Yesterday we reported that Nintendo had halted the Swapnote / Nintendo Letter Box SpotPass service due to some users utilising it to "exchange offensive material". The direct exchange of photos, and minors actively sharing their friend codes and photos, were both highlighted as issues that drove the decision to shut it down.
It's also been confirmed that, at the same time, the Friend Gallery service on Flipnote Studio 3D has been taken offline in Japan. This, rather like the SpotPass Swapnote service, allows those on Friend Lists to share galleries and images; once again, the issue seems to be with users — in particular minors — becoming 3DS friends with others and inappropriate content being shared.
Of course, Flipnote Studio 3D has been continuously delayed in the West, with the official line stating that excessive demand in Japan had caused some server issues; perhaps the extended absence has also been due to Nintendo considering its options to tackle these issues. It's notable that the paid world gallery (which sells 30 days of access with in-app coins for $0.99 / £0.89 / €0.99) is staying live, perhaps due to it being a more public forum that's easier to moderate, as opposed to dealing with private friends galleries. It raises the potential for Flipnote Studio 3D to still be released worldwide, but as a paid-only option; uou can read details of how the World Gallery is supposed to work right here.
Nintendo's latest move to retain its family-friendly status is sure to be contentious, especially as it's apparently impacting multiple apps. Let us know your thoughts below.