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Removing Inappropriate Titles from the Logos Platform

Published March 20, 2024

We work hard to ensure that the Logos platform features a broad selection of relevant, high quality content; however, it was recently brought to our attention that some inappropriate titles bypassed our filters to become sellable on the Logos platform. Our team is actively working to remove titles that are not aligned with our Distribution Philosophy.

What happened

Logos partners with nearly a thousand publishers to sell titles customers want in their Logos library. Many are our core Christian publishing partners, which distribute books that customers want the day they’re published. Some are more academic or popular-level publishers, which distribute a mix of content, some of which is ideal for Christians devoted to Bible study, useful for everyday life, or, on some occasions, inappropriate for the Logos platform.

Our team manually vets each publisher’s content the first time they submit content to us before we set up a feed for the publishing partner to use. Once the initial content is reviewed and the feed is set up, the publisher can automatically add titles to our platform. This feed filters out books with BISAC codes (book categorization data that’s used on every book) that we know don’t belong on our platform. In this case, some titles bypassed our filters because their BISAC codes didn’t raise an alarm.

In addition, some discovered it was still possible (even after resources had been removed from logos.com) to add objectionable titles to their Logos library using the Print Library Catalog feature, which allows Logos customers to search the contents of a book (without giving them the ability to read the book itself).

How we responded

Our team has been filtering and removing titles that aren’t aligned with our standards. We have been reviewing content internally as well as reviewing and responding to titles sent in to titlereview@logos.com. (Our team responds within one business day.)

We have also removed and will continue removing illicit titles from the Print Library Catalog. We addressed a disconnect in our systems that required coordinated effort between our product team and developers, and we will soon be able to remove titles from the Print Library at the same time we remove them from the platform.

What we’re doing next

We know our existing workflow failed at keeping illicit titles off the Logos platform, so we’re rebuilding our process to better vet and filter content. We are also looking at how we can leverage the latest technology to help us tighten our filters to ensure illicit material never bypasses our filters.

Thank you for your patience as we work to get this right. We don’t take for granted your trust in us, and we hope to regain your trust as we improve our processes in order to bring you a broad selection of valuable content. We’ll continue to share updates in the forum thread here.


Update from April 15, 2024

As promised in the update above from March 20, here’s an update on our progress in removing inappropriate titles from the Logos platform.

We have checked, tested, and verified our filters as well as our manual processes are working properly from now on to prevent illicit titles from being added to our platform. We have also completed automated and manual reviews of questionable content that’s currently available on the platform, removing all the inappropriate books we’ve found. From here on, we are confident that our processes will correctly identify and remove content that doesn’t adhere to our Distribution Philosophy.

Thank you for your patience as we have worked to fix our filtering and processes. While we can’t guarantee another illicit title won’t end up on the Logos platform, we feel certain it will be rare. Our team remains committed to regularly checking our filters and to reviewing and responding to each email that comes through titlereview@logos.com. Please keep sending us anything you come across.


Update from May 13, 2024:

We are both sorry and frustrated that additional illicit content has gotten through our content publishing process. We’re taking this seriously, and our team is working on getting it right. Further, we’re investing in strengthening our filters so the Logos platform is always a safe place for going deeper in the Bible.

Our previous efforts to tighten our filters are still working as intended, but we’ve found additional ways that content has been sneaking through, and we are closing those gaps.

A brief summary of the issue and the action we’re taking:

Our filters are currently set up to exclude books in certain BISAC subject categories that don’t adhere to our distribution philosophy. However, some of the inappropriate titles we removed today are coded to seemingly innocuous BISAC categories like biography, health and fitness, and performing arts.

When we were notified of inappropriate titles on our site earlier this year, we significantly expanded the list of BISAC category exclusions. While this has helped, it has proven to be insufficient. As a result, we are taking two additional steps to prevent illicit titles from being added to our platform:

  1. We are implementing a regular manual review of all of our sites to remove titles that violate our distribution philosophy, and many of you have already noticed this working.
  2. Our team is developing a new content vetting tool based on large language model technology to scan titles and descriptions of all ebooks before they go live. The tool will filter out any titles that include keywords flagged as high risk for violating our distribution philosophy. Our team will then manually check these titles to determine whether or not they are appropriate for our platform.

Thank you for your patience and support. We will continue working to improve our content filtering process, and we’ll post updates here and in the forum thread.