Here we go again

ImageOkay, so, many of you might remember when I wrote about the whole Kass/Roth fiasco back in February when Wendy Darling reviewed ‘The Selection’ by Kiera Kass.

If you missed it you can read the review and the the fallout here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/231455953

If you can’t face the whole thread, here’s the basics: Wendy reviewed the book, author and agent (Elena Roth) took offence, Roth called Wendy a bitch on Twitter and then Roth and Kass proceeded, again on Twitter, to hatch a plan to get fans to vote down negative reviews. The reading and reviewing community in general took offence at the underhand tactics and voted up negative reviews of the book.

Not cool.

In the end both Kass and Roth apologised, Wendy accepted and that was that.

Until now.

Two days ago another writer, one Melissa Douthit, took it upon herself to take up the fight once more, seemingly on Kass’ behalf. What resulted was horrible.

Douthit, FOUR MONTHS after the initial incident blew over, and, seemingly without provocation, posted a rather worrying rant on her own blog http://melissadouthit.com/2012/05/29/drama-surrounding-the-selection/#comments where she not only got facts mixed up and generally made a bit of a dogs dinner out of something that was never her fight to begin with, but she decided that it would be a really good idea to ‘out’ Wendy Darling.

Yep. That’s right. She searched the internet for photos of ‘Wendy’ and her partner and her pets, her email address and her real name, and then she posted them all on her blog.

I’m going to let you think about that for a second.

No, you’re not misunderstanding me. An author, who, I have to stress, has nothing to do with either Kass or Roth, has, months after the initial incident occurred, decided to take on the reviewer as some sort of personal vengeance and posted a lot of apparently personal information about Wendy Darling.

This is harassment and bullying.

Here’s the thing, lots of people don’t choose to use their own names online, or elsewhere. That’s there prerogative. Douthit’s defence that the information was ‘available’ online is no defence at all. If you look hard enough there is information about almost everyone. Is it right for a third party to collate that information and make it public? No. It’s a gross invasion of privacy.

You can read Douthit’s blog post on it here: http://melissadouthit.com/2012/05/29/drama-surrounding-the-selection/#comments although it’s already been edited several times since publication, so you might want to take a look at the Google Cache of it to get the full story.

Increasingly there is a trolling culture, and it’s just sad when a supposeduly professional writer (or professional anything, let’s be honest) behaves in this way.

Now, here’s the thing, sometimes we all do things on the internet that we aren’t proud of. Most of us have said things, posted something or hell, even texted something that we regret in the cold light of morning. As I’ve said before, the immediacy of the internet means that there is no ‘cooling off’ period. It’s very design means that people can say anything anytime, and this isn’t necessarily a good thing.

HOWEVER, I also have to point out that while most of us learn from our mistakes and are more careful and more considerate, some folks just don’t seem to get it at all. Douthit is a perfect example of that, having been banned from several online communities for harassing, bulling and general shit stirring behaviour.

The thing I really don’t get about people like Douthit, or any of the other authors who’ve had a public meltdown this year, is WHY. I mean, they are seemingly intelligent people, but they don’t seem to stop and THINK.

A couple of people have asked me why I post these stories. Let me answer that by saying I post them because I want to show other authors how NOT to react.

So, I’ll leave you with that for now folks.

Take care.

x

 

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