Friday, August 23, 2013

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Re-Blogged from The Book Chick:

I am making this post as a public service announcement. I just want to encourage all of my fellow readers and bloggers who are Goodreads members to disengage from attacking authors on the site. In the past couple of days, I have seen several Facebook posts by authors of different genres who have mentioned being attacked by readers. ‘Readers’ are one-starring pre-released books or dive bombing every book the author has ever written with one-star reviews. 

Why? Because these ‘readers’ feel as if the author has made some reprehensible infraction against the world of literature as a whole *eye roll*. I know…dramatic, right? But sadly, it’s true. The internet trolls have now taken up residence on Goodreads. They are pollinating the site with their vitriol against authors and fellow readers who might support the author or their book(s). At some point, we as a community of readers and authors need to just say NO! This behavior is not okay and we will not just accept that is standard operating procedure for a site as large as Goodreads. 

I am encouraging everyone to sign the Goodreads Policy on Abuse to Authors petition. Right now Goodreads is taking a non-existent stand on enforcing its own terms of service policy:

"You agree not to post User Content that: (i) may create a risk of harm, loss, physical or mental injury, emotional distress, death, disability, disfigurement, or physical or mental illness to you, to any other person, or to any animal; (ii) may create a risk of any other loss or damage to any person or property; (iii) seeks to harm or exploit children by exposing them to inappropriate content, asking for personally identifiable details or otherwise; (iv) may constitute or contribute to a crime or tort; (v) contains any information or content that we deem to be unlawful, harmful, abusive, racially or ethnically offensive, defamatory, infringing, invasive of personal privacy or publicity rights, harassing, humiliating to other people (publicly or otherwise), libelous, threatening, profane, or otherwise objectionable; (vi) contains any information or content that is illegal (including, without limitation, the disclosure of insider information under securities law or of another party’s trade secrets); or (vii) contains any information or content that you do not have a right to make available under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships; or (viii) contains any information or content that you know is not correct and current."

Lauren Howard has declined to release Learning to Love because of venom unleashed upon her by members of Goodreads. [Read her cancellation statement here]. I just personally find it despicable that this type of behavior is being allowed to flourish. As an American, I am truly grateful for the First Amendment that guarantees the right to free  speech. Yet, I don’t understand why the trolls seem to think that they are the only ones entitled to speak freely. If an author chooses to stand up for him or herself, they are shunned and the troll community responds by trying to systematically destroy everything the author has worked hard to achieve. Most authors  choose to opt out in offering a reply to negative reviews or caustic comments. But those who choose to respond are attacked with fang and claw by the trolls.

If you read a book…

And you don’t like but want to leave a rating and review, that’s fine. However, leave a fair venom-free review. Don’t destroy an author’s chance to have other people read their book because of a hate-laced review offered as “honest.” Be honest but be considerate as well. Authors are people too and should be respected for their craft. It’s hard to put your heart and soul out for the world to see.

If you don’t read a book…

Do not…I repeat…do not leave a review or a rating for a book you've NOT read. I don’t care what the author “has done” that you feel  is so vile that you need to one-star everything they have ever written. Not just that, you share that information with other like minded people who also engage in the same behavior. It’s toxic and it’s wrong. It only hurts us innocent readers in the end. Rise above base behavior and don’t destroy another person just because you feel like it.

I hate to be ranty but enough is enough!

*Admin note: While I normally try to stay away from drama that occurs on any social media sites, what occurred recently on Goodreads had me O_o . 

I love Goodreads. I have met a great many friends, reviewers, and authors on site as well in groups. It is the one place you can interact with the authors you love on a personal level. I have also seen Goodreads go after trolls removing their accounts. So when this incident happened, I was very surprised the admins did not step in. The comments were hurtful and many were unjust, just plain abusive. 

I never understood the 1 star rating of some reviewers that never read the books they rated, let alone some of their comments. As a reviewer, you can rate how you want, but if you haven't read the book? I also do not understand some of these reviewers shelving labels...Ex. Authors Who Need To Be Sodomized, Authors Who Need To Be Raped, Authors Who Need To Be Killed. 

Seriously? Are you kidding me with these shelves? Beyond disgusting, but allowed.

The author in this incident tried to fight back but we all know if an author does, the attacks become worse. This was one of the worse incidents of abuse I have ever witnessed and it was embarrassing seeing it go on. Goodreads has a policy against abuse but for some reason chose not to intervene. I am still stunned over it. 

There have been a great many posts about this incident and this one from The Book Chick was the best in my opinion. It is worth the re-blog and worth your 5 minutes to read and possibly sign the petition asking Goodreads to act on their policies.

{ 7 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. It annoys me so much, the stuff that Goodreads allows to continue. Then there's the group who walk that fine line. They are just THIS side of abusive, THIS side of threatening...while still be a total bully. Then they pat themselves on the back for having upheld TRUTH...yeah...they are such heroes. And really? You need SIXTEEN shelves to say: I don't want to read this and I'll never read it and OH THE TREES! Good grief.

    My husband says that bullies in school, once they graduate, need to still be bullies. And the internet is such an easy place to continue to be hideous, while HIDING...yep, I'm pretty sure that many of these cyber bullies can be found wearing white pointy caps in their private lives...

    1. I don't agree with reviewers that do that but always though, meh, whatever, I usually pay no attention and never let them sway my opinions anyway. But this was a level of attack that was just beyond any level of taste. I am so disappointed GR's did not step in. They need to enforce their T&C's. Really a sad commentary on their admins to look the other way.

  2. Oh! And I totally agree...if you want to RATE the BOOK...READ IT! I don't think that's too much to ask.

  3. Completely agree, it's happened to many authors.

  4. Goodreads can remove accounts all they want, I'm surprised they didn't here, but it doesn't do much good when the reviewers (and in some cases other authors) can simply create another account and keep on keeping on.

    It's sad to me that people have this little respect for themselves that they are ok with treating others so poorly.

    Good post credoroza.

    1. It really is and hopefully they will take note of the petition. This was really the worst incident I have witnessed. The Book Chick wrote the original post, I re-blogged and then commented on it. She really hit the nail on the head. Thanks for reading and commenting.