We’ve had a few blog readers ask us what happened to the group running Unmask Goodreads Bullies, a site we endorsed last month that was supposed to have had its official launch on April 1st of this year. We’ve learned just recently that they’ve decided to remove their blog and Facebook page in order to consolidate their efforts with STGRB. Instead of running an entire site and Facebook page, they will be working in the background to help fight the injustices done to others online by those known as the GR bullies (and exiles) and the Amazon trolls. UGB made this decision on their own and even though we’re sad that we’ll no longer have a sister site, we’re glad that they’ll be helping out.
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From our four part series Once Upon a Time in the Land of BookLikes, we shared a story about Gavin Hetherington, the author, who befriended the bullies to smear an enemy of his and in turn, was bullied and defamed by the very trolls he thought were his friends. In the story, a passing peddler left a link to this article on both Evil Queen Shelby’s blog and our blog:
Because of Gavin’s blog post, which included a screenshot of his birth certificate (that we suggest is in his best interest to remove at this point from the public eye), the trolls have come to the conclusion that Gavin the author is not the same age as Gavin the thief.
But they’re wrong.
If you look at the title and date of the article above, it was written in May of 2010 when the old lady (who was the victim of the theft) was 89 years old. She was, however, 88 years old when the theft occurred:
Which means that the theft occurred in 2009. Also, if you read the screenshot above, Gavin the thief was 17. Therefore, in 2009, Gavin the thief was 17 years old. Based on the information Gavin the author gave about his birthdate, he would have been exactly 17 years old in 2009. So, he and the thief share the same age and coincidentally, the same location.
So, what are the chances there would be two different Gavin Hetheringtons exactly the same age and living in the same area of the world?
At first, we thought the chances would be very slim, but as it turns out after having done some research, the chances are very high. We found several Gavin Hetheringtons of similar age living in the same area.
Also, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, we looked into the article’s story and contacted the people involved. After following a long and arduous breadcrumb trail, we found that Gavin Hetherington the author IS NOT the same person as Gavin Hetherington the thief.
So, Shelby and her minions did indeed wrongly accuse Gavin the author of a crime he didn’t commit.
We believe an apology is in order.
Welcome back for the continuing story of Once Upon a Time in the Land of BookLikes. Below is Part 4, the grand finale! If you haven’t read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, we recommend it before continuing.
Having been banned from Evil Queen Shelby’s court and from the Kingdom of Goodreads, Gavin returned to his home in the land of BookLikes and set about to prove his innocence:
And Troll Grim felt bad:
And rivulets of dissent started trickling in:
Then, suddenly, a flood erupted and that’s when the fighting began, instigated again by Troll Edward:
To Sir STGRB’s non-surprise, he was blamed for the whole thing even when he had had nothing to do with it:
So, SIr STGRB shook his head in wonder and continued to watch Evil Queen Shelby’s minions fight amongst themselves:
Watching the whole farce play out, Sir STGRB scratched his head and wondered the very same thing as Troll Char, specifically: why were the fake reviews and twitter gaming suddenly not important to readers who used to attack authors for this very thing?
Meanwhile, Troll Edward returned to his home in the land of BookLikes and made a public announcement that what he had done in the Kingdom of Goodreads, he had done maliciously and on purpose:
And Spare Ammo called him desperate and icky:
Then, the trolls and flying monkeys went after Troll Edward:
Finally, Troll Amanda sat back and congratulated all of them on their stupidity, acting as if she had never done anything similar in her entire life:
Fed up with the behavior of her court, Evil Queen Shelby decided to leave the land of BookLikes and claimed she was going to leave the Kingdom of Goodreads as well:
But when she received several pleas from her fawning sycophants:
She decided to stay and they all danced in celebration:
And Gavin? What happened to poor, bullied and banned Gavin? How did his story end?
Well, after having been shattered by the evil queen and her minions, he learned a very valuable lesson:
He returned to his home in the land of BookLikes and continued once more to rebuild his life and his reputation.
MORAL OF THE STORY:
NEVER get involved with evil queens, trolls, and flying monkeys because it NEVER ends well. Stay very far away from them and their lands.
The reason we shared this story with you is because we wanted to show you what happens to a person when they get involved with the bullies. Gavin originally went to them to smear his enemy, Joe. In the end, he was the one who got smeared and bullied.
This is perfect example of why it’s best to stay away. DO NOT associate with the bullies. They are not your friends. They will turn on a dime and you will suddenly find yourself the target of their hatred. You will be guilty until proven innocent and what’s more, for many of them, you won’t be able to say anything to dissuade them from their conviction. The best thing to do is stay far away from them. Far, far away.
Suddenly finding himself banned from the Kingdom of Goodreads:
Gavin was so distraught, he prostrated himself before Evil Queen Shelby and begged for mercy, pleading helplessly for her and her minions to believe him:
Finally, Evil Queen Shelby had had enough and banished him:
Then, Evil Queen Shelby wrote a nasty, one-star review of Gavin’s story:
Afterward, she told all the minions in her court to do the same, so they descended upon it with their dung shelves and one-star carpet bombs:
But… this wasn’t without warning. There was, among the members of Evil Queen Shelby’s court, a voice of reason:
And Sir STGRB thought to himself that maybe those “nutty” authors weren’t so nutty after all. That this was actually common troll behavior. Even Troll Edward later declared that he hoped everyone in the land would remain “blissfully unaware of the shit-flinging contest that ensued.”
He made this declaration for at that moment, something happened among Evil Queen Shelby’s court that hadn’t been seen in the land for a long, long time. The trolls and flying monkeys began to turn on Evil Queen Shelby, daring to tell her that she was wrong, and then they all started fighting amongst themselves…
End of Part 3. Stay tuned for the final episode of Once Upon a Time in the Land of BookLikes and the important moral of the story!
Welcome back for the continuing story of Once Upon a Time in the Land of BookLikes. Below is Part 2. If you haven’t read Part 1, click here.
Despite the evil queen image Shelby wanted so desperately to portray, her conscience got the better of her. Suddenly and without warning, she turned on her bard and became furious with him. He, along with everyone in her court, trembled with fear as she raged in a public speech, screaming:
And then she threatened to destroy Gavin’s happiness:
Troll Edward was the first in her court to comment about her speech:
Troll Bookstooge unfortunately arrived late and asked for Evil Queen Shelby to explain again what was happening:
Encouraged by Troll Edward, the rest of Evil Queen Shelby’s minions began to speak out in anger, acting surprised and shocked that Gavin was *gasp* actually a liar — that he had lied about his sock-puppetry in the Kingdom of Goodreads and about his fake followers in the land of Twitter — as if they had never heard Sir STGRB’s warning weeks earlier:
Then, Gavin did something very brave. He mustered his courage and dared speak out, attempting to defend himself in front of everyone in the court…
End of Part 2. Stay tuned for Part 3 of the continuing story of Once Upon a Time in the Land of BookLikes.
Once upon a time, in the land of BookLikes, there lived an author, storyteller, and bard named Gavin H. Although Gavin was good at entertaining the people of the land with his stories, he was jealous of others and wrote a nasty review of a story written by his archenemy, Joe G. Then, he requested an audience with the ruler of the land, Evil Queen Shelby, and her court of trolls and flying monkeys. There, he regaled them with tales of Joe’s mischief-making, sock-puppetry, and lies. Queen Shelby was so enraged, she issued a royal decree:
Go, my trolls, my flying monkeys! Go seek out this Joe and serve him justice for what he has done. Go fling your poo at his face and his stories until no one will hire him henceforth. Go!
And they went. And they did her bidding.
Meanwhile, a valiant knight named Sir STGRB, who happened to be passing through the land of BookLikes, noticed that not all was right with this Gavin fellow and that he was very talented at telling tall tales. Sir STGRB noticed that perhaps Gavin, himself, was guilty of the very same mischief as his archenemy, which was sock-puppetry in the Kingdom of Goodreads, and that he was also guilty of acquiring fake followers in the land of Twitter that he claimed was due to charity work he had done. So, Sir STGRB warned everyone in all the lands, showing them evidence of Gavin’s hypocrisy and lies. But Evil Queen Shelby didn’t want to hear it, and instead of listening to Sir STGRB, she chose to overlook Gavin’s lies because he was her friend:
Then, one day, a peddler passed by Evil Queen Shelby’s court and asked her if she knew of a man named Gavin H. who had stolen money from an old lady in the United Kingdom:
Upon hearing the news, Evil Queen Shelby became angry once again and banished the peddler, while Gavin stood behind her and whispered into her ear, denying that he was the same man:
But something wasn’t quite right and Evil Queen Shelby knew it. So, she went to Sir STGRB and looked at his evidence, and then… something changed…
End of Part 1. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the continuing story of Once Upon a Time in the Land of BookLikes.
Well, it looks like another person is calling it quits and this time, it’s notorious troll and cyber bully, Shelby, Evil Queen Wannabe:
If you click on her Booklikes profile, you’ll she’s gone from BL:
And if you check out her GR profile, you’ll see she’s calling it quits there, too:
Because of one of the biggest bully train wrecks we’ve seen since the original GR Bully Meltdown. This time between Shelby and our favorite author, I-got-a-hundred-thousand-twitter-followers-in-one-day-because-of-charity-work, Gavin H.
And we screen grabbed the whole thing.
Post to come.
After our post, Sarah Daltry Cries Bully, we were asked by some how to tell the difference between someone who is truly bullied and someone who is just crying bully. In this post and the next one to come, we will show you the difference.
Just recently, we received a message from an author who was truly bullied. She had just read our post on Sarah and wanted to tell her story. What happened to her is a prime example of real bullying (note: “the site” she refers to here is not Goodreads):
I’ve just seen the post about an author crying wolf over bullying. I have this to say on the matter.
I would hate to think that it is true as I have been the victim of cyber bullies on several occasions, but it was like ‘flash fires’ that quickly ran out of steam and was usually a bunch of spiteful teens getting their mates to help them bash me. I was called old, fat, ugly, virgin (apparently that is because I was too ugly to find anyone to have sex with me) etc. I was called fugly and must have had plastic surgery on my lips, etc.
They created fake accounts when I blocked them and pretended to be new readers so I would accept the new friend request or follower. Only to wait for me to go to offline so they could leave me very public messages saying things like: ‘I wish you would just get cancer and die, that way your husband and kids can be rid of you’ etc. I’m not married, but still waking up to read messages like that was terrible and it makes your blood run cold as you read the words. Every sentence is carefully constructed to be a direct shot. It stings, no matter how hard you try not to be affected by it. You get to the stage where opening your account feels like letting a sniper get their sights on you, it takes the fun out of writing. You have to stop writing sometimes as your mood could affect the storyline and characters.
The majority of the time I was bullied, I only got to read the messages sent to me in the morning when I got up for work. Several people had already replied with intent of defending me and reporting them. I was 37 when I got called old and a pedo for writing romance novels. The weird thing was, my trolls had gone from being readers who loved my work to haters. Why? Because I wouldn’t allow them to control me? They then forced others to stop ‘liking’ me or they would bully them.
The site warned them to leave me alone and whilst they didn’t continue on the site they used every other avenue e.g. FB, Twitter, Gmail, blogs, chat rooms, to abuse me. Sometimes disappearing for months and then reappearing under a new name to have another pop at me. Posting almost identical messages as before. I started saving screenshots. Most victims will now. If this person was bullied, where is the proof? Plus the bullies would follow her as that is what they do, like sharks on the scent of blood. They hunt you down, no matter where you go.
I wasn’t a victim in respects of sitting there and taking it. I defended myself from being ‘victimised’ and whilst we say ‘don’t feed a troll’, it is hard not to react when they are bashing you. They will run when confronted. The only issue it, they run towards someone else. With trolls that means a new victim and that person might not be as strong, or have the network of support that I did. That is why they need to be stopped or at the very least, have it made more difficult so they think twice about it.
My bullies moved on to bully others and I heard they got suspended from the site on several occasions, but just opened other accounts. There was nothing the site could do, as they couldn’t prove it was 100% the same person. There was no proof of who they were given ‘user names’ and apparently they were doing the same on Goodreads. This is where anonymity plays a large role in enabling these people. Like the person in your post. It is too easy to make up a fake profile. When they get found out, they play the victim.
I would also be be concerned that the work this woman is selling is her own. I would check it for plagiarism.
I was lucky. My bulling finally stopped. I don’t remember when, or how… it just did. Then a new bully came on the scene for a few weeks, but again that stopped.
I’ve never said ‘I’m giving up,’ or even thought about it because I am a strong person and no doubt it would have affected others differently. Yeah sure I got to the stage where I was worried to go to sleep because I would wake up to another round of comments, but I wouldn’t upset my readers with ‘I’m quitting’. I am far too stubborn and there is no way I was letting the bullies stop me. I just carried on writing and with ever chapter their spiteful words began to fade and lose the power it used to have to hurt me.
I realised something the other day. I was never bullied throughout my entire life, until I became a writer and started posting online. I have just turned 40. The bulling started in late 2010. The only reason I was victimised was because I started to become a success. Trolls like to come over and take a dump on your work. It’s like a smear campaign. However, one of the trolls wrote me an apology last year. Saying she was bullied into it and was actually a big fan and used to sneak to read my work. Then a few months after that the ring leader actually tweeted about my work as a recommendation, I was stunned. Maybe from 2010 to 2014 they have grown up. Maybe they regret their actions. Either way I ignored it and focused on writing,
As you can see, it has not been smooth sailing for me and it was definitely not something I was expecting to deal with when I started to write as a hobby. It was a bit like a pothole in my road to publishing. On one hand, I can’t believe someone would pretend to be bullied, but I’ve witnessed it before. I’ve also seen trolls go from tearing strips off people to playing victim themselves. They seem to convince themselves it is true. It is narcissistic behaviour and pathological lying. It is mental health issue. They get a euphoric rush from the attention they receive from it.
I am just grateful that here in the UK we now have to power to take someone to court for cyber bullying. I hope this person is never truly bullied as it is a very haunting experience. It goes with you everywhere like a cloud hanging over you.
Thank you for creating this site. I hope it works in stopping bullies.
What caught our attention the most was her sentence:
I was never bullied throughout my entire life until I became a writer and started posting online.
This is very telling. It shows just how critical a problem online author bullying has become and sadly, this author’s story is one we have heard over and over from authors who have truly been bullied. When it happens, the bullies ALWAYS leaving a trail if dung behind that proves what happened. In this author’s case, the ringleader of the attack was an internet troll operating under the name of “Diebitch”.
Okay, so… a word to the wise. If you ever see someone online who calls herself something like “Diebitch” or something like:
Turn around and RUN! DO NOT look back. DO NOT have anything to do with people who use these kinds of online monikers. Nothing good can ever come of it. These people are self-proclaimed internet trolls. It’s glaringly obvious, inherent in the names they choose for themselves.
Anyhow, here is the dung trail Diebitch and her friends left to prove that they bullied this author:
This is a friend of the author sending a warning about one of Diebitch’s buddies who sent this author a nasty message:
And here is a message sent to the author by the fan who apologized for participating in their smear campaign:
So, how can you tell when someone has truly been bullied?
This. Everything in this post. You see how the author had solid evidence of what happened to her? You see how she didn’t give up? You see how she didn’t broadcast what happened to her and say she was quitting just to gain attention? And then plug her books once she did get that attention?
This is a sad story, but what makes us happy about it is that this author didn’t give up and wallow in self-pity. She stuck it out and kept going.
Yes, the bullies need to be stopped, but you’re never going to stop them if you let them stop you first.