Kobo's CCO has defended the decision to suspend 'explicit' ebooks from the ereader manufacturer's self-publishing site.
The company, along with Amazon and Barnes & Noble, reviewed its self-published content in the wake of the explicit content scandal, where titles about rape, bestiality and incest were found in their search results without any age restrictions.
But Kobo suspended the entirety of its indie author offerings while it checked for inappropriate content, and WHSmith, to which Kobo provides ebooks, went to the extent of taking its site offline.
More than 14,000 people signed an indie author petition addressed to Kobo, Amazon and B&N in response, demanding that they "Leave our erotica and self-published indie authors alone".
But Kobo CCO Michael Tamblyn refused to apologise for temporarily suspending the content, nor for continuing to keep some of it unavailable.
"All I can say is that if your dream is to publish "barely legal" erotica or exploitative rape fantasies, distribution is probably going to be a struggle for you," he wrote in an update on Kobo Writing Life, its self-publishing arm.
"We aren't saying you can't write them. But we don't feel compelled to sell them. Many titles live in a grey zone with far more shades than the fifty that sold so well in the past year, but that is what makes this all so challenging."
The petition organiser, named only as Mlstress Renee, had written on Change.org that erotica should not be banned along with the abuse-themed reads.
"Why is [it] okay to sell "adult products" on said websites but not FICTIONAL reads. What happened to freedom of speech?" she wrote.