WHSmith website shut down

The website of WHSmith has been shut down after reports that the book store was selling pornographic ebooks alongside children's titles.

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Kobo 'working quickly' to remove graphic ebooks

WHSmith's ebooks partner Kobo have said they are reviewing its catalogue to remove all graphic titles from its site.

Book retailer WHSmith shut down their website after reports that the book store was selling pornographic ebooks alongside children's titles.

Kobo, WHSmith's eBooks partner, have said they are reviewing its catalogue to remove all graphic material from its site. Credit: Kobo

A spokesperson said: "Kobo is working quickly to review its catalogue and remove the content, authors and publishers in question.

"We are also evaluating new procedures to help ensure that this type of content will not become available on Kobo's site, or those of our partners in the future.

"This unfortunate situation is the result of a select group of publishers and authors violating the self-publishing policies of our platform. These titles will be removed and we will address the individuals in question directly."

Waterstones 'investigating how to remove titles'

Waterstones has said that it is investigating how to remove some of the graphic titles which are available on its website:

As with other bookselling websites, Waterstones takes a feed from central databases of book publications, notably Nielsen. Any of these titles can then be ordered by a customer. We do not stock in our shops or in our warehouses for internet supply any of these titles and we have never had any ordered from us in the past.

Now that we are aware of the theoretical ability of a customer to order such titles by fact of their listing by Nielsen, we will investigate with them how this might be avoided.


Pornographic titles remain for sale on Amazon

Various "erotic" fiction titles can be purchased on Amazon. Credit: PA

Pornographic ebooks remain for sale on Amazon despite a backlash over inappropriate titles stocked by leading booksellers.

Customers using searches such as "Daddy" on the online retailer can be led to Kindle books featuring rape, incest and "forced sex", alongside titles for children.

WHSmith today apologised and shut down its website after similar books featured on their site, while "erotic" titles are also available to buy online from Waterstones.

WHSmith closes website in 'unacceptable books' purge

After reports that WHSmith had allowed offensive titles to be sold as ebooks on its website the company has confirmed that it has completely shutdown its website in order to remove all of the titles the company has told ITV News.

Last week we were made aware that a number of unacceptable titles were appearing on our website through the Kobo website that has an automated feed to ours. This is a new industry issue due to the explosion of self publishing, which in the main is good as it gives new authors the opportunity to get stuff published. However we are disgusted by these titles, find it totally unacceptable and we in no way whatsoever condone them.

It is our policy not to feature titles like those highlighted and we have processes in place to screen them out. We offer over one million titles through our eBooks partner Kobo, many of which are self-published titles. Due to the massive amount of self publishing a number of these titles have got through the screening process.

We are taking immediate steps to have them all removed. While we are doing this we have decided to take our website off-line to best protect our customers and the public. Our website will become live again once all self published eBooks have been removed and we are totally sure that there are no offending titles available. When our website goes back online it will not display any self published material until we are completely confident that inappropriate books can never be shown again.

We sincerely apologise for any offence caused.

– WHSmith statement

Porn books on WHSmith website

The WHSmith website has been taken offline. Credit: whsmith.co.uk

The website of WHSmith was offline this morning after reports that the book store was selling pornographic ebooks alongside children's titles.

Typing 'daddy' into the search box brought up fictional accounts of bondage and sexual humiliation, as well as youngsters' bedtime stories, the Mail on Sunday said.

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