What Stace had to say on Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
I don’t need you to avenge me, thanks

Guys…what the fuck is going on?

Seriously. What the fuck is going on here?

I honestly don’t even know where to begin, or what to say. I find myself growing more and more disturbed by things I’m seeing lately, on an almost daily basis. Like, to the point where I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps writers and readers simply should not interact with each other at all. Like, to the point where I’m considering withdrawing from the online world more than I already have (which, I’m sure none of you have noticed because you have full and busy lives, but is a bit).

It seems like almost every day we have yet another bag-of-douche acting like a fucking…I don’t even know what a good analogy is. Like a fucking vindictive shithead, vomiting their poo all over the internet and delighting in making other people feel bad. They claim this is justified, that they are Taking A Stand.

Guys…at the risk of Godwinning, reviewers are not Hitler. They’re not Mussolini. They’re not Pol Pot. I’m not aware of a single reviewer who has actually, say, kidnapped an author and tortured them in the basement, no matter how offensive they may have found that particular author’s book. I’m not aware of a single reviewer who has committed mass human rights offenses, or has engaged in some sort of cover-up, or has stolen money from people, or whatever other actions that might constitute, you know, actual activities a serious and definite stand should be taken against. For that matter, I’m not aware of a single book that has bombed spectacularly because some people got upset about it on Goodreads. The books that (appear to have) started this whole mess? Hardly failures.

I’ve been hanging around the online reading/writing community for seven years now (“Lane, I’ve been going to this school for seven years now. I’m no dummy.”). In that time I’ve seen quite a few authors behaving abominably. I’m only aware of one whose behavior was execrable AND whose books were not successful, but in that case, actually, I think the lack of sales has more to do with the fact that her books were utter shit (and even then, there were several poor misguided souls out there who liked them. Which is their right. I just personally thought the books were garbage).

So let’s get this straight, and let’s say it in boldface so there is no mistaking it:

You are not Taking A Brave Stand when you “out” people on the internet, no matter how rude or nasty you may think that person has been. You are not Exposing Their Crimes At Great Risk To Yourself. You are not a Miraculous Crusader For The Rights Of Others. You are not Karen Silkwood. You’re not even Woodward & Bernstein. You’re just an asshole with no perspective, to be honest.

And you should be fucking ashamed of yourself.

I’m ashamed of you. I’m ashamed to share internet space with you. You make me sick to my stomach.

Ever hear the phrase “Two wrongs don’t make a right?” Why don’t you think for a minute about what that means? Even IF–for the sake of argument–even IF we take your thesis as a given: That there is a segment of people online who secretly hate certain authors and delight in ripping them to shreds, and who get off on the sense of power they get from insulting and hurting and misrepresenting authors who they know can’t fight back, and who honestly believe they have the power to hurt the careers of those authors…

Even if we take that at face value…

How exactly is outing those reviewers on the internet HELPING anyone? How are you making yourself look like anything but a miserable, bullying piece of shit? How are you doing anything but making the tension in reader-writer relations–a tension with which I admit to being increasingly uncomfortable with every new kerfuffle–WORSE?

You’re not.

And you’re a fucking hypocrite. Outing people from behind the veil of anonymity. Yelling at people for daring to express opinions while behaving as if every word you type is precious and golden. Deciding it’s your place to attack people you deem “bullies.” (By the way, I’m also not talking about the difference between bullying and what you seem to think is bullying, and how offensive that is, and how I’m tired of seeing people hide behind the buzzword-of-the-day to justify their own complete lack of human decency.)

Honestly, I’m not just angry and sick about this. I am both of those things, intensely. I’m furious. I’m horrified.

But I’m also disheartened. I’m so tired of it all, you guys. I’m just so fucking tired of it all.

You know what? I’ve been on the receiving end of internet rage. I’ve had things I said misrepresented. I’ve gotten hate email–more than once. I’ve found people saying the most vile and hurtful things about me, lying about me. It wasn’t nice. It wasn’t fun. It didn’t feel good. It still doesn’t. I’ve seen it happen to others, too. And I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

I’m sick of the goddamn internet feeding frenzy. I’m sick of feeling like we’re all trapped on the island from LORD OF THE FLIES.

But you know what? If it’s anyone’s responsibility to put a stop to that shit, it’s MINE. I am the product creator. I am the merchant. I am the content originator. In other words, I am the one with the responsibility to guard my public image, to guard my art, to guard my integrity, and to watch how I represent myself. You could even say–and hell, for the sake of argument I will, even though it sounds egotistical and I really don’t think of it this way–that I have a responsibility to set an example.

I cannot control the behavior of others. I CAN control my own behavior.

Here’s the thing. Have I seen situations where I feel statements or actions of writers have been taken out of context, or overreacted over? You bet your ass I have. Has it upset me? Hell, yes, it has. Has it happened to me, where something said in one spirit was taken in a completely different one? Regular readers know it has (and I won’t even discuss in this post the sexism of that situation, or of this one, though I may do that soon. Suffice to say at the moment that I’m sick and tired of the attempts made to keep women and their opinions in line while no such offense is taken when men say the same things, or of women being yelled at for their “tone” and “attitude” whereas no one does the same at men. Ever visited a heavily male site like Aintitcool? Why don’t you go take a look at the vitriol there, and say something about it? Oh, I know. Because you’re too busy being an asshole about women who dared to step off the very narrow path of behavior you deem appropriate).

But here’s the other thing.

If writers never went crazy and unloaded on readers, if they never did things like try to out them or get their little friends to vote down their reviews or report them to try to get them deleted…if writers never sent nasty emails to reviewers or threatened to name AIDS-infected prostitutes after them (because that is so totally hilarious, yo) or tried to get them banned from websites…if writers never sent emails out to their cronies asking them to write positive reviews of their books or leave comments on less-than-positive reviews on retail sites or blogs…if writers never took to the internet to bitch and moan about those stupid readers who dared to not like their books and what morons they are and how they don’t deserve to live…in other words, if the idea of a writer cheating, gaming the system, and generally acting like an entitled little shit had never occurred to anyone? If all writers behaved with integrity? If no writer had ever behaved as though readers are nothing more than their personal publicity service with some kind of duty to help them promote their work? If no writer had ever behaved as if readers have no right to express an opinion?

Well, gee…if no writers had ever behaved like that, do you think readers would be so anxious? Do you think they would interpret any sort of comment by a writer on or about a review (and keep in mind I disapprove of writers commenting on reviews at all, this is just a general question) as an attack or attempt to intimidate? Do you think all this shit would have started in the first place?

Because I kind of don’t.

The fact is, the burden is on us. No, I didn’t start writing with the intent of being a Public Figure. Yes, I do find it upsetting that writers have to be so careful what we say, not just about reviews but about anything and everything else. But hey, that’s part of the job. And it’s easy to forget that it’s not just writers. It’s not an outgrowth of “celebrity.” It’s an outgrowth of having your thoughts and opinions exposed to a large group of people. Sooner or later somebody’s going to take offense. If you say something to enough people that will happen. That’s just the way it goes. I find it upsetting no matter who it happens to; I wish and wish that we could all remember those people on the other “side” of the computer screen are people, with thoughts and feelings. Maybe they’re having a bad day. Maybe they’re lonely or sad. Maybe they’re just not thinking about everything they say with the gravity Lincoln afforded the Gettysburg Address. People make mistakes. People mess up. People forget their audience, or fail to phrase something exactly, or whatever else. I hate that people are so eager to leap onto others like a pack of wild dogs. I hate that we seem to think the internet means it’s okay to say anything to anyone, about anyone, with no consequences. But you know what? People get carried away, too.

It’s easy to look at the current climate and talk about how ugly it is. And it is. Not all of it, but a segment of it. I know I’m not the only one growing increasingly disgusted by it, increasingly uncomfortable with it, increasingly angry and upset. I know I’m not the only one who’s been seriously reconsidering my participation online. I know I’m not the only one who finds the tendency toward outright glee when someone makes a mistake, the way everyone jumps in to laugh and point, to be highly disturbing.

But the answer is not to jump in and out-disgusting the people you feel are disgusting. The answer is not to forget your responsibilities to other people. The answer is not to create a website so full of vile slime and attacks, a website that deliberately tries to disrupt lives and could potentially incite violence–a website that outs mothers with children in their homes and encourages people to harass them (think about that again for a second: MOTHERS WITH CHILDREN IN THEIR HOMES)–that it turns the stomach and then pat yourself on your smug fucking back like you’ve just Scored One For The Good Guys.

YOU ARE NOT A GOOD GUY.

You are, in fact, the opposite of that.

I’m sorry this is so disjointed, and confused. I’m sorry it doesn’t make my point as clearly as I would like. I’m just too sick and sad and angry and upset and whatever else over this. It is horrifying. HORRIFYING.

I may well discuss this more later.

87 comments to “I don’t need you to avenge me, thanks”

  1. Stephen Perigr
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    1
    · July 11th, 2012 at 2:32 pm · Link

    Thank you for this. I wanted to say this the moment I heard about the “reviewer outing” movement.



  2. KMont
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    2
    · July 11th, 2012 at 2:36 pm · Link

    Actually, you made 100% perfect sense. It’s not a disjointed post, but the whole situation can definitely be confusing. No worries though, you were clear. And right. And awesome.



  3. Jane Smith
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    3
    · July 11th, 2012 at 2:50 pm · Link

    You were perfectly clear, Stacia, and I applaud you for your words.



  4. willaful
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    4
    · July 11th, 2012 at 2:58 pm · Link

    As a reviewer who is also a mother with a child at home, thank you.



  5. Smash Attack
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    5
    · July 11th, 2012 at 3:03 pm · Link

    I love your passion, and you speak such truth. It really angers me when supposed bully-haters become hypocrite assholes. It’s laughable but also a serious issue with society.

    Keep doing what you do.



  6. Parajunkee
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    6
    · July 11th, 2012 at 3:04 pm · Link

    You are amazing and eloquent and your point was perfectly made.



  7. Meljean
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    7
    · July 11th, 2012 at 3:09 pm · Link

    What you said to the millionth power.



  8. Spaz
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    8
    · July 11th, 2012 at 3:10 pm · Link

    Thank you!!



  9. Miss Bliss
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    9
    · July 11th, 2012 at 3:14 pm · Link

    Oh man…I don’t even want to know what the specifics are that triggered this rant. Because they are always the same and they are always so disturbing and, like you, it just makes me angry and sick and sad. I don’t know why it is that the internet seems to bring out the very worst in us as a society. Not that humans have ever been good once the mob mentality takes over. But it does seem like it happens so quickly and to such an extreme degree on the internet. I have noticed that you’ve been a bit absent and that also makes me sad. I fear that many writers may decide that having little or no direct interaction with fans/readers is the only healthy choice for them. But that makes me so sad as well. This feels like such a magic time if we could just stop shitting all over it. I just wrote something about how wonderful it was that I could ask a favorite writer a question and have a reasonable expectation of getting an answer. But it’s like we’ve forgotten how to employ even basic manners. We’ve forgotten that the person on the other side of the book/review/comment/post/email is a total stranger and for the most part we know NOTHING about them nor do they know anything about us. It truly leaves me almost speechless at times.

    A long time ago someone told me that the reason society developed manners was because we needed them to lubricate our social interactions while we were getting to know each other. I can be as rebellious as the next person, often more than the next person, but sometimes I think about that…about how if manners were used thoughtfully and properly they could be a tool for communicating without injury. They wouldn’t have to be a straight jacket of inhibited thinking or speaking, but the structure upon which we could speak without dripping vitriol upon every situation.

    Thank you for speaking your mind Stacia and for being a reasonable, responsible and ethical writer and presence here online.



  10. Delphine Dryden
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    10
    · July 11th, 2012 at 3:16 pm · Link

    Absolutely spot-on.



  11. Marq
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    11
    · July 11th, 2012 at 3:27 pm · Link

    Word.



  12. fangs for the fantasy
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    12
    · July 11th, 2012 at 3:31 pm · Link

    I normally don’t comment on authors blogs but I found this post on twitter and just had to say bravo. It needs to be said over and over again that this sort of thing is unacceptable. No matter how much your feelings have supposedly been hurt it is cowardly and bullying behaviour to release someone’s private information online.



  13. Laurel
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    13
    · July 11th, 2012 at 3:40 pm · Link

    Here via Absolute Write (I post as Rhoda Nightingale): Thanks for blogging about this. Every time I turn around, seems like, some shiny new idiot is turning the internet into a less happy place. There’s no need for all this fighting–really, no need. It does no one any good. Fear tactics and bullying are never the answer.



  14. Majanka
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    14
    · July 11th, 2012 at 3:42 pm · Link

    You nailed it. That post is spot on, and certainly describes how I feel toward all of this as well. I can’t believe the WTFery of all of this.



  15. Laura
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    15
    · July 11th, 2012 at 3:56 pm · Link

    I really don’t get it. People have a right to their opinions WITHOUT fear of retribution … in this case, name calling and posting private information.

    Why can’t more people listen to you? I have been on the receiving end of author hate-mail, and it is hurtful. With all this going around, it makes me seriously consider only reviewing certain authors I know, that would appreciate honesty no matter what, or from certain publishers where the author has some sort of contract where he/she is not permitted to retaliate.



  16. Readsalot81
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    16
    · July 11th, 2012 at 5:08 pm · Link

    I really don’t understand that people when they do this, they’ve become the essence of what they’re railing against. How do they not see that?

    And my kingdom for your ability to articulate. You’re brilliant! :)



  17. Christine
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    17
    · July 11th, 2012 at 5:14 pm · Link

    You are, as always, a voice of reason – and a funny, literate one – in an often ridiculous world.

    I don’t really understand what happened out there. I don’t understand why people who write books decided that the rules of commerce don’t apply to them, and that they are entitled to nothing constant but praise, whether their work is really worth of it or not. I don’t know why they believe that their work is beyond reproach and all reviews should be five stars and all discussion of their work should be conducted in the hushed reverent tones reserved for looking at the Mona Lisa. But, whatever caused the delusion, I wish it would simply go away and writers could let reviewers be reviewers, and in return, I’m guessing that reviewers will let writers be writers. Marketplaces are rowdy and loud, sink or swim sorts of places, and no delusions of grandeur or demands for deference are going to change that fact.

    Anyway, thanks.



  18. jeffo
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    18
    · July 11th, 2012 at 5:36 pm · Link

    You made your point perfectly clear. It would be a shame to lose your voice from the various places you make it heard, but it’s understandable. The climate is becoming increasingly unfriendly and uncomfortable, and difficult to ignore.



  19. KT Grant
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    19
    · July 11th, 2012 at 6:01 pm · Link

    I adore you so hard.



  20. elizabeth
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    20
    · July 11th, 2012 at 6:03 pm · Link

    Unlike Spartacus, I am Frimble. And that was a timely and appropriate post.
    It’s sad that this trashy behaviour is making me long for the ‘good old days’ when there was limited contact between reader and writer, and reviewers were few, and confined to the back pages of magazines.



    • Stace
      Comment
      20.1
      · July 12th, 2012 at 4:32 am · Link

      It is, isn’t it? :(



  21. Meoskop
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    21
    · July 11th, 2012 at 6:11 pm · Link

    I don’t think things have changed. I think things have become more public. I think the rise of ebooks have put a lot of people out before they are ready for primetime but… I have been reviewing under various names on the internet or usenet or zine or whatever since the 1980′s and I have seen all of this before. Even what triggered this post. Don’t be silenced by it, be louder. Call it out, shine a light, make intimidation unprofitable. I mean, I agree with you, but I have been here a few times before and we will be here again. Crazy is eternal.



  22. CdnMrs
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    22
    · July 11th, 2012 at 6:22 pm · Link

    You rock hardcore!! Thank you!!



  23. Cherrie Lynn
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    · July 11th, 2012 at 6:32 pm · Link

    Love this. You rock so hard, Stacia.



  24. Donna @ Bites
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    · July 11th, 2012 at 6:41 pm · Link

    This. A million times over, this. I learned many moons ago that the best thing to do is just walk away. Everyone wants the last word on the internet but people just end up screaming themselves hoarse trying to get it done.



  25. Michele Lee
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    25
    · July 11th, 2012 at 7:30 pm · Link

    I’m with you. Completely.



  26. Anna Karenina
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    26
    · July 11th, 2012 at 7:39 pm · Link

    I applaud your post. As an author you are courageous to take such a bold stance.

    The only way to fight against people who will post personal information that could put people in a dangerous situation is to expose them for the thugs that they are. And to show them the contempt they deserve.

    Thank you.



  27. Bridget Locke
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    27
    · July 11th, 2012 at 7:42 pm · Link

    Excellent post! As a new writer who is in the process of trying to get published, things like this make me second guess myself. Do I want to put myself out there when there are such horrible people out there?

    The saddest part of the whole thing is the stepping behind the veil of “anti-bullying” when they are the worst type of bully out there. I know from experience what this type of bullying does to a person & in all honesty it scares the crap out of me.

    I was a victim of bullying from k-12. I hoped that by the age of 35 I would be able to live a normal, peaceful life. Sadly, these internet thugs don’t ever go away no matter how old you get. Too bad there’s no way to get them arrested or at least a restraining order put out. Even a cease & desist. Because as bad as the name calling & everything else, the EXPOSING of the person’s personal information is beyond the beyond.

    As someone who values my privacy to the extreme, that’s so far over the line I am beyond disgusted. :twisted:

    And I apologize for the long, winding comment, but this is obviously a huge hot button for me.



  28. BernardL
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    28
    · July 11th, 2012 at 7:52 pm · Link

    Any review is a good one. I don’t worry about the origin or the words. I realize there are a multitude of sock puppet armies out there. Fighting them or being upset about them would be inadvisable. There is no escape. If Amazon can’t control them, and they are trying, then some self-publishing or established author will have a hell of a time limiting damage. I’m not certain the answer would be alienating fans seeking to defend. Maybe it would be best not to interact except in a controlled venue.



  29. samatwitch
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    29
    · July 11th, 2012 at 8:01 pm · Link

    I’ve been a member of Goodreads for several years but I just became aware of this situation this afternoon. Thank you for a great articulate argument for more moderate behaviour on the Internet. For some reason this week seems to have seen more than its share of putrid, juvenile, hate-filled attacks on other people – mostly women, I have to say. I had to take a mini-break the other night after reading articles about Anita Sarkeesian and the incredibly hateful and hurtful things done to her because she dared to want to do a project on “Tropes vs Women in Video Games”! Now this is more of the same.

    Thank you for speaking out – and calling out those who don’t see the hypocrisy of what they are doing.



  30. Patricia Royal
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    30
    · July 11th, 2012 at 9:22 pm · Link

    Wow, that was certainly long winded, but you’re not alone. I have seen some recent behavior that has made me headdesk. My mind can not wrap around what these people were thinking when they took to the internet to rant.



  31. Gaie Sebold
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    31
    · July 11th, 2012 at 11:30 pm · Link

    Thank you for this. We need reviewers. Damn, I want reviewers. Sometimes they don’t like my book – but they read the damn thing and expressed an opionion. If they do the first, they have an absolute right to do the second.



    • Gaie Sebold
      Comment
      31.1
      · July 11th, 2012 at 11:45 pm · Link

      Oops, sorry, didn’t mean to bold everything – I’m rubbish at this html stuff. :oops:



      • Stace
        Comment
        31.1.1
        · July 12th, 2012 at 4:33 am · Link

        Lol, do you want me to fix it? I’m happy to if you like (but I don’t think it’s necessary).



  32. Claire
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    32
    · July 12th, 2012 at 12:34 am · Link

    Stacia, you are amazing, and you summed up perfectly how so many of us feel about the current phuckery that’s going on around the author/reviewer situation.

    You’re not the only one who is sick of it.



  33. Katy Sozaeva
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    33
    · July 12th, 2012 at 2:38 am · Link

    You rock, Stacia, and don’t ever go away! :!: We need the voice of reasonable authors out there, and I’d be so sad if, within a year of discovering this terrific way of interacting with authors, it all went away due to the childish behaviour of social misfits. :roll: I already had most of your books on my wishlist, and I just finished adding the rest – they may not be my normal fare, since I’m not much into the whole romance thing, but I want to support you in the limited way I have available. I commented on GR, too, in a much more …. vituperative manner :razz: Now I need to figure out how to subscribe to your blog …



    • Stace
      Comment
      33.1
      · July 12th, 2012 at 4:36 am · Link

      Thanks, Katy. :) It is sad. (And while my books have a strong romantic subplot, they’re NOT romances.)



  34. Miss Vain's Paranormal Fantasy
    Comment
    34
    · July 12th, 2012 at 3:49 am · Link

    As usual Stacia, you are a godess with a voice of reasoning in all the WTF-Fuckery on the Internet. :razz: Thank you for sharing. You are so awesome!



  35. Kaetrin
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    35
    · July 12th, 2012 at 5:01 am · Link

    Brava Ms. Kane. Well said.



  36. Mary B
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    36
    · July 12th, 2012 at 5:10 am · Link

    The website that sparked this rant (great rant–I fully agree!) is absolutely disgusting. Where do these people get off “outing” people they claim are “bullies” (again, agree with you on this re. the definition and tossing this word around like it’s free candy)? Authors and readers/reviewers should not have contentious relationships, especially not like this. The whole situation sickens me.



  37. DS
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    37
    · July 12th, 2012 at 6:38 am · Link

    Good job. It needed saying and you said it. I salute you.



  38. krupke
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    38
    · July 12th, 2012 at 8:25 am · Link

    “I hate that people are so eager to leap onto others like a pack of wild dogs. I hate that we seem to think the internet means it’s okay to say anything to anyone, about anyone, with no consequences. ”

    I agree. I’ll also add that with regard to authors and readers/reviewers the onus for civility goes both ways. I’ve read books I didn’t quite like and left negative reviews, but I leave it at that. I even like the occasional well written snarky review. However, there’s a difference between stating your opinion in the form of a review and being a perseverating jerk. I loathe this behavior in fellow readers/reviewers. So while I don’t target/denigrate these reviewers online, I don’t feel bad when they get smacked.



    • Stace
      Comment
      38.1
      · July 12th, 2012 at 2:22 pm · Link

      You know, if the website had simply been a look at nastiness–even on both sides–I’d be a lot more inclined to say “Whatever.” In fact, that’s what I *would* say. There is and has been some situations where I’ve felt the rage aimed at authors has gone way beyond what was necessary.

      But we’re not talking about a reasonable response. We’re talking about outing people. We’re talking about outing women with children in their homes. We’re talking about attacking people whose only crime was to not like a book.

      There is NO excuse for that. And if someone does that, there is no way they can preen and pat themselves on the back like they’ve done something good, when all they’ve done is stooped to a much lower level than any of the people they’re getting all self-righteous about. All they’ve done is proven that they are being with no conscience and no honor, and they disgust me.



      • Expy
        Comment
        38.1.1
        · July 13th, 2012 at 3:22 pm · Link

        Women with children. Women with children. Encouraging strangers to come and harass women with children at their home. Cannot stress that enough.



  39. Pix
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    39
    · July 12th, 2012 at 10:59 am · Link

    Perfectly stated! Thanks for being a voice of reason in this growing cloud of stupid!!



    • Laura
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      39.1
      · July 16th, 2012 at 4:10 pm · Link

      “growing cloud of stupid”

      Now THERE’s a terrifying mental image… well-put!



  40. Jackie B Central Texas
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    40
    · July 12th, 2012 at 10:59 am · Link

    :sad:Hopefully at some point there will come a time when Internet bullying stops, I am not holding my breath until that day! :???:
    Stacia we feel the same way you do and whether your ramblings make sense to you are not they do to those of us who cannot in any way shape or form put them in words that have the same impact, do not stop as you are the “voice” of “conscience” that needs to be heard! ;-)



  41. P.N. Elrod
    Comment
    41
    · July 12th, 2012 at 11:30 am · Link

    You nailed it and I’m glad you spoke out. http://www.staciakane.net/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_mrgreen.gif

    Rules for writers:

    We ALL get less than happy reviews. It’s part of the job, so get over yourself and be a professional.

    Don’t be an asshole, especially don’t be an asshole on the Internet. It won’t ever go away.

    Don’t read your reviews. You might start believing them.

    Focus on your damn writing. Be awesome at it.



    • Miss Bliss
      Comment
      41.1
      · July 12th, 2012 at 1:34 pm · Link

      “Focus on your damn writing. Be awesome at it.”

      Best comment ever!



    • Kevin
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      41.2
      · July 12th, 2012 at 9:02 pm · Link

      Yes, a very nice comment.



  42. Krista
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    42
    · July 12th, 2012 at 3:34 pm · Link

    AWESOME post! Thanks for highlighting this situation!! I’m appalled that these “Stop Bullying” people do not see the irony and the wtfuckery of what they are doing or attempting to do. The fact that it is adults is ridiculous! I’m a teacher, and every Friday during our advisement period, we worked on an Anti-bullying campaign. This would have been a fabulous example to show how bullying doesn’t stop bullies. Besides the fact that what these reviewers are doing, ISN’T bullying.

    As a writer myself, I see that authors behaving badly brought this shit on, and unfortunately it’s a “reap what you sow” kinda thing.



  43. Terri
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    43
    · July 12th, 2012 at 5:27 pm · Link

    I think you made your point very well and I agree with you



  44. Amber I @ AwesomeSauce
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    44
    · July 12th, 2012 at 5:37 pm · Link

    Point well made! And I totally agree with it all. The website everyone is talking about I won’t even go on. I don’t want them to have the page hits (I know my 1 hit will not make a difference) but I just don’t want to in anyway support them or anyone else who does these kind of things.



  45. Jessica Scott
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    45
    · July 12th, 2012 at 5:45 pm · Link

    great post Stacia! you hit it spot on!



  46. Simon Bestwick
    Comment
    46
    · July 12th, 2012 at 5:56 pm · Link

    Bang on, Stacia. The sheer venom and ugliness on the internet and on messageboards is dispiriting beyond words. A friend of mine was telling me about the shit she had to deal with, just on Facebook, over the course of one week, and it was beyond belief. And yes, a real wave of vitriol gets directed at women in particular.

    I don’t know what can be done about it, if anything. But like you, I’m starting to seriously consider with drawing somewhat from t’internet. There’s a real world out there, and it’s a lot more fun.



  47. Romance Man
    Comment
    47
    · July 12th, 2012 at 6:17 pm · Link

    That was perfect. You are my new favorite person and I don’t even know you.



  48. Dicey Grenor
    Comment
    48
    · July 12th, 2012 at 7:12 pm · Link

    I’ve only been at this less than a year, and all the bad blood between authors and reviewers has me irritated as well. I find myself withdrawing from interactive sites for several days at a time to get my mind right. I can imagine you’ve seen a lot more than I have during your tenure. Too bad things seem to be getting worse than better.



  49. Kevin
    Comment
    49
    · July 12th, 2012 at 8:59 pm · Link

    Nice Stacia. It was actually very clear, even though I don’t know what the heck happened. Back in the 90′s when I was lucky enough to meet an author, it was very different. I never was able to read reviews, because honestly, I didn’t care about them so much. With the birth of the internet, everyone can, and usually will, get involved with reviews. It doesn’t seem to matter if they are actually QUALIFIED to review someone’s work. They just have an opinion. Because of that, I STILL do not read reviews. I will recommend a book I read, but I refuse to “review” it. I’m a reader, and I enjoy hooking other people up with a good book, movie, whatever.

    However, that doesn’t really address what you have posted here. I tried a hand at blog writing. It was hard work, not nearly as hard as writing a book, but still hard. To have someone attack what you, or someone else has worked hard on, in an unprofessional manner is sad and horrifying (to use your own words). For some reason, people just seem to want to be mean on the internet.

    If you withdraw even more from the public eye, and yes I had noticed as other have, well, that’s ok by me. Can’t say I blame you. Who needs the drama, plus I can understand you wanting to concentrate on writing without the distraction of drama. It is, after all, what you do. AND YOU ARE TERRIFIC AT IT.

    Do what you have to do for you. I doubt your hard core fans, like me, will be bothered by it. We will still support you by buying your books. I hope you feel better and things turn around. Also, I can’t wait for your next book.

    A fan – Kevin



    • Kevin
      Comment
      49.1
      · July 12th, 2012 at 9:06 pm · Link

      Oh, I forgot to add, one of the main reasons I don’t read reviews? Because I have rarely found one that was right. Like I said, people just seem to want to post their opinion like they are an expert and be mean about it. I don’t understand the outing part, but even as a fan I understand there is a big difference between an author, and the person behind that author. I hope all this rambling has made sense.



    • Stace
      Comment
      49.2
      · July 20th, 2012 at 7:40 pm · Link

      The thing is, though, Kevin…while I appreciate what you’re saying, there’s really no “qualification” necessary to review a book, you know? You don’t have to be “qualified.” It’s always nice if you know how to read, of course, but beyond that…anyone is entitled to say whatever they like about a book. Just like (in an example I used once before) I’m entitled to say anything I like about Pop-Tarts. I don’t have to be a chef or professional taster or supertaster or whatever else. It’s nice if I have a mouth and eat solid food, of course, but Pop-Tarts are products (delicious little products, yum) and I can say so, or I can say they suck and taste like cat ass, anywhere I want, because that’s my right as a consumer.

      Not all reviews are useful, of course. I only read my own if the reviewer sends me a link, but when it comes to other books I constantly see reviews that I find totally pointless. I just shrug and read the next one. I skim the reviews and read the excerpts provided, really, because that tells me much more about whether or not I’ll like the book. So no, not all reviews are useful, but they all have a “right” to be published. You know?

      Thanks for the comment!



  50. cat james
    Comment
    50
    · July 13th, 2012 at 1:14 am · Link

    I agree with everything you wrote and the vitriolic aspect of the net is a huge factor in why I’ve been reluctant to revive my own abandoned blog. While I’d miss you terribly if/when you decide to scale back your web presence, you have to put your own well-being first. <3



  51. Suzan
    Comment
    51
    · July 13th, 2012 at 2:03 am · Link

    Very well put :)

    I believe that one of the reasons people are being so nasty, is the anonymity of it all. If the idiots out there had to show their faces behind their cruel words, thing would look a lot different.

    I have not seen the cause of this blog, but can see the reasoning behind your words. And I think it is “brave” of you to be so open about your opinions and not hiding your face behind some make believe username.

    regards from at huge Chessiebomb & Terrible fan :)



  52. Julie Fortier
    Comment
    52
    · July 13th, 2012 at 4:31 am · Link

    Brilliant, Ms. Stacy and I too applaud you. I am only one of many of your huge fans as I noticed on here, but I have one word for you that my (adult) kids have taught me: Trolls. I was very upset over some mean comments made about someone’s death by AIDS and for the first time ever, wrote my own comment on the page of heartfelt sickness of how nasty some people can be. My daughter then told me there are people out there that are called Trolls by the internet (you probably already know this but I sure didn’t!) that take GREAT delight in saying horrible things. I don’t understand why people feel the need to do this but my daughter told me, IGNORE THEM. To answer angrily gives them even more delight. Ugghhh! I for one am very glad you wrote this piece!! YES!!! FINALLY someone is saying something!!! I honestly hope this doesn’t stop you from leaving us, your fans…but I also would understand if it did.



  53. L.A. Gordon
    Comment
    53
    · July 13th, 2012 at 5:09 am · Link

    I agree with you 100%.

    Technology was suppose to make us smart, not stupid and ignorant. The internet was started as a social experience for us to be able to interact and expand our horizons. We cannot do this if we go crying to our mommas every time someone kicks our ass (even if its well deserved).

    Point being if you consider yourself an artist (writer, painter,etc) you have to expose yourself to the pain of public opinion, whether you like it or not. No one likes to fail but this is the only way to experience real growth. This also helps us to grow up and become true adults. Unfortunately for us the internet as help to spawn some serious children in adult bodies.

    If I was an evil adult I would send that reviewer instructions on how to send a nice little virus to that childish author’s computer.

    PS: I am both an avid reader and I love computers. I however don’t interact on my computer, socially any more because of bullshit situations like the one talked about in this blog.



  54. Tori
    Comment
    54
    · July 14th, 2012 at 12:39 pm · Link

    Thank you so much for this!

    It’s such a relief to see an author be so clear and concise on the issue!



  55. Randal Carter
    Comment
    55
    · July 14th, 2012 at 8:52 pm · Link

    Stacia,

    I am so sorry to find you so upset today. I first sent you an email about five years ago, discussing Personal Demons. Your lively, upbeat character and charming reply heartened me and made my day.

    There will always be trolls under the bridges. Try not to let them upset you.

    Sincerely yours,
    Randal



  56. Kristie(J)
    Comment
    56
    · July 14th, 2012 at 9:37 pm · Link

    “Standing up and applauding”



  57. Lillian Grant
    Comment
    57
    · July 15th, 2012 at 12:36 am · Link

    Stacia,

    We can all learn so much from you.

    You’re an amazing lady and a great writer.

    Lillian



  58. MissFifi
    Comment
    58
    · July 15th, 2012 at 7:43 am · Link

    You hit the nail on the head and you made me think of a line from ‘Barbarians at the Gate’ that applies not just to this situation, but many others. In reference to NYC, Linda Robinson makes the comment “This town worships success. What it roots for is failure – everyone else’s.”



  59. K D
    Comment
    59
    · July 16th, 2012 at 12:09 pm · Link

    You are AWESOME



  60. Laura
    Comment
    60
    · July 16th, 2012 at 4:03 pm · Link

    It’s so funny (read: sad) that you would even have to write a post like this. Everything you said just sounds like plain ole’ common sense to me.
    Does this mean I am *gasp* an ADULT?



    • Laura
      Comment
      60.1
      · July 16th, 2012 at 4:20 pm · Link

      Another thought: could this kind of entitled attitude from authors be the end result of the “no-hurt, no-fail, EVER” way many people seem to be raising their kids now? I mean, if you never learn how to deal with occasional failure or rejection as a child, it makes sense to me that you would grow into a person who always expects others to see rainbows coming out of your ass.
      Just saying.



      • L.A. Gordon
        Comment
        60.1.1
        · July 17th, 2012 at 2:31 am · Link

        Yes that is definitely part of it.



      • Stace
        Comment
        60.1.2
        · July 20th, 2012 at 7:44 pm · Link

        I may actually blog about that.



      • Laura
        Comment
        60.1.3
        · July 23rd, 2012 at 2:25 pm · Link

        I’ll be sure to stay posted!



  61. Jim
    Comment
    61
    · July 17th, 2012 at 10:11 pm · Link

    Hi – came here from Scalzi’s blog to read your thoughts on this weird situation. I have two comments:

    1. For a rant that is self-described as “disjointed and confused”, I thought it was pretty great. I like a little emotion in what I read (enough so that I just ordered the “Finding Magic” novella for my Nook – so if nothing else, Stacia got a new reader out of the rant).

    2. Jesus F’ing Christ, who are these people who honestly think a rational response to “bullying” is… *more* bullying??? This actually makes sense to people? Ugh.



  62. Barb
    Comment
    62
    · July 17th, 2012 at 10:37 pm · Link

    I haven’t done much social interaction on the nets for about 5 years partly because of my personal experience with exactly the kind of behaviors you are calling out, and partly for other personal reasons. But there are good people on the nets as well as the bad, and in the end I have to believe that the good can outweigh the bad, especially if those who have a voice and influence call out those who exemplify the worst of the internet. Thank you for being one of those voices of reason along with John Scalzi and others.



  63. Mike (@NewGuyMike)
    Comment
    63
    · July 18th, 2012 at 6:02 am · Link

    Here here! Moral outrage justified and support sent in the direction of you and those like minded.



  64. OfNoImport
    Comment
    64
    · July 18th, 2012 at 10:13 am · Link

    http://gentleblaze.livejournal.com/514.html

    EL James has done it…oh wait, is that Icy?
    What the fuck! If It’s good enough for the fifty shades of shit set, it’s good enough for everyone else.

    Am I right? Right…

    Ugh…



  65. Jill B
    Comment
    65
    · July 18th, 2012 at 10:00 pm · Link

    Awesome post on a ridiculous situation – but what really got me was the Better Off Dead reference :razz: I mean, come on, Ms. Kane. If I were a man I would date you so hard and marry the shit out of you!



    • Stace
      Comment
      65.1
      · July 20th, 2012 at 7:45 pm · Link

      God, that is so romantic.



  66. Susan
    Comment
    66
    · July 19th, 2012 at 1:09 pm · Link

    Brava. I’ve never read one of your books, but on the basis of this I’m going to go out and buy at least one.



  67. Lila
    Comment
    67
    · July 21st, 2012 at 9:23 am · Link

    Even though I’ve never read any of your books simply because UF is not the genre I like to read, I have developed a lot of respect for you as an author and a person. I suppose my general attitude as a reader is out of fashion nowadays, but I support your sentiment about moral responsibility wholeheartedly. I have always held writers above everyone else. I think the time for severing my ties with online reading communities may be coming to end soon because I don’t want to lose respect for that noble profession – writing.
    And all those nasty people on both sides of the spectrum – they’re despicable cowards and internet is their heaven. They would think twice before they said any of those things to another person’s face.



  68. Chorus
    Comment
    68
    · July 21st, 2012 at 9:34 am · Link

    Well said, and thank you for saying it. I hope you won’t withdraw from the internet too much, as it’ll become an even more unpleasant place if the authors with common sense pack up and go home, and we’re left with only the crazies.

    I’ve been on Goodreads, where the drama started, since 2008 and it’s only this year that I’ve become concerned about covering my traces so that my personal information isn’t too accessible. When I started writing reviews there, it was never with the now unfortunately popular idea that they should be constructive feedback for the author. I’m not a writer. I’m not there to tell them how to improve their work. What would I know? Constructive feedback should come from workshops, not from an amateur reviewer. I wrote them, and continue to write them, so that the readers whose tastes are similar to my own — like the friends I’ve made there — can take my (subjective, emotional, some would say uninformed) reaction to the book and decide if it’s of any use to them.

    It makes me sick that what used to be a safe and entertaining space to do just that has become filled with vitriol from authors who feel they’re entitled to free handholding from everyone who buys their book. It’s even sadder that I know reviewers who are now becoming wary enough to abandon entire fields of publishing — usually YA or self-published works — to reduce the chance of being the victim of these attacks themselves.

    Someone’s a bully here, but it’s not the reviewers.



    • Laura
      Comment
      68.1
      · July 23rd, 2012 at 2:28 pm · Link

      Well said.



  69. BR Kingsolver
    Comment
    69
    · July 22nd, 2012 at 1:39 pm · Link

    But … but … if I can’t blame malicious spite for poor reviews, I’d have to blame my writing. And since I’m the direct descendant of Tolstoy, Hemingway and James, that can’t possibly be the problem … :roll:

    In general, responding to idiots on the internet is a losing proposition. If a reviewer feels seriously threatened, I suggest he/she check out the stalking laws in their state and file a complaint. Even if the half-wits posting the websites are harmless, as this weekend has shown us, there are plenty of wackos out there.



  70. lostime4me
    Comment
    70
    · July 30th, 2012 at 3:34 am · Link

    Thank you for being the voice of SANITY. I’ve been away from GoodReads for a couple of weeks because of a few medical tests that I needed. When I came back, I wondered WTF was going on. From what I gathered, there are some people on the web that may or may not enjoy bashing books for the pleasure of it & an author lost their mind in a rant. {I was even offended bu the author & I wasn’t involved} They then compounded the issue by outing people who they felt wronged them (which made them more dangerous than the people they were angry with & they think they are St. Joan or something?). That’s what I gathered from all I missed.

    It takes all kinds to make up this world but if people would put a portion of the energy they used for this Cluster F* into being nicer to each other rather than bashing…wouldn’t it be a nicer place? Sadly, that won’t happen because they can’t get the attention they want that way. [IMO]
    But I will be the first to beg the authors not to leave us because of a group that behaves badly. I have had some wonderful interactions with many authors & narrators and I think we all benefited from it. Please don’t judge everyone by the few that are louder. There are many more that enjoy the interaction but do so quitely. I just wish people would use their energy in a more positive way…but I guess I ask too much from humanity.



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