Seriously folks, someone is going to end up getting arrested.
What am I talking about? Well, bullying and harassment of reviewers. I thought this sort of shit had blown over, but apparently not. I was very upset and angry this week to read that not only is it still going on, but that the bullies have ramped up their campaign of hate/
So what’s happening? Well, those over at STGRB website have been hard at work making other people’s lives a daily misery – tracking down and bulling, harassing and trying to get people fired. Why? Well, because their victims left book reviews online that they didn’t like.
Yup. Pathetic, isn’t it? You’d think that people would have better things to do with their time, but apparently not. Apparently, opinions on anything are no longer allowed. We must all play nice and only leave glowing reviews of anything, ever. Because that’s not misleading, right? And if we don’t leave glowing reviews, then someone will track us down, find out where we live and harass us. That seems fair.
Okay, to be fair, STGRB have said that it wasn’t them who did the following, instead they are just reporting it. However, their support of it doesn’t make it better. In fact, it makes it worse.
What happened is all laid out here: http://www.stopthegrbullies.com/2013/04/05/cyber-bully-reported-school-ignores-warning/ (much as I loathe to give that horrible site traffic, I think it’s important for people to read it for themselves so they can see what bat shit insane looks like first hand) – I’ve copied the whole post into the bottom of this post – although I felt really dirty doing it.
For those who don’t want to click through it went like this – an ‘anti-bulling’ group took exception to an online review of a book. They tracked down the reviewer, found out where they lived and where they worked. They then contacted the reviewers employer with a view to getting them fired.
I know. I know. I’m still shaking my head too.
They argued that the timing of online activities was during work hours (they provided ‘proof’ for this, however failed to acknowledge when said persons breaks were and whether they were using their own phone, tablet etc – people can be legitimately online during ‘working hours’ without abusing any company equipment or time – I, for instance, like to use my lunch break to read the news online and shop for shoes), they also made allegations that, purely because she didn’t like a book and said so, that the review in question was a sociopath and shouldn’t be trusted to teach kids.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that slander?
Of course, the boss responded with the very practical stance that if it was outside hours and had nothing to do with work, that they weren’t interested. Which is entirely the correct response. The correct, and above all, legal response.
Let’s always keep in mind folks that this is all because of a negative book review. It’s not because of hate crimes, war crimes, murder, kidnap or arson. It’s because of AN OPINION. An opinion, by the way, that the Constitution says that everyone in the states has a right to express.
I’m not in the states. But even here in the backward potato country that we are, we understand the rights of freedom of expression.
Now, freedom of speech gives you the right to have an opinion and voice it – however it DOES NOT give you the right to make allegations or slander someone else. So, let’s be sure that we know the difference between free speech and being an asshole.
So, what does this mean for the rest of us? Well, basically it means that unless we are simpering brown-nosed lemmings, we’re fucked.
No longer are we entitled to have an opinion on anything. No longer can we voice that opinion lest we be tracked down and bullied by some stranger. Some psycho who will take it upon themselves to hunt us down and try to fuck up our lives, all because we didn’t like something that they did.
There, right there, THAT’s what bullying really is. And those behind Stop the Goodreads Bullies should be utterly disgusted with themselves. For condoning this they are showing that they are the worst kind of scum. They have this sense of righteous indignation that they is being misused to bully and disrespect others.
Does Douthit, Brimson, Bryant and the rest behind the site not realise that what they are doing is illegal and insane? What would happen if one of their victims called the cops? Or called their employers to talk about the bulling, harassment and victimization that was going on? How’s that going to look? Or would that be ‘bullying’ via retaliation?
Here’s the thing – it’s okay to not like something. You like sweet corn? I hate sweet corn. Are you going to call my employers and demand that I get fired because I said I don’t like corn? No, that would be all kinds of crazy. Now, let’s replace corn with a book. Does that make it better? No.
I despise bullies. But I also have pity for them – bullies are usually lacking something in their own lives that makes them behave like dicks. Unfortunately, the damage that a bully can do, not just to self esteem but to reputation etc is immense.
What I can’t abide is some declaring that they are anti-bullying while going out of their way to promote and encourage it. It’s disgusting. And it needs to stop.
Before someone gets arrested.
Think about it.
The following has been copied and pasted from the Stop the Goodread Bullies website. I have made no changes to the text at all. This post was made on their site on April 5 2013 by ‘Johnny Be Good’ The whole post can be accessed via the linkI posted above, just in case it gets deleted and you would like a cached version – after all folks, the internet is forever.
It looks as if we’re not the only group who has noticed the cyber bully Anna Karenina on Amazon. We were just recently contacted by a Rosa Lee Bennon, who is part of a volunteer group of cyber bully investigators working with anti-bullying websites to find and report internet bullies. And in this case, they were reporting Anna. Rosa contacted us because she read our post, The Many Faces of Anna Karenina, and thought we would be interested in their operation.
Now, we don’t know which websites Rosa and her group work with, but we do know about the anti-bullying website called Bullyville, who do the same thing as Rosa’s group – find and out cyber bullies. In fact, the name of their site is called Bullyville: Take the bull by the horns. We came acrossthis article just recently where Bullyville found twitter bullies attacking Kate Gosselin and outed these people to their employers (for clarification: this has nothing to do with Anna Karenina; this is just an example of what Bullyville does):
This seems to be what Rosa’s group does as well because she sent us screenshots of correspondence she had with Anna’s employer and gave us permission to share them with our readers. In order to protect certain information, we took only clippings to show you:
In the letter she sent, she provided proof of Anna’s online behavior as well as proof of Anna’s identity and her various online aliases (i.e. Zahara Cerise, Amelia Lucan, Peachbird, etc.). In fact, this group’s research on Anna was much more thorough and detailed than our own.
So, how did Anna’s employers respond? With this:
Wow! This one blew us away. Apparently not only do they not care that their teachers are online social networking while they’re supposed to be teaching, they also don’t seem to care that a notorious cyber bully is teaching their children. If they really cared and took cyber bullying as seriously as they say they do, they would investigate their employee. Doesn’t speak very well of their institution, does it? I wonder what the children’s parents would say.
There was, however, something she said in the response that caught our eye:
“I know that Amazon has a mechanism for reporting abuse. Now that GoodReads has been acquired by Amazon, I am sure that will be available for that website as well.”
That statement is very revealing. Sure, it’s public knowledge that Amazon acquired Goodreads, but you really have to be someone tuned into the book world to know this. For example, I was talking to a buddy of mine when I mentioned the Amazon takeover and he said, “What’s Goodreads?” So perhaps this Jaqueline, an assistant superintendent of the school district, is herself an Amazon/Goodreads user?
Food for thought.