WHSmith site taken offline after porn ebook scandal

15/10/2013

WHSmith has become the latest retailer to become embroiled in the ebook porn scandal, taking its website down as a result in a bid to “protect our customers and the public".

Last week, it was revealed that high street giants could face possible prosecution for selling online books glorifying sexual violence.

Household names including WHSmith, Amazon, Waterstones and Barnes and Noble have all sold the graphic novels on non-age restricted websites.

Bosses at WHSmith insist the material, much of it by self-publishing amateur authors, got “under their radar”.

Bosses have now taken their site down and begun removing offending books.

WHSmith has a deal to share profits of ebook sales with online firm Kobo. Booksellers are thought to take around a 30% cut of all sales of ebooks under £6.60 and 35% for more expensive titles.

In a statement Kobo said it was "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... in the future," it said.

Meanwhile visitors to the WHSmith.co.uk website were greeted by a holding page statement.
The retailer said it had taken the site offline "to best protect our customers and the public".

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