The moral? Don’t let bullies stop you. Keep making great art!
You all remember the post where one of the Amazon/GR bullies tormented someone with special needs. Well, here is another example of an attack on such a person. This article comes from an anonymous blog reader who wanted to share their opinion on GR troll attacks.
Reviews that have merit and are written with some substance and thought, regardless of whether they’re negative or positive, on the book itself. Anytime, a review brings things in that are hearsay , or are gossip, by nature about the writer, that is not pertinent to the review itself; you no longer have a book review.
Emilie Autumn, an independent author, musician, and poet, recently was the victim of a mob of trolls on Goodreads, who left nearly two pages worth of reviews about her work, which were all one-star reviews. Some were not as egregious, but were still clearly part of some act of retaliation. The sheer number in such short time can only mean that there was a troll mob attack.
Emilie Autumn’s book “Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls,” is a book that is partly about her experience in a mental hospital, but it is really about her bipolar disorder, which defines a lot of her work.
I have paid witness to many trolls over the years on Goodreads, leaving many vulgar, abusive reviews, but these reviews really seemed more egregious, in their tone and vulgarity, about Emilie’s work, in specific. They are demoralizing in tone, when speaking about those with either mental illness or some traumatic incident of abuse in their past. Therefore, I caution anyone reading this to please exercise caution, when reading either of the below reviews.
For example, this one reviewer left a review of her work, containing very disconcerting, false accusations that Emilie Autumn faked her mental illness, and by extension, any fans of her work are thus similarly faking their mental illness:
Link to Goodreads review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1331753609?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=2
Another review, right around the same time, much like the one, implies that anyone with a past of self-mutilation, suicide attempts, must show proof for it to be legitimate. It also further implies how you act in response to the deep, paralyzing experience of sexual abuse, somehow evaluates whether that trauma was genuine or not:
Link to other Goodreads review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1331247262?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=2
This was really a last straw moment for me, with respects to Goodreads. To say this issue is about censoring criticism is beside the point, the above reviews are not even critical analysis of the content itself. They are more like veiled attempts to discredit an important advocate on the issue of mental illness, and to further bully those who are fans of her work. That is hardly a review, it is really harassment
Goodreads should be about reading and evaluating what we’re reading in a civil, ethically democratic way, and not about bullying, nor about spreading gossip. We venture to reviews to read responses on content. The above type of reviews become indiscernible, by the fact that they contain so much hearsay, and false allegations.
Most important, Emilie Autumn’s work was an artistic act of really legitimizing what happened to her in her past, when she herself, as a sufferer from bipolar disorder, struggles with really feeling mentally grounded to this reality. When people spread the dangerous idea that those that suffer from mental illness lack credibility, they are basically dehumanizing these people, shutting out their freedom to express themselves artistically and creatively.
If any of you haven’t been following the brouhaha regarding Ryan T. Anderson’s marriage book, here’s a link and some screenshots describing what happened to it in the Amazon bookstore (and yes, as you’ve probably already guessed, it has to do with trolls swarming on a book and leaving nasty one-star reviews without even having read the material):
The good news? Amazon has finally removed the offending reviews.
Now, STGRB doesn’t take a public stance on current marriage laws. We consider that to be a personal and private decision. What we are against is bully reviews that are meant to attack the author and that are posted online in ignorance (meaning that the reviewer isn’t informed on the book because she or he never read it.) We feel this was a good decision on Amazon’s part and a step in the right direction.
You all remember our story covering Randi Harper’s bully review and her subsequent fight against Amazon for removing it, right? Well, just recently, we received this email telling us about O’Reilly Media giving Randi the stage to talk about her “campaign against abuse and harassment.” Yes, we’re trying not to laugh, too. We’re posting this to get the word out so that O’Reilly Media might come to understand just who they are supporting.
Dear blog reader, we posted the tweets you requested. Hopefully O’Reilly Media will come to their senses.
When it comes to a story like Fifty Shades of Grey, it’s not unexpected that there will be a tremendous dividing line in terms of those who enjoy it and those who don’t. Regardless of how one may feel about the tale, the author, EL James, is a woman deserving of the same respect as any other person.
Recently, EL James hosted a twitter chat, #AskELJames, and guess who was leading the wolf pack that attacked her?
That’s right, folks! None other than Jenny Trout, the notorious bully who sabotaged an author’s book by telling her friends and fans to pirate it and get it taken down from online bookstores because she claimed it was racist and violent toward women of color, only to realize later on that the author was a woman of color herself.
Yeah, remember that? Well, now she and the known misogynist tabloid website The Mary Sue, have begun a harassment campaign on twitter to attack James.
Navigating to the Tweets in question reveals mostly personal attacks, body shaming, referring to the author as a “cunt,” etc.
Regardless of how you may feel about the books, the author is still a human being, and everyone has the option not to read them. Ultimately, if one fact should be noted above all others, it’s this: E.L. James is one of the few women to strike it rich off her writing and build her own empire in a male-dominated economy, and she is being singled out for ridicule. It’s appalling that whenever a woman rises up in this world, and people like Jenny Trout or the Mary Sue do their best to take them back down.
By promoting this harassment against her, the Mary Sue and Jenny Trout are explicitly endorsing the degradation of her as both a human being and a woman.
Edit: We just received this link from a blog reader. Apparently, there are many people out there in cyberspace who agree with us:
Well said, David!
Edit: Update on this story. Nytti and Rick Carufel’s Twitter accounts were deleted as a result of this falsification. If you click on the links, you will get a message saying that the page doesn’t exist.
Well, it appears that bullies (also known as SJWs) are at it again, but instead of trying to smear us, they are attempting to smear Anne Rice by creating fake tweets:
We know this is fake for two reasons. One is that Anne never participates in Twitter conversations. The only time she uses Twitter is to share her Facebook posts and to retweet her sons tweets that talk about his activities. That’s it. That’s the only time she uses Twitter. The second reason we know this is a fake is because Ralph contacted us via Twitter to let us know this tweet to him never took place:
Edit: More reasons we know the tweet was fake.
4) There is no web cache of it, nor archive.
So, it’s obviously fake.
Keep it up, bullies. You guys just keep digging yourselves in deeper and deeper.
In this post, we want to address something that the bullies have been preaching ever since we started this blog and that’s that we are against negative, critical reviews. Back in mid-2012, when STGRB first went live, the bullies did their best to get us shut down. When they couldn’t, they did everything they could to discredit our site with accusations of bullying, threatening, or harming others. We were accused of doxxing – of publishing people’s address, phone numbers, etc. And we were also accused of being a group of authors who were getting revenge on reviewers who wrote critical reviews of our books. Here is a post we wrote that explains in more detail what happened when we first started our blog.
None of this nonsense was true. It still isn’t.
An example of what we mean is clear as day in an article (a very ill-informed article) written by John Scalzi back in 2012. Without doing any research of our blog or who we really are and what we’re about, John wrote this masterpiece. Here are some screenshots of it.
So, let’s see exactly what John considers to be negative reviews or criticism of books. These are just a few of the many examples we’ve published on our blog
You see, this is what John and the bullies would have you believe – that all of this is criticism of BOOKS, when it is something else, something much worse. These examples we’ve shown are, in fact, deliberate, premeditated, vicious attacks on people. Not books.
John doesn’t just stop at drinking and preaching the bully Kool-Aid, he is probably one of the bigger bullies we know, whose rants have lead to vicious attacks on authors.
John’s abuse doesn’t stop there. We’ve heard from several big name authors that it is truly bad form (as an author) to attack or criticize another author, and yet John, just like Jenny Trout, does this quite often:
You will note here that Larry declined the Hugo nomination. So that should tell you how well John researches subjects before he goes off on his ill-informed, pious diatribes.
But he doesn’t stop at authors either. He’s been known to be a bully to people in other arenas, outside of the book world:
We don’t want to get involved in the Sad Puppies or GamerGate fight. We simply want to show how John treats other authors and other people. And when you read his words, you have to ask yourself these questions:
Do they contribute anything to the literary community or any community for that matter?
Are they productive?
Do they help anyone?
All they are are cruel jabs at other authors and other people, and yet John sits there in his ivory tower and preaches on his blog about how righteous he is.
Shame on you, John!
People like John and the rest of the bullies are described very well in the words of one of our loyal blog readers:
“These people…[the bullies]… they contribute nothing to the literary community, to the book world, to the world of those of us who love to read and write books. They’re just in it, parasites, treating it all like a video game! Heaping vulgarity, ugliness and meanness on authors and saying “Take it, or we’ll blacklist and libel you!””
John writes at the end of his article (he is talking to us here, implying that we are going to attack someone on his behalf):
“When I need your help with a negative review, I will ask for it.
If I don’t ask for it, I don’t need your help.
If I do ask for it, you should consider me temporarily out of my head and ignore me.
If you decide to attack someone in my name without consulting me, you make me look bad. That will annoy me, and I may take it out on you, possibly publicly.”
Well, guess what. You don’t have to worry about us trying to help you, because that will never happen. You are a bully, my friend. We would never attack people like you do, especially not on your behalf. And as far as anyone making you look bad, well, that’s already been done.
YOU make you look bad.
And that’s all we’re going to say.
Ever since our post on Randi Harper’s Bully Review, the Twitterverse has exploded. It appears we have stumbled upon a rather nasty bully who has been at this for a while and who – wait for it – is “the CEO of The Online Abuse Prevention Initiative(OAPI) and partner of the Crash Override Network.” It is also listed on her Facebook profile.
Today, we’ve been inundated with emails and comments on our blog about Randi’s online behavior:
Just to let you guys know, Randi Harper is the CEO of The Online Abuse Prevention Initiative(OAPI) and partner of the Crash Override Network(CON, yes, that’ really the acronym) against online bullying and has as least one “ally” at Twitter support who bans people she(Randi) deems as offensive..
Yes, the CEO an anti-online abuse organization is the same one pictured in the above tweets/reviews harassing and bullying people and is supported by Twitter..
Let that sink in..
Randi Harper has been at this for quite a while, and not only with book authors:
Regarding Ginmar, I don’t know if you know about this case/author, she was apparently following him around for the better part of several months and he was desperate:
As someone who has also been targeted by Randi and some of her sadly deranged followers (they have threatened to rape me, throw acid in my face, put me in a woodchipper alive, etc.), I am very glad that Stop the Good Read Bullies has brought this to surface.
She is indeed a very well-connected individual, such as within the Twitter community, and abuses her “anti-bully/harassment” power to perpetrate the highest forms of bullying and harassment. I ask that you please remain vigilant and cautious with this as she will now not only target this author, but STGRB and Ms. Anne Rice for speaking out about this. (In fact, I know she’s already called out Ms. Rice as I’ve seen the tweet.)
Furthermore, as a writer myself, I’m glad that your organization exists to protect blossoming artists from threats that they may not be able to manage/handle themselves. Thank you.
Harper is one of the truly evil people in this world. I don’t throw that adjective around lightly either. I’ll call someone terrible, disgusting, twisted, as that often reflects the core of the individual at the time. But people can change from being terrible. I’m not so sure about evil and that’s what’s deep within Harper. She actively seeks out people to target and harass. Finds the weakest person that’s gone through emotional situations and demands her followers attack them based on falsehoods she constructs.
In the author’s case he’s successful in his voice where she failed. He’s making money on the same principals Randi claims she stands behind. This would normally mean she should be happy for him and the cause, women in technology being heard. Instead Harper’s evil bares all and she attacks him like a rabid dog using her pack of mongrels as a weapon. Its this sort of action that truly defines someone from just terrible to truly evil, a scourge upon the world.
This sounds familiar. It sounds like a lot of the bullies we’ve dealt with in the past. They all have the same MO. They relentlessly bully others and if anyone criticizes them, they turn around and accuse those people of harassment. Hilariously, Randi has even accused KFC (yes Kentucky Fried Chicken) of stalking and harassing.
According to the article:
Randi Harper herself is no paragon of civic virtue. She has been incarcerated on multiple occasions for what she claims were traffic offences but around which much more salacious rumours swirl, say games industry insiders. Harper denied on Saturday night that there was any more to her arrests, or the time she has spent behind bars, than her driving violations.
Wow! Just wow!
We heard about all of this today when, apparently overnight, Twitter erupted into a war after Anne Rice tweeted about our article on Randi’s bully review.
Since then, Randi has taken to Twitter to revile her:
She’s even trying to strong-arm Amazon into re-publishing her nasty review:
Good luck, Randi. You’ll need it.
So… let this be fair warning. Please, give this bully a very wide berth and steer clear of her. It’s easy to have an enjoyable experience online as long as you know who to avoid.
Another bully who has made her way into the book world thanks to her friend, Ginmar, has recently had one of her bully reviews pulled from Amazon. Here’s a shot we got of the review before it was pulled:
It appears that Amazon is doing the right thing and taking steps to make sure customer reviews “constructive and useful to other customers.”
So, please, whenever you see a review that is a personal attack on an author, report it immediately to Amazon. The best way to report a bully review is by calling Amazon (1-888-280-3321), or by using their Contact Us or Customer Service page.
We just received a few interesting tweets of Randi Harper, the author of the book, and a friend of the author. We’re not even going to comment on it. We think Randi’s words speak for themselves.