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Old 08-21-2013, 07:46 PM   #1
taming
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Did a writer get bullied on Goodreads? (Salon Article)

Salon reports on the experience of a new author who got bad reviews and allegedly nasty comments on Goodreads about her book before it was released.

From the article:

Quote:
Howard, who describes herself as a woman who was “bullied throughout her entire high school career,” says that “I have NEVER expected this journey to be all sunshine and rainbows, I knew some people would hate my book but I could have handled THOSE reviews. What I cannot handle and what I didn’t expect is being targeted PRIOR TO RELEASE by a group of bullies who have wished horrible things, including rape and death, on me” and that “I will not be a part of a site where it is acceptable to wish rape, sodomy, abuse and death on someone.” Though it’s only her word on this, given the ease with which rape and death threats are tossed around at women online, it’s certainly not difficult to imagine.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:32 PM   #2
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If she received threats involving "rape, sodomy, abuse and death", I don't understand why she takes it to the Salon and not the nearest police station.

The former does draw more attention to her person and the book, admittedly.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:16 PM   #3
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This is a really bizarre article. What was the impetus for these "bullies" to pick on her? I can't fathom that people are so bored that they are looking for a new writer on Goodreads to pick on. I can only imagine that these are people who know her in real life, or that there is something else being withheld in this article.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:48 PM   #4
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Lauren is a liar when she says that "a group of bullies who have wished horrible things, including rape and death, on me."

This DID NOT HAPPEN. Nor are there any quotes, requotes, screencaps, or other such evidence. And such things would have been requoted so that even if the originals were deleted there would be a record of said atrocities.

What there is proof of, is at least 2 instances where Lauren's fan threatened violence [hand in blender and hanging] against reviewers who gave her book 1 or 2stars. The originals have been deleted by GR for violating TOS, but the reviewers who were threatened requoted and screencapped the violent threats.

If anyone is interested in what actually happened, I've provided a link to the book in question.

Learning to Love

Read the reviews and the comments and decide for yourself.

Last edited by Ravensknight; 08-22-2013 at 12:03 AM. Reason: link added.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:24 AM   #5
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What I find more concerning is that an unreleased book already has 101 ratings and 34 reviews, and a 4.71 overall score.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravensknight View Post
Lauren is a liar when she says that "a group of bullies who have wished horrible things, including rape and death, on me."

This DID NOT HAPPEN. Nor are there any quotes, requotes, screencaps, or other such evidence. And such things would have been requoted so that even if the originals were deleted there would be a record of said atrocities.

What there is proof of, is at least 2 instances where Lauren's fan threatened violence [hand in blender and hanging] against reviewers who gave her book 1 or 2stars. The originals have been deleted by GR for violating TOS, but the reviewers who were threatened requoted and screencapped the violent threats.

If anyone is interested in what actually happened, I've provided a link to the book in question.

Learning to Love

Read the reviews and the comments and decide for yourself.
Just a point of order, suggesting someone put his/her hand in a blender is not a violent threat. It's a florid way of saying, "Why don't you F*** off!"

I looked through some of this, but it's difficult to see what's what. So many comments have been deleted. I think there was also something along the lines of, "Go hang yourself!" I can't actually find that one, but just more of the same - abuse rather than threats. And the abuse seems well and truly to be flying in both directions in this case regardless of where it started.

Not defending the author in this case. I can't really see any of what she's claiming either except for a weird 2 star review from someone who clearly hadn't read the book. I too think it's absurd to give a review for something you haven't read, but it's really not worth get bent out of shape over and as soon as you do on a platform like Goodreads, you're going to be in serious damage control from that point forward. Better to let it slide and hope that real reviews will make up for it later.

Anyway, it just looks like a normal day in Goodreads.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:42 AM   #7
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Why doesn't the author complain about the 5 stars reviews from people who hasn't been able to read the book, as it says it's no longer published?
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caleb72 View Post
Just a point of order, suggesting someone put his/her hand in a blender is not a violent threat. It's a florid way of saying, "Why don't you F*** off!"

I looked through some of this, but it's difficult to see what's what. So many comments have been deleted. I think there was also something along the lines of, "Go hang yourself!" I can't actually find that one, but just more of the same - abuse rather than threats. And the abuse seems well and truly to be flying in both directions in this case regardless of where it started.

Not defending the author in this case. I can't really see any of what she's claiming either except for a weird 2 star review from someone who clearly hadn't read the book. I too think it's absurd to give a review for something you haven't read, but it's really not worth get bent out of shape over and as soon as you do on a platform like Goodreads, you're going to be in serious damage control from that point forward. Better to let it slide and hope that real reviews will make up for it later.

Anyway, it just looks like a normal day in Goodreads.
Even if you're right about the actual significance of the threat wouldn't you say that it's a bit over the top? I mean there is a world of difference between saying something like,"your writing stinks" and "why don't you put your hand in a blender?"
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:03 AM   #9
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Bad PR is also PR. Given the comments in this thread, I smell something fishy.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:25 AM   #10
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Bad PR is also PR. Given the comments in this thread, I smell something fishy.
This. The Lindsey Lohan Method.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:51 AM   #11
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I'm quite displeased to see that Goodreads let the book getting reviews and stars when the "reviewers" clearly state they never read it. And how could they, it's not released anymore

Something sounds fishy here and the author comment saying "I wrote this intending for one person to read it, she did" doesn't help the whole story sounds more genuine
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
Even if you're right about the actual significance of the threat wouldn't you say that it's a bit over the top? I mean there is a world of difference between saying something like,"your writing stinks" and "why don't you put your hand in a blender?"
Actually, the "why don't you put your hand in a blender?" comment was made by one of the author's fans (friends/family/self, I suppose) to someone who gave the book two stars. That's the incident that started the brouhaha, from what I've read.
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:07 AM   #13
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It is weird that people misunderstood bullying. It is not what was done, but how it was perceived. Something that for me and a lot of other people would be normal, for another would feel abusive.

The problem is that readers misinterpret her blog. Yes it is bias and full of emotion as it is expected for someone who had their feelings hurt.

BUT if you go and read her blog entry she clearly states she was not told she should be raped. Such thing would have immediately been flagged by the community and taken down by GR staff.

Rather it was her book that was placed in a shelf with a name that was offensive to her [I doubt it was the only book on that shelf!]

What I know is that GR is against censure but PERSONAL ATTACKS against members and authors are NOT allowed and taken care of immediately.

The shelf system is use just like the ratings. It is for personal use not for the author's benefit and trying to interpret a meaning would be wrong.
As someone else said, some people rate a book with 1 star contrary to the suggestion of the system, and 1 is equal A. Some would vote with 1 for do not read, 2 maybe and so on.
A lot of people use he shelves in a similar manner - putting books on a shelf called illiterate or author should be *** would remind me that I have researched those books and I do not want to do that again. Some users read hundreds of books per year and add thousands more. It is impossible to remember what you've seen, so you need our own system to mark not only books you've rated but books you don't want to read because of various reasons.

A lot of people dislike the fact that someone can rate and review a book before it is released. This has been discussed multiple times and GR will not change it, to the authors dislike.



Also talking about bullying, there has no less coming from authors. They contact users, offend and do the same as a user can do. Often they will edit their books, delete data, ISBN numbers and ruin the peoples catalogs So bullying is not exclusive to readers or authors and it can happen anywhere, even on mobileread. It is the proportion to which we will take the event. She creates publicity for both her and GR.


Although I am member of GR community this is not in defense of blame of anyone. I read the forums a lot and I don't remember seeing this, all I'm saying is people get heated, people say things. But unlike other places, profanity is allowed on GR and they, as a commercial website, would most probably not ban anyone that is using a bad word [unless misusing it, attacking people, being a troll, abusive, spamming and etc.]

Not to mention that for many users the content of the site itself is often considered offensive, meaning profile pictures, book covers [seriously], book content [seriously again], reviews and etc. So if they start censuring people they would have to censure books as well. Somehow seems impossible, to me.



Sorry for the long post. I actually heard of this for the first time yesterday and I cannot believe the publicity it is given. If you want drama just go and brows the feedback group. There are some pretty interesting topics, very heated.

Last edited by crdf; 08-23-2013 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:28 AM   #14
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I was checking the feedback group, and I thing I read a message from this author about the rating. Anyway, it's not feasible block ratings because of reading status. And about publish date, ARC, you remember?

Anyway, about publishing status... if she contact gooreads staff (or goodreads librarian group) and says: this book doesn't exist and it is not going to exist, I think it would be removed. But she prefers whining and PR, what a surprise!
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:44 AM   #15
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I'm quite displeased to see that Goodreads let the book getting reviews and stars when the "reviewers" clearly state they never read it.
THIS is exactly how all this crap starts. People making silly comments on subjects they don't understand.

Goodreads is a site for readers. Readers rate books however and for whatever reason they want. They don't even need to share those ratings (and perhaps it might cause fewer hurt feelings if member defaults were to not share anything, but that seems to defeat the whole purpose of a social media site). I wouldn't generally give a rating to a book I hadn't read - but I would certainly add a book like this to my "don't even think of reading" shelf. Others though, might give a rating to an unread book as a way of ranking their interest in reading it when it does become available. I only give 1-star ratings to books I haven't read — though it will always be a book I started, but couldn't finish.
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