Wednesday, September 25, 2013

That Goodreads Thing That's Going On

As you know, I don't discuss controversial issues such as politics and religion on this site. I'm a lot more interested in books and authors. So when controversy and books/authors come together with a big bang, I'm conflicted.

It's the Goodreads thing. I'm sure you know all about it.

If not, check out these posts:

"Goodreads’ growing pains: Attempt to curtail author bullying angers many users"

And for a little history, check out The Blog That Shall Not Be Named: Taking a Stand Against Bullies, Not Against Reviews

Although I have an author page on Goodreads, I haven't been very active over there, mostly because I haven't had time. I've heard the rumors about the mean kids who play there. That's the kind of craziness I try to avoid.

Now it appears Goodreads wants to raise the author/reader experience to a more professional level by allowing all honest book reviews but disallowing attacks on author character or behavior not related to the author's book. That seems like a good thing.

About the freedom of speech issue: My parents taught me that my freedoms extended only to the boundaries of my space, and were never to intrude upon another individual's space. To me, space includes privacy and peace of mind. Verbal and written attacks on individuals or groups are attacks on both--and that's bullying.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this issue?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Agree with you there!
Fortunately I've avoided the Goodreads drama.

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - You raise a really important issue. I've never had much respect for people who bully others, and that includes cyber-bullying. Speaking for myself I've never had any trouble on Goodreads, but I know it happens.

Anonymous said...

Mixed feelings. The general nastiness that erupts, I can live without. The Internet seems to foster it sometimes. But there are times when an author's behavior might influence my decision whether or not to buy a book. I think GoodReads is trying to chart a middle path here so that its users aren't subjected to vitriol all the time. We'll see how it goes.

Julie Luek said...

I've read these articles with surprise and sadness. I've used Goodreads strictly as a way to list the books I've read and keep a record of them, but after all this negative hoopla, I'm considering going back to my pen n' notebook method of tracking my books.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I rarely visit Goodreads but I think it is doing the right thing. But then any publicity is good publicity and I wonder how the "bullied" authors feel about the whole thing. Thanks for the links.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. I've noticed the Goodreads thing going on - but not having a page there .. it sort of washes over me - though people wasting others' time always irritates me ...

Respect is due at all times ... and by not commenting or reviewing often says far more than bully words ..

Well said post - Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

I don't go to Goodreads very much. I've heard stuff about the bullying that's been going on. Not at all appropriate from what I know about it.

Tossing It Out