Just recently we’ve been informed by site visitors of several troll attacks on Amazon. Athena asked me to let our readers know that we put our team on these privately and helped the authors involved. We have been reporting the abuse that has been happening on the fora and on book review pages to the Amazon customer care team and luckily they have been responding. So, that’s good news. We will not be posting about these attacks in order to protect the authors and their books. We want to thank those who contacted us to let us know about the attacks. Well done.
Also just recently, we received this comment on our Who We Are page:
I’d love an email contact for yourselves. We often publish bullying related articles and would like to share them with you from time to time. You may find them helpful, inspirational or wish to share these articles with your readers and followers.
Here is an example of a recent article we have just published:
The Healthline Team
Athena contacted them to share some of our blog posts and our email. They said that they wish to support our cause and occasionally forward helpful articles on the subject. So, in the future, we will be working with Healthline, sharing their articles and helping them to combat bullying both online and off.
In other news, coming up in the next few weeks, we will be pubbing a confidential post that will be password protected due to its content. Readers will have to contact Athena via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get access to it. We understand that this will be a bit of a hassle, but let’s just say that it’s really, REALLY important news and we want to keep it close hold. For the time being.
Now! Onto our post, More Bully Lies. Back in July, we were too busy setting up our blog and reporting on the bullies’ bad behavior that we missed a few misguided articles written by authors who listened to the bullies and drew the wrong conclusions. One of those articles was written by Terri Guiliano Long.
In this article, the author makes the mistake of assuming that the bullies were telling the truth and that we “out” reviewers by publishing their PII:
This rumor is completely false. We have never published this kind of information EVER. You will never see a screenshot of us doing this because it never happened.
Now, here is the second lie presented on this article:
The person who did this was Lucy. Remember her? The one that cyber-stalked an author and threatened to publish her PII. If you don’t know what we’re talking about here, take a look at our post More Bully Reviews. The simple fact is that Lucy lied. No one called her. And as Andrew Losowsky (HuffPo’s books editor) pointed out, when asked if she had contacted the police or if she had the number of the caller, she came up short. She didn’t have the number and she didn’t contact the police. There was also no one who could corroborate her story. Why? Because her story wasn’t true.
If you scroll down to the bottom of Terri’s post, she links to another article written by John Scalzi that also addresses our website: Bad Reviews: I Can Handle Them, and So Should You.
Now, we don’t even have to read Scalzi’s article to know that his premise is totally wrong. Our site is not about fighting against bad reviews. So, you got that wrong, John. In a comment Athena posted on The GR Bully Culture in response to Sophie’s comment, she addresses this misconception about our site:
“Yes, not all indie writing is good, but neither is published work either–a fact which conveniently forgotten by those with poison pens. And many indie books have become literary masterpieces (e.g. Thoreau, Virginnia Wolf). So if you are being bullied, you are in good company!”
Beautiful words, Sophie! I completely agree with you on the bias against indies in the book community as a whole. It is unfair and I’m really hoping it will change someday. I’m not an author but I have a lot of friends who are independent authors who suffer from this bias all the time and many of their books are just as good if not better than traditionally published works.
As for bullying, there are so many people who get confused as to what our site is really about. We are about fighting against bullying. Not against negative reviews, not against traditional publishing and not against readers/reviewers. On our Who We Are page we say:
“The bullies are under the impression that any reaction to them is about critical reviews, using the argument that they have a right to express their opinions. We are not here to fight against critical reviews. That is not what our campaign is about. It is about their bullying behaviour towards others which is becoming increasingly disturbing. We are here to expose that.”
On our What Is A GR Bully page we also say:
“We do not consider honest, critical reviews of books to be bullying. However, we do consider attacks on authors and other GR members to be bullying. We also consider attacking an author’s book for revenge and/or rating and reviewing an author’s book without reading it first to be bullying behavior as well.”
What we are doing with our blog is calling attention to GR members who stalk, harass, and libel not just authors, but other readers as well. These GR bullies are not just readers, either. Many of them are authors. And these bullies ARE the root of the problem. Since we’ve started our blog, we’ve heard from hundreds of people that it has made a big difference. A BIG difference. Before our blog, abuse was rampant on GR. Now, it’s not as bad. Many of these people have retreated into private groups where people can’t see what they’re doing or saying, which for us is a good thing. Much of their nonsense has disappeared from public view. This is what we wanted.
Soon we will be re-publishing many of the old posts we have of bully attacks on authors. In these posts, we show our readers how these authors were personally attacked and libeled by these GR members. This is what we consider bullying. Not negative reviews. If you want to see what I mean, take a look at these posts:
I hope what I’ve said here makes sense. Let me know if you have any questions.
There is a HUGE difference between a bully review and a negative review (otherwise known as bad reviews, or critical or unfavorable reviews). A negative review focuses on the book and addresses the issues the reader has with the BOOK. A bully review usually uses profane language and always focuses on the AUTHOR. See the difference? Bully reviews are usually written as personal attacks on the author in order to deliberately cause damage to said author and his/her career.
Unfortunately, these bully reviewers don’t stop with just their reviews in their bullying behavior. And when we talk about their bullying behavior, this is what we mean: cyber stalking, harassing, libeling, hacking into private accounts, personally attacking, threatening (click both here and here), leaving psychotic comments, contacting their charities, contacting their bosses, or people with which they have interviews or auditions. The bullies have done all of these things.
So, Terri and John, we don’t mind if you want to publish articles that speak out against our blog and what we do with it. But if you’re going to do that, we’d appreciate it if you’d get your facts straight. And the facts are all here on our site. The real facts. The truth. Not what the bullies have told you. All you have to do is click a couple links on our site and take a look at the evidence for yourselves to see that you were and are completely and embarrassingly wrong about us and what we do.
Now, why have these misconceptions been spread around? What have the bullies told them about us? Well, all you have to do is take a look at our WOT page and there is a nice little nest of them and their reviews of our site (you’ll recognize a couple):
If anyone would like to go to WOT and set the record straight, feel free. But it doesn’t really matter. By this time, everyone knows that these people have been and always will be liars.
Now, what happens on GR, we found, is summed up quite nicely by Jon, a GR member who said:
Now, which GR policy is Jon referring to here? This one, that they NEVER enforce:
All of this is from a thread called Respect for Authors posted by C.J, another GR member. If you go to the thread and read it, you’ll see that the bullies did what they do best and jumped in to hijack the thread and tell C.J. what a whiney, little, butthurt, turdbrain he is (I think they used those exact words, too. :))
And to end our post, here’s a nice little form KarlynP (one our most favorite bullies) left for him:
Juvenile? Why, yes, indeed it is. Karlyn must be so proud of herself.