Retailer Amazon has banned several e-books from its Kindle Store after a report highlighted titles depicting rape, incest and bestiality.
Amazon took down the books with titles such as Taking My Drunk Daughter. The titles were highlighted by technology news site The Kernel.
The titles were found in the self-published section of the retailers' sites - an area where authors can offer their own work. The companies take a percentage of the sales made through their stores.
Mark Stephens, former chairman of the Internet Watch Foundation ludicrously claimed that, under Britain's Obscene Publications Act (OPA), publishers have a duty to protect the public from accidentally encountering material that could outrage public
In fact the OPA says that material is prosecutable if it 'depraves and corrupts' likely viewers. Something that clearly rarely, if ever, actually happens and is difficult to prosecute in front of a jury as jurors are quick to notice that no one in the
court case, including themselves, seem very depraved or corrupted by what they have seen.
Many of the authors have taken measures to minimise 'offence' by adding disclaimers to their descriptions, such as saying characters were over 18 or step-daughters .
Pro censorship campaigner John Carr, said parents would be shocked at what content was discoverable. He told the BBC:
At the very least there should be a certain class of material that is adult, which ought not to be universally accessible.
Update: WH Smug
14th October 2013. See article
WH Smith shut down its website on Sunday after it was revealed that a search for the term daddy brought up hardcore pornographic ebooks featuring bondage and humiliation alongside stories for children. [Does the hardcore tag mean anything for
books?]. At least 60 pornographic ebooks, some featuring rapes and bestiality, were available on the company's online store.
Alerted to the availability of the ebooks, the majority of which are self-published, WH Smith took the extreme measuire of shutting down its website until the ebooks could be censored.
In a statement WH Smith said:
This is an industry wide issue impacting retailers that sell self-published ebooks due to the explosion of self-publishing.
However, we are disgusted by these particular titles, find this 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. [er like reading them]
The shop also announced that in future it would not display any self-published books until it was confident that inappropriate books would not be shown.
Rentaquote politician, John Whittingdale, the chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport select committee, said:
It is disgusting that WH Smith, one of the country's most respected retailers, is selling hardcore pornography alongside children's books. Retailers have a responsibility to families and it is unacceptable that anyone could access this material within a
click of a mouse.