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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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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

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