BULLYING of AUTHORS
Here is an interesting article by Alison Flood from The Guardian concerning the bullying of authors. The what? Man, as if we don't have enough to contend with.
Anne Rice has tackled vampires, werewolves and witches in her fiction, but now the bestselling novelist is taking on a real-life enemy: the anonymous "anti-author gangsters" who attack and threaten writers online.
"My experience with the gangster bullies in the forum has been very bleak and ugly," Rice writes on the petition to Amazon. "I post there under my own name. They blatantly violate your guidelines with personal insults and harassing posts. If you would only apply your own guidelines this would greatly help. I feel a lot of these people are obsessive abusers who have found some sort of dark home on Amazon tormenting writers. I urge you to take action."
Rice, on her Facebook page, called on readers to support the petition, saying that "Amazon is such a wonderful system and so many go there to offer heartfelt authentic customer reviews of the books they read; too bad that the anti-author bullies have misused and abused anonymity there for their endless preying on writers. They are a tiny minority, true, but to the authors they harass and torment and endlessly attack, they are no joking matter."
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment, but Barselow now has almost 1,000 signatories to his petition, "with many comments from people telling why they think this is an important issue," he said. "That's really what I was hoping to see, those comments from authors and/or Amazon customers who have been affected by these bullies and harassers on the Amazon platform. I think if anything will get Mr Bezos's attention, it will be that feedback. I just hope that it will do some good." Barselow plans to deliver the petition to Amazon once he has gathered "a few thousand" signatures.
True Blood author Charlaine Harris was in a similar situation last May, when she received death threats for ending her series in a manner unpalatable to her fans. And last autumn, bestselling YA novelist Veronica Roth sent fans of her series into a frenzy with the unexpected ending to her Divergent trilogy. " I've never wanted to do bodily harm to an author before. If I was to see Ms Roth on the street right this minute, I'd prob punch her in the throat. Really I would," wrote one reader.
"All I can say is several of the reviews took my breath away," Charbonneau told the Guardian. "Stupid was the nicest name I was called. There were suggestions that I be killed because my book clearly was trying to rip off other authors, and for that I should be punished. Yikes. After three or four reviews, where reviewers suggested that perhaps I should be dealt physical harm because of my writing, I stopped reading. And I haven't sought out reviews since."
She decided to speak out now, she said, because she is "currently working on a new project that deals with the internet and the unreal quality it can have. It is that strange quality that I believe has desensitised many as to how their behaviour impacts others. And in thinking about how people relate to the internet, and watching how people I know and often respect post inflammatory, attack-driven words on social media without understanding the power those words have, I decided it was time to finally put a voice to those thoughts."
She was "scared" to speak up about the situation, said Charbonneau, "because of the retribution that could follow", but despite her concerns, she believes "that a line needs to be drawn in the sand. I decided to draw it in public, because by staying silent I am offering my tacit agreement to the trend of personal attacks on authors. And I do not agree."
Clancy's comment: Mm ... What do you think? What has been your experience?
Think about this!