The latest missive you can dismiss from the STGRB camp comes in the form of yet more accusations leveled against Goodreads- the focus of their eternal ire, since the site was started and largely supported by those who’ve been banned from the site for their perfidy, hence the name. Bryant posted an expose about certain groups on GR- chatrooms dedicated to sexual role-playing scenarios- but a closer look reveals, once again, there’s more smoke than fire whenever Bryant or STGRB speaks.
Mind you, this is gonna be a long one. But it’s the Monday after the Super Bowl, and it’s not like you even went to work today, so just grab some coffee and settle in.
First, some background. Bryant himself was booted from Goodreads under allegations of an improper relationship with a minor, which he naturally disputes. What remains fact is that he did have a relationship with the girl, misrepresenting himself to her and others in the process of building it, and it ended badly. He’s waged a retaliatory campaign against both her and Goodreads since. It only seemed natural that he’d find a new home on a site dedicated to attacking Goodreads; not that Goodreads is perfect or anything, but it hardly rates this level of attention from a group of butthurt authors who simply couldn’t see their way to obeying the rules of the site, and cried a waterfall of crocodile tears when it all hit the fan for them. Their recourse then becomes not moving on with their lives but instead pointing fingers and attempting to shift blame away from themselves under the guise of shining a light on the dark deeds and dastardly doings of their former site host, especially highlighting the ‘risk’ it poses to children. But that’s the nature of the game almost to a tee, as I’ll show later.
Now then, here’s the link to his blogpost, so you can see it all for yourselves.
Once the news of this post leaked, a lot of us Goodreads members were scratching our heads and asking, “Goodreads has that kind of shit? Really? ‘Cause were just here for, you know, the books!” Funny how none of us ever thought to look for this stuff over there. But it’s also a social media site and contains lots of erotica so it’s not that big a surprise after all. What I’m curious about is how Bryant knew of the existence of these groups to begin with… and that he’d snuck back onto Goodreads just to participate in them. But that’s just me.
From the outset Bryant claims that many of the groups were started by minors. Now these screenshots show the group’s description is Adults Only, followed by another that asks the user to verify their age. Quite frankly, aside from doing a background check, there’s not much more Goodreads or any site can do in this regard.
But it must be noted that as of last week Goodreads has tightened their membership requirements, which may have been as much in response to a recent court decision as anything Bryant has posted.
Here Bryant poses a patently ridiculous question: why are adults in a sexual role-playing group having sexually explicit discussions?
**Also listed in the member section is a man named Ian, and although his age is not mentioned, on his author profile, his bio indicates that he has written short stories and poetry since high school. Now, I am not one to judge, but I ask you, what are adults doing by being a member of a role-play group with minors where sexually explicit conversations are taking place? It just doesn’t look right to me. In Ian’s defense, he has not made any comments in the group as of yet. But the mere fact that an adult would place themselves in this kind of situation, let alone an author, is suspicious in of itself. It’s just not a good position to place yourself in.**
The only minors evidenced are the personas of those engaged in the role-play, and regardless of your opinions on the matter, everyone who’s posting are adults as far as anyone can tell. The failure in logic is so deliberate it’s appalling. It’s clear that ‘Just Joe’ is engaging in the role-play as Sephyrine, yet Bryant posits- again without proof- that the participants are, in fact, their underage online persona.
These screenshots, all dated November 2012, show a Third Person POV, as if reading a novel. None of the posters speaks in First Person POV- I, me, we, you, our, etc- as they would if they were performing the activities themselves.
The following screens, dated October 2012, further underscore the ridiculousness of it all. The group in question is clearly dedicated to exploring fantasies, and with monikers like ‘Eternal Werecat Queen’ and ‘vampire’ asking each if they’d prefer to be a boy or a girl it’s hard to take anything being discussed there seriously. Bryant doesn’t mind, though. He even questions the legitimacy of such topics as ‘Gay and Lesbian romance’. Nice.
Here he also engages in another flight of fancy. While any minor on Goodreads should have a private profile, an adult can also opt to do so- which he admits but just as quickly dismisses. So he builds an entire argument on someone having a private profile so no one can glean their personal info (so is mine, to prevent just such foolishness). The idea that they’re simply protecting themselves is irrelevant to Bryant’s argument and must therefore be ignored.
**He is role-playing with a girl, Little Melia, who has a private profile. Now, this could be an 18 year old girl because adults have the choice to making their profile private or public, however, do you think her parents would be pleased knowing that she is involved in a sexually charged role-play with an adult male if she is by chance a minor? Wouldn’t it be reassuring to know for certain if she is or is not a minor?**
(Yeah, CB- it would be reassuring to know that she wasn’t a minor. Just as a certain young lady along with book bloggers who’d interviewed you would’ve been reassured to know that the male model whose photo you were passing off as yours really wasn’t you.)
And of course, he can’t help but tie it all back to the Badly Behaving Authors (BBA) Group (which I’m a moderator of), the ones who helped get him kicked off Goodreads. Now it all becomes clear, doesn’t it?
**And while we’re on the subject of the Goodreads ToS, why aren’t these adults who are interacting with these kids being banned for doing so? What is the point of having a ToS if you are not going to enforce it? After all, let us not forget that I got banned just six short months ago after being bullied by members of the Goodreads group, “Badly Behaving Authors”, which is moderated by Goodreads Librarians, and was covered by the website STGRB, but adults who correspond in sexually explicit role-plays are okay? Really? I also realize that there is a very good chance that I am going to be attacked unmercifully by these bullies from all sides. This concerns me deeply too, because this shouldn’t be about our differences, this should be about protecting the kids.**
Finally, earlier I’d alluded to a similar mindset, a familiar methodology used by others who’d suffered similar fates. The best and most obvious example of this would be former Amazon Top 100 Reviewer Amos Lassen. Lassen was/is noted for his focus on GLBT works; indeed, to my knowledge he was the only member of Amazon’s higher echelon to do so, and was highly respected and solicited because of this. In 2010 it was discovered that Lassen had been plagiarized the bulk of his over 3000 reviews on Amazon, lifting almost word for word from sites such as IMDB, the New York Times, WordPress and even other Amazon reviewers. This led to his removal and the purging of his reviews from Amazon.
In the interest of Full Disclosure, I must state that I ended up getting involved in the matter when it happened.
So how did Lassen respond to his very public and humbling dismissal? You guessed it- a riveting expose about how Amazon not only sells sexually explicit material but may well be shipping out buttplugs and dildos to kids. Which besides not being true, the notion of it never seemed to either occur to nor bother him while reviewing for Amazon.
Yes- once he was blind, but now he sees. Just like Carroll Bryant with Goodreads. Great minds will always think alike. But unlike Lassen, Bryant is implying Goodreads is abetting criminal behavior. He repeatedly states he has proof of minors participating in these groups as far back as October, yet admitted he’d never reported this to the FBI or any authorities to be handled properly. Instead he’d saved all these screenshots and links for an expose to ‘blow the lid’ off of Goodreads… because it’s all about protecting children. But that’s ok- my buddies over at Genxpose not only took him to task about his bullshit, they took the matter out of his hands: I’m told at least seventeen people affiliated with their site have reported this to the FBI since Friday. Bryant still may or may not have, and only claimed to have done so- without showing any proof of it- after being pressed on the issue.
Screenshot from Genxpose reporting what Carroll Bryant failed to.
Same old song, just a different singer. And it’s still not a hit.