Nintendo Swapnote shutdown world-wide

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by BORTZ, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. emigre

    emigre An electric type pokemons

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    Jan 28, 2009
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    London

    [​IMG]

    Appropriate me thinks.
     
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  2. GreatZimkogway

    GreatZimkogway Still a Touhou Fanatic

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    Jul 21, 2009
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    Senkai
    I don't even know why I'm continuing this...give me definitive stats that the 3DS is mainly used by children. Throughout my Twitter accounts(about 500 different people), Facebook('bout a 100), and various forums and services, I know at least a 5:1 ratio of people over 15 compared to under 15.

    Now then. Most phones(read as: all smartphones) these days have at least one camera built in. Usually two, maybe even three. Second, all Swapnotes went through Nintendo's servers. There is most definitely a way for them to monitor who used Swapnote, and what went through it. My guess is that they simply don't have those tools up to what they need to be.

    Now use your brain for this one. How did these kids give their 3DS friendcodes to these "child predators"? Well, they had to be on another site to do so. IRC, forums, messengers, Facebook, you name it. After all, you can't send a Swapnote to someone you don't have on your friendslist. That's actually part of what makes Nintendo Wifi Services a bit more safe than stuff like PSN or Xbox Live, you have to actually have contact with someone outside of the service to get their friendcode.

    Nintendo, and Swapnote, are not the problem here. Neither hold any blame at all. They are simply a provider of a medium, and a medium of communication. Don't blame them if some idiot kid goes and gives his/her friendcode to some random schmuck online, and then has the stupidity to send them nude pictures.
     
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  3. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    Aug 5, 2011
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    "T-that's not fair, y-you can't do that."

    Communication services, like art, don't need to justify their existence or make themselves "legitimate." Enabling communication between people across any distance is reason enough. Swapnote was no less worthwhile than, say, internet forums or text messages.

    And you know, that text message comparison is valid. Both allow you to talk to others and send images. Really, the biggest difference (besides the device used, at least) is that the 3DS' Swapnote was harder to access, thanks to the need for Friend Codes (longer than the typical phone number) and the parental locks available (which include setting a private pin number). Of the two, Swapnote was more secure.

    Not only that, the predators in question were already in contact with the girls over the internet. Swapnote was incidental, not essential, to what they were doing; they didn't need it anyway. Shuttering the service only harms the decent, honest customers. Predators won't even be inconvenienced. So what exactly is Nintendo accomplishing here?

    And the worst part, the absolute worst part, is how Nintendo handled this. If Nintendo at least had the courtesy to be upfront and honest about what motivated the policy change, if Nintendo at least gave its customers some fair warning in advance, I could sort of respect that. I mean, I'd still think they were absolutely wrong, but I could appreciate that level of openness. They couldn't even manage that. They only gave the vaguest of justifications and shut it down immediately. No warning. No alternative service to offer. Absolutely nothing. Whether or not it was the intention, that shows a pretty callous disregard for their customers, the very people who are supporting them. Whether that's thoughtless, careless, or both, I'll let you decide (but the answer is "both").

    At the end of the day, it's the people, not the service, that are to blame. Blaming Swapnote for this crime is like blaming the car for a drive-by.
     
  4. JoostinOnline

    JoostinOnline Certified Crash Test Dummy

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    Apr 2, 2011
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    The Twilight Zone
    It was in one of their statements, but the fact that the games generally target teenagers and younger should be enough.

    How are tools supposed to monitor drawings? There is no text in SwapNote. Unless they have hundreds of people monitoring every note that goes through (notes are received in a matter of minutes), there is nothing to be done.

    Look at your signature. You and millions of people just list their friend code and add anyone who gives them theirs.

    When did I say Nintendo was to blame? I said I support their decision.
     
  5. Qtis

    Qtis Grey Knight Inquisitor

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    If Nintendo can detect a penis in many forms on Miiverse, it can detect inappropriate content on swapnote. It doesn't matter that the content is a picture. Otherwise we couldn't transform images of text into a plain text file, which could be done years ago.

    PS. This is going highly off topic, but saying "it's targeted at people aged x, thus users are aged x" is flawed. Easy example is My Little Pony. While there are many kids that like the franchise, there are also a ton of adults, Baronies (sp?), who buy a lot of content and are active on forums. Even on this forum (EoF, off topic areas, even some threads in other sections).
     
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  6. JoostinOnline

    JoostinOnline Certified Crash Test Dummy

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    The Twilight Zone
    Nintendo can't do that on Miiverse. It's all based on people reporting stuff that is against the rules. If nobody reports it, nothing happens.
     
  7. McHaggis

    McHaggis Fackin' Troller

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    Oct 24, 2008
    You're a pretty adept programmer, I would have expected you'd know at least a little something of the capabilities in that field. Handwriting recognition is nothing new, and even if the text is only just legible to humans, the software actually records the gestures used to draw (so that it can redraw them on the receiving 3DS). It wouldn't be too difficult to create a gist of what was being written and flag/delete any that contain certain keywords.

    There's also been advancements in the image processing fields. Nudity detection, while not perfect, could still be considered decent enough to catch the majority of inappropriate photos sent through SwapNote/Letterbox.

    You do have a point there. I also agree with your points that the 3DS is more accessible as a means of communication to some children, that may only have occasional access to a computer or a mobile phone, but can use their 3DS unmonitored because their parents think they're just playing games. It's also very easy to reset the pin when you do have access to a computer, the 4th google result is a homebrew PC utility to do it for you. However, I agree with Gahars and others that Nintendo were a bit rash here. Just implementing those two methods of detection might have been enough to stop these predators or catch them before they were able to exploit those children. Implementing them now would have been enough to appease anybody who might have been quick to point the blame at Nintendo.

    I can kind of see Nintendo's side of things. Companies catering towards children are much more susceptible to bad press for inadequacies in protection than, say, an internet forum, social networking site or email provider. It doesn't really excuse turning your back on all the people legitimately using your service, though.
     
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  8. Qtis

    Qtis Grey Knight Inquisitor

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  9. JoostinOnline

    JoostinOnline Certified Crash Test Dummy

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    The Twilight Zone
    There's nothing to suggest any of that was used.

    See if this was an issue of something that could be made safer with a patch, then I would say shutting the thing down is rash. But after all this time, there were no patches and they decided to shut it down. Nintendo said they were aware that it was being abused for many months and had been trying to find a way to prevent it (or something like that, I believe it's in the latest press release). That would suggest they found no alternative. In such a case, I think shutting the service down, which they had no obligation to keep up as it isn't part of the 3DS, is a very understandable move.

    That looks really fake. Maybe it's real, but it just doesn't read like it. Besides, 20% of the drawings being penises? That's nonsense. I've been on Miiverse for like a year now (and I check drawings regularly on lots of the communities), and I've seen one pic that was inappropriate. It was a chick giving a dude a blowjob. I reported it, and it got removed.
     
  10. McHaggis

    McHaggis Fackin' Troller

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    Oct 24, 2008
    You asked how tools could be used to monitor SwapNote drawings. I wasn't implying that they were already implemented.

    There's no press release (that I can find) suggesting the length of time they were investigating solutions. It could have been a couple of hours last Friday afternoon. There's also nothing to suggest that their chosen course of action was driven by a lack of potential solutions (as opposed to an unwillingness to invest the time and money in patching the service). Implementing the solutions I suggested could have required some changes to the infrastructure to allow delaying messages, moderating messages, automated responses, and more. With MiiVerse planned in the short-term future, this could have been seen as a waste of resources.

    You're right that they had no obligation to keep it running. As I said in an earlier post, it's an Internet service offered for free but costs money to provide and maintain, and as such it has an implicitly finite lifespan.

    Yeah, it's fake.
     
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  11. shakirmoledina

    shakirmoledina Legend

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    Oct 23, 2004
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    man when will such issues end. I bet its happening in other services but since a greater no. of kids are using the 3ds, the risks are higher.
     
  12. JoostinOnline

    JoostinOnline Certified Crash Test Dummy

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    The Twilight Zone
    Sorry, I misunderstood.

    I am 99% sure (maybe 98.9%) that I read it somewhere. It may not have been a press release though (I really think it was a direct statement from Nintendo though), in which case a large part of my argument is unfounded. If I'm wrong on that, I still think they did the right thing, but not to the degree I did before (I felt there was no question). It's almost 5AM right now though, so I'll hold off on looking for it until tomorrow.

    Gahars I'm sorry I was so harsh earlier. Pedophilia is one of the most disgusting things in the world to me, and I can get worked up about it. I still think they were right to shut SwapNote down, but I shouldn't have been a dick about it.
     
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  13. Kouen Hasuki

    Kouen Hasuki Kouen the Cyber Husky

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    Jan 9, 2013
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    Gaming Bunker
    Figured when it was first announced it was something like this
     
  14. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Apr 4, 2006
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    Zagreb
    Something a company whose policy is "let our consoles be your babysitter" can't help but accept. Trying to get parents to be (or even merely behave like) responsible adults would enrage and alienate their core demographic.
     
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  15. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Sep 13, 2009
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    Gaming Grotto
    No, I'm not, but I don't think that disqualifies my opinion right off the bat. Some things are just common sense. :P
    In the context of the article we were discussing, what you're saying is that childhood curiosity alone allows a child to rent a room with two middle-ages strangers, but of course I get your point. :P

    This is clearly a criminal case - a lot has gone wrong, both on the parent's end and on the hotel staff's end (I mean, two middle-aged guys and a kid renting a room for three? And nobody thought this looks a wee (or "wii" :P) bit supicious?), Nintento's service was merely a communication medium.

    As for "getting around parental controls", it's not really that simple these days, not to mention that "parental control" goes beyond the level of software. Utilizing software alone is, again, treating a machine as a baby sitter - parents should express interest in what their kids are doing online, not just artificially restrict them. Naturally I get your point though - being curios is a big part of being human. :)
    Honestly, I think Nintendo was trying to save face before that even happens - it's peer pressure more than anything.
    I just wanted to address this part of your post since the rest was addressed by Haggis.

    This is exactly why parents should have at least this much *uses thumb and pointing finger* interest in what their children are doing online, how are they sharing their personal information and with whom. A big part of being a parent is having to "give a f*ck" about your children.

    Perhaps children shouldn't share friend codes with people who are not their friends - I know, the concept is mindblowing. :tpi:
     
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  16. McHaggis

    McHaggis Fackin' Troller

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    Oct 24, 2008
    Nope, nothing disqualifies your opinion. That's yours to do whatever you want with and nobody can take it away from you. However, your lack of experience in the subject doesn't really give you much of a right to judge anyone who is a parent. :-P

    Well, it's just a good job I was using the context of your post when I wrote my reply, otherwise that would make complete sense... right? ;-) I realise you're just baiting me, though, so... nyaah!

    Specifically, I was replying to the part where you said something along the lines of "shifting the blame from parents who use their kids' 3DS as a babysitter to Nintendo". Nobody except those involved really knowwhat's happened WTR to all that, so using a blanket statement such as that to apply to all parents who don't watch the screens every second of their child's gaming time might be considered somewhat hypocritical if you had kids of your own and knew that that's just not how you raise your kids. You can't keep them locked in a tower, safe from the big, bad, world 24/7. They're going to do things that are outside your control, sometimes things that are the exact opposite of what you tell them. My kids are pretty much angels, really well behaved, but even they sometimes don't do what they're told.

    All that being said, I think you've failed as a parent if your 12 year old daughter winds up in some hotel room with 2 middle-aged guys. How it would even get that far is beyond me.



    I can understand that, I feel the same. Even to the point where I don't really blame Nintendo for how they reacted (even if I think they could have taken less drastic actions). I mean, nothing should be more important than the safety of children, right?
     
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  17. TwinRetro

    TwinRetro Former Staff

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    Aug 29, 2008
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    Hiatus Hell
    Don't get me wrong, I don't blame Ninetndo at all. In this "Can we PLEASE think of the children" society, things can take a turn for the worst for a company if they don't take appropriate action in the eyes of the general populace. I think in the terms of saving face, their best option was to take Swapnote out back and put it down Old Yeller style.

    In keeping their customers happy? Well, I guess they figure they can afford to burn a few bridges.
     
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  18. The Milkman

    The Milkman GBATemp's Official Asshat Milkman

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    Jan 12, 2011
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    Throwing milk at the bitches!
    You know what I find funny, when Swapnote first came out, all I remember hearing was "WHY CAN'T I JUST TYPE MY MESSAGES?!".

    What defeats me is why Nintendo doesn't just integrate a messenger into the Friends app.
     
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  19. Duo8

    Duo8 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Jul 16, 2013
    Vietnam
    I NEED DIS!
    I hope they'll come up with an alternative soon. Be it Miiverse or Flipnote.
     
  20. Ammako

    Ammako GBAtemp Guru

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    Dec 22, 2009
    Antarctica
    It was the case in Pokémon Battle Revolution, but only if the Pokémon was named legitimately.
    If someone used a save editor to nickname their Pokémon without checking the "Nicknamed" box, the nickname showed over Wi-Fi battles normally.

    This is just in: the whole world consists only of your Twitter and Facebook relatives.
     
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