Website of Swindon-based WHSmith remains offline after pornographic books discovered (From This Is Wiltshire)
Website of Swindon-based WHSmith remains offline after pornographic books discovered
8:57am Monday 14th October 2013 in News
RETAIL giant WHSmith’s shopping website remains shut down after a search engine bungle saw pornographic books advertised next to children’s literature.
More than 60 ficitonal titles - mostly self-published - featuring bondage, sadomasochism, incest and sexual humiliation were advertised alongside children’s books when customers entered the search term ‘daddy’.
WHSmith were alerted over the weekend and closed down the site.
In a statement the family orientated store said: “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 an industry wide issue impacting retailers that sell self published eBooks due to the explosion of self publishing, which in the main is good as it gives new authors the opportunity to get their content published. 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. 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.”