However, things escalated this week when one of our goodreads friends reported receiving threatening phone calls in her home. And only days later, The Huffington Post published an article they had apparently solicited from the people behind StGRB, giving them a platform that only exaggerated the drama. That article was ridiculously whitewashed, in our opinion, and doesn’t deserve to be linked to. The Guardian even got in on the discussion, posting an article on their book blog titled “Literary Feuding Sinks to a New Low.” The backlash on twitter was immediate, prompting an apology and an explanation from Andrew Losowsky, editor of the books section at The Huffington Post. They also posted an article from Foz Meadows, to give voice to the other side of the story. My favorite part of her post is this:
“What hasn't happened, despite some speculation about the identity of the site's creators, is an eye-for-an-eye reaction. The STGRB writers might have retained their anonymity, but their targets have kept their integrity.”
Yes. StGRB went way over the line when they posted personal information and details about goodreads reviewers, in some crazily misguided attempt to “encourage” them to be “nicer.” However, it makes me proud to be a blogger when I consider that none of us have responded in kind.
Things got even more surreal when StGRB started removing the personal details they’d posted and claiming they were never there to begin with. While we are ecstatic that those details have been removed, we’re baffled that the creators of StGRB apparently think that they can rewrite history. The internet has a long memory, and bloggers, many of whom have been targeted by this sort of thing before, have learned to document. On Friday, Gossamer Obsessions posted very detailed evidence of what StGRB had initially posted, and what they had removed.
And that, unfortunately, wasn’t the only brouhaha this week. Indie author Michele Gorman posted about her experience with bloggers attempting to charge her for reviews, prompting the bloggers in question to threaten her with legal action. Founder of Popehat, Ken, wrote a funny and easy to follow wrap-up of the whole fiasco. Writer Aja Romano also wrote a an article about this fiasco and the StGRB madness, over at The Daily Dot.
If you are as disgusted and exhausted as I am after reading all of these, I suggest you go to some of these sites for a little comic relief and optimism:
Gossamer Obsessions’ hilarious post from last week with pictorial instructions about how to respond to negative reviews for authors.
John Scalzi: “Bad Reviews: I Can Handle Then and So Should You”
And especially this one – from Libba Bray, about the horrible tragedy in Aurora this week. Even though she wasn’t writing about anything near as petty as our little issue here, I think her words apply.
“When terrible things happen, when we feel lost in the face of such senseless violence, but we are still not powerless in the world. We have choices. We have understanding. We have love. We have empathy and compassion. We have the ability not to be lost to the undertow of violence and terror. That is the stronger arsenal.”