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I’d like to take a moment to add a couple of things about Thursday’s blog.

First- thanks to everyone who helped put it together and to everyone who’s stopped by to read up on it and spread the word.  Things like this have and will continue to keep happening, but the point is not to simply sit back and let it.

There’s been some questions about why would someone create a shelf titled “sodomy-by-lawn-sculpture” and “aggressive-male-affection-in-prison”.  The person in question, TinaNicole, replied in a GR thread along with a screenshot of a conversation with another poster about her shelves.   Here’s the screenshot itself (click to enlarge).

TinaNicole on Garden Gnomes

Note the date- March 2013.  All of this happened months ago, and obviously couldn’t have been created solely to attack Lauren Howard- she just got added to the list.

For a bit more clarity, here’s a screencap of the Feedback Thread she posed her “innocent question” in.  Note how she did get through, comprehensive answers to her question… so much she deleted her own posts, including the original. (click once to open and again to enlarge)

Screencap of Feedback Thread

Many blogs that have covered this spectacle have noted and challenged the existence of the Badly Behaving Author group on Goodreads and its spinoff BBA Whisperer– I’m a charter member and former moderator of the first group- posing curious and spurious allegations as to why they should even exist.  You’d think this Lauren Howard issue would be all the answer needed, but there’s a rich history of egregious behavior which gave rise to the groups and not just from SPAs (self-published authors).  Lots of traditionally published and notable authors have contributed to this as well: Jamie McGuire, Deborah Anne MacGillivray, and Laurell Hamilton being a few.  Why wouldn’t you want to know what to expect if you ever ran afoul of people like this?  Why shouldn’t you be informed about this stuff?  Why should they get away with this kind of behavior unchallenged?

The basis of the alleged problem with GR looks to be that many SPA perceptions about the site doesn’t fit with the reality of how it works, and the two clash violently.  Reality will always win, but the damage is done regardless.  I’ve said myself that GR is far from perfect and once they were acquired by Amazon I openly stated that maybe it was time to seek greener pastures, as you can see here and here.   But I still understand the major role it plays in authors promoting their work.

Others don’t or don’t want to.  Those reading this may also be aware of another group of like-minded vigilantes who seek to raze GR to the ground.  Talking of course about STGRB: Stop the GoodReads Bullies.  The irony of their existence being that it’s largely believed to be started by SPA Melissa Douthit– who at minimum is a staunch supporter of the site- who got kicked off GR for endless & repeated violations of the ToS, including stalking reviewers.  Rounding out their band of brothers is a convicted cocaine dealer and a man suspected of an inappropriate relationship with a minor and misrepresenting himself.  Both of whom were also booted from GR and have their own campaigns against it.

Nah, no bias there at all.  True to form, the site was quick to jump on the Lauren Howard bandwagon with nary a shred of proof and even now digs in their heels about it even after her admissions of guilt.  Bloggers were quick to cite STGRB in their articles as a bastion of defense against the abuse on GR, but again never looked into anything they’d done- such as threatening to doc-drop a person simply because they could, abetting in the harassment of someone  at their place of work and a host of various and sundry activities.  When Huffington Post ran their puff piece on STGRB last year, it took less than 24 hours for them to have to backtrack and offer up a couple of rebuttals; that’s how badly it went for them (here and here).  For anyone to refer to this group as an example of a righting wrongs shows bias at best and a lack of moral compass at worst.

A running- ok, never ending- joke about STGRB is how they’re constantly demanding that members of GR/Amazon, etc,  should stop posting under pseudonyms so everyone can know who they are, yet 90% of their contributors- including moderator Johnny B. Good- post under pseudonyms.  Now how hypocritical is that?  But it’s to be expected as the site’s content is nothing more than an endless stream of personal insults, vitriol and butthurt masquerading as a jihad against GR.  Go ahead: pick any post over there and see for yourself.

Really wanna see how ridiculous these people are?  One contributor claims to have filed an FBI complaint on Lauren’s behalf, since she lives in the UK, and linked several blogs including the Salon and DailyDot blogs, blogs which have already updated their posts to add that Lauren has since retracted her statements and admitted to making it all up (they missed mine somehow).  Salient points in a potential FBI investigation.  But since no one at STGRB ever noticed this, it was all met with cheers and high-fives.

None of which begins to explain the mounting crusade against GR, fueled by its worst offenders- because those who complain the loudest about the site are the biggest miscreants; there was clearly no problem with GR when they were following its rules, was there?  Whichever side of the discussion you choose to support it still boils down to what I said in the other post.  Here it is again as a bit of alliteration easy to remember: Do Due Diligence.   Because aside from not embarrassing yourself, if nothing else the company you keep really will reflect upon you.  And you may not like it when it does.