The Daily Mail, or the UK’s leading tabloid, has just discovered to their horror and dismay that ebookstores sell adult content:
WHSmith was last night accused of profiting from the sale of vile books glorifying violent pornography, rape, incest and bestiality.
The high street chain openly advertised titles with disturbingly graphic content on its website, right next to children’s literature.
Typing the word ‘daddy’ into the search box, for instance, brings up disturbing fictional accounts of bondage and sexual humiliation, as well as collections of bedtime stories for youngsters.
The Mail on Sunday investigation found that pornographic ebooks – the majority of which are self-published by their authors – are also available through Amazon, Waterstones and Barnes & Noble.
It almost makes you wonder where they thought people were buying 50 Shades last year, doesn’t it? (Sorry, that was an immune response to faux outrage. I’ll try to keep it in check.)
On a more serious note, now might be the time for ebookstores to consider adding optional kid-friendly filters on adult content. What do you think?
This is something that parents have been requesting for several years now, but hardly any of the major ebookstores offer such filters. I know that Smashwords has one, but they’re the only one. And even though B&N and Amazon both offer a way to lock down their tablets, this option doesn’t extend to their ereaders, apps, or websites.
I know that some might argue that kids shouldn’t be allowed unfettered access to ebookstores any more than they should be allowed unfettered access to the internet, but that is exactly my point. There are many different ways for parents to block content on computers and mobile devices, including apps, browser plugins, paid services, and more.
Don’t you think parents should have similar options for filtering out certain types of content in ebookstores?
I am finding myself in favor of the idea, but I also want to know what you think.
image by Hopefoote