Breaking News: Teen Finds Porn on Amazon!

7110333837_ee265e6a62_hMuch to the delight of male teens everywhere, the BBC has discovered that Amazon still sells erotica, and it can sometimes be found accidentally by teens:

A mother has demanded Amazon take action after her 12-year-old daughter accidently found sexually explicit material on its website.

She said her daughter had typed "free Kindle books for teenagers" into a search and results included titles like Being Bad and Bad Babysitter.

The woman, who has asked the BBC to use only her forename, Nicola, said she was "gobsmacked" at the X-rated material.

Amazon said the titles were "temporarily miscategorised".

amazon erotica

Nicola, who lives in the south of England, said her daughter was looking for free books to download for a new Kindle which she was to be given as a present. "I'm trying to protect my teenager in every way possible," she said. "I'm doing all the things that I ought to do and a company like Amazon is not only allowing her to access it but is actually offering it to her when she's not even looking for it."

This is old news. Not only have we long known that ebook retailers sell adult content, this isn't even the first time that Amazon has taken flack for miscategorized books or a failed search filter.

This story has come up at least once before, in 2013, and Amazon's response is the same now as it was then. This was an error, they corrected it, and they apologized.

I'm not sure I see the news value in repeating a two year old story, other than to point out that parent still should not allow their kids to use Amazon's website unsupervised, which is exactly what Amazon has already been saying:

The NSPCC, which has guidelines on how to protect children online, said: "Amazon state that under 18s should not use the site without parental supervision. However, this should be made much clearer on sign-up so that parents can take steps to prevent children viewing or purchasing age-inappropriate content."

image by Vancouver Public Library

About Nate Hoffelder (11579 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

6 Comments on Breaking News: Teen Finds Porn on Amazon!

  1. I wonder, how this concerned parent found out about those search results. If the child was observed while searching through Amazon’s web site, the miscategorized content should easily have been spotted and have done no harm. If not, how is letting the child browse the web unsupervised “trying to protect my teenager in every way possible”?

  2. Thanks, Nicola, for bringing this to the attention of all two of the teenagers on earth who didn’t know you could find porn on the internet.

  3. Amazon (and other retailers) could do a better job with this issue, but they simply haven’t been forced to (or even encouraged very heavily). I’m not a teen and I come across miscategorized items frequently (and not just porn. Sometimes authors list as a co-author a subject rather than a person, which I assume is done for keyword searches). I can report it and not even get a response. They could beef up their game when it comes to this issue.

  4. I’m sure the numerous book covers with guns and depictions of violence aren’t a problem, however.

    The world doesn’t need anymore of these Tipper Gore-types telling us of their Puritanical values. Get into the 21st-century, lady.

  5. The takeaway here is that Amazon’s search algorithm is Teh Suck. It has been so since the beginning of time …

  6. Fancy the pressure her daughter is facing every day. Mother: “Hey, switch off the TV. This content is not suitable for you.”. “Don’t read this book, read that educational one.”

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