The moral? Don’t let bullies stop you. Keep making great art!
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.
Below is a guest post that we promised one of our blog readers we would publish. It is a warning about one of the nastier bullies we’ve seen online, Mahala R. Burlingame.
Edit: For our story on Mahala getting banned from Goodreads, click here.
We’ve often wondered why bullies do what they do. And as many have commented over the years, most believe it is done as a form of sadistic pleasure. Yet it isn’t often that those who engage in this behavior will actually to it.
What separates Mahala from the other bullies we’ve covered is how open she is about the sincere joy she gets from bullying authors. Miss Burlingame is a woman who, much like a yellow jacket, attacks without provocation, sometimes seemingly at random. She is a woman who will attack authors simply for posting an opinion she disagrees with or writing a Tweet she did not like.
And why? Well, much like the name of her blog, Spare Ammo, which claims in its title that it “targets the self-published author,” Mahala enjoys what she does. Whereas other bullies create nonsense lies to cover their actions, Mahala relishes in it, creating articles about authors telling them to “kiss their wish goodbye” (of becoming a successful author).
The message Mahala sends out is very simple: if you disagree with me, your dreams, your hopes, and your careers are done for.
Recently, an author had her life shattered after sharing a half-page essay regarding her own personal views on reviewing and books. This article was posted to her blog. It was impersonal, named no one, and spoke merely on the general subject of reviewing.
Post after post, the author was bullied until she was forced to take down her entire blog and write an apology to Mahala on behalf of sharing an opposing viewpoint that Mahala did not like. Mahala then refused to accept the apology (which she was not even entitled to in the first place).
Yes, you are reading this correctly. After bullying an author into deleting her entire blog and apologizing for her having an opinion, Mahala still had not had enough, finding that the apology she did not deserve was not good enough for her.
Eventually the bullying became so cruel that even her cohorts became weary of it.
But still she did not stop. After a month-long campaign to carpet bomb this young author’s books, insult her, and defame her for pure amusement, the author had to be hospitalized from the mental anguish that had been inflicted on her. Did Mahala stop then? No. She enjoyed this young woman’s suffering, bragging about it and even going so far as to ridicule the fact that she had fallen ill.
When an author tried to intervene and help his fellow indie writer, Mahala launched an attack on him, as well, threatening to give out the phone number to the author’s family.
Sadly, this is a recurring pattern for Miss Burlingame, who will attack…pretty much any author for any reason, such as another author who wrote a humorous Twitter post:
Or an entirely different author for writing a book she doesn’t like:
Or yet another author for wanting the bullying to stop:
We ask that you avoid Mahala at all costs, as her bullying is not limited just to destroying your careers, but your character as well. Please be careful and vigilant.
We’re doing a little experiment here. We received this from a blog reader who asked us to post it. It’s an experiment that demonstrates how the AFT, the Machin Shin of Amazon, swarm in on reviews and execute down voting campaigns.
I was targeted by the bullies last July and they creepily stalk everything I do on line. For instance, I read Anne Rice’s new book, Beauty’s Kingdom, loved it and posted a review. That should be the end of the story but the bullies can’t let me AND Anne Rice get away with completely normal transactions on Amazon so they swarmed and voted my review “not helpful” 58 times. You wouldn’t think that was mathematically possible given the averages but somehow, within a couple weeks, 58 people felt compelled to neg my review on a book they hadn’t even read. Which begs the questions: why are you rating the reviews of a book you’ve never read and how do you know that the review isn’t helpful? Details. Anyhoo, through some glitch in the system, the text of the review went missing. I’m sure it was nothing conspiratorial but after reporting it, I was told to enter the review again BY Amazon! They basically told me to wash the review. So I did. Now I sit back and watch as the bullies get into a dither about the situation and spread the word that the review has been washed and they must all go back and neg the review. How else will I learn my lesson? So I thought you might enjoy watching the numbers climb back up while the bullies say they don’t carpet bomb or instigate. I got nine negs within 2 hours. This should be entertaining and educational!
Well, we can’t say we’re surprised, but the notorious bully who’s been trolling the internet for over a decade, Ginmar, was finally banned from Goodreads. If you click on her profile link, she is no longer there:
Why? Well, you all remember Ginmar’s Bully Review of a book by an author she has been attacking lately, right? Just recently, she did the same thing with another book (same series) by this author:
When this was reported to GR for violating TOS, management contacted her about the review and what did she do? She wrote another review:
This review of course was reported again, so she decided it wasn’t worth it, but hoping no one would notice, left her author-bashing shelves as they were:
When this was reported again, GR said, “Bye, bye, Ginmar!”
So, let this be a lesson to all the trolls. You cannot do whatever you want, because if you do, you will end up getting banned.
We here at STGRB are just glad to see Goodreads and Amazon enforcing their TOS and finally taking action against the bullies.
We are happy to announce that Goodreads has recently gotten a little bit safer for it’s authors and readers. Notorious bully, Jennifer:
Is no longer there. Why? Because GR removed the “not interested” button on sponsored books (Dammit!) *sarcasm*
Hmm… *scratches chin*
Well, perhaps for Jennifer that was just the last straw in a whole list of policy changes that GR has made this past year, many of which appear to be taking more and more power away from the bullies.