Cyberbullying’s Latest Frontier: Amazon Book Reviews

Bullying is simply despicable.

TIME

Correction appended, March 10, 2014

The creature with which Anne Rice is most commonly associated is the vampire, but that doesn’t mean she’s a stranger to trolls — at least of the online variety.

The Guardian reports that the author has signed on to a petition to encourage Amazon to stop allowing reviewers and forum participants to hide behind anonymity. Under the current system, the petition says, those who dislike an author are able to bully him under the guise of reviewing his work:

People have found ways to exploit this flaw in the system and are using it to bully, harass, and generally make life miserable for certain authors on Amazon. These people are able to create multiple accounts and then use those accounts to viciously attack and go after any author or person that they feel doesn’t belong on Amazon or who shouldn’t have published a book, made…

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13 thoughts on “Cyberbullying’s Latest Frontier: Amazon Book Reviews

  1. Some of you have been wonderfully supportive and encouraged me to put the part-II post back up. Maybe I will at some point. But to be honest, the bullying “hits too close to home” right now for me to think objectively. So, for now it is put away.
    I leave you with the words of Rumi:
    Listen with ears of tolerance.
    See through the eyes of compassion.
    Speak with the language of love.

    Super-sunshine-hugs to you all,
    teagan

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  2. This is no dif than the news blogs that allow readers to verbally attack anyone with an opposite opinion. So, most likely insecure, nobodies who now days have “an opinion”. The best way is not to respond, the same with the celebrity idiot news. Don’t open the link, don’t respond. Ignoring someone or a comment does more than a reply. It says you’re not worth it. If you respond, you give them attention. True, people should accept criticism, after all you put it out there, but vicious attacks on mostly women are mostly men with a little jim and teeny twins in the pants. Think Vienna sausage and an olive and a half if you suspect its a man behind it.

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  3. I didn’t know the extent of the problem till I read the article via the link you have given.

    It must be absolutely horrendous and soul destroying to be at the receiving end of “anonymous” cyberbullying. Constructive criticisms are fine but I don’t understand why anyone would wish to resort to such nasty tactics.

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  4. I saw the petition and signed it. Also shared it in a Spanish group of authors where many have had similar bad experiences (unfortunately one translation or the original author said that Anne Rice had written ‘Twilight’. Talk about misinformation!). The issue of buying or not the books is neither here nor there. I’ve heard of authors who had a sale and then quickly a return only for somebody to post a negative one star review of a book they clearly hadn’t read. And some authors will send complimentary copies to honest reviewers. But anonymity is cowardly.

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  5. If people are proud enough of their opinions that they have to share them, then they shouldn’t need to be anonymous. The longer this problem is allowed to continue, the longer these professional naysayers can go on bullying. Since you can review a book whether or not you’ve bought it as long as you have an Amazon account there’s a high likelihood that many of the negative reviews come from people who haven’t actually read the book but like the power they wield when they tear a work to shreds.
    Maybe on this occasion Amazon will come through as the negative reviews can affect sales badly which in yurn could affect their income.

    xxx Massive Hugs Teagan xxx

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  6. It’s not only despicable, it’s cowardly. If a person has something to say, they need to be brave enough to own it–use their names, not a “username.” I am a professional book reviewer, and I am adamant that there is a need for the negative and mixed review. But a real reviewer approaches their task with, above everything, a real respect for the story they are reviewing. A negative review should be helpful; it should explain, to the prospective reader (and maybe to the author too) why the story didn’t work. And they are very difficult to write.

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