Update: Logos Claims They’re Cleaning Up Their Erotic Books, But What Is Taking Them So Long? + Things Aren’t Adding Up

Following our reporting that exposed Logos Bible Software as hosting, selling, and making available thousands of erotic books through their platform, a representative from the company shared that they are “actively in the midst of a large-scale cleanup” and are asking for patience while they cull these books from their platform. 

Two weeks ago, we revealed in a series of posts that Logos Bible Software , perhaps the world’s most prominent and popular sermon prep and bible study software endorsed by everyone from John MacArthur to Beth Moore, was selling books containing graphic and descriptive sex scenes rivaling the most sordid and smuttiest of Harlequins. These were found on their Logos website, Faithlife E-Books site, and the app itself, and often involved hosting the catalog of Erotic or LGBTQ-affirming book publishers. 

Exclusive: ‘Logos Software’ Selling Hardcore Erotica Porn Alongside Devotionals and Bible Studies

‘Sexual Magic for the Solo Witch,’ + A Timeline of Logos Bible Software’s Customer Service Inaction, Part 1

What we found particularly vexatious was the fact that they were alerted of this over a month ago by a long-term customer and did not act in a manner befitting the urgency of the situation. They removed a dozen books, yet thousands remained.

Logos Bible Software Sells Books on ‘How to Write Erotica’ & Be A Porn Star+ A Timeline of Customer Service Inaction, Part 2

Once we got involved, however, they acted immediately, initially explaining that “they were removing these and related titles ASAP”

Matt Bennett, Content of VP products, posted an update to their forum, writing in part:

…Many of you have noted, a difficulty in broadening the content available on logos.com is that we rely on publishers to provide relevant, helpful content that doesn’t violate our standards of containing erotic/graphic language or inciting violence. (You can read our entire distribution philosophy here.) Many Bible-focused, respected publishers add books to the Logos platform using an automated feed. Some of these publishers have imprints that publish books which sometimes violate our standards—and these imprints also send books to the Logos platform using the automated feed. We’ve always used BISAC codes to filter out as many of these books as we can and we take down individual titles as we find them. 

However, we’re currently working to tighten these controls so the Logos platform is always a safe place for going deeper in the Bible. A few things that means going forward:

  • We have turned off the automatic feed for publishers and publishing imprints with multiple titles that violate our distribution philosophy. This means that titles from these publishers will be reviewed to ensure nothing erotic/graphic or violent makes it to our website.
  • Our team will review titles flagged by users like you within one business day. If a title violates our standards against erotic, graphic, or violent language, we will remove it ASAP. You can send questionable titles to titlereview@logos.com to be reviewed by someone at Logos.

We apologize for the few resources that have bypassed our filtering system in the past. Thank you to those who have brought them to our attention so we could immediately remove them, and thank you for continuing to trust Logos to help you go deeper in your study of Scripture.

This was followed up with a post a few days later:

While we are grateful for these efforts and satisfied with Protestia’s role in completely altering how Logos curates and selects content, some aspects of this situation remain irksome and troubling.

Despite sending Logos multiple requests for comment for the last two weeks, through phone, email, and private chat, they have ignored all our overtures. Of course, we’re not owed anything, and their silence is completely their prerogative, but even some acknowledgment and a “no comment” would have been welcome and appreciated.

Furthermore, Bennett says, “We apologize for the few resources that have bypassed our filtering system in the past.” This minimizes the scope of the problem. It was not a “few” resource, but rather THOUSANDS, magnified because the same books were available on multiple platforms. Some of our data, which we received by scraping the site, has revealed as many as 4000 erotic and pornographic books, an estimated 3-4% of their total content, so let’s not play games with these numbers and pretend this is a small lapse of a couple of books that just so happened to get through. 

If it were a few books, you’d have it solved by now, but you don’t, so it’s not.

Then there is the fact that at the time of writing, hundreds/ thousands of filthy books remain on the site, including many that have fully nude women on the front covers. 

Logos has now had six weeks to clean things up, including two weeks with an extra dose of pressure; how much longer do they need? Another month? Six months? What sort of resources and manpower are being allocated to this problem? Are we going to be here at Christmas flagging Logos’ content because they can’t get their act together? Why are we blurring explicit content that pastors and laypeople might stumble upon six weeks after the fact? (Book blurs below added by us)

Logos insists that titles from some publishers will be “reviewed to ensure nothing erotic/graphic or violent makes it to our website,” but what of the troublesome, non-sexual content that does NOT violate Logo’s publication prerogatives?

Notably, The Junior Astrologer’s Handbook: A Kid’s Guide to Astrological Signs, the Zodiac, and More is still available on their websites, (archived here) despite being specifically called out by the original customer complaint six weeks ago as being ripe for removal. It was likewise flagged by us in our post two weeks ago, and mentioned by other concerned Logos owners in social media posts and forum posts.

Same goes for The Junior Witch’s Handbook: A Kid’s Guide to White Magic, Spells, and Rituals which is still being sold, despite being presented to Logos multiple times as a candidate for removal.

Logos says ” If a title violates our standards against erotic, graphic, or violent language, we will remove it ASAP” Given that this does not seem to contain any of those things, does this mean it’s safe for sale and will not be removed? How many more titles are like this that will not be pulled? Why hasn’t it been pulled yet?

Responding to questions over why Logos did not deal with the original complainant, ghosting the person and causing us to step in, Kristen Tetteh, the Director of Customer Experience who did not respond to our multiple request for follow-up, shared:

We want to thank the user who initially flagged this for us. We missed replying to his request for follow up and wish we hadn’t. When we were contacted we took quick action to remove the titles we were alerted to. We desire to provide all of our users with high quality care and view this as an important learning moment for us.    

This is not true. They removed some of the flagged titles from the Logos page, but they did not remove other titles when they were originally contacted, including the aforementioned titles. They were provided with links, and they still did nothing.

They did not take quick action to remove the books because if they did, they wouldn’t still be on two of their three platforms. The notion or suggestion that they were on this six weeks ago, treating the removal of books with the urgency it demands and simply missed a follow email about progress, is a fairy-tale.

So here’s what we see: a company squandering the good graces and benefit of the doubt we are trying to afford it. Tons of filthy books and content remain, particularly in the app, which, on account of its search capabilities, picks up X-rated resources alongside bible commentaries and biblical treatises.

Logos’ response remains disappointing, and for this reason, we would not use these resources (nor would we let our children) until we are confident we’re not going to get a naked breast on a book cover or get a glimpse of a graphic sex scene while looking up scriptural references.

At this rate, that’ll likely be a while.

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