The I̶n̶t̶e̶r̶n̶e̶t̶ Kindle is For Porn

Amazon's got a problem with porn on the Kindle

As the song in the Broadway musical Avenue Q says, “The internet is for porn” and, apparently, so is Amazon’s Kindle. According to an article on CNET,  Amazon’s human and software filters for video and print set up to filter smut aren’t up to the job when it comes to titles published via Kindle Direct Publishing. For $2.99 a user can download titles like The Dirty Blonde 2 with more than 80 photos of a woman “in various stages of undress” — Amazon Prime users can even “borrow” it for free!

And it’s not just the Kindle, as a search for “adult picture book” on Barnes & Nobles’ Nook store also turned up a list of hundreds of adult-oriented titles created through their PubIt! system. Which is against the policies of both companies.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble, make it clear in their content policies that pornography is not allowed in self-published e-books. But whatever their official policies might be, searches by CNET have turned up no shortage of smutty e-book titles, available to browse in crisp, black-and-white e-ink or in full color on the Kindle Fire HD or the Nook HD+.

While some adult titles are available via the iBookstore, apparently Apple’s stricter approval process means they’re much tamer. From the article it’s clear the ease with which a title can be published is part of the problem and the idea of ‘self-policing titles while noble, isn’t very effective in practice.

I keep laughing at the idea of porn in “crisp, black-and-white e-ink” — I can’t say I’m  surprised, though. So, should Amazon, B&N and Apple just give in and add XXX sections to their storefronts? Or should they work harder to keep this smut off our eReaders?

Dean Fetzer

News by Dean Fetzer

Dean Fetzer is originally from a small town in eastern Colorado, but has lived in London, England, for the past 21 years. After a career in graphic design, he started a pub review website in the late 90’s; He left that in 2011 to concentrate on his thriller writing, as well as offering publishing services for authors, poets and artists. When not writing - or in the pub - he can be found in the theatre, live music venues and travelling.

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Comments

Zackery Olson's picture
Zackery Olson from Rockford, IL is reading pretty much anything I can get my hands on March 8, 2013 - 8:31pm

REally? Aren't there more pressing things for people to worry about, like the economy, and health care, and--oh, I don't know--censorship? My response: who cares. Just don't give your kids the password to your Amazon accout.

Gerd Duerner's picture
Gerd Duerner from Germany is reading Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm March 9, 2013 - 11:12am

"Amazon and Barnes & Noble, make it clear in their content policies that pornography is not allowed in self-published e-books."

Really?

More than half the titles I see pop up when I look for free eBooks on Amazon are porn - or does porn only count as such if it doesn't require the viewer to be able to read? :D

Courtney's picture
Courtney from the Midwest is reading Monkey: A Journey to the West and a thousand college textbooks March 9, 2013 - 5:35pm

@Gerd My assumption is that those are billed as erotica; there's a very fine line, and one that most of the books don't know how to avoid crossing, but they'll say "The label is in the reader's perspective" and throw a fit if their low-brow, shitty porn is labeled as such.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like March 10, 2013 - 7:01am

Random House should get in the tablet wars with the world's first P-reader.

MJ Brewer's picture
MJ Brewer January 24, 2014 - 2:22am

While some of us have our heads screwed on tightly, this doesn't apply to everyone. My 10-year-old son received a Kindle Fire HD from his father, who is no longer with me. His father, mind you, is about as internet savvy as Paris Hilton is thrifty. He thought he was being a "cool" dad. That is until I discovered what my son had discovered---his father was off the discussion board for the talk about the "birds and the bees." After all, who wants to hear a tired old man's stories when they can see it in full-blown color. (no pun intended)

My child is nearly twelve and getting counseling and his father is talking about re-instating his Kindle for his twelfth birthday, which I am totally against. While it's impossible to babysit a 58 year-old with his own issues, it would seem as if Amazon would have some sense of scruples other than presenting itself as a smut-on-the corner with a quarter run peep-show just to make a few bucks.

America is supposed to be "land of the free," not "land of anything goes."