Amazon has been accused of making money selling potentially dangerous ebooks on topics ranging from growing drugs to making bombs.
The internet giant lets anyone upload an ebook for sale, without safeguards against content, that would be refused by traditional publishers.
Any potential self-publisher can use Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service to upload their ebook for sale, charging as little as 77p to potential readers.
These books are then able to be downloaded from its website by its customers from around the world.
Examples of some of the more questionable books available from the online books giant include anti-Semitic prose, instructions on growing marijuana, instructions for making nitroglycerin and novels which apparently glorify dog fighting.
One ebook- “Prophet Muhammad: Monster of History” – includes images of a Koran being burned and of a woman being hanged.
Author Jake Neuman says of its content on his own website: ‘The writings contained in this book are now illegal in most Western countries’ and yet users can click on amazon.co.uk and access his work with just a few mouse clicks.
The Muslim Council of Britain said it wants Amazon to ‘take proper responsibility’ for the content of the books on its site.
Amazon instructs self-publishers to adhere to ‘content guidelines’, stating, for example, that ‘we don’t accept pornography’ but critics say the company does not go nearly far enough.
Richard Mollet, chief executive of the Publishers Association, told the Sunday Times: ‘We see the same attitude from search engines – don’t blame us; we’re just putting it out there.’
‘It’s time internet companies did start to take a better look at their practices and behaved more responsibly.’