Nintendo Letter Box was scrapped due to reports of paedophilic use
There can be no doubt that last week’s sudden closure of the Nintendo Letter Box service, or Swapnote for those in North America, came as a surprise.
Nintendo had shared their reasoning that it had been “actively misused” by consumers who had exchanged “offensive material,” which included minors. Yet the extent of the situation is now emerging, with such instances showing Nintendo’s hand may have been forced to do so in response to paedophiles using the service to contact children.
Yomiuri Online reports that two men, aged 49 and 36, met the same 12-year old girl in hotel rooms earlier in the year through contacting her on her 3DS. Meanwhile, Mainichi details a separate incident where a 44-year old man had encouraged two girls to send naked photos through the service, which he has admitted to.
Both Japanese outlets also detail that their parents had turned off the Internet functionality of the device, but their children had turned it back on, as well as there being other arrest reports now appearing.
Nintendo are vigilant in making sure that their diverse consumer base is protected from threats such as these, so we can’t blame them for responding so suddenly.