Believe it or not, there’s actually something kinda interesting about the Stop the Goodreads Bullies website. It’s the fact that they’re not remotely interested in discourse or dialogue. From its inception, the idea of confronting internet bullies may have been a good idea, but even a cursory glance reveals that’s not what the impetus behind the site was.
As the name implies, it’s all been about retaliation for getting bounced off of Goodreads, hence the name. Beginning with the person widely believed to be behind the site, Melissa Douthit, who was kicked off of Goodreads for repeated and flagrant violations of its TOS, there’s been little else on the site other than a stream of vitriol aimed at GR itself and its members. Add that their supporters still chiefly come from GR, and you start wondering just how deep this rabbit hole goes.
In this modern day kinder, gentler, internet world, where everyone gets a trophy just for being on the team and even prison inmates profess to have respect, courtesy and brotherly love for their fellows you might’ve thought that in order to stop perceived bullies you’d confront and challenge them about their behavior, hoping to find a solution to the problem. You’d be wrong. In fact, look at any post on the site: in the body and the comments you’ll see a catholic litany of rhetoric- why are they doing this… what’s wrong with them… what are they trying to prove… how does this keep happening…. At no point will you see an attempt to pose those questions to anyone, though.
Actively blocking dissenting comments on their site from the outset, STGRB finally came clean and openly declared that whomever they disagree with or have labeled will never have a seat at their table. This is their litterbox- take your rationale and reasoning someplace else! We’re having brie cheese with our whine over here, buddy. This is a telltale sign of butthurt: being unwilling to listen or entertain the idea that you’d be wrong. Because instead of complaining, you’d have to address the problem- which was you all along.
Now that’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of folks who’ve done- and still do- their fair share of ranting and raving against STGRB. Like a blind squirrel, they have uncovered the occasional nut, only to warp it to suit their purposes instead of letting things speak for themselves. If STGRB were to extend an invitation to talk to anyone they’ve targeted, quite a few would be happy to oblige and there’d be a lot less animosity. Doesn’t seem likely, because I’ve volunteered.
Back in August 2012, when all this was still fairly new, I attempted to post in their comments section an invitation to talk about our differences. Not only was it never approved nor responded to, a couple of people who actively contribute to the site tried to snark about it in an Amazon thread: Dougie Brimson- self-proclaimed former soccer hooligan, Lad-lit author and STGRB supporter, and G. Faso- who admits to trolling Goodreads on STGRB’s behalf as A(nnabeth) Hole.
I know, I know: “that was then”, you’ll say. “They’ve switched sites and lost some data”, “that was probably someone else who deleted the comment…”. Ok, fine. But then why make this declaration on the new site:
STGRB PolicyAlthough they consistently read our site, the GR bullies are not allowed here. They are not allowed to comment, participate in discussions, or harass our visitors in any way. This site is not for them. This site is for others. It was made to warn and educate them about the GR bullies and their behavior.
Can’t be much clearer than that. They’re here to bitch, moan and chew bubble gum, not resolve anything. And you have to admit they’ve done a stellar job of it; no one’s bitchier than this bunch. But all snark aside: things have escalated almost to the point of open warfare, so if anyone would like to try to scale back the carnage, if not initiate a cease fire, let’s see what we can do. Because when you threaten to doc-drop someone, and the wrong person on top of that, it’s not about reviews, authors or books. That’s on a whole ‘nother level, and I’m really hoping you don’t want to go there, let alone support someone who wants to do the driving. It’s your move, now.