Online booksellers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble need to face up to their moral responsibilities and begin filtering the content they sell properly. It’s clear that whatever systems they have in place so far are simply not working.
Some of Britain and America’s best-loved bookstores and high street newsagents are selling books so vile and explicit that they reduced one Kernel reporter to tears in the course of our reporting. Rape, incest, bestiality and “forced sex” with young girls feature heavily in the hundreds of titles stocked by Amazon, Barnes & Noble and others.
We are told by morally censorious commentators that porn culture is now mainstream culture. We’re told that, brought up on a diet of violent, exploitative videos available in bulk for free and at the click of a mouse, young people are conditioned to expect “porn sex” and encouraged to treat one another as worthless sexual objects to be abused and discarded.
But who are the people reading titles such as Forced to Fuck My Sexy Son (Taboo Family Sex Mind Control) and Relax And Take It For Daddy: A Rough And Reluctant First Anal Sex And Punishment Short, Between Stepdad and Daughter? Surely such extreme material is not considered mainstream even in today’s porn-saturated world?
If, as we must hope, these titles reflect merely a tiny fringe of depraved sexual fantasists, whose urges are satisfied only by the thought of young girls beaten and anally raped by their fathers, and of sodomy with canines, why on earth are mainstream retailers stocking and profiting from such perverse fiction?
No one is proposing censorship. If retailers really insist on selling this material, that is their right. Technically, most of it is legal – even if the circumventions are desperately tenuous. But if, as we must hope, this is a case of carelessness or negligence, it is right to bring attention to this material.
The titles and cover art, some of which depict young girls made up to look as though they have been tied up and beaten by “daddy”, cannot possibly represent the sort of material Waterstones and WHSmith want on their shelves – even if those shelves are digital.
In our view, this barbaric and alarming material ought to be relegated to the back-street bookshops in which it belongs. We should object in the strongest terms possible when respectable, family-friendly retailers offer for sale the products of such desperately warped imaginations.
There is no statutory age restriction on books, printed or digital, which is why retailers bear a particular responsibility to make sure they are not allowing amateur authors to flood their websites with degenerate trash such as In Too Deep with My Daughter and Forced To Fuck My Family.
That’s why The Kernel published details this week about the most disturbing titles available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, WHSmith, Waterstones and even iconic London bookshop Foyles, and why we will continue to campaign for more rigorous vetting procedures to prevent this material from reaching the websites of some of the world’s most trusted bookstores.