September 25, 2013

Goodreads, We are NO Longer Friends

Normally, as today is Wednesday (if I had scheduled it) there would have been a wonderful, drool worthy Waiting on Wednesday up. But today is a special day-- know this, my friends. I am going through an ugly, horrendous breakup. With the book social media site, "for readers" formerly known as Goodreads.

The reason why we're breaking up? Well...Goodreads announced a new plan last Friday. A plan to make "authors" and not readers happy. About how they're going to start censoring us and deleting reviews and shelves that they feel are "about the author". To make matters worse, they're not deleting "favorable about the author" type reviews, only unfavorable. That's a total double standard. Honestly, who holds the gavel on this one? I'd like to have a nice long, proper chewing out with them.

Now, to better explain, here's a link (and lowdown) on their new policy. To make matters worse, NO ONE KNOWS, unless you're a member of the Goodreads Feedback group. Which honestly, I'm not. Before this week, I would have had nothing but good feedback on them-- but that's changed. The ONLY reason I found out is because a good friend of mine, Sarah from Book-A-Holic, commented to ask me if I knew about the recent drama.

The recent drama being that Goodreads, a formerly awesome book social media site has taken freedom of speech into their own hands. And they're not being subtle about it. One commenter on the forum remarked that she has had NINETY REVIEWS deleted WITHOUT prior notice-- she got an email after they were mass deleted telling her the news. Since then "that policy has been changed" but I think it stands to reason that this user deserves a formal apology. THIS IS RIDICULOUS. Suddenly, not only has goodreads become a place for the "STGRB" (which BTW, loved GR's new changes) but it's also become a site that is quickly losing it's mass following.

I feel like this entire crock of shit will never end in the book community-- because this new "policy" popped up soon after all of that stink with that one gal author who "decided not to publish" after being assaulted by "the goodreads bullies". She brought up allegations against reviewers who reviewed ARC's of her book, saying that they couldn't possibly have read it, took shelf names as personal threats, tweeted immaturely and otherwise made a fool of herself... you can read about that here.

That, not to mention the MANY author/blogger/reviewer scandals over the past few years, was a huge pile of bullshit from the very beginning. So, why exactly is Goodreads giving in? Why are they receiving so much flack for something that shouldn't be an issue (hello, freedom of speech)? I have freedom of speech, so do you, why on earth would you ever want to censor that? It's a simple question with a complicated answer; because it makes the people we want to please happy.

That's all it is. A freaking huge pile of reviews and "due-to-author" shelves are being deleted as we speak-- and I just don't stand for that. I don't care how downright rude and f***ing mean you are to me, I have a right to dislike you or like you and a right to tell you-- and I'll be honest. Not only is Goodreads censoring readers' thoughts, they're censoring author rights too. Suddenly authors aren't allowed to comment on reviews of their books-- not even to thank people... because it's not Goodreads/socially acceptable.

A simple author interaction. A thank you. That's an absolutely capital offense. DOWN WITH THE CAPITOL! I never thought that Goodreads and I would be having such a public breakup, but... for all intents and purposes, it is what is. This is why we aren't friends anymore-- bad politics.

I feel such outrage-- I'm proud of every single ounce of sweat or brain matter I've put into my reviews, and although I'm positive at least one has offended at least one person, they're my personal thoughts and my right as a human to express them. I don't stand for being censored, and although I'm keeping my Goodreads on the off chance that they straighten out, I won't be on as often. I'm looking at booklikes, which I'm hoping will turn out to be awesome in time. But one last thing-- I'm so disappointed in Goodreads. They were a site built on readers, and now they're catering to a different crowd. I'll miss you, Goodreads. Honestly. But we aren't friends anymore.

28 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing this post! Thanks to you I was able to read all the true details of the "Bullying" case in GR, which prior to I only heard and seen snippets of facts/lies.
    Also, thanks to you I am now aware of the "author can't comment on reviews of their book" policy. I did not know of that. Frankly, that's depressing. If an author likes my review, I'd like to know. I do adore most authors, after all. (Though, we still have facebook, twitter and our personal blogs for that sort of interaction, so I guess that's something).


    Their new policy is... discouraging. If an author behaves badly, I want to know. I don't want to support an author who lashes out at readers, who disrespect them. I have a right to know that, and make a conscious decision regarding their book. GR is violating that right. But I'm not sure what can be done regarding this, aside for writing about those authors in our blogs :/


    I plan to keep my account because I have yet to find another site as useful in terms of cataloging, but I probably won't be contributing in terms of reviews any more,


    Now I'm off to share this post on Twitter :)

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  2. Thank YOU for reading it! I only found it thanks to some fluke post on Nathan Bransford (Bradsford?)'s site. He wrote a post about the supposed "Goodreads Bullies" which then led to a huge blowup because he didn't research properly. That's the only reason I found it, to tell you the truth. LOL.


    That's a terrible policy in my opinion! Supposedly it'll be considered spam or something? I personally think that's ridiculous! I'd like to know if they like what I have to say too! ;) That is something, and hopefully that something will stay free and clear, you know?


    Absolutely! I definitely want to know-- and I may still decide to read the book, but I'd really like to know if they've disrespected reviewers in the past. I once considered making a "due-to-author" type shelf, but I never did because it wasn't a huge problem for me. I COMPLETELY AGREE! GR is violating our rights as human beings, book bloggers and HUMANS. I would really rather not write about authors in my blog...that would just bring me down. :/


    Awww, thanks girly! I love that you shared this. And cataloging wise, nothing looks as pretty as GR's shelving. O.o

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  3. I can't even deal with the whole Goodreads debacle anymore. I've been following along since Friday night and each day I keep hoping that they'll realize that they're wrong and at least try to fix it and yet when I log on I just keep getting more and more angry.
    It's not even the shelf names Megan, it's the books on the shelves. They're looking for books written by the authors that they KNOW behaved in a naughty way and if there is any combination of them on a shelf, even if it was titled "omg-bestest-authors-eva!" it would be deleted because they assume it's meant to be something bad. They have flipping ESP now!
    I honestly made a "due-to-author" shelf but titled it "will-not-touch-this-scrapple" and "go-to-the-naughty-corner" but I deleted them because the last thing I need is STGRB after me -_-' or Goodreads, oh wait I mean AmazonReads, bringing down the hammer of the gods on me and smiting my profile.
    They've become a dictatorship plain and simple. People are asking relevant questions and THEY. DON'T. CARE. The Customer Care Rep in charge of dealing with the thread picks out benign little questions and answers them and totally ignores legit questions that EVERYBODY wants to know the answer to. Not to mention the fact that the same rep is flip-flopping completely with her answers. Don't even attempt making a discussion thread in the Goodreads Feedback group to talk about it because the other one has over 3000 posts because it is now considered a duplicate that they are shutting them down.
    This is what happens when you sell your soul to Amazon. They take over, pretty much shut out all of the loyal users who give the site ALL of it's reviews, and then use quotes as a passive-aggressive way to get at the users.
    I'm sure Tim from LibraryThing and the creators over at BookLikes are cackling with glee and will no doubt be welcoming the droves of users leaving Goodreads.
    So Goodreads, it's been great honestly it has. But it's time for me to move on, I think we should see other people. I'll move on to someone else who doesn't censor me and you can have all of the bought and sock puppet reviews that are sure to be the only thing left. I'd like to say it's me and not you Goodreads but that would be a lie, and since lying is bad, I'll be honest It really is you.
    (Sorry for the obnoxiously long comment Megan XD, and that whole little thing at the end.)

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  4. Wow. How did I not know about this? I mean, like you said, it's not public except for a certain group and I saw someone saying they were quitting Goodreads, but they never said why. This...is just horrible. I'm not good at posting review on Goodreads anyways (I keep forgetting), but I do like looking up books on there, adding to my wishlist, and looking at other people's lists. So I'll have to think about what I'm going to do because like you said, this is crap. Thanks for posting this :)

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  5. I'm still having a lot of trouble on deciding about if I should sign up for booklikes or not.

    Call me conflicted for a few months, though I think I'm done memorizing so many passwords, lol. O_o

    ~Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

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  6. I'm still having a lot of trouble on deciding about if I should sign up for booklikes or not.

    Call me conflicted for a few months, though I think I'm done memorizing so many passwords, lol. O_o

    ~Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

    (sorry for duplicates... >_<)

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  7. Hi heard some buzz but nothing in twitter really made any sense, this is a double standard what happens to authors that where known to harass the people that didn't give them a good review? Why should they walk away free with out any repercussion and with all the testimonies of those that know what the author has done erased? It's as if they where juvenile delinquents getting their files sealed.
    I also disagree with the no authors commenting on their own books policy, if goodreads is taking the time to delete all those reviews (which they shouldn't have done) why not take the time to do a comment moderation committee?

    You are right that those people being censored should have had a notice before their reviews where removed, but I think it should have gone a step further they should have had the opportunity to appeal their case before any actions where taken, all this hush hush business seems to be the special ingredient on this whole fiasco.
    My question is, goodreads is now part of the amazon family right? so... can we expect this type of policies from amazon too??

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  8. Haha, that's actually really true. And it would be very hard for them to even CARE about books, bloggers and authors, right? ;)


    Um...if you're weird I am too! I usually don't even know what the author of my favorite books' even look like! I'd maybe like to know more about them, but it's all about the characters and they're the ones that matter. That's what I think. I may have mentioned the author of one book in one review ever-- disfavorably. But probably several times favorably. I don't really know. O.O


    I read books usually based on the synopsis and cover and stuff-- but if I find out something terrible (like said author attacked the reviewer) I will usually remove them from my shelf, because I just don't ever want anything like that to happen to me. The only thing that has come close to that was between me and another blogger...and never again. I don't want something like that to happen to me, you know?


    :( Changes make me so sad!

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  9. Ay, I only did it because I wanted to try it out. Whatever you decide is you, right? (: LOL. I am terrible with passwords! I have like three variations of the same password on everything. ;P

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  10. I completely understand, Sarah. I'm mad too. :/ Maybe someday goodreads will realize what a big mistake they've made!


    OMG. You're freaking kidding!! I'm so mad right now-- they don't even know. Maybe the person with those shelves ACTUALLY LIKES THOSE AUTHORS. I'm so...you don't even know!! There's not a single thing that could tip them off-- seriously, they could really like those authors! Big jerks. :/


    Oh smite thee, mighty Goodreads! Lord. The last thing we need is another amazon run company-- and this is one of the things we were afraid of. I'm waiting for the "approval" of reviews. Idjits.


    EREEEEGEGHHAPhoerthnqatoi0h[w4nerfnhesdrgf/ It's considered a duplicate now? How is that a duplicate? Because they're insulting the goodreads industry? A shame, that. They could have probably made it better, but by ignoring all of the relevant questions they just dug themselves into a deeper whole.


    Of course they're cackling with glee! I would be too, lol!


    Loving the breakup speech, Sarah!! It's totally fine, girly. I loved it! :D

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  11. I didn't know until Monday, so...it's really not getting the publicity it should be! :/ Haha, it's actually where I post reviews first...but that's changing. It'll be booklikes now. I totally stalk people's shelves when I'm there. You're absolutely welcome!

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  12. It really bothers me! Like, I know about the files sealing thing-- and that has always made me feel weird because of some stuff I know about someone. But like you said, the "bad" authors are getting away with murder! They get to walk away and get good reviews and act like they NEVER did anything wrong. Why? WHY IS THIS OKAY? Ugh.


    I completely agree! Authors should be able to have a discussion with the reviewer. I have had discussions with authors on reviews of their books before-- good, open minded and non-offensive discussions!


    Absolutely! She should have been able to plead her case and to make an appeal. I wish that would have happened, it seems like such a better way to do things, don't you agree? It was THE biggest ingredient for sure. Just one mass newsletter and things would have been okay. Kind of. :/


    Yes, it totally is. And Amazon already practices a similar policy. No reviews are allowed on Amazon before publication date, your review must be pre-approved, and of course they can turn you down for any reason. That's why I don't like reviewing on Amazon. :/

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  13. Yep. Too many issues to care about the "little" book community :P
    The only mention I usually give to the author is in regard of what they wrote in a book xD Like, when I feel they 'try too hard' or that they're a freaking genius. Nothing more, nothing less with me. So far, anyway.


    Yes, I do know. Conflict scares me, being attacked scares me, and fighting because my opinion contradicts someone else is just so stupid and pointless for me. I want to quietly blog my opinions about books, that's all. I don't try to say what I think is the absolute truth, because it's just my opinion. I'm super scared of being attacked because of it. That's why I'm always very "politically correct", and always mention that something is just "my opinion", nothing more nothing less. Even in RL, I'm very careful to make sure I pass that along.


    What a lot of authors, and readers, don't get is, when we read a book we don't like, we are not happy we didn't like it! We didn't wish to dislike it! We always go into reads with the best hopes it will be mind blowing. Some people don't get that *shakes head*

    Changes scare me!
    LOL, considering the amount of time I said 'scares' in this comment, I'm a total coward xD

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  14. Of course. ;) If they was worried about it, they'd go for the racist tweets and such. :/


    I usually do goofy things when I mention the author-- like say how awesome they are, or [if it's disfavorable] say that their writing style just didn't work for me.


    Conflict freaks me the heck out-- but sometimes it feels like I run full tilt towards it. I want to quietly blog my feelings about books too-- but I want a lot of people to read them also. And that causes some problems because some people just disagree.


    OMG yes! I'm always sad when I don't like a book, and it sometimes makes me wonder if there's something wrong with me-- like when I'm the lone person in a line of haters or something, you know? *fist bump for being awesome*


    Heehee. :P

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  15. Me too! :D A kindred spirit <3
    Say, when you right a "bad" review, are you scared of how the author might feel if he sees it? :( I always get all sad thinking the author will get sad by my review xD


    Of course you want people to read them. You post them on the internet. Anyone who posts someone on the net and says they're just for him, lies, because deep inside we want people to read and comment on what we put effort on. (don't I sound all smart and clever? ;>)
    But what you write is still just your opinions. And as such, they might not fit with others--especially on those cases where everyone else LOVES the book. And every blogger has at least one book like that.
    What people sometimes don't seem to understand is that having a different opinion doesn't mean you're wrong, and if you don't agree with them, that doesn't mean a fight should start. When I see someone rate a book I ADORE one star, I might comment about how sad I am they didn't love it as much as I did. But I would never question how they felt about it, or tell them they're wrong, or fight with them, calling them names, for not liking it. Because reading is experienced differently with every person, and even though we wish every book we read would be amazing, that's not usually the case. That's life.


    *Fist bump*


    :))


    Bet when you first wrote that post, you didn't think this kind of series debate would follow xDDD
    <3

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  16. Yes. Absolutely, I totally get sad when thinking about whether or not my review will hurt someone. But I usually do it anyway, because...well,.. it is what it is, right?


    You totally do! And that's absolutely true, I think. If it was just for yourself, it wouldn't be on the interwebs. I mean, you don't post your grocery list on the internet, do you? O.O


    I hope that everybody does-- because I most certainly do! It doesn't mean that you're wrong at all-- it just means that you're different. (Case in point, debates.) I occasionally comment about how sad I am that they didn't enjoy it. LOL.


    No, actually I didn't. LOL!

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  17. Yes, it is what it is. Plus, it may be mean of me to say, but negative reviews are the funnest to write.
    When reading, it's GREAT if the book is perfect. That's the best kind, when you've nothing to complain about. But when it comes to reviewing it, there is less to say; "It was great"; "The characters were well developed"; "The romance was believable", etc. Eventually, you'll just start repeating how great it was. In Hebrew, the only word to describe a review Review is actually directly translated as Criticism. So, in my mind, reviewing and giving constructive criticism are one and the same. Can't criticize perfect LOL


    Negative reviews are a lot more fun to write, because there is something to write in them. Plus, ranting is one of life's greatest pleasures xD


    LOL I just imagined posting my grocery lists. That it'll be so amusingly boring!

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  18. That's TOTALLY NOT mean of you to say. I most definitely think that negative reviews are more fun to write-- because I DO have a lot more to say in them. How many times can you review good books before you just start saying the same thing In. Every. Single. Review.


    Hahaha, I love that! Awesomesauce. ;)


    Ranting IS DEFINITELY one of life's greatest pleasures.That would be terrible!!

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  19. With Amazon in control everyone is just waiting for them to take out the one star rating. Honestly, it's probably what's going to come next. I'm pretty sure they're watching everybody who commented in the Goodreads Feedback thread about it so they're just waiting for all of us to step out of line.
    Goodreads will be sorry one day. They're just a website, these things come and go. Mypace probably thought it would be here forever and look what happened to that. Book Likes is like the rebound after the breakup and it may or may not prove to be more useful.
    Every day I have the urge to go on the thread and post a link to the video for We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister XD. But since they're soulless dictator's they probably don't listen to music or you know see the irony and the humor in the song..

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  20. Sounds like me (even though I've been advised NOT to use the same for multiple sites)! ;)

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  21. I've been advised that too-- but whatcha gonna do, you know?

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  22. Haha, actually, Amazon ratings have always upset me. They just don't sync up with other ratings so ERGH. I'm positive that they're watching all of us! O.O


    They will definitely be sorry. Myspace is gone... and it's weird. They just disappeared one day, you know? Um. Well, so far it's harder to link and add to shelves, but maybe I'll get used to it. :/


    Hahaha, they'd probably block you as spam because they got it and were upset. LOL. ;D

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  23. I liked the part where you can't review before the book comes out in Amazon, it helps put away the false reviews but sadly it also closes doors for those that got an ARC.
    I've never had an Amazon review pulled off or not accepted before, I guess I thought that if it didn't happen to me it just didn't happen. Naive right? but now I know better :)

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  24. That was my issue-- it closed every door for me when I got an ARC. And I guess I never really thought about false reviews... yeah..


    No, of course it's not naive! I think like that all the time, but the reality is that it does. LOL. ;)

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  25. Right. I don't have the best memory, lol.

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  26. Heehee. <3

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  27. I still don't really know what I'm going to do. I've always had fine experiences with GR but I want to stand in solidarity with other reviewers/bloggers. I just have been so busy with real life stuff that I haven't spent as much time thinking about blog stuff as I'd like.

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  28. Megan@The Book BabeOctober 8, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    I understand that. :/ I hope that you have some time on your hands soon, girly!

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