I thought it might be amusing to make a list of some of the more histrionic comments/terms that are so far included in the Anne Rice Amazon Petition. A fair number of signers obviously have no idea what they've put their name on, but for those that are equating negative reviews, anonymous reviews and dissenting opinions as "bullying," I thought it might be interesting to turn their words back on them. After all, as one of them said, "words are like weapons and trolls weild [sic] them freely." Every single one of these is taken directly from the petition.
A very small sampling:
destroy writing names at will
borderline personality disorder
"reviewer" - okay, this just bugs me because he put quotation marks around it
hostile, obscene climate
spew forth ugliness
bane [on] blogging
like the KKK attacking blacks (this from Raelin Hansen)
sniper attacks, hateful sniper, verbal snipers - sniper is used often
hatred so rampant
fear of blatant hatred
self-publishing is not a crime (from Barbara - huh?)
no different than the KKK wearing masks to hide their identity (Della Van Hise)
2 out of 4 reviews are bogus
sucking up the oxygen and replacing it with toxic gas
have.. an opinion in public..make yourself known or be banned
censorship by proxy
dish out death threats (from Barbara - seriously, where are all of these happening?)
clearly in need of professional medical help
stripping your soul naked (to write a book)
they didn't think the Titanic would go down, look how that ended
threaten with violence and sometimes death (*sigh*)
Taking a break to mention that someone signed with the inexplicable comment that this was a First Amendment issue and if the reader/reviewer didn't like the content of the book, they shouldn't read it. Oookay.
creative expression is vital to the evolution of humanity
you have the right to confront your accuser says the constitution
I've had my creative sensibilities hide for days because of this devious practice
pile of vile waste created by cowardly humans
license to kill indie publishers
lower than a snake's belly
"Freedom of Speech" does NOT mean it's okay to issue death threats (seriously)
anonymity fuels hatred
ignorant unqualified fools
pile of vitriol
begin to stop the horror
person comes from a place of inadequate ego and poor self-worth
cowards do not need the freedom to review
save children's souls and loves (WTF???)
mentally I'm ruined
I lost count of how many people suggested Amazon implement a system where reviewers would have to provide a credit card so they could have their identity verified; some of them even said they were authors.
As expected, many of the authors who signed said they'd gotten negative reviews and categorized them as "bullying." I didn't bother looking them all up since that would have taken me a few days, but given the sheer number I have a strong feeling that they might be exaggerating a teensy bit. There were quite a few people who said they were about to be authors and were afraid, were considering a career as a writer but had changed their mind or had published a book but quit. There's always the possibility that they weren't good enough, weren't disciplined enough or didn't have good sales too. I'm just tossing that out there.
Finally, an overwhelming number of readers signing the petition said a couple of the same things: if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it and self-published authors should be cut extra slack because, dreams and bared souls. I also read more than a handful of people say that if you didn't like the book, shut up and don't leave a review because even if it wasn't to your taste, it would be to other people's and you'll only be discouraging other people from reading it. Uh, YEAH. A few people (brave souls) suggested that rather than leaving reviews, if you didn't like a book, rather than leaving a negative review, a reader should simply return the book. One person suggested a compromise of leaving a five star rating but explaining in the review space that the book wasn't to your particular taste but may be okay for others'.
The First Amendment was mentioned a handful of times. Apparently there are people who still don't know what it is and how it is and isn't applicable to private companies. As expected, libel, slander and defamation were improperly used and there were threats of criminal and civil liability.
Now I'd like to know: if I use their standards, as a reviewer who uses an anonymous handle and leaves negative feedback, should I feel bullied by those comments? They called me terrible names and left threats. STGRB has actually named me in posts and on their sidebar. What can I recover?