I usually don’t jump into controversy or follow the crowd on anything. But this time, I feel the need to add my $0.02. As my Daddy used to say, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I haven’t been attacked, and hopefully won’t be:) But I see an injustice, and I have an idea how to fix it. So here goes:
Recently, there’s been quite a bit of noise about groups of ‘readers’ on Goodreads attacking authors. These ‘readers’ leave one-star reviews with abusive tirades on all of the ‘target’ author’s books, and sometimes take the battle into social media as well. Now, if they read the book, and just didn’t like the book, it’d be one thing. But many of these ‘readers’ haven’t read anything by the author. They’ve taken a personal dislike and turned it into a vendetta designed to ruin a career. They count on the anonymity of the internet to protect them from justice while they engage in abusive bullying that devastates another human being.
In response to this kind of shit, authors, bloggers and real readers have banded together with a petition to ask Goodreads to enforce their own policies against abusive, libelous and inflammatory remarks. IMO, they might as well petition a tree to move. Goodreads doesn’t care what authors think, as long as traffic keeps going up and advertising dollars keep coming in.
If you want Goodreads’ attention, cut into their bank account. Petition the individual authors who advertise on the site to pull their ads and boycott further advertising. The New York Times advertises there, and there are also movie ads. Those are the people the petitions need to target if anyone wants the attention of Goodreads.
Just like any big business, Goodreads pays attention to revenue. All the petitions in the world, and blogging about battles and bad reviews and tantrums only increases traffic to the site, which is a good thing for them. They aren’t going to put a stop to something that makes them money.
So, if you want them to enforce their policies and put a stop to the cyber-bullies, trolls, and others with nothing better to do with their lives than attack other people they don’t even know, you have to negatively impact traffic and revenue.
Instead of ranting and writing petitions, convince authors, particularly NYT bestsellers, to stop advertising on Goodreads and stop funding the abuse of other authors.