SIR — I’m glad someone finally picked up on this issue which has troubled me for years. Just this week I signed up to the Kobo website, and I was of course offered a list of books to buy. As with Amazon and the other online booksellers, the free ebooks included not only the usual Classics, but the also the inevitable array of soft porn (aka ‘Romance’) novels. I’m coming to the conclusion that these are merely a ‘gateway drug’ leading people to the much more disturbing material you have highlighted.
— Paul Mallett
SIRS — I read your article just now. I don’t understand what the problem is. Incest and rape stories are available for FREE on tons of websites. Some of my favorites are: xxxn.com and The Kristen Archives. While some of the stories are just a couple dozen paragraphs long, there are many well written ones worthy of any main-stream author! Beating Off Bob (AKA Robert Lubrican) is a particular favorite author of mine! In fact, I would not be surprised to learn that many well-known authors write these kinds of stories and post them under pseudonyms just for the fun of it.
Why give a shit if Barnes & Nobels or Amazon sells this stuff? How does that hurt you? Why do you care? I know I don’t. I ain’t paying for shit I can get for free. But if someone can make a buck off it, more power to ‘em. That’s the American way of life, after all.
SIR — This article is complete nonsense! I’m speechless!
— Mary Lowery
SIR — High five! Finally somebody has made them take notice. I have been flagging this for years. I have my theory why Amazon, Smashwords etc are full of filth.
There is no quality check on any self published works. Is it so hard to have a computer fly through the document and flag it for content? No, because other sites do it e.g. Wattpad where a notice pops up saying ‘You appear to be posting RRated content please check our guidelines’ etc. If a free online writing site can do it, why can’t Amazon, they are loaded!
Once it is flagged it can be assesses to ensure is not full of kiddie fiddling or puppy molesters. They could even ensure it is formatted correctly and not full of typos because it was posted a 13 year old.
It is surprising though when sites like Booksie are run by the same guy who owns TheNextBigWriter and has a publishing company. I still can’t believe he runs a site you can cut and paste straight from, as he has been promising since 2009 to stop people being able to do it. The site is falling apart and full of sicko’s who just want to write about being raped by their dad, with a frozen sausage in the middle of sainsburys whilst your mum is in the bread aisle. Well ok I made that up but that is the kind of shit on it. One woman wrote about being gang raped by a bunch of dogs after meeting a guy online. I couldn’t even walk past one in the street for weeks without retching!
The site is still full of erotic content without an age barrier but recently they moved erotica to a new site called Booksie Silk. However all you need to do is click ‘continue’ to gain access, there is no age check. A large number of amateur writers from sites like these find their way to Amazon via Createaspace which advertises on Booksie. So that is where I think the shit is coming from. The vast majority of the erotic content is on Booksie is ‘raped by my dad’, ‘Raped by my brother and I liked it’, ‘I’m my dad’s sex slave and having his baby’. It makes you want to rip your own eyes out! Especially when they start turning the characters into One Direction… GAH!
Even sites like Wattpad have the same issue but they use filters to flag the content as ‘RRated’ and mark heavy stuff as ‘Private’ to protect it’s young users. It is not ideal but it is working on better ways to reward its RRated writers. RRated is anything with sexually graphic or violent nature. Even too much swearing has it flagged as R and not PG13. They are sick of ‘Raped by ganster boyfriend’ and the likes.
I write some scenes of a sexual nature but only in line with the story, I can’t see what the hell these sicko’s get out of writing this drivel. I had one story with a rape scene and it is not glorified in any way, however people commented saying how hot it was. Utter Twats! That is why I removed my work from Booksie and just left it on Wattpad before publication.
I hope there is a real shake up and that goes for writing sites too. Keep the sicko’s off line and on meds!
SIR — Even the worst pornography is not nearly as disgusting as censorship. With this article, you put yourself into bed with Nazis and the Taliban, and make yourselves enemies of art, imagination, and liberty itself. You may think that cheap, nasty porn is a safe target for calls to ban books, but you’re wrong. I’m not the author of cheap, nasty porn, but if I don’t stand up for these writers against neo-Puritan would-be tyrants like yourself, when my turn comes there may be no one left to stand up for me.
— Brian Rush
SIR — I really enjoy your poorly researched stories
— Kathleen Brady
SIR — Nice half-assed story! Put two of them together and you have a whole ass!
— Kathleen Brady
SIR — You are an abscess on the butt of humanity.
— Michael Smolen
SIR — I gather you have not read the bible. All those ‘offensive’ things occur in the bible. A minister once told me that the bible has more sex and erotica in it then almost any other book. If you are going to ban books based on erotic contents then you have to ban the bible first.
— Richard Shetron
SIR — You are an abscess on the butt of humanity.
— Michael Smolen
SIR — After doing a little snooping around, I found your website, on which, alongside brazenly homophobic articles about gay cruising on Ebay, you hyperbolize that you have, after harassing Amazon, convinced them to take down such disgusting, smutty fare!!!
Although I agree that many of the titles you featured are pretty gross, there are plenty of titles you didn’t feature. In your self righteous haste to tar everyone with the same brush, you have actually created a big, whopping serving of censorship.
You are not angels. You are relics of the moral majority, jack booted, self- appointed Nazis of good taste. Daddy Does Daughter may be in poor taste but your over-reaching morality is nauseating. I can’t wait to see what happens when writers start suing the shit out of Amazon. While they are at it, I think a few should sue you too. For libel.
Maybe you should move your offices to Russia. I think it would be a better fit.
– Kacie Stetson
SIR — If you’re going to go after trash, please include all the murder/killing and horror books. Look at the success of the Hunger Games – it’s a book about children killing children, but everyone is flocking to the theatre to see people KILL each other. Oh that’s right, it’s okay to kill each other, just not have sex.
— Sylvia McDaniel
Re: F is for furries
SIRS — I’m a furry. I don’t own a fursuit. I’m not interested in owning one. And those others who I know who own one don’t fuck in it. For the simple reason you stated: they don’t come cheap. There are exceptions to this of course. I was at a Star Trek con in the 90’s and ran across 2 Klingons fucking in the bathroom. Should I assume that all Star Trek fans are perverts now? Seriously its people like you that make others wish they were animals. You don’t see a chipmunk making up shit to screw over another chipmunk.
— Jon Normand
Pretty big deal
Re: You eat too much
SIR — Bravo – thank u for this – I’m sure u will suffer all the indignities of telling the truth that no one wants to hear but I thought the article was extremely thoughtful and very well written. Please carry on!
— Rocco Lombardo
SIR — Thank you, kernel mag, for contributing to the self destructive behaviours of people like me who literally starve ourselves into poor health because ‘we eat too much’. With any luck you’ll kill a few people.
— Simon Aplin
SIR — What a preachy and judgmental article. Yes, I’m fat, and I’ve been skinny too through obsessive diet and exercise. I decided that food for me is an obsession and I don’t care that you quote people and studies denying obesity is a disease; it is. It is the same type of disease that makes people wash their hands repeatedly, check the doors repeatedly, be depressed and bipolar, among other disorders. If it were as easy as your article made it sound, then everyone would be thin and beautiful. Why don’t you go after smokers… their habit is easier to break.
— Quint Young
SIR — Honesty can be so slimming.
— Kenneth W Dresel
SIR — Obesity is more than a personal choice. Your articles fail to recognise the politics behind nutrition and food science in general. The USDA’s food pyramid, oh wait, its a food plate now is vetted by food lobbyist. Sugar is just nowbeing associated with liver toxicity. Your articles also fail to recognise that a person’s meal choice is limited by availability and price. I often travel through “food deserts” where the only available food choices come from a convenience store or a fast food chain.
Stop portraying a person’s diet as a personal choice alone. Food is very much associated with the culture in which it is found.
SIR — I just wanted to let you know your article on obesity is very well written and accurate. I know you probably won’t on account of the backlash you got, but I would love to see another obesity related article. Don’t let others get you down, you write the truth. I was obese until I decided not to be. That simple.
— Faith Galvan
SIR — You posted at the end of your article on Amazon selling Holocaust denial ebooks that Germany punishes Holocaust denial with a five-year prison sentence. This limits free speech, and you need to make a connection between the fact that the Holocaust occurred because of a limitation of free speech in the first place.
The Holocaust is an irrefutable historical fact, but limiting free speech has irrefutable consequences as well. I’m going to buy an Amazon ebook today simply to make sure that Amazon keeps selling ebooks with no limitation on free speech. I won’t buy anything from the Kernel or a Kernel advertiser because of your ignorance of the value of free speech.
— Dave Thomas
SIR — While holocaust deniers appear rather silly, where is the justification in censoring them? I would think the more publications like yours rail against these people the more credibility they achieve. Would it not be better for their books to be available so folks could compare them with the various versions of history that are more academic and better researched?
SIR — Re the Holocaust story: it is an immense collection of facts and stories. Some are true, some are demonstrably not true. To argue, as you do implicitly, that it is wrong to sell a book that criticises large or small elements in a story you believe is true is mindless and self-serving to the point of corruption.
— Bradley Smith
Every Friday, we publish comments, letters and, yes, occasionally tweets we consider to be of interest to our general readership. If you would like to write to The Kernel, please use this address. Unless otherwise indicated, we treat any correspondence sent to us as appropriate for publication.