The moral? Don’t let bullies stop you. Keep making great art!
This just in from Anon:
Another bully got the boot. Linda Hilton was deleted from Goodreads. Congrats, STGRB, you do a good job to make the world a better place. One bully down, more to go.
Linda has been one of the more aggressive bullies, attacking other authors online, condemning them for five-starring their own books, while at the same time doing the same to hers. She’s part of the Dear Author crowd and has been involved in multiple online attacks of authors, if not leading them herself. Her absence from GR is a huge relief.
We just received this link from a reader. It’s from Linda’s BookLikes page. Here’s a screenshot:
Be careful reading the comments below her post. They may cause you to hurl violently. Typical bully whining and rationalizing as to why they keep getting banned.
On July 24, 2014, Kathleen Hale approached STGRB with interview questions pertaining to online bullying and our site. Below is the Q&A that resulted from that interview.
What reasons did you have for building this site?
We started our site two years ago when we noticed a certain gang of Goodreads friends (later termed the GR bullies) who formed organized attacks on authors on Goodreads. These were usually authors who had unknowingly broken some kind of “rule” (rules made up purely by the Goodreads bullies) and were labeled BBA. It would usually begin with the author getting verbally attacked by the gang who would swarm in and back the author into a corner. Then, this gang would attack the author’s books on both Goodreads and Amazon, leaving either nasty one-star reviews or derogatory shelving or both. They would also hunt the author down on other platforms like the author’s personal website or Facebook page. Afterwards, the attackers would blog about the author and begin what we call the “career destroying” phase, making it known that this was an author whom they did not support and would encourage anyone they knew to boycott their books. What we also found was that most of the bullies were fairly ordinary people who were following the lead of a few unbalanced individuals, not realizing that they don’t really know these online ‘friends’ well, but the activity has attracted a small number of obsessive stalkers who seek out new victims regularly in a demonstratively pathological need to harm others. These few individuals will actually bait authors online to get them to say something, anything, that can be taken out of context so that they can instigate the larger group to swoop in for mass attacks. Because this online gang warfare largely went unnoticed and unchecked, especially by the Goodreads management, we began our blog to monitor and document what was happening in order to educate the public and warn others.
Do you still get complaints from people about Goodreads? If so, how many per month, and what is the nature of the complaints?
Yes, we do. We used to get dozens per month when we started our blog. Now we get maybe one or two per month.
Do you recognize the name Blythe Harris?
Yes, we sure do. Blythe Harris was involved in an attack on a fourteen year old girl back in May of 2012. Blythe, who is an eighth grade teacher, and another GR bully named Archer Adam Pring, ganged up on this girl when the girl commented on Blythe’s review of a book. Both GR bullies proceeded to curse the girl out, telling her to f*** off multiple times. You can read about it here:
In what ways has Goodreads become a platform for bullying?
In conjunction with the Amazon fora, Goodreads IS the platform that started the online phenomenon known as review bullying. Goodreads management practiced an extreme laissez-faire policy when it came to their members. They allowed them to harass and bully authors with very little or no penalty. As a result, vicious gangs formed and authors could get bullied right off of GR for doing very little to nothing, even for just being friends with the wrong person. In 2012, the situation was so bad, we decided to start our blog to help stop the abuse. In two years, it has gotten better, but we are still fighting this problem of online abuse towards authors. These gangs still exist and they have spread to other platforms like BookLikes and KBoards. The best thing we can do now is just educate and warn others about the dangers that exist for all authors out there in the cyber world.
When you say “dangers that exist for all authors out there in the cyber world,” what do you mean exactly? What have you seen happen to bullied authors? And In what ways is this particular kind of bullying particularly nasty? Do you think it would be enough to drive a person crazy?
We’ve seen authors get death and rape threats. That was on Goodreads. Many are hounded relentlessly online, stalked both online and physically, and have had their private information published that led to them being called in their home and threatened. We have many of these incidents documented on our blog. It’s not uncommon for some authors to become severely depressed from being harassed or even have thoughts of suicide. So, yes, it can really drive a person crazy, especially sensitive people like authors.
Very artistic. Very well done.
You’ve heard us say that many of the GR/Booklikes bullies are themselves authors. Well, today’s post is a perfect example of that. You will all remember Litchick as one of the GR bully ringleaders, who was also one of the more outspoken protestors of GR’s anti-bullying policy put into place last year. We’ve just recently discovered that she is an author who writes books under the name of Navessa Allen:
She is also a Goodreads author:
When we discovered this fact, it didn’t surprise us in the slightest. It is a strange phenomenon, we’re finding, but many authors will either become bullies or engage in bullying behavior for their own self-interest, either to curry favor, damage the reputation and sales of their competition, and/or promote their own work.
We find this behavior deplorable and urge everyone, especially authors, to steer clear of it and anyone who engages in it.
This news is a little late in coming since this happened back in August of this year, but to everyone’s great relief, megatroll JennyJen has gotten the axe from Goodreads. You will all remember JennyJen as Carpet Bomber #5 of our Carpet Bombers series and as one of the nastier trolls who hypocritically targets and bullies others online, be it author or reader.
Here is the confirmation screenshot we got:
And if you click on the link to her profile, you’ll see it no longer works:
Troll deletions on GR appear to be happening more and more:
Here’s the interesting part. Instead of realizing that it’s their behavior that’s getting them kicked, they begin to speculate and make up theories as to why this keeps happening to them:
In our humble opinion, we think Goodreads still has a long way to go. However, we are glad to see the trolls slowly but surely being removed from the site. We hope this trend doesn’t just continue, but increases in speed.
Only time will tell.
From YourNewsWire.com, an interesting and informative video on internet trolls and their tactics. Pay particular attention to the 15 troll tactics he talks about at the end. We agree with this guy because we’ve seen this before while dealing with the GR, Booklikes and Amazon trolls. When you see trolls in action, call them out and then ignore them. If they try to fight with you (and they’ll try everything), hit the ignore/block/report button and move on. Whatever you do, don’t get sucked into the black hole of troll. As Rob says in the video, let’s put trolls in their place:
Thank you, Anon, for the tip!
Yes, you read that right. Yesterday, the trolls who plague the internet, aka the GR/Booklikes bullies and the Amazon Fora trolls, began celebrating the demise of our website, claiming that our hosting company had suspended our account because of legal problems, and that we were finally gone for good, and blah blah blah.
So, what happened?
Well, when we noticed the other week that Moonlight Library’s blog had been suspended because of a TOS violation:
That gave us an idea for a little experiment. Sorry, everyone, we couldn’t help ourselves! Since this was our hosting account’s expiration month, we decided to disable the auto-renew on it and let it expire, just to have a little fun. Just to see what would happen. And boy, did that set the trolls off! Within 10 minutes of our site going offline, the celebrations commenced! How adorably predictable they are!
(Note: As you read, you will notice their typical misguiding words and outright lies. More to come on troll tactics in future posts.)
As soon as we saw them making fools of themselves once again, we decided we’d had enough entertainment for the night and reactivated our account, which didn’t take too long for them to notice either:
Really, you’d think the trolls would have learned by now, especially given their blunder over Google supposedly blocking us (you all remember that?), that we are not getting blocked by anyone or having our account suspended for what we do here or getting banned by any legitimate online organization or prominent people on their Facebook pages. So, you’d think the trolls would be smart enough to figure it out by now. And yet, they seem to fall for it every time!
Wow! Just wow!
Now, keep in mind, we’ve been gone from STGRB for four months. FOUR months! And within minutes of our site going offline, they began to rejoice.
Now, within those four months, there has been so much speculation, suspicion, and well-designed theories over our silence. Grand explanations ranging from us getting sued, to Athena having health problems, to me moving out of the country and so on and so on, ad nauseam.
So, what is the truth?
We simply shut down for a while because we all wanted to enjoy our summer. That’s it. There’s really no other explanation than that. Of course, some of us went on vacation and others had aging family to tend to, but other than that, we just wanted to enjoy time away from the never-ending shenanigans of the filth of the internet known as the GR/Booklikes bullies and the Amazon Fora trolls.
Now, during the past four months, A LOT has happened. Many of these subjects, we will be touching upon soon, including the lawsuit against Jane Litte, which we all knew was coming. It was only a matter of time. Sigh. We’d say we feel sorry for Jane, but really, we don’t. There’s only so much libeling and misrepresentation of the truth you can do before someone goes after you for it.
In the end, we’re happy to be back and we look forward to talking to our readers again!
Cheers all and Happy Halloween!
Y’all remember what we said in our Guidelines for New Authors? Trolls like free things. In particular, trolls like free books just so they can hate on them. Or even worse, they write nasty reviews on (potentially free) books by authors they believe to be badly behaving.
Case in point:
If any of you see this kind of thing, please report it. Trolls shouldn’t be allowed to steal a book just to post a nasty review because the author is on their hit list. This should never be allowed to happen.
More news on Gavin Hetherington. It appears as though Gavin is leaving BookLikes because he is fed up with the bullying. The most recent message he received on the site was the last straw:
He gave us his permission to publish the message. We have no words to describe how loathsome and disgusting it is:
We want everyone to know we think this is absolutely unacceptable. Bashing (i.e. gay-bashing) of this nature we thought was below even the bullies. Apparently not. At this point, nothing they do will surprise us.
It appears as though Jenny Trout has made a good decision. She’s decided to stop bashing Anna Todd. In her latest post, she writes:
And of course, she wants everyone to know that we had *nothing* to do with her decision:
Whether or not this is true, whether or not we had anything to do with it, or anyone else did, or the fact that Jenny just joined Wattpad last April and doesn’t want Anna’s fans coming down hard on her, we don’t really care. In fact, Jenny can tell us to f*** off all she wants and call us all kinds of names if it makes her feel better, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact that Jenny made the right choice. She realized that Anna is a human being with feelings who also happens to be one of the sweetest people on the planet and doesn’t deserve to be bashed just because she’s successful. Writing an honest opinion about a book on your blog is one thing, but bashing the author and her book because you’re jealous of her success is another. And in the end, we’re glad Jenny came to see that.
Good for you, Jenny.