WHSmith - How not to do online trade...

So, apparently WHSmith are very upset with the appearance of "Unacceptable Titles" in their Kobo feed, and so, the obvious solution to this is to entirely take down their website and replace it with the following holding page


So, rather than doing the sensible thing, of just removing the kobo feed temporarily, and putting a note on the ebook selling part of their website, instead they've gone with the TAKE EVERYTHING DOWN!!1!!1!1!!one! approach. That seems somewhat stupid, and I'd be looking at whoever made that call and looking to find out how they've still got a job... unless WHSmith really do absolutely no online trade at all, this seems to be particularly stupid.

Posted: 2013-10-14 13:58 in Books | permalink | Comments: 2

Steven C. - 2013-10-14 20:55

Hmmm, Streisand effect. I'm now dying to know what books WH Smith wants to 'protect' me from. I guess probably nothing I'd be interested in, but still, I probably never would have known of said books' existence, if not for this dramatic reaction.

Steven C. - 2013-10-14 21:12

This seems to be the story that triggered it; nothing too exciting, and also not limited to W. H. Smith: It seems distasteful adult/explicit novels turned up innocuous searches; that sounds more complex than disabling a products feed. They may have to review the entire catalogue to make sure such material is properly categorised (seems they haven't done so until now), and most likely they will remove it. Wikipedia's article for W. H. Smith doesn't yet mention this, but does describe a similar past incident.