Nintendo pulls Swapnote SpotPass feature after being "actively misused"

Too much "offensive material" being distributed with the service, says Nintendo.

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Nintendo has canned the ability for users to exchange messages via SpotPass on 3DS messaging service Swapnote (Nintendo Letter Box in Europe), saying that people were actively misusing the feature.

"Nintendo has learned that some consumers, including minors, have been exchanging their friend codes on internet bulletin boards and then using Swapnote (known as Nintendo Letter Box in other regions) to exchange offensive material," said Nintendo on its site.

SpotPass was released in 2011 and allowed 3DS owners to send each other hand-drawn 2D and 3D messages, alongside pictures from the camera.

"Nintendo has been investigating ways of preventing this and determined it is best to stop this service because it allows direct exchange of photos and was actively misused," the publisher added. Nintendo said it "always wants to provide a positive experience for all consumers and limit the risk of any inappropriate activity or misuse of a service. We feel it is important on this occasion to take this action."

"We are very sorry for the inconvenience to the many consumers who have been using this service responsibly, however this decision was made considering the point that many minors also use this service. Thank you for your understanding."

The service was axed at 02:00 GMT this morning. Nintendo says it will continue to work on making parents aware of the 3DS' Parental Control features.

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