Thursday, August 22, 2013

Haters on Goodreads Kill Debut of Hopeful Author



I had scheduled a totally different post for today but can't help it. This is far more important than my minor problems. Please READ THIS CAREFULLY AND SPREAD THE WORD (I know I'm shouting, but this needs to be heard).

This takes my breath away – in a very negative way. My (so far) favorite review site, Goodreads, allows haters and Cyber-bullys to attack authors like Lauren. In this special case, the hate attack was triggered by a question about the rating system and it went on until the young authoress decided to NOT release her debut novel. She weighed the need to protect her health and sanity against the anger and hate she got from cyber-bullies and decided that SHE was more important than the book.

Only a truly strong woman can make this kind of decision. I applaud her – although I do not like that the bullies managed to push her than way.

The hardest bits about the whole story are:

  • she is not the only one who is bullied on Goodreads, there are others – reviewers and authors alike
  • Goodreads is NOT stepping in. They excuse bullying by claiming “Freedom of Speech” – which is a ridiculously easy way to say, “We don’t give a shit.”

This has to stop, and the ones who can enforce their own policies (see quotes from their website above) are the managers of Goodreads. If you want to support a cyper-outcryagainst bullying on Goodreads, head over to sign the petition. The more, the better. Goodreads needs to see that it will be loosing customers (authors, reviewers AND advertisers) if it doesn’t stop bullying on their site.

Hurry up, do the Good Deed of the Day,
Cat

1 comment:

Texanne Kelly said...

Cat--

While I feel bad for the young author who let herself be stopped by the bullies (I refuse to use the word "hater" because it's the word used to demonize anyone who disagrees about a particular issue), I am not sure that having Goodreads step in is the answer.

I'm pretty much opposed to this type of intervention in a public way. Who's to say what's bullying and what's real criticism? It's just like, who's to say what's good literature and what should be banned? We don't ban books.

Lauren, and anyone else facing bullies, can learn from this. Did she think she'd get nothing but 5-star reviews on Amazon? We each have to be the hero of our own life. Heroes fight their own battles.

I think the better path, rather than getting Big Daddy Goodreads to lick the bullies, is to teach Lauren and any others who are prone to bullying, how to respond, both internally and externally.

Who knows why people say hateful things to each other? Some deep emptiness, maybe. But until Lauren learns to take care of herself, she'll always be a victim. Dragging Big Daddy (or Big Brother, as the case may be) into every fight is impractical and debilitating for the "victim" and teaches the bully nothing, either.

Hmm. You know, it's not just the bullies who are playing a sort of pre-scripted part. The "victims" are reading off the same script. When victims refuse to turn tail or cry or whatever, they step out of the script. No easy thing, but very liberating!

Maybe I should go over to Goodreads and see what's shaking. :)TX