Yesterday, December 3rd, the crusading anti bullying group Stop The Goodreads Bullies announced that they were closing down in A final Note to Our Readers. This group was specifically set up to fight on the side of all Independent writers who had been targeted mercilessly by the internet sociopaths who descended on Goodreads in numbers from its parent company’s ‘chat rooms’ specifically to target ‘Indies’.
The real problem was that a small number of Goodreads’ actual staff members were part of the whole sorry affair, siding with the in-house bullies against the Indie writers, who Goodreads officially censured if they dared stand up for themselves, often by closing their accounts. Eventually Goodreads were forced into taking action to clean house.
While its true that some of the more rabid bullies have been removed, whether or not all have gone is still uncertain.
What the Indie community is now most concerned about is where did they disappear to?
These days they can no longer hide behind pseudonyms, apart from various forums like Amazon’s infamous ‘chat rooms’. One or two individuals who fit the now classic bullying profile are surfacing on legitimate sites which act as an outlet for Indie articles and short stories.
I got that now familiar pit of the stomach ‘Oh God, not again’ feeling the other day when I was mercilessly attacked on what I thought was a safe site. The individual in question finally showed his true colours by openly accusing me of plagiarism. Another person was quick to side with him by attacking a fellow Indie writer who had decided to support my claim of non plagiarism!
Sadly there are many different individuals in society who, while initially appearing plausible, will eventually not be able to hold back their true selves any longer. The particular one I am speaking of has, since he joined the site, been acid tongued to say the least, not just towards myself, but several of the other contributors on more than one occasion.
The problem is that you could pass someone like this in the street and not be able to distinguish them from the crowd – see the following article for a description of the sociopath and how he or she sets up their targets .
Now, while I am not actually suggesting for one moment that the individual who decided to attack is a sociopath, his actions never the less are the classic ones most Indie writers who have been targeted in the past, are all to familiar with – bide your time, sucker them in, then strike!
Will I be returning to the site in question? Sadly not in the immediate future. It’s a crying shame really. It is a brilliant forum. Its owner is an absolute sweetheart. But until she introduces a method of comment approval, regrettably I won’t be contributing any more in the immediate future.
Out of respect for her and her site I will not be naming either. Nor will I name my attacker.
No matter whether you are an Indie, or a conventional writer, we all have to put up with the odd pedant from time to time. It’s par for the course. But if like me you are an Indie writer, trust me when I say that the bullies are still out there…