I am not quite sure how to start this post because I’m so upset and disappointed. Goodreads has taken the first firm step toward preferential treatment of authors and telling readers to fuck off. Let me start at the beginning.
I discovered Goodreads in June 2011. Previously I had used Shelfari for all of my book logging. Once Shelfari got taken over by Amazon I got sick and tired of having Amazon shoved down my throat 50 times per site visit. When they started requiring that you use your Amazon log in to use the site I was finished. I started looking for something new and heard people talk about this site called Goodreads. I started looking around and I was stunned at what I saw. A whole community of readers and authors who discuss books and communicate and have the freedom to do that in any way they liked. I loved that Goodreads told me that my content was MINE, and would always be mine. They told me that I could curse if I felt like it, that I could put in my review what I wanted to put and no one would censor me. I thought it was too good to be true and for 2 whole years it wasn’t.
Now Goodreads has decided to side with bullies. Bullies who have been banned from Goodreads because of their atrocious behavior, who have accused GR of promoting pedophilia and child pornography, who have issued death threats against reviewers, who are putting together a site SOLELY for the purpose of doxxing and stalking reviewers in real life. Because GR has decided to take the sissy way out. They have now decreed that any review, shelf, list, or group that focuses on an author or that author’s behavior will be deleted. Not only that but they decided to just mass delete BEFORE making this announcement and then running out of the office on a Friday to ignore the mass rage that was inevitably going to follow. But they seem to only be deleting things that negatively talk about the author…anything positive stays. Huh, weird double standard there. Oh, and those authors who continue to spam, harass, and threaten reviewers? They’ll still get a slap on the wrist and “maybe” get their account put under review. Well hello there Amazon and your authors only focus!
I used to think that Goodreads was a safe place, but if my content isn’t going to be safe there then I don’t know why I would keep putting it there. I mean, I’m spending my time and energy creating content that they use to make money when they aren’t going to respect it, protect it, and give me a safe place to say it. I think I might have to be one of those reviewers that puts the first paragraph of their review on GR with a link to this blog for the rest. I didn’t want to be THAT person because I loved GR, but I can’t trust them with my content anymore.
Maybe I’ll open up spots for other reviewers on the blog. If anyone would be interested, use the contact page to get in touch with me. I will leave comments open on this post but please be aware of a few things. 1. If you haven’t posted on my blog before I have to approve your comment, after that you will be fine but that first comment might take awhile. 2. If your comment is personally insulting, doxxes anyone, or is in support of You Know Who it will be deleted.
9 thoughts on “Goodreads on Life Support”
I thought about making my own post about this news, but honestly, my head’s still reeling from the announcement. I don’t know what to say.
Believe me, I understand. I first saw the announcement when I was at work today and chewed on what I wanted to say all afternoon and evening.
You’re now on my Feedly.
Thank you, I appreciate it!
It really is terrible. And six months ago, when Amazon bought Goodreads, I started looking at alternatives but I really didn’t like any of them. I figured I’d stick with Goodreads until they gave me a reason not to. Well, this might be that reason. The policy doesn’t affect any of my reviews, but it’s still taking the site in a direction I don’t like… and makes me wonder, what’s next?
It’s a very reasonable wonder to have, I’ve had it too. It started with hiding reviews that were flagged as “about the author”, now it’s moved to shelves, lists, and groups….next will be banning users who don’t comply.
I bailed from Goodreads a year ago for my own reasons, but this is downright censorship. One of the great joys of reading is finding those voices to which we relate and those that challenge us, make us question the world, show us who we really are, for good or bad. My right to support AND rail against those authors I choose cannot be quashed by the petty and self absorbed among us, wherever they rear their pitiful heads. I sincerely hope literature fans and authors take this to heart and take a stand.
Very eloquently put, I agree with everything you said. And it appears that many others do too based on the comments from the announcement thread.