Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reverse Bullying and Censorship


Normally, on Wednesdays I highlight an author in The Hot Seat. However, something happened to me and I felt that I needed to share it, because it was weird and ... so uncool. I don't want to take away from The Hot Seat, so in order to do the interview feature justice, I rescheduled it for tomorrow. 

So yesterday I got a friend request on Facebook from an author. I thought, "wow, that's odd." Her book, was one of the first I reviewed on my blog. I gave it a low rating.

So, I was thinking to myself that this author has her shit together and was really impressed that despite a negative review, she wanted to be friends.

My reviews are balanced, I have everything on here from five stars to one star. My blog is aptly named - Accolades and Book Burnings.

I don't sugarcoat my opinion, because, quite honestly, I am here to provide my truthful review, not stroke anyone's ego (not unnecessarily). In fact, I blogged about this before - see here

So I thought how awesome that this author gets that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and as long as it's expressed in a mature and objective way (cause I'm mature and objective, of course), then it's all good. No personal attacks, no drama.

Okay, then I try to log into my Accolades and Book Burnings page on Facebook and discover that it's been "unpublished" because someone reported it for "bullying." And I had a moment of "huh?" I only use that page to post links to my blog posts (and not all of them, at that) and I rarely post or comment under that name, and never have I ever been mean on Facebook (no really). So I tried to think back to what I could have possibly done to get labeled as a bully... How weird. And hurtful that anyone would accuse me of such an action.

I was talking to a friend on Facebook chat and tried to figure out what was going on and while coming up with potential theories, I sent her a link to my review of said author's book to show that the review was solely focused on the writing, the characters, the genre, the title, and that nowhere did I call this author fat or ugly or say that she has a bad perm. Cause, honestly, I've never seen her and don't know. Nor do I care. I'm in this for the books. So I rate the book, not the author. It's not personal, after all. Ultimately, if my recommendations are respected, you just might listen to my opinion and use your hard earned $$$ to buy the books I rate highly. So I don't rate highly unless it's really good. Then again, even the books that are not my cup of tea, I acknowledge that there might be an audience for that too. And this author's book was no exception. 

Moving right along - I sent the link and got kicked off my Haydee Reviews account. My friend's error message read: "This message is no longer available because it was identified as abusive or marked as spam." Odd, right? That's what I thought too. 

As of this morning, my Haydee Reviews account is blocked from posting anything at all on Facebook for the next twelve hours and the Accolades and Book Burnings page is completely deleted. I can't even see if from my master account. I had no activity on either Facebook account yesterday or last night (as in, I didn't post or try to post anything at all... aside for a Happy Anniversary comment, which I hardly think is mean)... so what am I being penalized for exactly?

*UPDATE* as of Thursday morning, my posting privileges have been restored and my Accolades and Book Burnings page has been restored, however, there are still quirks about what they are accepting as spam from me and what is allowed. So... very odd situation. 

What an odd coincidence that all these things happened in such quick succession. If I didn't know any better, I'd think that this author was trying to bully me into not having or being able to express my opinion by taking away the forum in which I network and get the word out about my book reviews. Now, I don't know for fact that this author went to my Facebook page and wrongfully accused me of bullying on Facebook when I didn't even link to this review on that page. However, coincidence... 

Let me just put this out there - when an author publishes their words for public consumption, they relinquish their right to cry bully when someone provides an honest review about their work. There's a caveat here, so wait for it. IF the review is in regards to the work itself and is talked about intelligently in the context of its genre and whether it accomplished what it set out to accomplish - if we're talking erotica then was it hot? if we add BDSM or D/s - did the characters stay true to their advertised dynamic? were there hot BDSM and/or D/s interactions? an interesting storyline? AND not an attack on the author. Personal attacks are never okay. But when discussing the work itself, opinions will vary. Let's not forget what they say about opinions and what they're like and how everyone has them. 

When an author tries to censor public opinion about their work by attacking the reviewer they lose credibility. [And, OMG, deja vu! Didn't we just have an author meltdown about those pesky reviewers who just don't understand their art?] It's unprofessional. It's childish. We all know who they are. And I'm not giving them any more time in the spotlight than they have already taken from us. 

For the love of God, handle it privately. There are these amazing tools available now - it's called email, private messages on Facebook or Twitter or Goodreads. It's pretty easy to find that contact information. Hell, it's all on my blog - easy access, kinda like no panties, but the internet version. Be an adult. Handle your business like one. Trying to censor reviewers never ends well for the author. Trying to do it on the sly makes you look sneaky and immature (and insecure). Try to remember that next time you read a negative review. Step away from your keyboard. Have a margarita, get a massage, soak in a bath. Go have an orgasm. Do something. Anything other than going off half-cocked (oh my, I said cock, but this one isn't sexy). Books are meant to be read and discussed. Sometimes even the negative reviews are ultimately good - just read this. Don't try to censor your readers. Be happy that someone is talking about your work. Period.

Now, if I'm wrong and it's not this author I'll accept responsibility…(and will ponder this mystery of the broken Facebook) but if you've called me out as a bully, have the nerve to stand up and call me out to my face instead of being all sneaky 007 about it…Please stand up!

No comments:

Post a Comment