Thinking time – Blogger Blackout

27 Oct

Blogger Blackout - badgeBecause this happened, many book bloggers decided to take some time away from reviewing and otherwise promoting books to think about why we do what we do, and what we are willing to risk for our hobby.

Some of those book bloggers–and some people who don’t blog but simply leave comments on other people’s blogs–will not come back. They feel the conversation is not worth the very real risk of having an author have a fit of batshit egregious irrationality and track them down. While it saddens me to think of those voices, silenced by fear, I understand that part of having the freedom to speak is having the freedom to choose to be silent.

Because, as the current vexatious defamation lawsuit that Ellora’s Cave filed against Dear Author and Jane Litte shows, having an author–or his/her fans–stalk you is not the only thing to fear these days. An author or a publisher with a few thousand dollars to throw down the drain may well decide that suing a blogger is the perfect way to silence criticism.

Because the suit doesn’t have to succeed–just like the stalker doesn’t have to inflict injury on his/her victim. Fear that it can happen to you is enough–not all of us are lawyers with the resources to fight a suit, and very few of us would draw the support Dear Author does.

So it is understandable that so many people think long and hard whether their hobby is worth the risk it is now so obvious it brings into their lives beyond reading and sharing their thoughts on what they read.

However, I have seen harassment from batshit egregiously irrational authors before–people who have been around long enough may remember the absolutely appalling things Karen Scott put up with from Cindy Cruciger and Ann Vremont.

And, because I follow Popehat, I have seen companies and individuals suing their customers and random strangers for the damnedest things–reviews included.

So I wasn’t as surprised as many by Ellora’s Cave et al going batshit egregiously irrational and suing Jane and Dear Author, and while absolutely outraged, I’m not surprised by an entitled blonde¹ WASP gloating about her criminal behaviour. I am, sadly, not even that shocked that there are so many happily defending her, or at least seeking to place some blame on her victim.

Where does that leave me?

Well, as Sybil of The Good, The Bad and The Unread told me many years ago, I like to hear myself talk. And if an author feels entitled to share with the world that she thinks bloggers who decide to take a few days from reviewing are the Taliban, why shouldn’t I share with the world my musings on whatever strikes my fancy, from politics to books?

In other words, I don’t think much has or will change at casa aztec.

If it does, I’ll probably write about it at some point.

*

In the meantime, if you have time to read what other people more eloquent than I have written:

Robin/Janet at Dear Author on Poisoning the Well

Jess on Online Identities in Blogging

Fangs for the Fantasy on Kathleen Hale, Stalking and Community

Jenny Trout: Stalking the Hands that Feed You

Hale didn’t go as far as assaulting Harris, but her supporters have, through their pseudo-intellectual praising of her bravery and “fascinating” retelling, normalized and rationalized the abnormal, irrational behavior that will one day lead to a violent altercation between an author with a wounded ego and a faulty moral compass, and a blogger who reviews the wrong book.

Bibliodaze: #HaleNo, Blogger Blackout and the Non-Existent War

Ruthless Culture: Don’t Attack Reviewers.

Via Courtney Milan, Bisexual Books: Book Blog Activism and Other Assorted Thoughts.

Not that the situation is funny, but Book Riot provides some comic relief.

*

¹ Because it’s not so much with the hair color as with the general attitude.

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2 Responses to “Thinking time – Blogger Blackout”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What You Said Means A Lot To Me « Read React Review - 27/10/2014

    […] Some of those book bloggers–and some people who don’t blog but simply leave comments on other people’s blogs–will not come back. They feel the conversation is not worth the very real risk of having an author have a fit of batshit irrationality and track them down. While it saddens me to think of those voices, silenced by fear, I understand that part of having the freedom to speak is having the freedom to choose to be silent. — Azteclady, Her Hands My Hands […]

  2. Thinking time – why I blog, why I review | Her Hands, My Hands - 03/01/2015

    […] had the very brief blogger blackout and the egregious lack of perspective from a number of people (the Taliban, for […]

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