was ending its SwapNote service for the 3DS. Nintendo said SwapNote had been "actively misused" to transmit "offensive material" among system users, including minors. Now we know how offensive and unsettling some of that material was.

Japanese newspaper Mainichi reports that charges for child pornography have also been filed against another man, aged 44, who had allegedly two girls — then aged 11 to 12 — send nude photos through SwapNote, or "Itsu no Ma ni Koukan Nikki" (いつの間に交換日記) as it's called in Japan. This man, a resident of Aichi Prefecture, has allegedly confessed to the acts.

SwapNote was a free Nintendo-made app that let users create and share hand-written notes and drawings. Users could connect the program to the Internet and, with SpotPass activated, transmit and receive notes. It became available in December 2011. The service's online support ended on October 31.

According to news site Yomiuri Online, two other men have been arrested for allegedly performing "improper acts" in hotel rooms with a 12-year-old girl on multiple occasions earlier this year. The girl met both men — one is a 49-year-old Yokohama resident and the other is a 36-year-old Chiba resident — through her 3DS. Yomiuri Online doesn't specifically mention SwapNote and says that the girl used the 3DS's online function to access an online dating site. A Mainichi News report, however, does mention SwapNote.

In the above articles, both Yomiuri and Mainichi note that parents had initially turned off the 3DS's internet function, but the children had turned it back on.

Kotaku is contacting Nintendo to clarify if these incidents led to SwapNote's sudden cancellation.

Update: Clarified the Yomiuri Online report. Removed the line about other arrests for statutory rape and indecency through compulsion being made because of this investigation as they may not be directly related to the 3DS.

3DSで出会い系に接続した女児を乱暴した疑い [Yomiuri Online] わいせつ画像:ゲーム機で送信させる 女児被害、容疑者を書類送検 [Mainichi]


    Sickening. Absolutely sickening. This is why we can't have nice things, morally depraved morons like this mess it up for everyone.

    Last edited 07/11/13 10:41 am

      You know the kid who wouldn't shut up in school, and the whole class missed lunch. We bashed that kid. Time we adopted corporal punishment for these scumbags.

    First thing is first; this is terrible and these guys should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    That said, this shouldn't result in the shut down of the service. The parents didn't properly use the child protection functions. There are password functions. There is an amount of due diligence required to properly supervise your children's media habits. They didn't employ these. This is not Nintendo's fault and it shouldn't impact on everyone else. Passnote is not the reason for this. Predatory adults, apathetic adults, and naive kids are why this happened.

      While I agree with your points, there is no way in hell that the service could of stayed up once this news broke out. I mean if the parents were to hear about this news and the service remained active, they would go apeshit blaming Nintendo for allowing predators to use their service, even though as you said it is down to the parents to mind what their children are doing.

      Last edited 07/11/13 10:53 am

        Yes the parents should be minding what their children, it shouldnt stop the service because there is no way that Nintendo would know if a predator is using their service. "Buying a DS today sir, do you currently own a predator card?" I dont know if Nintendo have had to work on their security measures, I havent read too much news of this kind of stuff happening, do they have a report system?

        Who ever would blame Nintendo would/should be considered a fool. Just because a company creates a service does not mean they should be held liable for any 'abuse'. It's like people calling Bittorrent illegal and a piracy heaven and/or suing the company who created the technology/protocol.

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