Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stop the Goodreads Bullies: The drama continues

If you're reading this, I'm going to guess that you're familiar with the whole STGRB situation. Not familiar? Here's a brief recap:

Basically put, there's a group of authors on Goodreads that took exception to the way some of the users were reviewing and responding to comments. They said that some of the reviews were overly abusive and inappropriate and that when authors tried to respond to the reviews, they were harassed by users. (Most of the reviews highlighted were rather tame, all things considered, and/or were written by people who weren't interested in reviewing for blogs or even for anyone other than themselves.) In an attempt to showcase this behavior, they started a site where they posted the screen names, real names, locations, and whatever information they could find about the reviewers. Needless to say, the blogging and professional writing world did not take kindly to this, with many authors and blogs writing articles that condemned the site. 

Now that brings us to current events. I found a blog by AnimeJune on Gossamer Expressions (click here to see it) that has screen caps of the various things that STGRB had been posting about the various reviewers that they considered bullies. I'm stealing one of the pictures to post here because quite frankly, it's one of the most damning. 

STGRB is currently trying to pretend like they'd never posted any personal information about the people on their site, but as you can see in the above image, that's not true. They not only give her real name and location, but they also mention where she likes to go to eat or just to walk. I'd heard that they'd had this posted, but this is the first confirmation I've seen of this.

If that sounds freaky, then you should know that they actually posted more information about another reviewer named Lucy, who recently reported that she'd received a harassing phone call from a random person. There's also pictures to where the STGRB site was hunting down information about "bullies" that they lacked names and locations for. (If you want to see the pictures for this, go check out AnimeJune's blog!)

Put bluntly, the STGRB people are nothing more than a pack of bullies themselves. They've claimed that they've never harassed anyone and that they never intended for anyone else to harass the reviewers, but given that they've already lied about posting personal information, I'm not so sure that I believe that. Heck, even if they're telling the truth, you can't post so much personal information about someone and not expect someone to try to do something. The one thing I've learned about the internet is that if you post someone's personal information, someone is going to use it. I've read enough ED articles to know that much.

Shoot, even if all of the information posted on the site was public knowledge, there's no reason to post that much info. What point does it serve? What really do you hope to accomplish by letting everyone know that Reviewer Rhonda is actually Sam Spade, who lives in NYC and works in a Denny's? It accomplishes nothing because there's no reason for anyone to really know any of that. Lucy could've been Donald Trump for all I care. If the only thing about her that bothers you is the way she reviews and how she comments, then that's all you need to report on. If it is necessary for them to post this information, then why aren't they posting their own information? Why is it that so many of the people on the site feel the need to hide the same information they're trying to reveal?

My point is, even if the reviewers are every bit as bad as you claim they are, you're going about it the wrong way. If the point of STGRB was to highlight specific authors as victims and to point out bad behavior, they've failed miserably. All they've done is to make the very people they claim are "bullies" into victims and making the authors they're trying to defend look like crackpots by association.

Further reading:
*AWWC thread on STGRB


  1. Good Lord Josh Whedon...

    It's like the start of WWI. "But he shot first!"

    I don't care, you all need to knock it the Washborne off before the tear gas canisters start flying. I mean, I'm sympathetic to feeling bullied and powerless to stop it, but c'mon, this is just over the top, folks.

    Grow up, or get off the internet so us adults have more bandwidth.

  2. Oh holy Batman, this is still going on? O_O

  3. I know what you guys mean... I feel bad for some of the authors because there are some people out there that are a little too gun-shy when it comes to authors replying to anything, but that website is not the answer to this sort of thing. If anything, the people that the site keeps referring to as victims are pretty much the worst ones they could be championing.

  4. It's my understanding that STGRB only posts "public" information. By that standard, they wouldn't be considered harrassing or stalking. If said person posted that stuff about themselves somewhere else then it's open game. People shouldn't post personal things about themselves on the internet.

    Just my thoughts.

    Did you know that everyone thinks I am Johnny? LOL I know, right? LOL