Today Kobo responded directly to its Writing Life authors with an email explaining in part, “Kobo was included in the reports from media and we are taking immediate action to resolve an issue that is the direct result of a select few authors and publishers violating Kobo’s content policies.”
In a statement to DBW, Cerys Goodall, Senior Director of Public Relations for Kobo clarified the company’s actions with the same message the company shared with its Writing Life and self-publishing partners:
As you may be aware, there has been a significant amount of negative attention in the UK regarding offensive material that became available across a number of eBook platforms. Kobo is taking immediate action to resolve this issue which is a direct result of a select few authors and publishers violating Kobo’s content policies.
In order to address the situation Kobo is taking the following steps:
1. We are removing titles in question from the global Kobo platform.
2. We are completing a thorough review to ensure that compliance to our policies is met by authors and publishers. As a result we are quarantining and reviewing additional titles.
3. During this process, we have removed all self-published titles from the UK store. We expect titles that comply with our policy to be returned to the store within the week.
4. We are reviewing our policies and procedures to implement safeguards that will ensure this situation does not happen in the future.
We are working hard to get back to business as usual, as quickly as possible.
Our goal at Kobo is not to censor material; we support freedom of expression. Further, we want to protect the reputation of self-publishing as a whole. While some may find our measures extreme, we are confident that we are taking the necessary measures to ensure the exceptions that have caused this current situation will not have a lasting effect on what is an exciting new channel that connects Readers to a wealth of books.