Monday, May 18, 2015

Goodreads



Some of you may use Goodreads. Pixie Warrior is reviewed on Goodreads, and most of the reviews are pleasing. On April 11, 2015, an individual using the Second Life platform created a number of accounts to trash my book, a book he’s never read. He is vulgar in real life, wants sex, and is annoying as he can be. My response was to mute him. As it does most trolls and griefers this upset him. His mental well-being depends on being noticed. He is an attention whore.

I contacted Goodreads on April 15th, explaining the situation in full. As distasteful as it was to explain the situation, I did so bluntly:


“I'm Rachael de Vienne, the author of Pixie Warrior, an out of print ebook. On April 11, 2015, someone from the social media site Second Life posted many negative reviews, never having read the book. This is spill over from my refusal to have cartoon sex with him and his dog. The names he used are: Pwruch, Rachel IsabitchonSL, Rachel Ismean, and Maltese Doggy. Each of these accounts was made specifically to attack me and most of them contain a personal message. On the basis that he could not have read a book now out of print and that these are personal attack disconnected with Pixie Warrior, please remove his reviews.”


Goodreads replied on April 17th:


“Hi Rachael,

We wanted to let you know that we received your message, and we are in the process of looking into this matter for you.  We appreciate your patience and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.  If you have any questions in the meantime, please don't hesitate to let us know.

Sincerely,
The Goodreads Team”


Their email led me to expect that they would address the issue. I was wildly mistaken. Today I received this email:


“Hi Rachael,

Thank you for your patience as we looked into this. Creating fake accounts for the sole purpose of inflating or deflating a book's ratings average is prohibited. We have looked into the accounts you reported, and as several of the them raised a number of our standard red flags for illegitimacy, they have been removed from the site.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to let us know.

Sincerely,
The Goodreads Team”


Now this makes is seem that the Goodreads Team addressed the issue. They did not. All the reviews remain and the accounts are still active. They lied. Are they stupid? Did they think I’d fail to check?

If you have a Goodreads account, cancel it. If you’re an author, and many of my readers are, check your reviews for similar issues – but don’t count on Goodreads staff for help. They lie.

4 comments:

Harry H said...

One of my teacher friends invited me to GoodReads, but I never thought to look up your book on it until today.

I only saw one negative comment from he-who-shall-remain-nameless using the handle of Pwruch. I guess GR thought that one was relatively harmless, but I agree it should have been removed.

I wrote my own review while I was there. (4 stars)

I loved this book. Rachael's characters are quite believable, even the ones that fit in their father's pocket. The story moves quickly from the deep woods of the Northwest to a final battle to save the pixie home world.

I have wanted Rachael (actually I have begged her) to write more pixie stories. She has lots of them, but so far other writing obligations have kept her away from this.

An occasional reader said...

The letters from Goodreads look suspiciously like variations on “form letters” spit out by computer. The review was negative, but since it wasn’t obscene or blasphemous or anything like that, I guess I can see why the company might allow it to stand. Unless you can actually prove multiple accounts (including this one from Karachi?) and a conspiracy of one person to attack you on all fronts, I cannot see them acting. However, there were plenty of positive reviews to swamp it on the site. And the only people who would go on this page would be those who already knew of the existence of Pixie Warrior and Rachael de Vienne. And most of them would be friends.

Obviously, you have to react as you think fit. But consider:

Trolls are desperate to be noticed. They crave attention. HATE will do just as well as LOVE. Responding to them tells them they have got under your skin. In their minds (be they a middle-aged woman in Texas or a spotty teenager in London) they are now ON THE MAP – they have won. Ignore them completely and they will be mortified. In my book, that’s the best way to make them feel pain. Maybe they will ultimately wither and die on this particular cause, and will find their sport with someone else who feeds their habit by granting them such recognition.

Harry H said...

For Rachael the only good troll is one that has been sliced and diced in a Cusinart with rusty blades.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Pixie to Internet Troll who shall remained nameless ... even though I know his real-life name, address, phone number, criminal record, and ... well stuff: "I will make your mind bleed."

Harry knows that's I've wounded more than a dozen trolls and have their skulls propped up on my back fence.