Nintendo disabled the 3DS’ Swapnote service – known in the UK as Letter Box – on October 31 due to “offensive material” found between users. Now, information has been unearthed which reports the letter exchanging service was allegedly used by child predators.
A report, initially discovered by Kotaku, from the Japanese newspaper Mainichi indicates that a 44-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of child pornography after he asked two girls – aged between 11 and 12 – to send nude photographs through the Swapnote app. Recent reports also say that the man – a resident from Aichi Prefecture - has allegedly confessed to the charges.
In light of Nintendo disabling the Swapnote service, another case by Yomiuri Online reports two men have been arrested after performing “improper acts” with a 12-year-old girl on a number of occasions, while in a hotel room. The 49-year-old male from Yokohama and the 36-year-old male from Chiba met the girl through the use of an online dating site from her 3DS.
In both of the above cases, the parental controls had been used to limit online activity, but the children simply switched them off. Upon disabling the 3DS feature, Nintendo sent out a message apologising to its users, which you can see in full, here.